Initially I was presented the the order of service that the Pastor normally does. I wasn’t really happy with it for 3 reasons. The first was that although it was quite traditional in the way of which it was conducted, it was also somewhat sexist in the way it talks about the wife serving the husband. The second was that it was also a tad short. The third reason was that it contained too much scripture which may turn off the large contingent of family members present whom are not Christians.
Also seeing as Erica isn’t a Christian, though she is going to church with me and definitely growing, I didn’t want to put her in a position where she would say yes to certain things of which she didn’t believe. I didn’t want to make out as if she had accepted Christ when she hasn’t as yet. And as such I wanted to keep it as general as possible, and yet contain enough of the gospel and what it teaches to give the ceremony meaning to me. For it to be a wedding that is unmistakably being conducted under the eyes of god.
And so I figured the only way I was going to have the entire order of the day done to my liking is to do the whole thing myself. So I did alot of research online and found various things online that gave me a better idea of what I wanted. So I hacked and chopped and edited and created and plagiarised until I had things just the way I liked it. And I think it turned out pretty well….
Marriage is instituted by God. It began in the Garden of Eden and is honorable to God and man. Therefore it is not to be entered into unadvisedly or lightly but reverently.
I charge you both, as you stand here in this high moment of your lives, to remember that love and loyalty alone will stand as the foundations of a happy and enduring home. If the vows you make this day are kept, your life together will be full of joy and peace, and the home which you make shall abide through every unknown future.
In this new life together, I counsel you to recall ever anew the thrill of your early love. Cherish always the visions and hopes you have this day, and let them not be tarnished by common events or routine habit. Believe in your ideals for this marriage, and diligently pursue them, and they shall indeed become realities.
I charge you both to make your love for each other a growing part of your lives, feeding it from the very best resources of your living. You must grow to the point where each gains major satisfaction in giving happiness to the other. Give of yourself to the other, deeply and freely and generously, ever recalling the words of the poet who has said:
And ever stands with open hands.
And while it lives. It gives.
For this is love’s prerogative:
To give–and give–and give.
Yes, it is also necessary to recognize that marriage is a relationship of two persons who are not always at their best, and even in these moments of human failing, I counsel you always to act with charity and compassion toward one another, sharing the spirit expressed in the Book of Ephesians: “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another.” I would further charge you to understand, and constantly to strengthen, the spiritual basis of your love, recognizing that it is the most precious of all God’s gifts to you, and that it must be nurtured until it attains to the state of perfect love which is intended by God for all people. Keep ever before you the words of the New Testament: “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God. If we love one another, God dwells in us, and in us shall his love be perfected.” Keep your hearts and minds open to the inner working of his spirit, that you love for each other may become as his love for us, full and complete in every way.
And finally, I do charge and require you both to remember this day as the most sacred day in your lives–as the day in which you promised, before God and man, that in every way possible you would strive to bring each other life’s greatest fulfillment.
II. THE PLEDGE
Merrill and Erica, you have made a very serious and important decision in choosing to marry each other today. You are entering into a sacred covenant as life partners in God. The quality of your marriage will reflect what you put into nurturing this relationship. You have the opportunity to go forward from this day to create a faithful, kind, and tender relationship. We bless you this day. It is up to you to keep the blessings flowing each and every day of your lives together. We wish for you the wisdom, compassion, and constancy to create a peaceful sanctuary in which you can both grow in love.
Merrill, do you understand and accept this responsibility, and do you promise to do your very best each day to create a loving, healthy, and happy marriage? Groom: Yes, I do.
Erica, do you understand and accept this responsibility, and do you promise to do your very best each day to create a loving, healthy, and happy marriage? Bride: Yes, I do.
III. PROFESSION OF VOWS
*MERRILL TO READ OWN VOWS*
Response: I do
*ERICA TO READ OWN VOWS*
Response: I do
IV. PRESENTATION OF THE RINGS
To the groom: What have you brought as a token of your love
for your bride? Response: A ring.
A ring is a very precious thing – a token of your faith and
abiding love for each other. A ring made of precious metal.
It is a never-ending circle that indicates the continuing love
of God – a love that never fails.
I want you to wear these rings as a constant reminder of
your faith, love and commitment to God and each other.
To the groom: Take this ring, place it on her finger and say
“With this ring, I marry you. This is a token of my faith and love for you.”
To the bride: What have you brought as a token of your love
for the groom? Response: A ring.
To the bride: Take this ring, place it on the finger and say to
“With this ring, I marry you. This is a token of my faith
and love for you.”
*You may rise. Lighting of Unity Candle*
V. BLESSING OF THE UNION
I Peter 3 says a man and his wife are heirs together of the grace of God in this life.
I will now pronounce a blessing, which is your inheritance in Christ; as you start your life together as husband and wife:
“The Lord bless you both: keep, protect and guide you.
The make His face shine upon you in all that you do,
And be gracious unto you.
The Lord lift up His countenance and give you peace,
prosperity, deliverance and wisdom Both now and
Because Merrill and Erica have desired each other in marriage, and have witnessed this before God and our gathering, affirming their acceptance of the responsibilities of such a union, and have pledged their love and faith to each other, sealing their vows in the giving and receiving of rings, let all people here and everywhere recognize and respect this holy union, now and forever. I therefore by virtue of the authority vested in me as a minister of the gospel of Jesus Christ, in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, pronounce them to be husband and wife.
(Face each other. You may now kiss the bride)
(Turn to face congregation)
Ladies and gentlemen, may I present Mr and Mrs Merrill Yap.