75. Suggested Form for the Solemnization of Marriage

The requirements of BCO 72, particularly section 3, are required regardless of what liturgy is used for the marriage ceremony.

The form that follows in this section is based upon the marriage solemnization found in the 1549 Book of Common Prayer

Prelude

Seating of Mothers

Bridal Party’s Entrance

Bride’s Entrance

Words of Institution

The Minister says,

Dearly beloved, we are gathered here together in the sight of God, and in the presence of these witnesses, to join together this man and this woman in holy matrimony. Marriage is an honorable estate, instituted by God in the garden in the time of man’s innocence, before the corruption of sin, and signifying unto us the mystical union between Christ and His Church. This holy estate Christ adorned and beautified with His presence and first miracle in Cana of Galilee, and is commended by St. Paul to be honorable among all men.

Therefore, it is not to be entered into lightly or unadvisedly, nor is it to be undertaken loosely as satisfaction for carnal lusts, as if men were unrestrained animals with no understanding; but rather, it is to be sought reverently, discreetly, advisedly, soberly, and in the fear of God. In ordaining the gift of marriage, our Lord has commended to us three purposes for it. First, marriage is given for the mutual society, help, and comfort that man and wife should have from the other, both in prosperity and adversity. Second, marriage is given for the procreation of children, to be brought up in the fear and nurture of the Lord, and to the praise of God. Third, marriage is instituted as a remedy against sin, and to avoid fornication, so that those who are married might live in the purity of marriage, and keep themselves undefiled as members of Christ’s body.

Into this holy estate this man and this woman come now to be joined.

If any man can show just cause why they may not lawfully be joined, let him speak now, or else hereafter forever hold his peace.

And also speaking to the persons to be married, he shall say,

I require and charge you both, that if either of you know any reason why you may not lawfully be joined in matrimony, you tell it to me. For you can be certain that all who are joined together in any way besides what God’s word allows are not joined by God, nor is their marriage lawful, and they will answer on the dreadful day of judgement, when the secrets of all hearts shall be revealed.

At this time, if anyone raises an objection why the couple may not be joined together in matrimony, and is willing to stand by his allegation while it is investigated, then the marriage must be deferred, until the truth is found.

Declaration of Consent

If no objection is raised, then the minister shall say unto the man,

[Name of Groom], will you have this woman to be your wedded wife, to live together after God’s ordinance in the holy estate of matrimony? Will you love her, comfort her, honor, and keep her in sickness and in health? And, forsaking all others, keep yourself only unto her, so long as you both shall live?

The man shall answer,

I will.

Then the minister shall say to the woman,

[Name of Bride], will you have this man to be your wedded husband, to live together after God’s ordinance, in the holy estate of matrimony? Will you obey him, and serve him, love, honor, and keep him in sickness and in health? And, forsaking all others, keep yourself only unto him, so long as you both shall live?

The woman shall answer,

I will.

Then shall the Minister say,

Who gives this woman to be married to this man?

The father of the bride or a man standing in his place shall say,

I do.

Then the minister, receiving the woman at her father’s or friend’s hands, will cause the man to take the woman by the right hand.

Invocation

Let us pray. Almighty and ever blessed God, whose presence is the happiness of every condition and whose favor makes holy every relation; We ask You to be present and to look with favor upon these Your servants, as together they make their covenant before You. As You have brought them together by Your providence, sanctify them by Your Spirit, giving them a new frame of heart fit for their new estate. Pour out Your grace upon them so that they may enjoy the comforts, bear up under the cares, endure the trials, and perform the duties of life together under Your heavenly guidance and protection. May they be truly joined in the honorable estate of marriage, and may they know the salvation of the only true God. We ask these things through our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

The Minister, Bride and Groom, Maid of Honor and Best Man, ascend to platform.

Song

Scripture Reading (for example, Genesis 2:18-25, Ephesians 5:22-33)

Sermon

Exchange of Vows

The man and the woman turn and face each other and join hands. The man will say, repeating after the minister,

I [Name of Groom] take you [Name of Bride] to be my lawful wedded wife, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness, and in health, to love and to cherish, till death us do part: according to God’s holy ordinance; and to this vow I pledge you my faithfulness.

The woman will say, repeating after the minister,

I [Name of Bride] take you [Name of Groom] to be my lawful wedded husband, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness, and in health, to love, cherish, and to obey, till death us do part: according to God’s holy ordinance; and to this vow I give you my faithfulness.

Ring Ceremony

The minister will say to the man,

[Name of Groom], what keepsake do you give [Name of Bride] of your promise to fulfill these vows you have made?

The best man gives the ring to the groom; the groom says, “This ring.” The groom takes the bride’s left hand the puts the ring on her fourth finger. The man says, repeating after the minister,

As a pledge and symbol of the vows we have made, with this ring I thee wed, with my body I thee honor: and all my worldly goods I give to thee. In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

The minister will say to the woman,

[Name of Bride], what keepsake do you give [Name of Groom] of your promise to fulfill these vows you have made?

The maid of honor gives the ring to the bride; the bride says, “This ring.” The bride takes the groom’s left hand the puts the ring on his fourth finger. The woman says, repeating after the minister,

As a pledge and symbol of the vows we have made, with this ring I am wedded to thee, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Prayer

Let us pray.

O Eternal God, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Creator and Preserver of all mankind, Giver of all spiritual grace, and the Author of everlasting life: send Your blessing upon these Your servants, this man and this woman, whom we bless in Your name; that as Isaac and Rebecca lived faithfully together in the bonds of matrimony, so may this man and wife surely perform and keep the vow and covenant made between them, of which these rings are a token and pledge. And may they ever remain in perfect love and peace together, and live according to Your laws, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Pronouncement

Then the minister shall speak to the people,

Forasmuch as [Name of Groom] and [Name of Bride] have consented together to holy wedlock, and have witnessed their vow here before God and this company; and have given and pledged their faithfulness to each other by the joining of hands and exchanging of rings: By the authority committed unto me as a Minister of the Church of Jesus Christ, I pronounce that this man and this woman be man and wife, according to the ordinance of God. In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Then the minister shall join their right hands together, and say,

Those whom God has joined together, let no man separate.[1]

[Name of Groom], you may kiss your bride.

Presentation of the Couple

The couple turns and faces the congregation. The minister shall say,

I now have the honor of presenting to you: Mr. and Mrs. _______________________.

Recessional


  1. Matthew 19:6.

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