Traditional Wedding Service text

The Marriage Service (1967) (“Traditional Marriage Service”)
Alternative Services, Series One: The Form of Solemnization of Matrimony

See the Church of England Liturgy website for the full text of this service http://www.churchofengland.org/prayer-worship/worship/texts/1928/series-one-form-of-solemnization-of-matrimony.aspx

 

Hymn
 

Reading(s) – to include a Bible Reading
 

Address
 

Preface
Dearly beloved, we are gathered here in the sight of God and in the face of this congregation, to join together this man and this woman in Holy Matrimony; which is an honourable estate, instituted of God himself, signifying unto us the mystical union that is betwixt Christ and his Church; which holy estate Christ adorned and beautified with his presence, and first miracle that he wrought, in Cana of Galilee, and is commended in Holy Writ to be honourable among all men; and therefore is not by any to be enterprised, nor taken in hand, unadvisedly, lightly, or wantonly; but reverently, discreetly, soberly, and in the fear of God, duly considering the causes for which Matrimony was ordained.

 First, It was ordained for the increase of mankind according to the will of God, and that children might be brought up in the fear and nurture of the Lord, and to the praise of his holy name.
     
 Secondly, It was ordained in order that the natural instincts and affections, implanted by God, should be hallowed and directed aright; that those who are called of God to this holy estate, should continue therein in pureness of living.
     
Thirdly, It was ordained for the mutual society, help, and comfort, that the one ought to have of the other, both in prosperity and adversity.
     
Into which holy estate these two persons present come now to be joined.
     
 Therefore if any man can shew any just cause, why they may not lawfully be joined together, let him now speak, or else hereafter for ever hold his peace.
     
Speaking unto the persons that shall be married the Priest shall say
     
I require and charge you both, as ye will answer at the dreadful day of judgement when the secrets of all hearts shall be disclosed, that if either of you know any impediment, why ye may not be lawfully joined together in Matrimony, ye do now confess it. For be ye well assured, that so many as are coupled together otherwise than God's word doth allow are not joined together by God; neither is their Matrimony lawful.

The Marriage

If no impediment be alleged, then shall the Priest say unto the man

N, wilt thou have this woman to thy wedded wife, to live together according to God's law in the holy estate of Matrimony? Wilt thou love her, comfort her, honour and keep her, in sickness and in health? and, forsaking all other, keep thee only unto her, so long as ye both shall live?

The man shall answer
I will.

Then shall the Priest say unto the woman
N
, wilt thou have this man to thy wedded husband, to live together according to God's law in the holy estate of Matrimony? Wilt thou love him, comfort him, honour and keep him, in sickness and in health? and, forsaking all other, keep thee only unto him, so, long as ye both shall live?

The woman shall answer
I will.

Then shall the Priest say

Who giveth this woman to be married to this man?

The Priest, receiving the woman at her father's or friend's hands, shall cause the man with his right hand to take the woman by her right hand, and to say after him as follows

I, N, take thee, N, to my wedded 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, till death us do part, according to God's holy law; and thereto I give thee my troth.

Then shall they loose their hands; and the woman, with her right hand taking the man by his right hand, shall likewise say after the Priest,

I, N, take thee, N, to my wedded 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, till death us do part, according to God's holy law; and thereto I give thee my troth.

Then they shall again loose their hands; and the man shall give unto the woman a ring, laying the same upon the book.
Before delivering the ring the Priest may say

Bless, O Lord, this ring, and grant that he who gives it and she who shall wear it may remain faithful to each other, and abide in thy peace and favour, and live together in love until their lives' end. Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
     


And the Priest, taking the ring, shall deliver it to the man, to put it upon the fourth finger of the woman's left hand. And the man, holding the ring there, and taught by the Priest, shall say

With this ring I thee wed; with my body I thee honour; and all my worldly goods with thee I share: In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.

Then shall the man leave the ring upon the fourth finger of the woman's left hand, and they shall both kneel down; but the people shall remain standing. Then shall the Priest say

O Eternal God, Creator and Preserver of all mankind, giver of all spiritual grace, the author of everlasting life: Send thy blessing upon these thy servants, this man and this woman, whom we bless in thy name; that, living faithfully together, they may surely perform and keep the vow and covenant betwixt them made, whereof this ring given and received is a token and pledge; and may ever remain in perfect love and peace together, and live according to thy laws; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
All    Amen.

Then shall the Priest join their right hands together, and say

Those whom God hath joined together let no man put asunder.

Then shall the Priest speak unto the people

Forasmuch as N and N have consented together in holy wedlock, and have witnessed the same before God and this company, and thereto have given and pledged their troth either to other, and have declared the same by giving and receiving of a ring, and by joining of hands; I pronounce that they be man and wife together, In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.

And the Priest shall add this Blessing
God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Ghost, bless, preserve, and keep you; the Lord mercifully with his favour look upon you; and so fill you with all spiritual benediction and grace, that ye may so live together in this life, that in the world to come ye may have life everlasting.
All    Amen.
Hymn

The Blessing of the Marriage


Then the Priest, followed by the man and the woman, shall go to the Lord's Table

The Prayers

Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come;
thy will be done,
0n earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive them that trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation;
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
the power and the glory,
for ever and ever. Amen.

     
Priest    O God of our fathers, bless these thy servants, and sow the seed of eternal life in their hearts; that whatsoever in thy holy Word they shall profitably learn, they may in deed fulfil the same; that so, obeying thy will, and alway being in safety under thy protection, they may abide in thy love unto their lives' end; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.

This Prayer next following shall be omitted, where the woman is past child-bearing.
     
O merciful Lord and heavenly Father, by whose gracious gift mankind is increased; bestow, we beseech thee, upon these two persons the heritage and gift of children; and grant that they may see their children christianly and virtuously brought up to thy praise and honour, through Jesus Christ our Lord.
All    Amen.
     
This Prayer shall follow

O God,who hast taught us that it should never be lawful to put asunder those whom thou by Matrimony hadst made one, and hast consecrated the state of Matrimony to such an excellent mystery, that in it is signified and represented the spiritual marriage and unity betwixt Christ and his Church: Look mercifully upon these thy servants, that both this man may love his wife, according to thy Word, (as Christ did love his spouse the Church, who gave himself for it, loving and cherishing it even as his own flesh,) and also that this woman may be loving and amiable, and faithful to her husband, and in all quietness, sobriety, and peace, be a follower of holy and godly matrons. O Lord, bless them both, and grant them to inherit thy everlasting kingdom; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
All    Amen.

Then shall the Priest say this Blessing

Almighty God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Pour upon you the riches of his grace, sanctify and bless you, that ye may please him both in body and soul, and live together in holy love unto your lives' end.
And the blessing of God Almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, be amongst you and remain with you always.
All    Amen.

 


Resources for your Wedding Service
Webpage icon An Introduction to Resources for your Wedding Service
Webpage icon Bible Readings
Webpage icon Line Drawings of our Churches
Webpage icon Modern Wedding Service
Webpage icon Music for your Wedding Service
Webpage icon Outline Order of Service
Webpage icon Poems and Readings
Webpage icon Wedding Anniversary service
Webpage icon Wedding Hymns
Webpage icon Wedding Questionnaire
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