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Religious Ceremony #5

Dearly beloved, we are gathered together in the sight of God to join this man and this woman in the bonds of holy marriage. Let all who enter it note that marriage is a sacred and joyous covenant, a way of life ordained of God from the beginning of creation. "For this reason," says our Lord, "a man shall leave his mother and father and be joined to his wife and the two shall become one flesh." What therefore God has joined together, let no man put asunder.

God has ordained the covenant of marriage that husband and wife may have life-long companionship, that natural instincts and affections might be fulfilled in mutual love, that children might have the benefit of a solid, stable family life; and that society may stand on a firm foundation.

Into this sacred covenant these two persons now desire to enter. Let us therefore invoke the blessing of God on the Union now to be formed. Let us pray:

Divine Spirit, we affirm your grace up on this marriage, and seal this commitment of your children 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 nature. And so it is, Amen.  

Marriage is 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], do you take [BRIDE] to be your lawfully wedded wife, to love, honor and cherish her from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, and forsaking all others, be faithful to her for as long as you both shall live? (I do.)

And [BRIDE], do you take [GROOM] to be your lawfully wedded husband, to love, honor and cherish him from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, and forsaking all others, be faithful to him for as long as you both shall live? (I do.)

May I have the rings?

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 give the ring and repeat after me: "[BRIDE], with this ring I pledge my life and love to you."

[BRIDE], will you give the ring and repeat after me: "[GROOM], with this ring I pledge my life and love to you."

As you go forward together in married life, may you always be mindful of the words the Apostle Paul wrote in First Corinthians:

Love is patient, love is kind. Love does not envy, is not boastful, is not conceited, does not act improperly, is not selfish, is not provoked, and does not keep a record of wrongs. Love finds no joy in unrighteousness but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.

Inasmuch as they have made these commitments before God and this assembly, by the authority of God and the laws of this state, I declare that [GROOM] and [BRIDE] are now husband and wife.