(A Traditional Order that echoes the wording of the 1962 second edition of the Presbyterian Church of Australia Book of Common Order.)
Unless the Lord builds the house, its builders labour in vain. (Psalm 127:1) Our help is in the name of the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. (Psalm 124:8) Hymn or Psalm
Dear Family and Friends we have come here today in the presence of God and before each other to join together this man [M ...] and this woman [F ...] in marriage. Marriage is a covenant relationship, instituted by God when he created the heavens and the earth and all that is in them.
Marriage is commended in the Bible as honourable in all things. Marriage is used in the Bible to picture the relationship between Christ and his Church.
Marriage is not to be entered into lightly or carelessly but thoughtfully, reverently and in the fear of God; after giving due consideration for the purpose for which God ordained marriage.
God ordained marriage for the life-long companionship, help, pleasure and comfort which husband and wife ought to have of each other.
God ordained marriage so that family life might flourish and that children might be brought up in the faith, love and security of a stable and happy home.
God ordained marriage for the welfare of human society, which can be strong and happy only where the marriage bond is held in honour.
[M ...] and [F...] now desire to enter this deep and life-long relationship with each other.
If anyone can show any reason why this marriage would not be lawful, let them now declare it.
And I require and charge you both, knowing that you are answerable to God, that if either of you know any reason why your marriage would not be lawful, you declare it now.
Let us ask God’s blessing on this marriage.
Almighty and ever blessed God, we acknowledge you in all our ways. We thank you for all the bounties of Your providence, and for all the gifts of your grace to us in this life. Especially today we thank you for the gift of marriage, which you have ordained to guard, hallow and mature the love that [M ...] and [F ...] have for each other.
Heavenly Father, please bless [M ...] and [F ...] as they are united in this bond of marriage. As you have brought them together in your providence, sanctify them by your Spirit, and enrich them with all grace as they cultivate their marriage, so that it will flourish in times of prosperity and adversity, bring joy to their families and great happiness to themselves.
We also thank you for the gift of love – for the love and concern of parents and of all those who have taught, guided and cared for them through the years; and for the love and trust which have drawn [M ...] and [F ...] together in marriage. May they also enjoy your lovingkindness down through the long years.
We ask all this, together with the forgiveness of our sins, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
The minister says:
[M ...] will you take this woman, [F ...], to be your wedded wife to live together after God’s law in the covenant relationship of marriage? Will you love [F ...], comfort her, honour and keep her in sickness and in health, so long as you both shall live? Bridegroom responds: I will.
[F ...] will you take this man, [M ...], to be your wedded husband to live together after God’s law in the covenant relationship of marriage? Will you love [M ...], comfort him, honour and keep him in sickness and in health, so long as you both shall live? Bride responds: I will.
The minister now addresses the father of the bride or substitute.
Who gives this woman [F ...] to be married to this man [M ...]? Bride’s father or substitute responds: I do.
The minister says: Please face each other and join hands and repeat these vows after me. The bridegroom says: In the presence of God and before these people, I, [M ...], do take you, [F ...], to be my wedded wife, to have and to hold from this day forward, 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, [F ...], I give you my troth/ true word/ pledged word.
The bride says: In the presence of God and before these people, I, [F ...], do take you, [M ...], to be my wedded husband, to have and to hold from this day forward, 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, [M ...], I give you my troth/ true word/ pledged word.
The ring/s is/are given to the minister, who says: Either: In your Name, O Lord, we hallow and dedicate this ring, that by your blessing, he who gives it and she who wears it, may abide together in your peace, continue together in your favour, live together in your love and, through faith in your Son Christ Jesus, may finally dwell together in your eternal kingdom, through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Or: In Your Name, O Lord, we hallow and dedicate these rings, that by your blessing, [M ...] and [F ...], in giving and in wearing, may abide together in your peace, continue together in your favour, live together in your love and, through faith in your Son Christ Jesus, may finally dwell together in your eternal kingdom, through Jesus Christ our Lord.
The minister says to the groom: [M …] please hold [F ...] left hand with your left hand, take the ring in your right hand place it over the tip of the ring finger on her left hand and repeat after me: [F ...], with this ring I wed you, with my whole mind I make covenant with you, in the name of God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
With two rings, the minister says to the bride: [F ...] please hold [M ...] left hand with your left hand, take the ring in your right hand place it over the tip of the ring finger on his left hand and repeat after me: [M ...], with this ring I wed you, with my whole mind I make covenant with you, in the name of God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
The congregation shall stand and the minister shall say:
Forasmuch as you, [M ...], and you, [F...], have covenanted together in holy wedlock and have declared the same before God and these people, I pronounce you to be husband and wife, in the Name of God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
Whom God has joined together, let not man put asunder.
*Blessing on the Marriage *The bride and the groom may kneel. The Lord bless you and keep you. The Lord pour out the riches of his mercy upon you that you may find grace to live together in love until your life's end. Amen.
The groom may now kiss the bride.
A marriage hymn is sung.
The duty, which this relationship of marriage chiefly imposes, is the mutual love, respect and help that each should have of each other. This is plainly set forth in the Bible: Scripture readings: …
The Scriptures are read, and words of counsel are given.
Let us pray: O LORD our God, you are the Author and Giver of all good things.
Grant that [N...] and [F ...] may dwell together in unity and love all the days of their life, seeking one another’s welfare, bearing one another’s burdens, and sharing one another’s joys. May your love be the true foundation and light of their home. May their happiness not depend upon their outward circumstances, but rest on the assurances you have given us in the Gospel of your Son.
Make them a blessing to their neighbours, their friends, their family and the generations that follow. When everything is going well, help them not to take their blessings for granted. When they face the difficulties of life, guide them by your Spirit that they may know your way. When they come to suffering and sorrow, may they be drawn closer together and nearer to you.
What we have asked for [N...] and [F ...], Father, we ask for each family represented here today – that those who pledged their love to each other long ago may find their love deepened; and that those who have taken marriage vows may now renew them, and strengthen their love for each other to the great happiness and blessing of us all.
The Lord's Prayer may be said.
The peace of God, which passes all human understanding, keep your hearts and minds in the knowledge and love of God, and of His Son Jesus Christ our Lord; and the blessing of God Almighty, the Father, the Son and Holy Spirit, be amongst you and remain with you until that Day comes when our Lord Jesus returns. Amen.
The wedding party shall then proceed to sign the register.
Minister: Please stand! I have much pleasure in presenting to you today Mr. & Mrs. [M…].