A Service of Celebration following a Civil Partnership

Welcome & Introduction

N & N introduce themselves.

The presiding minister introduces the service

N & N are delighted that you are able to share this celebration of their civil partnership with them. It marks their 18 years of companionship, love and laughter together, feeling cherished, upheld and loved by you who are here today.

It is in appreciation of the remarkable changes that have taken place in the law and social attitudes towards gay people over the last few years.

And it is in joyful recognition of the support and encouragement offered by the community of this church

They know that their relationship has flourished and will continue to do so, only with the love, friendship, challenge and sincerity of those, like you, who have been with them down the years.

They feel privileged to have led lives filled with so many and varied experiences, throughout the world, and with wonderful people of many cultures, creeds and faiths.

Please therefore join in this celebration with as much gusto and delight that you can muster!

Hymn: Sing Hosanna

Give me joy in my heart, keep me singing,
Give me joy in my heart, I pray,
Give me joy in my heart, keep me singing,
Keep me singing till the end of day.

Sing hosanna, sing hosanna,
Sing hosanna to the King of kings!
Sing hosanna, sing hosanna,
Sing hosanna to the King.

Give me peace in my heart, keep me resting,
Give me peace in my heart, I pray.
Give me peace in my heart, keep me resting,
Keep me resting till the end of day.

Sing hosanna………………

Give me light in my heart, keep me dancing,
Give me light in my heart, I pray,
Give me light in my heart, keep me dancing,
Keep me dancing till the break of day.

Sing hosanna……………………

Reading: from Psalm 139

If I settle on the far side of the sea.

God, you have searched me and known me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you discern my thoughts from far away. You search out my path and my lying down, and are acquainted with all my ways. Even before a word is on my tongue, you know it completely. You hem me in, behind and before, and you have laid your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is so high that I cannot attain it.

Where can I go from your spirit? Or where can I flee from your presence? If I ascend to heaven, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, and your right hand shall hold me fast. If I say, ‘Surely the darkness shall cover me, and the light around me become night’, even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is as bright as the day, for darkness is as light to you.

For it was you who formed my inward parts; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; that I know very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes beheld my unformed substance. In your book were written all the days that were formed for me, when none of them as yet existed.

All the days that were formed for me.

Affirmation

Please stand to affirm N & N’s partnership. Please respond as you feel able with the words in bold:-

Minister:
For the darkness is as light. It’s been a long road to travel to bring about the recent changes in the law and attitudes that now acknowledge the value, and the rights and responsibilities of relationships like N & N’s. Many have suffered pain and anguish along the way to achieve this. Enough people have loved and cared enough to work towards the end of the oppression of gay people in this country. Great strides have now been made towards that end. Do you celebrate this?

All: We celebrate!

Minister:
N & N have enjoyed X exquisitely happy years together. They intend to have many more.

They have worked hard to make their relationship work; they have been ready to adapt to change; they have welcomed many into their lives and their home; they have sought to contribute positively to their own communities. They stand here now, rejoicing in the beauty, the fun and the love their partnership provides. Do you rejoice in this?

All: We rejoice!

Minister:
They know that they have only managed this, and can only continue to achieve such a quality of life, through the love and support of their families and friends. They are deeply, deeply grateful for this, and wish only to see it continue, flourish and thrive. Will you support them, as they live together for as many years as they possibly can?

All: We will support them!

Hymn: Let love be real

Let love be real, in giving and receiving,
without the need to manage and to own;
a haven free from posing and pretending,
where every weakness may be safely known.
Give me your hand,
along the desert pathway,
give me your love
wherever we may go

As God loves us,
so let us love each other:
with no demands,
just open hands and space to grow.

Let love be real, not grasping or confining,
that strange embrace that holds yet sets us free;
that helps us face the risk of truly living,
and makes us brave to be what we might be.
Give me your strength
when all my words are weakness;
give me your love in spite of all you know.

As God loves us,
so let us love each other:
with no demands,
just open hands and space to grow.

Let love be real, with no manipulation,
no secret wish to harness or control;
let us accept each other’s incompleteness,
and share the joy of learning to be whole.
Give me your hope
through dreams and disappointments;
give me your trust
when all my failings show.

As God loves us,
so let us love each other:
with no demands,
just open hands and space to grow.

Reading

Address

Anthem – Sing Joyfully by William Byrd

N & N affirm their partnership to each other.

Blessing of N & N’s partnership – Minister

Song: Jubilate Deo

Jubilate Deo,
Jubilate Deo,
Alleluia.

Prayers

General blessing – Minister

Song: Amen, siakudumisa

Amen, siakudumisa
Amen, siakudumisa
Amen, bawo. Amen, bawo
Amen, siakudumisa

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