Universal wedding service, for any two people

Written and compiled by Ana & Tod Gobledale, UK

Universal Wedding Service (ready-to-print) PDF

Universal Wedding Service (ready-to-print) WORD

 

Weddings are for everyone!

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, straight, queer, intersex, heterosexual, women, men, non-church goers, people blending religious traditions, infertile people… weddings are for everyone in love and ready to commit!

Marriage requires neither heterosexual coupling nor procreative possibilities.

Sacred Union Ceremony, Uniting Church of Australia

Marriage is the highest form of interpersonal commitment and friendship achievable between sexually attracted persons.

Daniel Maguire1, Roman Catholic theologian

Wedding services/celebrations can provide a safe and engaging place for everyone, whatever their theological and cultural persuasion.

Weddings are opportunities to include appropriate, inclusive and thoughtful words and present a theology that is progressive and free of traditional restraints.

This is especially important at weddings joining two people who were previously barred legally from marrying one another.

 

What is a wedding?

an act of Christian worship, whereby the community of the faithful bears witness to God’s love for all of God’s people – beyond human distinctions and barriers such as sexuality and gender identity.

Sacred Union Ceremony, Uniting Church in Australia, 2010

Of the two wedding ceremonies from which these resources primarily come, one united two young women (24 and 32 years) in holy matrimony, declaring them married in the eyes of God and their families. It preceded the legalisation of same-sex-marriage in the country of residence. An ordained minister officiated.  A series of pre-marriage counselling sessions were undertaken by the couple with the officiating minister.

Of the two parties joined in marriage one was a non-practicing Jew and the other was un-churched; they now participate together in a spiritual community of faith. The wedding service was held in a small theatre in a tavern. The couple chose to include a toast, as the ceremony was held in a tavern, and the shattering of the glass to connect to Jewish roots.

The couple created a new surname, joining the first syllable of both of their birth surnames. They changed their names legally after the wedding service.

When same-sex marriage was legalised in their place of residence, the two wives legalised their marriage vows before a judge in order to receive the rights of all married couples and to be protected under the laws of the nation.  Their wedding day and anniversary remains unchanged.

Of the two wedding ceremonies from which these resources primarily come, one united two women (48 and 58 years) in holy matrimony, declaring them married in the eyes of God, their families, and the State under the newly changed law. Two ordained ministers officiated.

Of the two parties joined in marriage one is not a church-goer and the other is active in her local church where she continues to worship.  The couple chose the ministers serving this church to officiate.  A series of pre-marriage counselling sessions were undertaken by the couple with the officiating minister.

Both women are divorced from traditional two-sex marriages. One brings adult children into the newly created family.

The wedding service was held in the couple’s home where they had been living for the past 10 years awaiting the opportunity to be joined legally.

 

The components of the Universal Wedding Service have been used in weddings held for same-sex couples over the past twenty years. (See wedding scenarios above.)  Some ceremonies were held after legalisation, some before (in church services not recognised by the government authority). In all cases, the focus is the same:  two people publicly declaring their love for one another and taking marriage vows.

Note: most components are applicable for heterosexual couples, also.

Ready-to-print documents (Word and PDF) are included for each item.

This service outline is suggested only.  Change what you like.  Make it yours!

Order of service PDF

Order of Service WORD

Welcome

Opening Prayer

Reading — a Bible passage or other selection meaningful to the couple

Reflection 

Words of Intention – lawfully free & willing

Reading —  a poem, Bible passage or other selection; might be chosen and shared by a friend

Words to the family — charge & questions

Marriage Vows

Signing of the Marriage Register/Certificate

Exchange & blessing of rings (or other item being exchanged to seal the covenant)

Pronouncement of Marriage

Blessing

Sending forth

The names ‘Tony’ and ‘Jo’  are used throughout rather than referring to the couple as Partner 1 and Partner 2..  Hopefully these two names are universal enough to allow easy access by all to these worship materials.     

For a wedding where the couple has been waiting, perhaps for years, for their love to be recognised within a legal marriage.

Wedding Welcome & Invocation PDF

Wedding Welcome & Invocation WORD

 

Family and friends of Tony & Jo, welcome to this exciting, auspicious and long awaited occasion.  Welcome to those who have walked from nearby in (name of town) and to those who have travelled from places far beyond.   Welcome to those who have, with Tony & Jo, waited for more than a decade to come to this wedding.

We come to celebrate, honour and respect the love of Tony & Jo as they make their vows and promises to one another, as a couple, and as a family, before one another, before God, before us and before the law (one might name the local/federal legal body recognising same-sex marriage, e.g. of England, of Scotland, of South Africa, etc) as witnesses!

Wedding Welcome & Invocation WORD

Wedding Welcome & Invocation PDF

Jo & Tony’s families and friends, welcome to this exciting, exotic, auspicious occasion.

When family and friends have travelled from afar:

Welcome to Jo’s family travelling from ________ and places beyond. Welcome to Tony’s family travelling from _________ and places beyond. Welcome to friends from all over!

We come to celebrate, honour and respect the love of Jo & Tony as they make their vows and promises to one another, a new couple, a new family in our midst. And I invoke the mystery that is LOVE to bear witness to our witness and to bless Jo & Tony as we bless them today.

Wedding Welcome & Invocation WORD

Wedding Welcome & Invocation PDF

 

I invoke the mystery that is LOVE to bear witness to our bold and joyful witness, and to bless Tony & Jo as we bless them this afternoon.

A wedding ceremony held in a nightclub/pub included, naturally, drinks and a toast.

Wedding Toast WORD

Wedding Toast PDF

 

We start this part of our ceremony with a toast.

Has everyone a glass with their preferred beverage?
Two people do not live in isolation. Their love is a source of strength with which they may nourish, not only each other, but also the world around them. And in turn, we, their community of friends and family, have a
responsibility to this couple. By our steadfast care, respect and love, we can support their union and the new family they are creating today.

Will everyone please drink to show you will support Jo & Tony.

Wedding Opening Prayer PDF

Wedding Opening Prayer WORD

 

Please join me in prayer.

Mystery and Power, Gentleness and Joy, we gather to celebrate your gift of love and its physical presence among us embodied in the love of Tony & Jo.   We delight in the ways you have touched our lives with a variety of loving relationships.

We give thanks for all the ways we have experienced love through the care and affection of the people who have loved us.

We rejoice that finally our society has made the decision to recognise such undeniable and unstoppable love between two people, as that between Tony & Jo, as something to be respected and celebrated—true and equal in the eyes of the law.

Even as we celebrate love, we remember how too often we have failed to be loving, times we have taken for granted, even hurt, the people for whom we care most.  When we have neglected and strained the bonds that unite us with others.  Help us find forgiveness and reconciliation, and renew within us an affectionate spirit.

Enrich our lives with the gracious gift of love so that we may embrace others with love.  May our participation in this celebration of love and commitment give to each of us a new joy and responsiveness to the relationships we cherish. Amen.

Readings might be poems, Bible passages or other selections chosen by the couple, the minister or perhaps chosen and shared by a friend.  The suggested readings have all been used at actual weddings. The number of readings and their location in a service can vary.

Simple introductions to a reading:

Minister:  ____________ has a poem to share.

Minister:   Our first/second reading is ______________ and will be read by _____________________

 

Sonnet by Neruda (ready-to-print) WORD

Sonnet by Neruda (ready-to-print) PDF

Ready-to-print 1 Corinthians 13 WORD

Ready-to-print 1 Corinthians 13 PDF

Reading from The Velveteen Rabbit (ready-to-print) WORD

Reading from The Velveteen Rabbit (ready-to-print) PDF

Hindu Marriage Poem (ready-to-print) WORD

Hindu Marriage Poem (ready-to-print) PDF


Readings might be poems, Bible passages or other selections chosen by the couple, the minister or perhaps chosen and shared by a friend.  The suggested readings have all been used at actual weddings. The number of readings and their location in a service can vary.

Ready-to-print 1 Corinthians 13 WORD

Ready-to-print 1 Corinthians 13 PDF

 

Hear these famous words about love,

from Paul’s letter to the people of Corinth,

May we find relevance in this ancient wisdom.

Paul writes:

 

If I speak in the tongues of mortals and of angels,

but do not have love,

I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.

And if I have prophetic powers,

 and understand all mysteries and all knowledge,

and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains,

but do not have love,

I am nothing.

If I give away all my possessions,

and if I hand over my body so that I may boast,

*but do not have love,

I gain nothing.

Love is patient;  Love is kind;

Love is not envious or boastful, or arrogant or rude.

It does not insist on its own way;

It is not irritable or resentful;

It does not rejoice in wrongdoing,

but rejoices in the truth.

It bears all things, believes all things,

 hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never ends.

But as for prophecies, they will come to an end;

As for tongues, they will cease;

As for knowledge, it will come to an end.

And now faith, hope, and love abide, these three;

And the greatest of these is love.

Note:  this reading from ‘The Velveteen Rabbit’ appears frequently on the internet as a wedding reading choice.

Ideally, read directly from the children’s book, The Velveteen Rabbit, by Margery Williams.

 

Reading from The Velveteen Rabbit (ready-to-print) WORD

Reading from The Velveteen Rabbit (ready-to-print) PDF
“What is REAL?” asked the Rabbit one day, when they were lying side by side near the nursery fender, before Nana came to tidy the room. “Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?”

“REAL isn’t how you are made,” said the Skin-Horse. “It’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become REAL.”

“Does it hurt?” asked the Rabbit.

“Sometimes,” said the Skin-Horse, for he was always truthful. “When you are REAL you don’t mind being hurt.”

“Does it happen all at once, like being wound up,” he asked, “or bit by bit?”

“It doesn’t happen all at once,” said the Skin-Horse. You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are REAL, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are REAL you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”

Sonnet by Neruda (ready-to-print) PDF

Sonnet by Neruda (ready-to-print) WORD

 

You have become mine forever.

I do not love you as if you were salt-rose,

or the arrow of carnations the fire shoots off.

I love you as certain dark things are to be loved, in secret,

between the shadow and the soul. 

I love you as the plant that never blooms

but carries in itself the light of hidden flowers;

thanks to your love a certain solid fragrance,

risen from the earth, lives darkly in my body.

I love you without knowing how, or when or from where.

I love you straightforwardly, without complexities or pride;

so I love you because I know no other way than this:

Where ‘I’ does not exist, nor ‘You,’

so close that your hand on my chest is my hand,

so close that your eyes close as I fall asleep.

 

Note: this Sonnet by Neruda appears frequently on the internet as a wedding reading choice.

This is also suggested as a possible blessing to be read at the conclusion of the service.

Hindu Marriage Poem (ready-to-print) PDF

Hindu Marriage Poem (ready-to-print) WORD

 

Yes, we have become partners.

I have become yours.

Hereafter, I cannot live without you.

Do not live without me.

Let us share the joys.

We are word and meaning, unite.

You are thought and I am sound.

May the nights be honey-sweet for us.

May the plants be honey-sweet for us.

May the earth be honey-sweet for us.

 

Note:  this poem appears frequently on the internet as a wedding reading choice.

IMG_9163

'Love in practice is a harsh and dreadful thing compared to the love of dreams.'

Dostoevsky

Note: Dostoevsky’s words do NOT appear on the internet as a frequent wedding reading choice!
Wedding Reflection on Love and Commitment WORD

Wedding Reflection on Love and Commitment PDF

Ah, the mystery of LOVE. Dostoevsky writes: “Love in practice is a harsh and dreadful thing compared to the love of dreams,” and the love of romance novels, we might add.

Love: harsh and dreadful… who would want it?
Can real love, love in practice, costly love, be desirable?

Well, obviously it is, otherwise you would not be standing here, the way so many of us have stood before you.

Tony & Jo, you follow where others have led, parents, siblings and friends. LOVE has brought you here.

Yet, the mystery of LOVE, REAL LOVE in practice is a harsh and terrible thing.

For REAL LOVE in practice explodes the assumptions we have about what “our ideal” — child, parent, lover will be like.

Love in practice invites us to “cross-over,” and stand in the shoes of the one we love, especially when they step out of our dreams, our romance novel, our fairy tale for them, and enter into the reality of the world around them, our real world.

The mystery of LOVE, “When someone loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, not just to toy with, not just for fun, or for their own self-satisfaction, but really loves you, then YOU become real.

Jo & Tony, you enter into this relationship with the promise to love each other for a long, L—O–N–G time because in that love you have for one another YOU become realised as a person. You become the person that LOVE meant you to be.

Does it hurt? Does becoming realised as a person, does becoming your real self hurt? Does loving for a long, LONG time hurt? asks the Rabbit.

Sometimes.   Some of the times… but you work through those hard times, through, around, over, those hard times of hurt because love is the greatest of all things.

Ah, the mystery of LOVE, sweet LOVE.

Emily Dickinson brings a thought to LOVE’s mystery. She writes, “That LOVE is all there is, is all we know of LOVE.”

LOVE is all there is.

What love joins together may no one separate.

This reflection is particularly relevant for a wedding where the couple has been waiting, perhaps for years, for their love to be recognised within a legal marriage. In the actual case, the couple had been living as family for 10 years (wedding scenario 2).

 

Wedding Reflection on Love and Commitment PDF

Wedding Reflection after years of waiting WORD

 

Officiating Minister or Marriage Officer:

Today we stand in a circle of love – family, friends, betrothed.

In most weddings, we glibly say, “Marriage is a gift from God.”  But through harsh and cruel experience, we have been taught, we have learned, we have seen, that marriage is an entitlement, coveted and controlled by governments and voters.

But hear this, as we stand here today God’s truth is breaking through, the truth of Love that cannot be chained, the truth of community that will not stand by, the truth of goodness that will moan and groan until it breaks free.

Let no one break asunder that which God has joined together.  Today we put a seal on a love blessed by God, by whatever name you would call that God – love, mystery, eternity, the cosmos, the force, the power we can never understand, the power we can only experience through the Love we experience.

Today we assert that indeed Love is more powerful than hate.  That Love is a universal gift, showered upon all people, like a winter’s snow or summer rain.

While some would attempt to build bigger dams and control that flow, love is a power to be reckoned with, a power that will not be dammed up, that will not allow itself to be shut up in dark places.

No, love will seep out, will swirl through the air, will continue to assert itself until the world stops just long enough to recognise it in its full glory, between Jo & Tony, between______ and ______ (Insert first names of another same-sex couple known to the marriage couple, if friends have preceded them in legal marriage), between lovers old and young.

Love is a gift.  Marriage is a gift, but not from the state.  Love is a gift from a power that knows no boundaries, that builds no walls, that leaves no one outside.

Jo & Tony, loving and allowing yourself to be loved — all of you, the best, the worst and everything in between, holding your heart out to another person, that is risky, even when it is legal.  When “two people are one in their inmost heart,” to use a phrase from Confucius, it is a deeply vulnerable place to be.

But it is also a place of grace.  To experience the fullness of life’s possibility and the depths of its joy, we must risk, we must be willing to step into the unknown, the uncertain.  And even when there are times of hurt and heartache, love can carry us through.

Exchanging vows today means that you, Jo & Tony, are going to keep trying to “make it work,” as they say on Star Trek, no matter how hard it gets.

Love takes many forms:  love of family, love of friends, love of God, and love in marriage.  As Paul writes in his letter to the Corinthians, which we just read, “Love is patient and kind. It does not envy or boast.  It is neither proud, nor rude, nor self-seeking, nor easily angered.  Love always protects, trusts, hopes, and perseveres.”  Indeed, these words, almost 2000 years old, still ring true today.

Jo & Tony, may they, always, be true for you.  May your marriage be made strong by interwoven threads of love.
Amen.

Marriage Declaration of Intention PDF

Marriage Declaration of Intention WORD

 

Be sure to check the requirements of the certifying authority.  Some countries require specific words to be exchanged for the marriage contract to be valid.

 

Jo & Tony, you are entering not only a formal covenant of marriage, but a legal contract as well, now that  [certifying authority: i.e.  government of Scotland, the State of Washington, the South African Parliament, etc.] has finally caught up with the reality of your love that could not wait for any law.  So I ask of you both, are you lawfully free & willing to enter into this marriage?  One at a time…

Jo:

Jo (full name) , are you lawfully free and willing to take Tony (full name) to be your partner of life? If so, please say, I am.

 I am.

Will you love her/him/them, comfort her/him/them, honour and protect her/him/them, and be faithful to her/him/them?  If so please say, “I will.”

I will.

Tony:

Tony (full name), are you lawfully free and willing to take Jo (full name) to be your partner of life? If so, please say, I am.

I am.

Will you love her/him/them, comfort her/him/them, honour and protect her/him/them, and be faithful to her/him/them?  If so please say, “I will.”

I will.

This  option may be used where there is no legal requirement for each partner to declare that he/she/they are lawfully free and willing to enter into this legal contract.  Be sure to check the requirements of the certifying authority.
Will you, Tony, take Jo to be your life partner in marriage?

Tony: I will.

Will you, Jo, take Tony to be your life partner in marriage?

Jo: I will.

 

Marriage Declaration of Intention WORD

Marriage Declaration of Intention PDF

To the families — Charge & Questions PDF

To the families — Charge & Questions WORD

 

Two people do not live in isolation.  This family is interwoven and linked in numerous and wonderful ways.

Louis de Bernieres writes in Captain Corelli’s Mandolin,  “Love … is both an art and a fortunate accident.”  This combined/new family is truly both a work of art and, for all of you, a fortunate accident.

Whether you are part of Tony & Jo’s families by birth, by accident or by intention, or for some of you it may be more by default!, you are blessed to be part of such a family as this, an ‘intentional family.’

  • [Name all members of each family, one by one, or couple by couple, and look at them.]
  • And all of you who are part of this special fortunate accidental intentional family circle!
  • And we mustn’t forget _________ [the dog/ or any other important pets]!

What a wonderful family!

To the families — Charge & Questions WORD

To the families — Charge & Questions PDF

 

The love shared by Tony & Jo is a source of strength with which they may nourish, not only each other, but their intentional family, their wider circle of friends, and the world around them.  And in turn, we, their community of friends and family, have a responsibility to them.  By our steadfast care, respect and love, we can support their union and the family they are affirming today.

Family and friends, you are here, not just as spectators, but as participants. You are here to acknowledge and affirm the love that binds you to Jo & Tony, to be part of this risky and vulnerable thing called love, called marriage.

So I charge you: do not be fair weather friends.  Strengthen and encourage Jo & Tony when winds blow and the tree shakes.  Help them weather the gales that beset any relationship.  Help them keep their love strong.  Help them maintain the integrity of their love and their marriage.

As family, you are part of this union.  Jo & Tony ask for your love and support in the days and years ahead.

Jo & Tony, take a moment to look around at those who have gathered with you today.  (Have them look.) You are surrounded by people who know and love you both.

[To all]  I invite all of you to show your intention to love and support Tony & Jo with resounding applause – [or barking if that is appropriate — (if animals/pets are present)].

Tony & Jo, this is your family, who journey with you into this joyful and risky place called marriage.  Remember that you are not alone.

Exchange of marriage vows WORD

Exchange of marriage vows PDF

 

[Invite Tony & Jo to come forward.]

Jo & Tony, you have affirmed your willingness to enter this covenant of marriage and to share all the joys and sorrows of this relationship, whatever the future may hold.  You have stated that you both are lawfully free to marry.  Now I invite you to share your covenant promises before these witnesses, uniting yourselves in marriage.

Face one another and join hands to exchange your wedding vows.

And to all of you gathered here today, as you hear their vows exchanged, I invite you, if you are married or in partnership, or hope to be, take the hand of your beloved and recommit yourselves in love.

Repeat after me.  [Note: the slash marks note where to pause after a phrase allowing the person to repeat back.]

Option 1:

Jo, you first:

Tony, I take you / to be my life companion / spouse/husband/wife/partner/

[Use the word that the couple prefers.]

through tears and laughter, /

sickness and health,  / work and play.  /

I promise to be faithful and open to you. /

I will respect & trust you. /  I will help and care for you.

I will share my life with you./

I will lead with you/  a just and peaceful life.

I will love you / and be thankful /

for the blessing of your love. /

This is my solemn vow.

 

Tony, repeat after me:

Jo, I take you / to be my

life companion /spouse/husband/wife/partner/

[Use the word that the couple prefers]

through tears and laughter, /

sickness and health,  / work and play.

I promise to be faithful and open to you. /

I will respect & trust you. /  I will help and care for you. /

I will share my life with you./

I will lead with you/  a just and peaceful life.

I will love you / and be thankful /

for the blessing of your love. /

This is my solemn vow.

 

Option 2 – short & simple

Jo & Tony repeat after me.     (separately, one after the other)

Jo/Tony, I take you to be my partner in marriage, to love and to cherish, from this day forward as long as we both shall live.

 

(Source of these words is unknown.)

Exchange and blessing of rings PDF

Exchange and blessing of rings WORD

 

May I have the rings, please?  [Hold in open hand.]

A ring is a circle, sacred and absolute, reminding us of the roundness of the planets and the circle of their paths around the sun, of CD’s, LP’s and 45’s, of hula hoops and beach balls, of the full moon, the human eye, and the period/ full stop that ends a sentence.  Reminding us of the path we make when we leave and come back to where we started, and this round earth from which we are born and to which we shall return.

The circle, and these rings, symbolise the unity in which your lives are now joined and to which, wherever you go, you shall always return.

 

If a different symbol is exchanged, e.g. necklace charms or another item, include a relevant explanation.

 

Option 1 

 

Tony:

Tony, please repeat after me as you place the ring on Jo’s finger:

Jo, with this ring, / I thee wed. OR I marry you. / May you wear it, / as a sign, / of our love / and faithfulness.

Jo:

Jo, please repeat after me as you place the ring on Tony’s finger:

Tony, with this ring,/ I thee wed. OR  I marry you. / May you wear it, / as a sign/ of our love/ and faithfulness.

 

Option 2

Adapted from Sacred Union Ceremony, Uniting Church in Australia

Tony, please repeat after me as you place the ring on Jo’s finger:

Just as this circle is without end/ my love for you is limitless. / My commitment to you will never fail. / With this ring I take you to be my best friend, / lover, and partner for life. / Let it be a way for us to hold hands / even when we are apart.

Jo, please repeat after me as you place the ring on Tony’s finger:

Just as this circle is without end / my love for you is limitless. / My commitment to you will never fail. / With this ring I take you to be my best friend, / lover, and partner for life. / Let it be a way for us to hold hands / even when we are apart.

The Marriage Register and certificates may be signed at this point or after the Declaration of the Marriage at the conclusion of the service.  Move to a quiet table on the side or in a separate room.  Two witnesses are usually required.  When these have not been pre-arranged, the attendants may step in.

If it is the union of two faithful Christians, I usually have them sign the register at this point, so that the service is bookended with faith components, and the legal component is held within that, i.e. the blessing and pronouncement of marriage is withheld until after all is complete.

During the signing of the Register special music can provide a pleasant interlude.  This is also often a time, I have found, when family members and friends greet one another for the first time, so there may be a lot of movement and noise.

The consideration and decision regarding the placement of the involvement of the legal authority, made manifest in the signing of the legal documents, provides an opportunity for theological reflection and the clarification of values and loyalties, both of the couple and of the officiating minister/officer.

Pronouncement of Marriage PDF

Pronouncement of Marriage WORD

 

Tony & Jo, you are united and bound together,

body and soul,  in a union of love and trust.

Above are the stars and below you the earth.

Like the stars, your love will be a constant source of light.

And like the earth, a firm foundation from which to grow.1

As you have consented in this ceremony in the presence of friends and family to be partners for life, I now pronounce you married in the eyes of God and in the eyes of the State/government, united and bound together, body and soul.

May nothing divide what God has joined together.

[alternatively:  May nothing divide what has been joined together here today.]

Jo & Tony, we pronounce you married!
And to seal this holy and legal covenant of love, you may kiss.

It is my pleasure and honour to introduce to you Jo & Tony, legally married!

Names:  The couple may choose to be introduced as Mrs & Mrs X, or Mr and Mr Y, or ‘The X Family’ e.g. The Gumede Family.  If they are creating or choosing a new surname, it can be shared at this time.  If they are keeping their own maiden names or any previous names, using only first names works well.

And let all the people clap with joy!      Encouraged those gathered to applaud!

 

1from a Celtic wedding handfasting ceremony, today frequently appearing on wedding planning websites

Adapted from a Jewish wedding ceremony, this would be inserted in the section above, Announcement of Marriage.  
A glass is wrapped carefully in cloth, so that it can be stomped upon and broken but will not create a dangerous situation.  Suggestion: choose a thin fragile glass that will break easily.
A glass, like the vessel of your love, is fragile and must be protected. The promises made by Tony & Jo, like broken glass, are irrevocable. Protect and shelter your love, treat it gently.

Break the glass!

You may kiss!

Closing Blessing at wedding WORD

Closing Blessing at wedding PDF

 

May the words of this Hindu Love Poem be a blessing upon you both:   

Yes, we have become partners.

I have become you, and you have become me.

We are word and meaning, united.

You are thought and I am sound.

May the nights be honey-sweet for us.

May the plants be honey-sweet for us.

May the earth be honey-sweet for us.

And today we add–

May the wine at the reception be honey-sweet for you both!

Let the people say, Amen!

 

To the couple:  God bless you both!

Often the minister will be asked to pray at the beginning of the reception meal or banquet.

 

Pray with me.

Indeed our hearts are overflowing with joy!  As we sit at these tables, tables filled with the earth’s bounty for our celebration, we remember and give thanks, Eternal One, for your unnumbered blessings in our lives.

We give thanks for family and friends gathered here.   We remember loved ones not with us today in body, but in spirit, whose hearts are surely full of joy!

As food nourishes our bodies, so love nourishes our souls.  May our conversation this afternoon remind us of the truth of this.

May we offer one another strength and support, and may this meal enrich us with wisdom, laughter and love.

Bless us all.

Bless this food we are about to share.

And bless Jo & Tony, united as one on this their wedding day.

May the memory of this fellowship of breaking bread together last for the rest of our days.   Amen.

 

Names:  The couple may choose to be introduced as Mrs & Mrs X, or Mr and Mr Y, or ‘The X Family’ e.g. The Gumede Family.  If they are creating or choosing a new surname, it can be shared at this time.  If they are keeping their own maiden names or any previous names, using only first names works well.

1The morality of Homosexual Marriage in Same Sex Marriage: The Moral and Legal Debate, ed Robert M. Baird and Stuart E. Rosenbaum (Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books 1997) p.62.