Dearly beloved, we are gathered here in the sight of God, and in the presence of this company, to unite Bride and Groom in holy matrimony. Marriage was ordained by God in Eden and confirmed in Cana of Galilee by the presence of the Lord Himself, and is declared by the inspired Apostle Paul to be honorable among all men. It is therefore, not to be entered into unadvisedly or lightly; but reverently, soberly and in the fear of God. It is fitting, therefore, that we should on this occasion, begin by asking God’s blessing on this marriage service. Let us pray.
Presentation of Bride
Pastor — Who brings this woman to be married to this man?
Bride’s Father — Her mother and I do.
To the Congregation
Marriage is a joyous occasion. It is connected in our thoughts with the magic charm of home, and with all that is pleasant and attractive as being one of the most important events of our lives. It its sacredness and unity it is like the mystical relation between Christ and His Church and is therefore the most significant and binding covenant known in human relations.
From the Story of Creation in the book of Genesis: For God created man in His own image . . . then the Lord formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being…then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make a helper fit for him” . . . So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs, and closed up its place with flesh. And the rib which the Lord God had taken from the man He made into a woman and brought her to the man. Then the man said, “This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.” Therefore, a man leaves his father and his mother and cleaves to his wife, and they become one flesh.
Again, let us hear the Word of God from the New Testament, the writings of Paul: “Live life then with a due sense of responsibility, not as men who do not know the meaning and purpose of life but as those who do. Make the best use of your time, despite all the difficulties of these days. Don’t be vague but firmly grasp what you know to be the will of our Lord. Thank God at all times for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. And ‘fit in with’ each other, because of your common reverence for Christ.”
“You wives must remember to adapt yourselves to your husbands, as you submit yourselves to the Lord, for the husband is the ‘head’ of the wife in the same way that Christ is the Head of the Church and Savior of His body . . . but remember, this means that the husband must give his wife the same sort of love that Christ gave to the Church when He sacrificed Himself for her . . .
In practice what I have said amounts to this: Let every one of you who is a husband, love his wife as he loves himself, and let the wife honor and love her husband.”
To the Bride and Groom
It is your duty, Groom, to be to Bride a considerate, tender, faithful, loving husband: to support, guide and cherish her in prosperity and trouble; to thoughtfully and carefully enlarge the place she holds in your life; to constantly show to her the tokens of your affection, to shelter her from danger, and to cherish for her a manly and unalterable affection, it being the command of God’s Word, that husbands love their wives, even as Christ loved the Church and gave His own life for her.
It is your duty, Bride, to be to Groom a considerate, tender, faithful, loving wife; to counsel, comfort and cherish him in prosperity and trouble; to give to him the unfailing evidences of your affection; to study, as time passes to make the place he holds in your heart, broader and deeper; to reverence and obey him, and to put on the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is, in God’s sight, an ornament of great price. His Word commanding that wives be subject unto their own husbands even as the church is subject unto Christ, and forsaking all others to cling to him with a love which fails not as long as you both shall live.
Let me charge you both to remember, that your future happiness is to be found in mutual consideration, patience, kindness, confidence, and affection. It is the duty of each to find the greatest joy in the company of the other; to remember that in interest as in affection you are to be henceforth one and undivided.
If you are ready to assume the obligations and duties before God, as I have defined them, you will unite your hands and pledge your love and your lives to each other.
Pastor — Do you, Groom, standing in the presence of God and these witnesses, solemnly pledge your faith to Bride . Do you promise to live with her according to God’s ordinance in the holy estate of matrimony; do you promise to love her, comfort her, honor, and keep her, in sickness and in health, and forsaking all others, keep yourself only unto her, and through God’s grace to promise to be to her a faithful and devoted husband as long as you both shall live?
Groom — I do.
Pastor to Groom — Groom , have you a token of your love for Bride ?
(The best man hands the ring to the Minister.)
Pastor to Bride — Bride , do you receive this ring in pledge of the same on your part?
Bride — I do. (Groom puts ring on bride’s finger.)
Pastor to Bride — Bride , have you a token of your love for Groom ?
(The maid of honor hands the ring to the minister.)
Pastor to Groom — Groom, do you receive this ring in pledge of the same on your part?
Groom — I do. (Bride puts ring on groom’s finger.)
The wedding ring is the outward and the visible sign of an inward and spiritual bond which unites two hearts in endless love. The circle, the emblem of eternity; the gold, the type of what is least tarnished and most enduring–it is to show how lasting and imperishable is the faith now pledged. Let the ring, a fit token of that which is unending, continue to be to you both a symbol of the value, the purity, and the constancy of true wedded love, and the seal of the vows in which you have both pledged your most solemn and sacred honor.
By the authority committed unto me as a Minister of the Universal Life Church, I declare that Groom and Bride are now husband and wife, according to the ordinance of God and the law of the State of Indiana , in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, Amen.
Charge to newlyweds
Dear Ones, I strongly charge you both as husband and wife, to preserve sacredly the privacies of your own home, your marriage state, and your heart. Remember our Lord’s urgent counsel: “What God hath joined together let not man put asunder”. Therefore, let no one ever presume to come between you, or to share the joys or the sorrows that belong to you two alone.