A CHRISTIAN CEREMONY
By Ron Ramey
(A Twenty-five Minute Ceremony)
A CALL TO CELEBRATION
We are gathered here in the sight of God, and the presence of this gathering to join together _____ and _____ in holy matrimony; which is an honorable estate, instituted by God, signifying unto us the mystical union that is between Christ and His Church; which holy estate Christ adorned and beautified with His presence and first miracle that He wrought in Cana of Galilee, and is commanded of St. Paul to be honorable among all men; and therefore is not by any to be entered into unadvisedly or lightly, but reverently, discreetly, advisedly, soberly, and in the fear of God. Into this holy estate these two persons present come now to be joined.
"What if I could speak all languages of humans and of angels? If I did not love others, I would be noting more that a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. What if I could prophesy and understand all secrets and all knowledge? And what if I had faith that moved mountains? I would be nothing, unless I loved others. What if I gave away all that I owned and let myself be burned alive? I would gain nothing, unless I loved others. Love is kind and patient, never jealous, boastful, proud. or rude. Love isn't selfish or quick tempered. It doesn't keep a record of wrongs that others d o. Love rejoices in the truth, but not in evil. Love is always supportive, loyal, hopeful, and trusting, Love never fails. For now there are faith, hope and love. But of these three, the greatest is love." (I Corinthians 13: 1-8, 13)
Our most holy God at this sacred moment we pray for Your blessings upon these Your Children. They come into your presence with precious gifts: their love, their hopes and dreams, their faith in each other, and their trust in You. As they consecrate these gifts to Your service, we pray that they may find life's deepest meaning and richest happiness. Bind their lives together in sanctity and in devotion. Teach them to ennoble life as they share their love together. In Jesus name we pray.
_______, do you take _______, to be your wedded wife/husband, to live together after God's ordinance in the holy estate of matrimony? Do you promise to love her/him, comfort her/him, honor and keep her/him in sickness and in health, and forsaking all others, keeping yourself only for her/him so long as you both shall live?
"I have loved you just as My Father has loved me. Stay in my love. If you obey my teaching, you will live in my love. In this way, I have obeyed my Father's teaching and live in His love. I have told you these things so that my joy may be in you and your joy might be full. This is what I tell you to do: love each other just as I have loved you."
St. John 15: 9-12
"Dear friends, let us love each other, because love comes from God. Those who love are God's children and they know God. Those who do not love do not know God because God is love. God has shown his love to us by sending his only Son into the world. God did this so we might have life through Christ. This is love. It is not that we loved God but He loved us. For God sent His Son to pay for our sins with His own blood." I John 4: 7- 10
I, _______, take you _______, to be my wife/husband, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and health, to love and to cherish, until death do us part, according to God's holy ordinance; to you I pledge my love.
EXCHANGE OF RINGS
The hand which you offer to the other is an extension of yourselves; just as is the warmth and love which you express to each other. Cherish the touch, for you are touching another life. Be sensitive to its pulse, and try to understand and respect its flow and rhythm, just as you do your own.
_____, (Groom/Bride) With this ring I thee wed; In the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ.
THE UNITY CROSS
At this time, _____ and _____ will assemble the Unity Cross that they will display in their home to remind them of the covenant they are making today.
In Genesis, we read that God created man in His own image, bold, strong, to be a leader, to be a protector of his wife and family.
The outer for of the Unity Cross represents the strength, leadership and protection of the man. The book of Ephesians reminds husbands to love their wives as Christ loved the Church, totally and completely giving himself for her. (Place the outer cross on the stand)
As well, Genesis tells us that woman was taken from man. _______'s part of the Unity Cross represents the beauty and the many capabilities of the woman, designed with intricate, beautiful detail and is placed inside the protection of ______'s cross, completing the sculpture and representing two becoming one. (Place the inner cross inside the outer cross)
To complete the sculpture, representing the couple's covenant, ______ and ______ are placing three pegs to hold it together, showing God's place in this covenant and the security and completeness our Heavenly Father can give. (Together place the three pegs into the cross)
THE LORD'S PRAYER
Our Father which art in heaven, hallowed by thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil; for thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. AMEN (Matthew 6: 9-13)
May the Lord answer you when you are in distress. May He protect you. May He send you help from the sanctuary and grant you support. May He give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed. We will shout for joy when you are victorious and will lift up our banners in the name of our God. May the Lord grant all your requests (Psalms 20: 1-2; 4-5).
The Lord bless you and keep you. The Lord make His face to shine upon you and be gracious to you. The Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace (Numbers 6: 24-26).
Those whom God hath joined together let not man put asunder. Forasmuch as _____and_____ have consented together in holy wedlock, and have witnessed the same before God and this gathering, and have pledged their love, each to the other, and have declared the same by giving and receiving a ring, and by joined hands; I pronounce that they are husband and wife, in the Name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
You may kiss the bride!
I present to you Mr. and Mrs. _____ _______________