CEREMONIES PLUS cont.
The first two ceremonies work well as part of a ceremony for the Renaissance Festival they are followed by a newer complete ceremony with many good reading not on the READINGS page.
Gods Knot A cord of three strands is not quickly broken. - Ecclesiastes 4:12
(From: http://www.godsknot.com/CordOfThreeStrands.aspx )
Gods Knot A Cord of Three Strands
Reading Option 1
Today, [name of groom] and [name of bride] have chosen to braid three strands together into a single cord. Each strand has a significant meaning.
The gold strand represents God and His majesty.
The purple strand represents the groom and his life.
The white strand represents the bride and her life.
In braiding these three strands together, [name of groom] and [name of bride] have demonstrated that their marriage is more than a joining of two lives together. It is a unity with God as well. They have chosen to allow God to be at the center of their marriage, woven into every aspect of it. As Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 reads, “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up! Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.”
Reading Option 2
The braiding of the three stands demonstrates how [name of groom] and [name of bride] are joined by God in marriage. Each strand holds special meaning.
The Gold Strand symbolizes that the Lord Jesus has been invited by [name of groom] and [name of bride] to the position of authority in this marriage relationship.
The Purple Strand represents the groom. It illustrates the majesty of God as head over the husband. As [name of groom] submits himself to the Lord, the Lord in turn will hold the marriage together through him.
The White Strand represents the bride. It illustrates the purity of the bride of Christ. As each has received Jesus Christ as personal Savior and Lord, they are cleansed through Christ.
Ecclesiastes 4:12 reads, “Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.”
Today, [name of groom] and [name of bride] have been woven together by God as ONE in marriage!
_____ and _____ have chosen to incorporate the ancient Celtic ritual of Hand-fasting into their wedding ceremony today. Hand-fasting is a wedding ritual in which the couples' hands are tied together with a ceremonial ribbon or cloth. Hand-fasting is a declaration of intent, where the bride and groom clearly state that they are marrying of their own free will.
_____ and _____ know now before you go further, that since your lives have crossed in this life, you have formed eternal and sacred bonds. As you seek to enter this state of matrimony you should strive to make real the ideals that to you, give meaning to this ceremony and to the institution of marriage. With full awareness, know that within this circle you are not only declaring your intent to be hand-fasted before your friends and family, but you speak that intent also to God. The promises made today and the ties that are bound here greatly strengthen your union and will cross the years and lives of each soul's growth.
Do you still seek to enter this ceremony? (Yes)
_____ and _____, I ask you to look into each others eyes. (Hold hands – Bride’s left hand, Groom’s right hand)
Will you honor and respect one another, and seek to never break that honor? (We will) The first cord is draped over the couples' hands. (And so the binding is made.)
Will you share each other's pain and seek to ease it? (We will) Second cord is draped over the hands. (And so the binding is made.)
Will you share the burdens of each so that your spirits may grow in this union? (We will) Third cord is draped over the couples' hands. (And so the binding is made)
Will you share each other's laughter, and look for the brightness in life and the positive in each other? (We will) Fourth cord is draped over the couples' hands. (And so the binding is made.) [Tie cords together]
_____ and _____ , as your hands are bound together now, so your lives and spirits are joined in a union of love and trust. Above you are the stars and below you is the earth. Like the stars your love should be a constant source of light, and like the earth, a firm foundation from which to grow.
Newest Complete Wedding Ceremony with many options
When the bride appears, ready to walk down the aisle. . .
Minister: Please rise.
Welcome and Opening Remarks
Welcome, one and all. How beautiful is the day that is touched by love! We have come together in the presence of God to witness and bless the joining of this man and this woman in Holy Matrimony. The bond and covenant of marriage was established by God in creation, and our Lord Jesus Christ adorned this manner of life by his presence and first miracle at a wedding in Cana of Galilee. It signifies to us the mystery of the union between Christ and his Church, and Holy Scripture commends it to be honored among all who are gathered here.
Presentation of the Bride
Who gives this woman to be married to this man? The Father: Her mother and I.
(Optional Presentation) - Minister to the Guests: Who stands with this couple to express the good wishes of their families and friends? And everyone says, "We do!" Together. . . Guests: "We do!"
You may be seated.
The union of wife and husband in heart, body, and mind is intended by God for their mutual joy; for the help and comfort given one another in prosperity and adversity; and their nurture in the knowledge and love of God. Therefore marriage is not to be entered into lightly, but reverently, deliberately, and in accordance with the purposes for which it was instituted by God. Into this holy union _________ and _________ now come to be joined.
Sooner or later we begin to understand that love is more than verses on valentines and romance in movies. We begin to know that love is here and now, real and true, the most important thing in our lives. For love is the creator of our favorite memories and the foundation of our fondest dreams. Without love, we merely exist. With love, we truly begin to live! For love is a promise that is always kept, a fortune that can never be spent, a seed that can flourish in even the most unlikely place. And this radiance that never fades, this mysterious and magical joy is the greatest treasure of all - one known only by those who truly love. We are together as friends, relatives and family to mark the end of one beginning and to recognize officially a new beginning which for _________ and _________ serves as a public affirmation of their friendship and their love.
They want this day to mean something special to you. Those who are married may want to silently renew and reaffirm your vows today by gently taking the hand of your partner during this ceremony. Others may want to also join hands and think about what it means to be a friend, for marriage is built first on friendship.
Someone once said: The most wonderful of all things in life, is the discovery of another human being with whom one's relationship has a growing depth, beauty and joy as the years increase. This inner progressiveness of love between two human beings is a most marvelous thing; it cannot be found by looking for it or by passionately wishing for it. It's a Divine destiny."
There are no ties on earth so sweet, none so tender as those you are about to assume. There are no vows so solemn as those you are about to make. There is no institution of earth so sacred as that of the union you will form, for the true home is not only the place in which you will live, but is also the dwelling place where each lives in the heart and mind of the other.
_________ and _________, true marriage is the holiest of all earthy unions. It is to be entered into reverently, consciously and with full understanding of its significance. To be complete, marriage must be spiritual as well as an earthly estate. When it is Spiritual in thought, purpose, plan and action, it becomes the harmonious, peaceful and happy union for man and woman.
The state of matrimony is true marriage only when it is based upon a deep, inner communion of two souls who find completion, each in the other. Today, your separate lives, each with your individual memories, desires and hopes, merge into one life - a new dimension. Happiness in marriage is not something that just happens. A good marriage must be created. In the art of marriage the little things are the big things. � It is never being too old to hold hands. � It is remembering to say, I love you" (out loud), at least once a day. � It is never going to sleep angry. � It is forming a circle of love that gathers in the whole family. � It is at no time taking the other for granted. . . for what you take for granted, disappears. � It is doing things for each other, not in the attitude of duty or sacrifice, but in a spirit of joy. � It is speaking words of appreciation and demonstrating gratitude in thoughtful ways. � It is having the capacity to forgive and not bring it up later. � It is giving each other an atmosphere in which each can grow. � It is a common search for the good and the beautiful in each other. � It is not expecting the husband to wear a halo or the wife to have the wings of an angel. � It is not looking for perfection in each other. It is cultivating flexibility, patience, understanding and a sense of humor. � It is not only marrying the right partner, it is BEING the right partner.
Marriage can be a great adventure when it is the outward expression of a great love; such a love is characterized by compassion, passion and courage. It allows you to see through to your partner's essence, willing to be in total support of your partner's well-being, goals, purpose and spirit; and unwilling for your partner to be less than all he or she can be spiritually, mentally, and physically.
Such a love requires that you be totally honest with yourself and your mate, that you ask for what you want, take action even though you are afraid, share your feelings and listen but leave your partner free to be who they really are. In other words, always love your partner for who they are, not for who you think they should be. Always remember, "Relationships are something that must be worked on all the time, not only when they are broken and need to be fixed. Never stop doing the things that brought you together in the first place."
We as your friends gathered here today, accept for you a love that brings out your magnificence, a love that gives you the courage to stand apart and the willingness to stand together. Most of all, we want that, at the end of your lives on this planet, you will look into each others eyes and be able to say: "Because you have loved me, you have given me a faith in myself, and because I have faith in myself, I have loved my fellow man. My life with you has been complete."
Declaration of Consent *
Minister: _________ and _________, will you release the past, bringing only those memories, desires and hopes which will belong to each other, into your future life together? Both: We will. Minister: Please face each other.
Exchange of Vows *
Minister to Groom: _________, please repeat after me. In the name of God, I _________, choose you, _________, to be my wife, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish. I say these words because I love you, and choose to live the rest of my life with you. This is my solemn vow.
Minister to Bride: _________, please repeat after me.
In the name of God, I _________, choose you, _________, to be my husband, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish. I say these words because I love you, and choose to live the rest of my life with you. This is my solemn vow.
(Hand Ceremony could go here)
Minister: What symbols do you give in this marriage? Bride and Groom: Rings.
(Ring bearer(s) gives rings to the Minister)
Your rings are circles and a circle is the symbol of the sun, the earth, the universe, of wholeness, perfection, peace and unity. Like circles, your rings have no beginning and no ending. These rings will be worn by _________ and _________ to show to the world their love and commitment to one another.
(Optional)Let each of us in his own way, may it be prayer, may it be by a thought, whatever you and I would wish for this couple, let's pray or have our own thoughts as a blessing upon these rings. Let us pause at this time for these silent blessings. (pause)
These rings, now blessed are a symbol of love and faithfulness. They seal the vows of marriage and represent a promise of forever love.
Minister to Groom: _________, please repeat after me.
I give you this ring as a symbol of my vow, and with all that I am, and all that I have, I honor you, in the Name of the Father, and the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. You may now place the ring on her finger.
Minister to Bride: _________, please repeat after me.
I give you this ring as a symbol of my vow, and with all that I am, and all that I have, I honor you, in the Name of the Father, and the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. You may now place the ring on his finger.
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(Option: The Blended Family Ceremony)
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Pronouncement of Marriage
Now that _________ and _________ have given themselves to each other by solemn vows, with the joining of hands and the giving and receiving of a ring, I now pronounce you wife and husband, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Those whom God has joined together, let no one put asunder.
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(Option: Rose Ceremony)
(Option: The Unity Candle Ceremony)
(Option: The Blending of the Sands Ceremony)
(For more options, call Pastor Tom Webster)
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Minister: You may now seal your promises with a kiss.
Introduction of Couple
Minister: Ladies and Gentlemen: It is my pleasure to introduce to you, Mr. & Mrs. _________ _________.
OR if children are included in the ceremony. . . Ladies and Gentlemen, it is my pleasure to introduce to you, Mr. & Mrs. _________ _________, and _________ (Child/Children's names).
OR if the bride will be keeping her name. . .
Ladies and Gentlemen, it is my pleasure to introduce to you, _________ (first & last name of groom) and _________ (first & last name of bride), husband and wife!
Now go in peace and forever Celebrate Love!
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NOTE: If there will be no receiving line immediately after the ceremony and the Bride and Groom will be busy taking pictures, often I will be asked to make the following announcement: (Optional) - Minister: Ladies and Gentlemen, the Bride and Groom request that you offer your congratulations at the reception so that pictures of the wedding party can stay on schedule. In the meantime, please help yourself to hor d'ourves and something cold to drink. Let the celebration begin!
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*These could be alternative Declarations of Intent and/or Vows
1) Bride & Groom Read Vows to Each Other (Optional) Minister: At this time _________ and _________ would like to make some personal promises to each other.
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2) Minister to Groom: _________ do you reach out in love to receive _________ and choose to share your life with her? Will you promise always to give to her your expression of your ever growing love, will you comfort her, be sensitive to her needs, express your feelings with her, listen to her, put your trust in her, and forsaking all others, be her intimate friend and honor her as your equal partner?
Groom: "I do" or "I will"
Minister to Bride: _________ do you reach out in love to receive _________ and choose to share your life with him? Will you promise always to give to him your expression of your ever growing love, will you comfort him, be sensitive to his needs, express your feelings with him, listen to him, put your trust in him, and forsaking all others, be his intimate friend and honor him as your equal partner?
Bride: "I do" or "I will"
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3) Minister: Please repeat after me. (Optional)
(Bride and Groom say the following at the same time to each other or individually)
I give you my love, my heart, my hope, my joy, these I offer you freely. To delight in your soul to nourish your mind. To celebrate love with you, to share my joy, to console you in sorrow, I choose to go with you always, I promise to listen to you, to express my innermost feelings, to labor with you, to believe in you, even when you doubt yourself, to be the mirror of your highest value and to hold myself beside you for the rest of our days.