Marriage is a holy estate born in the love of God. It was given in wisdom and in kindness, so that mankind would have happiness. Marriage was given that; through love, faithfulness, and building up of the husband and wife by one another; God may be served more completely and effectively. This makes your marriage a union between three parties; the two of you and God. Our ceremony today is based on the relationship that you, Linda and Frank share, and on your faith in God. It is a covenant. We affirm your love for each other as part of God’s will for your lives.
Let us pray.
O, gracious and ever loving God, look mercifully upon Linda and Frank who come to You seekingYour blessing, and assist them with Your grace, that with true fidelity and steadfast love they may continue to honor and keep the promises and vows they have made. May they continue to take seriously their vows and willingly assume and carry out the responsibilities involved in marriage. Assure them of Your abiding presence as they look to You for wisdom, strength, patience, and a lasting love for one another.
For the dreams they have dreamed, and for their hopes for themselves and for each other, we give thanks. We pray that the words and spirit of our gathering may be filled with meaning, which will deepen with the passing years, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen
CHARGE TO THE COUPLE
Linda and Frank today is a special day in your lives. In the time you have been together your love and understanding of each other has grown and matured. You have already decided to live your lives together as husband and wife, promising to face the future together,accepting whatever may lie ahead. What you promised 25 YEARS ago must be renewed constantly and re-decided each and every day. You have already been declared man and wife, but you will have to decide each day that stretches out before you, that you truly want to be married.
Love makes the burdens lighter, because you divide them. It makes joys more intense because you share them. It makes you stronger so you can reach out and become involved in life in ways you dared not risk alone.
It offers you hope, and indeed the promise, of a love that is true and mature. To attain such love you will need to commit yourselves to each other freely and gladly for the sake of a richer and deeper life together.
Let God be your guide and helper.
As a matter of fact, the Word of God shares much with us about love and specifically how we are to love one another. I would like to read a passage from the 13th Chapter of 1 Corinthians. This chapter is known as “The Love Chapter”. Pay close attention to the part where it gives us instruction as to how we should love; and may this be your guide throughout your life together.
“If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophesy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails… And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.DECLARATION OF CONSENT
The covenant of marriage is one that can be entered into only by persons who are both legally and spiritually free to offer themselves to one another. Likewise, when you come before God to renew the solemn vows of matrimony you must also come freely, for what you are saying is, “If I had it to do it all over again, I would pick you”.
Minister to Couple – Will you please, as an expression that your hearts are joined together in love, facing each other, now join hands?
Minister to Groom – Frank , this woman whom you hold by the hand is your wife. She has given you one of the most sacred things under heaven; a woman’s life, and a woman’s love. You may bring her great joy or cause her deep sorrow. It is not what you bring her in a material way that will make true happiness; for riches without love are nothing. The gift without the giver is bare. The practice of those virtues as husband that you have shown as friend and lover will keep her heart won to your heart.
Minister to Groom – Frank , would you look into Linda ’S eyes and repeat after me:
I, Frank, REAFFIRM MY VOW TO YOU, Linda …AS MY WEDDED WIFE…I, PROMISE TO LOVE AND HONOR YOU…TO BRING YOU AFFECTION AND JOY…UNDERSTANDING AND COMPANIONSHIP…AND TO RENDER TO YOU…ALL THAT IS RIGHTFULLY DUE……I PROMISE TO DO THESE THINGS…WITH ALL MY ENERGIES….FOR BETTER OR WORSE…..FOR RICHER, OR POORER…IN SICKNESS AND IN HEALTH…AND FORSAKING ALL OTHERS…TO GIVE MYSELF ONLY TO YOU…FOR AS LONG AS WE BOTH SHALL LIVE.
Minister to Bride- Linda , this man whom you hold by the hand is your husband. Upon your life, your love, and your devotion he has leaned and will continue to lean for strength and inspiration. He is going to look to you for encouragement, for cheerfulness, and for confidence. May your life and love be the inspiration that will constantly lead him to greater affection and devotion to you, his wife.
Minister to Bride: Linda , would you look into Frank’S eyes and repeat after me:
I, Linda, REAFFIRM MY VOW TO YOU, Frank .AS MY WEDDED HUSBAND…I PROMISE TO LOVE AND HONOR YOU…TO BRING YOU AFFECTION AND ENCOURAGEMENT…UNDERSTANDING AND COMPANIONSHIP…AND TO RENDER TO YOU…ALL THAT IS RIGHTFULLY DUE.. .I PROMISE TO DO THESE THINGS… WITH ALL MY ENERGIES….FOR BETTER OR WORSE…..FOR RICHER, OR POORER…IN SICKNESS AND IN HEALTH…AND FORSAKING ALL OTHERS…TO GIVE MYSELF ONLY TO YOU…FOR AS LONG AS WE BOTH SHALL LIVE.
You Linda and Frank have once again pledged your devotion to each other. From the time you first said, “I do”, you have not stayed together simply because you love; you have chosen to love because you have made the commitment to be together. What God has joined let no man separate”.
Linda and Frank , your lives have been joined in one unbroken circle. Wherever you go may you always return to one another. May you two find in each other the love for which all men and women yearn. May you continue to grow in understanding and in compassion. May the home that you have together be full of love, laughter, family and friends. May these rings on your fingers symbolize the touch of the spirit of love that is in your hearts.
Lets take time now to thank God for this time of celebration and to ask for His blessings in your lives as you continue to live together as one.
Lord God, our Heavenly Father, we give thanks for the moment that first brought Linda and Franktogether in marriage. We ask your continued blessing upon them, to sustain them through the difficult and uncertain times that come to every relationship.
Give them wisdom and devotion in the ordering of their common life, that each may be to the other a strength in need, a counselor in perplexity, a comfort in sorrow, and a companion in joy.
May they continue to grow together and may their love for one another deepen with the passing years.
All this we ask in the name of your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen
PRONOUNCEMENT OF HUSBAND AND WIFE
Because you, Linda and Frank , have once again exchanged your promises of faithful love, and because in our presence you have exchanged symbols, which make your covenant visible, we now recognize you again, before God and the community, as husband and wife.
You may kiss your bride.