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[GROOM] & [BRIDE], today you celebrate one of life's greatest moments and give recognition to the worth and beauty of love as you join together in the union of marriage. The Bible teaches that marriage is to be a sacred covenant, a permanent relationship of two people freely and totally committed to each other as companions for life. God declared that man shall leave his father and mother and unite with his wife in the building of a home, and the two shall become one flesh.

Into this sacred covenant you two individuals now desire to enter, not for completion, but for fulfillment. You are not two halves becoming whole, but two individuals joining forces to become one in unity of purpose and commitment as you go through life together. Let us therefore call for the blessing of God on the union now to be formed. Let us pray:

O Lord of life and love, bestow your grace upon this marriage, and seal this commitment with your love. As You have brought them together by Your divine providence, sanctify them by Your Spirit, that they may give themselves fully one to the other and to You. Give them strength and patience to live their lives in a manner that will mutually bless themselves and honor Your holy name. Through Christ we pray. Amen.

Marriage is a companionship which involves mutual commitment and responsibility. You will share alike in life's sorrows and joys. When companions share a sorrow, the sorrow is halved; and when they share a joy, the joy is doubled.

Marriage is also compared by the Apostle Paul to the mystical union between Christ and his church. Therefore, it should not be entered into unadvisedly or lightly, but reverently, considering the purpose for which it was ordained. Therefore, I must ask you:

[GROOM], will you take [BRIDE] to be your wife; will you commit yourself to her happiness and her self-fulfillment as a person, and to her usefulness in God's kingdom; and will you promise to love, honor, trust, and serve her in sickness and in health, in adversity and prosperity, and to be true and loyal to her, so long as you both shall live? (I will.)

And [BRIDE], will you take [GROOM] to be your husband; will you commit yourself to his happiness and his self-fulfillment as a person, and to his usefulness in God's kingdom; and do you promise to love, honor, trust, and serve him in sickness and in health, in adversity and prosperity, and to be true and loyal to him, so long as you both shall live? (I will.)

Do you have rings to give as a token of your love? (We do.)

The wedding ring is a symbol of marriage in at least two ways: the purity of gold symbolizes the purity of your love for each other, and the unending circle symbolizes the unending vows which you are taking, which may be broken honorably in the sight of God only by death. As a token of your vows, you will give and receive the rings.

[GROOM], will you place the ring on [BRIDE]'s finger as you repeat after me: "With this ring I pledge my life and love to you (in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit)."

[BRIDE], will you place the ring on [GROOM]'s finger as you repeat after me: "With this ring I pledge my life and love to you (in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit)."

Inasmuch as you have made these commitments before God and these witnesses, by the authority of God and the laws of this state, I declare that you are now husband and wife. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.


Religious Ceremony #3