Remember, it is your ceremony and I am here to assist you in making the day memorable. Do not hesitate to include your own changes.

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Contemporary Christian Ceremony

Wedding Ceremony for

GroomFull & BrideFull

Place

Date

 

Opening Logistics

  • Background music
  • Music changes (this is the official start of the ceremony)
  • Grandparents are ushered in by groomsmen, best man, or Groom
  • Parents are ushered in by groomsmen, best man, or Groom
  • Music changes
  • Maid of honor and Bride  s maids enter individually
  • Ring barer,  and flower children, and bell ringer enter individually
  • Music changes to bridal march
  • Bride is escorted in
  • Music stops briefly then continues (low volume) throughout ceremony


Introduction

Elrod: Welcome!

We are gathered here today in the sight of God and angels,
and the presence of friends and loved ones, to celebrate one
of life's greatest moments, to give recognition to the worth and
beauty of love, and to add our best wishes and blessings to the
words which shall unite
Bride and Groom  in holy matrimony. 

Marriage is a most honorable estate, signifying unto us a mystical union -
may this marriage be adorned by true and abiding love.

Who is it that brings this woman to this man?

Father or Sponsor: I do.

(Father or other kisses Bride , then sits)

Groom  steps forward and takes the hand of Bride and stands before Lance

Elrod: To this moment you bring the fullness
of your hearts as a treasure to share with one another.
You bring dreams which bind you together.
You bring your particular personalities and spirits
out of which will flow the reality of your lives together.
We rejoice with you now as you express the outward symbol
of your inward union of hearts.
It is a union that has already been created by friendship,
by respect and by love. 

Lighting of the Individual Candles for the Unity Candle 
  
Elrod: The mothers of Bride and Groom  will now light two individual candles,
symbolic of the individuality of the couple and their families here at the beginning of this ceremony.

Elrod: A few words to thank the mother's for their gift of love to their children.

Mothers move forward, aided if required by a groomsman, and light the individual candles.
  
 
First Reading 1

Sonnet XLIII, from "Sonnets from the Portuguese" 
by Elizabeth Barrett Browning. 

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height My soul can reach,
when feeling out of sight For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.
I love thee to the level of every day's Most quiet need,
by sun and candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.
I love thee with the passion put to use In my old grief's,
and with my childhood's faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose With my lost saints,
--I love thee with the breath, Smiles, tears, of all my life!--
and, if God choose, I shall but love thee better after death. 

Affirmation of Love

Elrod: Bride  and Groom   as the two of you come into this marriage uniting you as husband and wife, and as you this day affirm your faith and love for one another, I would ask that you always remember to cherish each other as special and unique individuals, that you respect the thoughts, ideas and suggestions of one another. Be able to forgive, do not hold grudges, and live each day that you may share it together - as from this day forward you shall be each other's home, comfort and refuge, your marriage strengthened by your love and respect for each other.

Just as two threads woven in opposite directions will form a most beautiful tapestry, so too can your two lives merged together make a beautiful marriage. To make your relationship work will take love. This is the core of your marriage and why you are here today. It will take trust, to know in your hearts that you truly want the best for each other. It will take dedication, to stay open to one another - and to learn and grow together. It will take faith, to go forward together without knowing exactly what the future brings. And it will take commitment; to hold true to the journey you both pledge today to share together.

Pledge Of Support 
  
Elrod: Who presents Bride  to Groom to be married? 
Bride  ’s Parents: We do. 
  
Elrod: Who presents Groom to Bride to be married? 
Groom  ’s Parents: We do. 
 

The Challenge

Bride  and Groom , I would ask that you both remember to treat yourselves
and each other with respect, and remind yourself often of what brought
you here today. Give the highest priority to the tenderness, gentleness
and kindness that your marriage deserves. When frustration and difficulty
assail your marriage - as they do to every relationship at one time or another -
focus on what still seems right between you, not only the part that seems wrong.
This way, when clouds of trouble hide the sun in your lives and
you lose sight of it for a moment, you can remember
that the sun is still there.
And if each of you will take responsibility for the quality of your lives together,
your marriage will be marked by abundance and delight.

  
Blessing of the Rings
  
Elrod: Who holds the rings?

Best Man or Sponsor: I do 

(and holds his hand up to display the rings and holds them up to be blessed by the Lance.)

Elrod: Let us bless these rings! O God, these rings are circles, symbols that remind us of the Sun, and the Earth, and the universe. 

Symbols of holiness, of perfection and peace ... that which has no beginning and no end. And so, in this moment, bring your blessing to these rings to also be symbols of unity, of joining and of commitment. Grant that the love which Bride and Groom   have for each other now may always be just this way. 
  
Elrod: These are the rings that Bride and Groom  will wear for the rest of their lives, that express the love that they have for one another. Let us take a moment and send our prayers, our thoughts and our love to these rings, so that as they wear them, they will carry our love with them as well. 

Exchange Of Vows and Rings
 
Lance: Bride  and Groom  , as you dedicate yourselves to one another, we are mindful of the presence of God around us. 

Each holds the hand of the other, slides the ring half way on, then repeats the vows after Lance

(Ensure that Bride  has moved her engagement diamond to the right hand before beginning this part)

Groom  : 
  
I, Groom  , take you, Bride  , to be my wife, 
my faithful partner in life, 
my constant friend 
and my one true love. 
I promise to love you without reservation, 
in sickness and in health, 
in plenty and in want, 
to stand together in our times of joy and sorrow, 
always to be open and honest with you, 
for as long as we both shall live. 
  
With this ring, I thee wed.

(Then finish putting the ring on the finger, move engagement diamond back to its position)


Bride  : 
  
 
I, Bride  , take you, Groom  , to be my husband, 
my faithful partner in life, 
my constant friend 
and my one true love. 
I promise to love you without reservation, 
in sickness and in health, 
in plenty and in want, 
to stand together in our times of joy and sorrow, 
always to be open and honest with you, 
for as long as we both shall live. 
 

With this ring, I thee wed.

(Then finish putting the ring on the finger.)

Second Reading

From The Prophet, by Kahlil Gibran

You shall be together forevermore. You shall be together when the white wings of death scatter your days. You shall be together even in the silent memory of God. Let there be spaces in your togetherness, and let the winds of the heavens dance between you. Love one another, but make not a bond love; let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls. Fill each other's cup, but drink not from one cup. Give one another of your bread, but eat not from the same loaf. Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone, even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music. Give your hearts, but not into each other's keeping. For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts. And stand together, yet not too near together: for the pillars of the Temple stand apart, and the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other's shadow.


Lighting of the Unity Candle 
  
Elrod: At the beginning of this ceremony, the mothers of Bride and Groom  lit two individual candles, symbolic of their individuality. Now Bride and Groom  will light their unity candle, symbolic of the light of their love and unity to the world from this day forward. 

As couple return to their positions, Bride and Groom , moving together, visit first his parents then hers for hugs and kisses and handshakes.

The Nuptial Blessing 
  
Elrod:
  
Elrod: Bride  and Groom
We, your family and friends, 
wish for you the very best! 
We wish that you be filled with joy, 
And that love abide with you always. 
  
May you find happiness and satisfaction in your work.
May daily problems never cause you undue anxiety,
nor the desire for earthly possessions dominate your lives.
But may your hearts’ first desire be always the abundance of
good things awaiting you from our loving God. 
  
May the Lord bless you with many happy years together,
so that you may enjoy the rewards 
of a good, long and healthy life.
And after serving God by your love of others in this physical world,
may God welcome you into the eternal spiritual world  for all ages to come. 


Recognition Of Marriage 
  
Elrod: And so now, inasmuch as you,
Groom , and you, Bride  , have announced the truths that are already written in your hearts, and have witnessed the same in the presence of these, your family and friends, and before God, the One Living Spirit -- we observe joyfully that you have declared yourself to be ... husband and wife. 

Congratulations, you may kiss Bride !

I present to you Mrs. Bride  and Mr. GroomFull

Elrod: Would everyone please stand as the couple departs! Please remain in your places until the parents have left the room.

Music begins, couple slowly walks out, flower girl and ring bearer depart, groomsmen and bridesmaids recess as pairs, Lance invites parents and grandparents to exit just in front of him.

Elrod: (said as she departs last) Thank you all very much!