Public Worship and Aids to Devotion Committee Website


General Assembly of Australia

Marriage: First Order

The Marriage Service

First Order

The minister shall say:

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)

Let us sing His praises.

A hymn of praise is sung.

We are here in God's presence so that M....... and F....... may be united in marriage.

Marriage is a state of life which God has provided for mankind.

Jesus, our Lord, honoured it by his presence at a marriage in Cana in Galilee.

Throughout the Scriptures marriage is an honoured relationship and in the New Testament the bond of marriage is seen as a sign of the loyalty and the love that exists between Christ and his church.

Marriage is not to be entered into lightly or carelessly but with reverent and serious consideration of the purposes for which it has been given.

It was given so that husband and wife might always enjoy each other's companionship, help and support.

It was given for the proper expression of human sexuality.

It was given so that family life might continue and that children might be brought up in the love and security of a stable and happy home.

It was given so that human society might be healthy and have a firm foundation.

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, now is the time to 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 God, Father of us all, we turn to you, the giver of all good gifts and humbly thank you for all the blessings of our life.

Especially at this time we thank you for love - for the love and concern of parents and of all who have taught, guided and cared for us through the years; and for the love and trust with which M....... and F....... are drawn together in marriage.

We thank you too that you have given us marriage in order to guard, to strengthen and to make perfect the same gift of love.

And since it is only with your help that we can do anything well, please strengthen M....... and F....... so that they may sincerely make and truly keep their vows to one another.

We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The minister says:

M....... will you take F....... to be your wife and do you commit yourself to her in love and honour, in duty and service, in faith and tenderness, to live with her and to cherish her in the exclusive bond of marriage?

Bridegroom responds: I will.

F....... will you take M....... to be your husband and do you commit yourself to him in love and honour, in duty and service, in faith and tenderness, to live with him and to cherish him in the exclusive bond of marriage?

Bride responds: I will.

The minister now addresses the father of the bride or substitute.

N....... do you give F....... to be married to M.......?

Bride's father responds: I do.

The minister says:

Please face each other and join hands.

The bridegroom says:

I, M....... take you F....... to be my wife. I promise to be a loving, faithful and dutiful husband to you so long as we both shall live.

The bride says:

I, F....... take you M....... to be my husband. I promise to be a loving, faithful and dutiful wife to you so long as we both shall live.

The ring/s is/are given to the minister, who says:

As a token of the commitment into which you have entered this ring is given and received.

The minister passes the ring/rings to M. or M. and F.

M....... and F....... say in giving the rings:

I give you this ring as a symbol of all that we have promised and all that we shall share.

The minister says:

M....... and F....... you have now taken each other 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 God separates you by death.

Now that you have made your covenant together in marriage, declaring it before God and your family and friends, I declare that you are husband and wife.

The bride and the groom may kneel.

The Lord bless you and keep you. The Lord pour out the riches of his grace upon you that you may please him and live together in love until your life's end. Amen.

Those whom God has joined together, let no one separate.

A marriage hymn is sung.

The Scriptures are read and a Sermon may be preached.

Let us pray:

Heavenly Father, we offer our prayers to you for M....... and F....... who are now bound together in the covenant of marriage so that with your love in their hearts, your joy may be theirs and their joy complete.

May your love be the true foundation and light of their home.

May your love be their treasure and wealth in life, that their happiness may not depend upon their outward circumstances.

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 this couple 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.

The Lord's Prayer may be said.

Go in peace. Be joyful in the love of God. And the blessing of God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, be upon you all this day and always. Amen.

The wedding party shall then proceed to sign the register.