We are gathered here in the presence of God and this company to join in holy marriage Megan and Doug and to bear witness to the transforming power of love.
Love is a quality of spirit and an attitude of emotions, but a marriage is a life’s work. This is an occasion of both profound joy and great responsibility, and we who partake in it bind ourselves as witnesses to the labor of love that Megan and Doug are undertaking.
In acknowledgment of this holy purpose and the power of this occasion, let us pray.
The Giving Away of the Bride
Minister: Who presents this woman to marry this man?
Father of Bride: Her mother and I do.
Love is a major key in a lasting and joyous marriage. The apostle Paul expressed such love in 1 Corinthians 13.
13 If I speak human or angelic tongues but do not have love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith so that I can move mountains but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 And if I give away all my possessions, and if I give over my body in order to boast but do not have love, I gain nothing.
4 Love is patient, love is kind. Love does not envy, is not boastful, is not arrogant, 5 is not rude, is not self-seeking, is not irritable, and does not keep a record of wrongs. 6 Love finds no joy in unrighteousness but rejoices in the truth. 7 It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
8 Love never ends…
As we have heard in this reading, love in this form is the greatest of virtues, the highest spiritual work. Love is both enduring and transcendent because this love is from God. Such love has the capacity to deliver marriage from being merely an arrangement of supportive partnership and elevate it into a spiritual enterprise.
When we speak of marriage in spiritual terms, we are inviting ourselves to a much higher level. To participate in a marriage of this kind not only brings us happiness but transformation. This occurs from the things we walk through together. Things we suffer through as well as those that bring great joy.
Therefore, as you step into marriage, you must remember first of all that marriage is a process of transformation. Because of it, inside of it, and in response to it, you will change most remarkably. And not necessarily or exclusively in the ways you had hoped or imagined. For marriage is the spiritual rock tumbler that will polish you both to your brightest brilliance.
It will cause you to become who you wanted to be and the person you were born to be. In marriage you will be re-formed, for in choosing to love and make your whole life with this person, you are choosing to be affected. You will be polished through the actions of your beloved on you, through the praise, criticism, frustration, excitement, actions, and inactions of the person you marry today.
In this regard, it is important to remember that you are drawn to that person who possesses the attributes you need to be affected by in order to change. These are the qualities that irritate and inspire you, and will encourage in you the very dimensions you lack. As you acquire these qualities they will enlarge your soul. Whatever is missing in your character will gradually be developed.
You will learn to be kinder, or more gently critical, to be empathetic, or more trusting. You will be met with an invitation to transcend your own limitations—your judgments, stinginess, lack of trust, fear of intimacy, pride, self-focus—and to strive instead for their beautiful opposites.
I charge you both to grow to the place where you each get satisfaction from sharing such love with each other. Do not let it be tarnished by the trials of life. But let it be the thing that binds you together. Cherish the vision of this day.
Declaration of Intent
Doug, do you take Megan 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 for her, so long as you both shall live?
Groom: I will.
Megan, do you take Doug 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 for him, so long as you both shall live?
Bride: I will.
Doug, please repeat after me: “I Doug, take you, Megan, 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 ordinance – I give you my promise.
Megan, please repeat after me: “I Megan, take you, Doug, 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 ordinance – I give you my promise.
And now you are privileged to further seal these vows by giving and receiving the wedding rings. This circle from time immortal has been a symbol of wedded love. It is made of pure metal and should always symbolize the purity of the love which binds your hearts together.
As an endless circle, it should remind you of the unending love which unites your lives. May these rings be worn with great honor and be a reminder of this moment when your lives were united. And may you always endeavor to keep your vows ever before you.
Doug, will you now take this ring and repeat after me as you place it on your bride’s finger: “I give you this ring, as a symbol of our marriage and the unity of our hands and hearts.”
Megan, will you now take this ring and repeat after me as you place it on your groom’s finger: “I give you this ring, as a symbol of our marriage and the unity of our hands and hearts.”
Pronouncement of Marriage
Doug and Megan have consented together to enter holy wedlock and have witnessed the same before God and this company. They have pledged their faith and love to each other and have declared the same by exchanging vows and giving and receiving rings.
I pronounce that they are man and wife, in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
You may kiss the bride!
Presentation of Bride and Groom
And now it is my privilege to present to you Mr. and Mrs. Maloch.