Chapter 4: Marriage

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A. Marriage Ceremony - Longer Form

5650. (At the day and time appointed for the solemnizing of matrimony, the persons to be married standing together, the man on the right hand of the woman, the minister shall say:)

Dearly beloved, we are gathered together in the sight of God, and in the presence of these witnesses, to join together this man and this woman in holy matrimony, which is an honorable estate, instituted of God, and signifying unto us the mystical union which exists between Christ and His church. It is therefore not to be entered into unadvisedly, but reverently, discreetly and in the fear of God. Into this holy estate these two persons come now to be joined.

(Speaking to the persons to be married, the minister shall say:)

I charge you both, as you stand in the presence of God, before whom the secrets of all hearts are disclosed, that, having duly considered the holy covenant you are about to make, you do now declare before this company your pledge of faith, each to the other. Be well assured that if these solemn vows are faithfully kept, as God’s Word demands, and if steadfastly you endeavor to do the will of your heavenly Father, God will bless your marriage, will grant you fulfillment in it, and will establish your home in peace.

(Then shall the minister address the man by name, and ask:)

Will you have this woman to be your wedded wife, to live together 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 shall the minister address the woman by name, and ask:)

Will you have this man to be your wedded husband, to live together in the holy estate of matrimony? Will you love him, comfort him, 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 ask:)

Who gives this woman to be married to this man?

(The father of the woman, or whoever gives her in marriage, shall answer:)

I do (or Her mother and I).

(Then the minister shall cause the man and woman to join right hands and shall cause the man, using their given names, to say after him:)

I, ____________, take you, ____________, to be my 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 do us part, according to God’s holy law; and thereto I pledge you my faith.

(Then shall the minister cause the woman, using their given names, to say after him:)

I, ____________, take you, ____________, to be my 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 and to cherish, till death do us part, according to God’s holy law; and thereto I pledge you my faith.

(If an exchange of rings is desired, the minister shall ask for the rings, deliver the ring to the man and say:)

____________, place this ring on the finger of your bride and repeat after me: This ring I give you, in token and pledge of our constant faith and abiding love. (The minister shall then deliver the ring to the woman and say:)

____________, place this ring on the finger of your groom and repeat after me: This ring I give you, in token and pledge of our constant faith and abiding love.

(Here may be offered the following prayer, or an extemporaneous prayer closing with the Lord’s Prayer.)

O eternal God, creator and preserver of all mankind, giver of all spiritual grace, the author of life everlasting, let Your blessing descend and rest upon these Your children, whom we bless in Your name. Bless this marriage and make it to them the source of abundant and enduring good. Look graciously upon them that they may love, honor, and cherish each other. May their mutual affection never know change, doubt, nor decay. Direct and strengthen them in the discharge of all their duties. Bless the home which they establish. Teach them to order their household wisely and well, and to regard all their possessions as Your gifts to be employed in Your service. May they so live together in faithfulness and patience, in wisdom and true godliness, that their home may be a haven of blessing and a place of peace, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

(Then shall the minister cause the man and woman to join right hands and placing a hand on top of theirs shall say:)

Forasmuch, as ____________ and ____________ have consented together in holy wedlock, and have witnessed the same before God and this company and thereto have pledged their faith each to the other, and have declared the same by joining hands [and by giving and receiving rings]; I pronounce that they are husband and wife together, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Those whom God has joined together let not man put asunder. Amen.

(Then the minister shall give this blessing,)

God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit, bless, preserve, and keep you; the Lord mercifully with His favor look upon you, and so fill you with all spiritual benediction and grace, that you may so live together in this life, that in the world to come you may have life everlasting. Amen.

B. Marriage Ceremony - Shorter Form

5680. (At the day and time appointed for the solemnizing of matrimony, the persons to be married standing together, the man on the right hand of the woman, the minister shall say:)

My friends, the ordinance of marriage was instituted by God himself in the garden of Eden, and is one of the most solemn and binding of obligations, because it involves the sacred relations of the home and the family. Your happiness for the future will largely depend upon the faithfulness with which the marriage vows are cherished and kept. There must be mutual affection the one for the other, and the marriage covenant must be kept in purity of spirit, as well as in actual word and deed, if you would reap the full fruition of happiness in your marriage.

If, with full and free consent, and thoughtful determination to keep the marriage covenant, you desire to enter the holy estate of marriage, you will acknowledge the same by taking the other by the right hand.

(With their hands joined, the minister shall address the man by name, and ask:)

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 address the woman by name, and ask:)

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 love him, comfort him, 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 the minister shall place a right hand upon their joined hands and say:)

Since they have taken the marriage covenant before God, and in the presence of these witnesses, by the authority committed unto me as a minister of the church of Jesus Christ, I declare that ____________ and ____________ are now husband and wife, according to the ordinance of God and the law of the state, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Those whom God has joined together let not man put asunder. Amen.

(Then the minister shall offer an appropriate prayer.)