*I had mentioned in my previous post that we found it very hard to find a ready made ceremony that worked for us since we wanted it to feel customized while still having some traditional aspects to it. I decided to share ours in hopes that it might help inspire you. Feel free to take what you like, adapt and mold it to suit you and your fiance. I think the most important part of it all is to make sure it feels natural and easy, that way you both will be able to relax and enjoy it all!
The Marriage Celebration of Ben and Jackie, 11.14.10
"Canon in D Major" by Johann Pachekbel, performed by Music For Anything
(Bridesmaids walk in followed by the Maid of Honer, then the flower girl, and lastly my dad and I.)
The Celebration and Blessing of Marriage
Priest: 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 his holy Union, Benjamin Harry Beale and Jackeline Lugo now come to be joined. If any of you can show just cause why they may not lawfully be married, speak now; or else forever hold your peace.
(Turning to us)
I require and charge you both, here in the presence of God, that if either of you know any reason why you may not be united in marriage lawfully, and in accordance with God's Word, you do now confess it.
The Declaration of Consent
Priest to me: Jackeline Lugo, 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?
Jackie: I will.
Priest to Ben: Benjamin Harry Beale, 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?
Ben: I will.
Priest to family and friends: Will all of you witnessing these promises do all in your power to uphold these two persons in their marriage?
Family and friends: We will.
The Ministry of the Word
Priest to family and friends: The Lord be with you.
Family and friends: And also with you.
Priest: Let us pray. Oh 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, forever and ever. Amen.
Jessica DesPlaines: (Corinthians 13:4-7)
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Katherine Lugo: (Colossians 3:12-14)
Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And above all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
Priest to family and friends: The Gospel of the Lord.
Ben (facing me and holding my right hand):
Personal vows, followed by- In the name of God, I, Benjamin Harry Beale, take you, Jackeline Lugo, to be my wife, to have and to hold from this day foreword, 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.
Ben (facing me and holding my right hand):
Personal vows, followed by- In the name of God, I, Jackeline Lugo, take you, Benjamin Harry Beale, to be my husband, to have and to hold from this day foreword, 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.
Priest: Bless, O Lord, these rings 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.
Ben (placing ring on my ring finger):
Jackie, 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, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
Jackie (placing ring on my ring finger):
Ben, 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, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
The Unity Candle
"Ave Maria" by Bach/Gounod, performed by Music For Anything
Both sets of our parents come up and light a pair of taper candles, then hand them to Ben and I. We then turn towards the Unity candle and light it together. Our parents then sit back down.
Declaration of Marriage
Priest (joining our right hands):
Now that, Ben and Jackie have given themselves to each other by solemn vows, with the joining of hands and the giving and receiving of rings, 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.
You may now kiss the bride.
(Ben and I kiss)
Blessing the Marriage
Priest: Most gracious God, we give you thanks for your tender love in sending us 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 blessings 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 and a crown upon their foreheads. Bless them in their work and in their companionship; in their sleeping and in their walking; 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 forever in your heavenly home; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, forever and ever. Amen.
"Back in Black" by AC/DC, performed by Music For Anything
(Ben and I exit, followed by the flower girl, and then the bridesmaids escorted by their groomsmen.)
***Today I am thankful for the chance to re-read through this lovely ceremony... even a year later it still touches my heart and I hope it always will***