Complete Wedding Service from the Book of Common Prayer


The Celebration and Blessing of a Marriage

(During their entrance, a hymn, psalm, or anthem may be sung, or

instrumental music may be played.)

Dearly beloved: We have come together in the presence of God to witness and bless the joining together 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 people.

The union of husband and wife 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, when it is
God’s will, for the procreation of children and their nurture

in the knowledge and love of the Lord. Therefore marriage is not to be entered into unadvisedly or lightly, but reverently,deliberately, and in accordance with the purposes for which it was instituted by God.

Into this holy union (name ……….. & name……..) now come to be joined.

The Declaration of Consent

The Celebrant says to the woman

Name….., will you have this man to be your husband; to live
together in the covenant of marriage? Will you love him,
comfort him, honor and keep him, in sickness and in health;
and, forsaking all others, be faithful to him as long as you
both shall live?

The Woman answers

I will.

The Celebrant says to the man

Name…., will you have this woman to be your wife; to live
together in the covenant of marriage? Will you love her,
comfort her, honor and keep her, in sickness and in health;
and, forsaking all others, be faithful to her as long as you
both shall live?

The Man answers

I will.

The Celebrant then addresses the congregation,

Will all of you witnessing these promises do all in your
power to uphold these two persons in their marriage?

People   We will.

(A hymn, psalm, or anthem may follow.)

The Ministry of the Word

Let us pray.

O gracious and everliving God, you have created us male and
female in your image: Look mercifully upon this man and this
woman who come to you seeking your blessing, and assist
them with your grace, that with true fidelity and steadfast love
they may honor and keep the promises and vows they make;
through Jesus Christ our Savior, who lives and reigns with
you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
Amen.

Please choose from among the following readings from scripture and
think about who will read at the wedding.As many as three readings may be  chosen-One from each group.

Then one or more of the following passages from Holy Scripture is read.

If there is to be a Communion, a passage from the Gospel always
concludes the Readings.

Group 1.

Genesis 1:26-28 (Male and female he created them)
Genesis 2:4-9,15-24 (A man cleaves to his wife and they become one
flesh)
Song of Solomon 2:10-13;8:6-7 (Many waters cannot quench love)
Tobit 8:5b-8  (That she and I may grow old together)

Group 2.
1 Corinthians 13:1-13 (Love is patient and kind)
Ephesians 3:14-19 (The Father from whom every family is named)
Ephesians 5:1-2,21-33 (Walk in love, as Christ loved us)
Colossians 3:12-17 (Love which binds everything together in harmony)
1 John 4:7-16 (Let us love one another for love is of God)

Group 3.
Matthew 5:1-10 (The Beatitudes)
Matthew 5:13-16 (You are the light … Let your light so shine)
Matthew 7:21,24-29 (Like a wise man who built his house on rock)
Mark 10:6-9,13-16 (They are no longer two but one)
John 15:9-12 (Love one another as I have loved you)

See readings in full on the final pages.

Between the Readings, a Psalm, hymn, or anthem may be sung or said.

Appropriate Psalms are 67, 127, and 128.

The Marraige

(The Man, facing the woman and taking her right hand in his, says)

In the Name of God, I, Name…, take you, Name.…, to be my 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, until we are parted by death. This is my solemn vow.

(The Woman, still facing the man, takes his right hand in hers, and says)

In the Name of God, I, Name.…, take you, Name...., to be my 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, until we are parted by death. This is my
solemn vow.

The Blessing of Rings.

Bless, O Lord, this ring to be a sign of the vows by which
this man and this woman have bound themselves to each
other; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Name...., 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 of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit .

Then the Celebrant joins the  hands of husband and wife and says

Now that Name…. and Name.… have given themselves to each other by
solemn vows, with the joining of hands and the giving and
receiving of a ring, I pronounce that they are husband
and wife, 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.

People   Amen.

The Prayers

(All standing, the Celebrant says)

Let us pray together in the words our Savior taught us.

(People and Celebrant)

Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy Name,
thy kingdom come,
thy will be done,
on 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 and ever. Amen.

Let us pray.

Eternal God, creator and preserver of all life, author of
salvation, and giver of all grace: Look with favor upon the
world you have made, and for which your Son gave his life,
and especially upon this man and this woman whom you
make one flesh in Holy Matrimony. Amen.

Give them wisdom and devotion in the ordering of their
common life, that each may be to the other a strength in need, a
counselor in perplexity, a comfort in sorrow, and a companion
in joy. Amen.

Grant that their wills may be so knit together in your will,
and their spirits in your Spirit, that they may grow in love
and peace with you and one another all the days of their life.
Amen.

Give them grace, when they hurt each other, to recognize and
acknowledge their fault, and to seek each other’s forgiveness
and yours. Amen.

Make their life together a sign of Christ’s love to this sinful
and broken world, that unity may overcome estrangement,
forgiveness heal guilt, and joy conquer despair. Amen.

Bestow on them, if it is your will, the gift and heritage of
children, and the grace to bring them up to know you, to love
you, and to serve you. Amen.

Give them such fulfillment of their mutual affection that they
may reach out in love and concern for others. Amen.
Grant that all married persons who have witnessed these
vows may find their lives strengthened and their loyalties
confirmed. Amen.

Grant that the bonds of our common humanity, by which all
your children are united one to another, and the living to the
dead, may be so transformed by your grace, that your will may
be done on earth as it is in heaven; where, O Father, with your
Son and the Holy Spirit, you live and reign in perfect unity,
now and for ever. Amen.

The Blessing of the Marriage

(The people remain standing. The husband and wife kneel, and the Priest
says -)

Most gracious God, we give you thanks for your tender love
in sending Jesus Christ to come among us, to be born of a
human mother, and to make the way of the cross to be the
way of life. We thank you, also, for consecrating the union of
man and woman in his Name. By the power of your Holy
Spirit, pour out the abundance of your blessing upon this
man and this woman. Defend them from every enemy. Lead
them into all peace. Let their love for each other be a seal
upon their hearts, a mantle about their shoulders, and a
crown upon their foreheads. Bless them in their work and in
their companionship; in their sleeping and in their waking; in
their joys and in their sorrows; in their life and in their death.
Finally, in your mercy, bring them to that table where your
saints feast for ever in your heavenly home; through Jesus
Christ our Lord, who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and
reigns, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

The Celebration of the Eucharist(Holy Communion) takes place at this point if desired.If not the service concludes with the following:-

The Peace

The Celebrant says

The peace of the Lord be always with you.

People And also with you.




Scripture Readings At the Celebration and Blessing of a Marriage

Choose at least one (and probably not more than three) of the
scripture readings from the list below. Each lesson should be read by a person
other than the clergy/celebrant of the wedding.  Obviously people with pubic reading
experience are usually the most comfortable. With the celebrants
permission you may choose other scripture readings that are not
listed below and on occasion poems or other spiritually appropriate
readings. Hymns or anthems or musical interludes are especially appropriate
between the readings.

Note: If there is to be a Communion Service, a passage from the Gospel always concludes the Readings.

Complete Passages:

A Reading from the Book of Genesis (1:26-28)

God said, “Let us make humankind in our image, according to our
likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and
over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the wild
animals of the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon
the earth.” So God created humankind in his image, in the image of
God he created them; male and female he created them. God blessed
them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the
earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and
over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon
the earth.”

The Word of the Lord

A Reading from the Book of Genesis (2:4-9, 15-25)

These are the generations of the heavens and the earth when they were
created. In the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens,
when no plant of the field was yet in the earth and no herb of the
field had yet sprung up-for the LORD God had not caused it to rain
upon the earth, and there was no one to till the ground; but a stream
would rise from the earth, and water the whole face of the
ground-then the LORD God formed man from the dust of the ground, and
breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and the man became a
living being.

And the LORD God planted a garden in Eden, in the east; and there he
put the man whom he had formed. Out of the ground the LORD God made
to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food,
the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the
knowledge of good and evil. The LORD God took the man and put him in
the garden of Eden to till it and keep it.  And the LORD God
commanded the man, “You may freely eat of every tree of the garden;
but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat,
for in the day that you eat of it you shall die.” Then the LORD God
said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a
helper as his partner.” So out of the ground the LORD God formed
every animal of the field and every bird of the air, and brought them
to the man to see what he would call them; and whatever the man
called every living creature, that was its name. The man gave names
to all cattle, and to the birds of the air, and to every animal of
the field; but for the man there was not found a helper as his
partner. So the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man,
and he slept; then he took one of his ribs and closed up its place
with flesh. And the rib that 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; this one
shall be called Woman, for out of Man this one was taken.” Therefore
a man leaves his father and his mother and clings to his wife, and
they become one flesh. And the man and his wife were both naked, and
were not ashamed.

The Word of the Lord

A Reading from the Song of Solomon (2:10-13; 8:6-7)

My beloved speaks and says to me: “Arise, my love, my fair one, and
come away; for now the winter is past, the rain is over and gone. The
flowers appear on the earth; the time of singing has come, and the
voice of the turtledove is heard in our land. The fig tree puts forth
its figs, and the vines are in blossom; they give forth fragrance.
Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away. Set me as a seal upon
your heart, as a seal upon your arm; for love is strong as death,
passion fierce as the grave. Its flashes are flashes of fire, a
raging flame. Many waters cannot quench love, neither can floods
drown it. If one offered for love all the wealth of his house, it
would be utterly scorned.”

The Word of the Lord

A Reading from the Book of Tobit (8:5b-8)

Tobias said to Sarah, “Sister, get up, and let us pray and implore
our Lord that he grant us mercy and safety.” So she got up, and they
began to pray and implore that they might be kept safe. Tobias began
by saying, “Blessed are you, O God of our ancestors, and blessed is
your name in all generations forever. Let the heavens and the whole
creation bless you forever. You made Adam, and for him you made his
wife Eve as a helper and support. From the two of them the human race
has sprung. You said, ‘It is not good that the man should be alone;
let us make a helper for him like himself.’ I now am taking this
kinswoman of mine, not because of lust, but with sincerity. Grant
that she and I may find mercy and that we may grow old together.” And
they both said, “Amen, Amen.

The Word of the Lord

A Reading from Paul’s First Letter to the Corinthians (13:1-13)

If I speak in the tongues of mortals and of angels, but do not have
love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic
powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have
all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am
nothing. If I give away all my possessions, and if I hand over my
body so that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing. Love
is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant
or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or
resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the
truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things,
endures all things. Love never ends. But as for prophecies, they will
come to an end; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it
will come to an end. For we know only in part, and we prophesy only
in part; but when the complete comes, the partial will come to an
end. When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a
child, I reasoned like a child; when I became an adult, I put an end
to childish ways. For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then we will
see face to face. Now I know only in part; then I will know fully,
even as I have been fully known. And now faith, hope, and love abide,
these three; and the greatest of these is love.

The Word of the Lord

A Reading from Paul’s Letter to the Ephesians (3:14-19)

I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven
and on earth takes its name. I pray that, according to the riches of
his glory, he may grant that you may be strengthened in your inner
being with power through his Spirit, and that Christ may dwell in
your hearts through faith, as you are being rooted and grounded in
love. I pray that you may have the power to comprehend, with all the
saints, what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to
know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be
filled with all the fullness of God.

The Word of the Lord

A Reading from Paul’s Letter to the Ephesians (5:1-2, 21-33)

Be imitators of God, as beloved children, and live in love, as Christ
loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and
sacrifice to God. Be subject to one another out of reverence for
Christ. Wives, be subject to your husbands as you are to the Lord.
For the husband is the head of the wife just as Christ is the head of
the church, the body of which he is the Savior. Just as the church is
subject to Christ, so also wives ought to be, in everything, to their
husbands. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church
and gave himself up for her, in order to make her holy by cleansing
her with the washing of water by the word, so as to present the
church to himself in splendor, without a spot or wrinkle or anything
of the kind-yes, so that she may be holy and without blemish. In the
same way, husbands should love their wives as they do their own
bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hates
his own body, but he nourishes and tenderly cares for it, just as
Christ does for the church, because we are members of his body. “For
this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be joined to
his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” This is a great
mystery, and I am applying it to Christ and the church. Each of you,
however, should love his wife as himself, and a wife should respect
her husband.

The Word of the Lord

A Reading from Paul’s Letter to the Colossians (3:12-17)

As God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves withcompassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. Bear with one another and, if anyone has a complaint against another, forgive each other; just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.

Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly; teach and admonish one another in all wisdom; and with gratitude in your hearts sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

The Word of the Lord

A Reading from the First Letter of John (4:7-16)

Beloved, let us love one another, because love is from God; everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, for God is love. God’s love was revealed among us in this way: God sent his only Son into the world so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins.

Beloved, since God loved us so much, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God lives in us, and his love is perfected in us. By this we know that we abid in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit. And we have seen and do testify that the Father has sent his Son as the Savior of the world. God abides in those who confess that Jesus is the Son of God, and they abide in God. So we have known and believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and those who abide in love abide in God, and God abides in them.

The Word of the Lord

A Reading from the Gospel According to Matthew (5:1-10)

When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain; and after he sat down, his disciples came to him. Then he began to speak, and taught them, saying: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

The Word of the Lord

A Reading from the Gospel According to Matthew (5:13-16)

Jesus said, “You are the salt of the earth; but if salt has lost itstaste, how can its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything, but is thrown out and trampled under foot. “You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hid. No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.”

The Word of the Lord

A Reading from the Gospel According to Matthew (7:21, 24-29)

Jesus said, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven. Everyone then who hears these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on rock. The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not act on them will be like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell-and great was its fall!” Now when Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were astounded at his teaching, for he taught them as one having authority, and not as their scribes.

The Word of the Lord

A Reading from the Gospel According to Mark (10:6-9, 13-16)

Jesus said to the Pharisees, “But from the beginning of creation, ‘God made them male and female.’ ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.” People were bringing little children to him in order that he might touch them; and the disciples spoke sternly to them. But when Jesus saw this, he was indignant and said to them, “Let the little children come to me; do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs. Truly I tell you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will never enter it.” And he took them up in his arms, laid his hands on them, and blessed them.

The Word of the Lord

A Reading from the Gospel According to John (15:9-12)

Jesus said to his disciples, “As the Father has loved me, so I have
loved you; abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will
abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and
abide in his love. I have said these things to you so that my joy may
be in you, and that your joy may be complete. This is my, that you
love one another as I have loved you.”

The Word of the Lord