Words of welcome and statement of the occasion open the ceremonies of celebration we know as weddings. Here are eight examples are for your use and inspiration.
1) Dear friends and family, throughout religious history, people have felt a need to celebrate the great moments of life. At those times they call upon their friends to help commemorate the high moment because they could not do justice to that moment alone. But even more, so they have felt the need to hold those experiences up before God. Thus, in this sanctuary, before those loved ones and friends, these two people come now to enter into the covenant of marriage.
2) Dear friends and family, we gather here to praise and thank God, to celebrate the gift of life, and the special gift of marriage as a unique covenant. It is a relationship affirmed by Jesus at the wedding in Cana of Galilee. In this event, Jesus embraced the joy and possibilities open through this relationship when God’s spirit and values are present. Thus we honor this covenant, and enter into it with reverence, understanding and celebration before God.
3) This is a religious ceremony. Religious, as when two people promise together in marriage, to love and honor each other as they stand in the presence of all they cherish – in the presence of justice, beauty, truth, and honor. May your love for each other be grounded in the God who loved you first. In this faithful understanding, we gather to celebrate the decision of _______ & ______ to enter into the covenant of marriage; to affirm and rejoice in their choosing each other; and to share as family and friends in the occasion of their vows. As a community of faith, we embrace this covenant, as well as the interdependence of life beyond marriage.
4) Friends, we have gathered here as the Church, to celebrate and praise God for the union
of _____ & _____ in this holy covenant. The bond and union of this relationship is part
of the goodness of God’s creation. The Apostle Paul announced that where Christ is
present, there is surely equality as well as unity. Let us begin this special service.
6) The One who is the source of all things and from whom all life flows has called you forth this day in the presence of family and friends that your commitment to one another may reflect the eternal love of God back into the world where all who will affirm it may partake in its gifts.
Amen and Blessed Be.
7) We gather today to encircle ____ and ____ with our love, to bear witness and bless the vows uniting them in the marriage of heart, body, and soul. We also gather to celebrate the reality of human s, created in the image of God, we have been given the gift of tender hearts – open to possibilities of love and given the freedom to enter into covenants of mutuality and care. A covenant relationship is meant to be the full expression of love between two people: a sign to all they meet that they belong to each other with affection and tenderness. It is a commitment entered into prayerfully, thoughtfully, and with reverence for the great gift that it is. To this moment, ____ and ____ each bring a heart full of cherished moments as well as their hopes and dreams for the future life together. They also bring unique and complementary gifts, which flow together to form the beauty of their relationship. In a world where love may be offered without commitment, and commitments made without love, we give thanks to God for this sacred bond and holy union full of grace.
8) In the midst of a world where too many people are burdened by indifference and too many places shattered by violence, we gather to rejoice in the power of love!
We bear witness to love: that of God, source of hope, that of ____ and ____, cause for celebration, that of community, channel of strength, that of enemies, gateway to peace.
God, Creator; Christ, Redeemer; and Spirit, Sustainer, as we worship you, fill this congregation, the couple in our midst, and the world around us with love overflowing and transforming!
Contributed by Reverend Mary Kraus, and also Craig M. Nowak, Laura Rose, Ann B. Day from All Whom God Has Joined: Resources For Clergy & Same-Gender Loving Couples, (The Pilgrim Press, Cleveland 2010).
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