Form of service for a marriage 1


“All Are Welcome”

1. Let us build a house where love can dwell
And all can safely live
A place where saints and children tell
How hearts learn to forgive.
Built of hopes and dreams and visions
Rock of faith and vault of grace
Here the love of Christ shall end divisions:

Refrain: All are welcome, all are welcome, all are welcome in this place.

2. Let us build a house where prophets speak
And words are strong and true
Where all God’s children dare to seek
To dream God’s reign anew.
Here the cross shall stand as witness
And as symbol of God’s grace
Here as one we claim the faith of Jesus:

3. Let us build a house where hands will reach
Beyond the wood and stone
To heal and strengthen, serve and teach
And live the Word they’ve known.
Here the outcast and the stranger
Bear the image of God’s face
Let us bring an end to fear and danger:


4. Let us a build a house where all are named
Their songs and visions heard
And loved and treasured, taught and claimed
As words within the Word.
Built of tears and cries and laughter
Prayers of faith and songs of grace
Let this house proclaim from floor to rafter:



“Let Us Gather”

Let us gather, let us gather
Ready to give thanks and sing
For the bounty of an autumn
In which God plants love’s new spring.

Others gather in their harvest
Of their richest and their best
Even at the eleventh hour
All are gathered to God’s breast.

It is in the bitter darkness
That small kindness tastes most sweet
So we find ourselves as grateful
For the weeds as for the wheat.

Love’s touch wakes us from dark dreaming
Of lost souls condemned to roam
It is when the road defeats us
That God shows us we are home.


We are gathered here to celebrate the marriage of two people we love, and to ask God’s blessing upon them.

N & N have invited us today to be present with them as they affirm and consecrate their commitment to each other before God.

We believe marriage is a vocation from God in which two persons become more truly themselves by living a shared life as “one flesh”.  The union of two persons in body, mind and soul is intended for their mutual comfort and help, that they may know each other with delight and tenderness in acts of love, and that their growth in love may be a witness and blessing to the world.

To represent the two lives that are merging today, the witnesses chosen by N & N will light two candles.


1. From the Song of Songs

Song of Songs 4: 9-12

You have ravished my heart, my sister, my spouse;
You have ravished my heart
With one look of your eyes,
With one link of your necklace.
How fair is your love, my sister, my spouse!
How much better than wine is your love,
And the scent of your perfumes than all spices!
Your lips, O my spouse, drip as the honeycomb;
Honey and milk are under your tongue;
And the fragrance of your garments
Is like the fragrance of Lebanon.
A garden enclosed is my sister, my spouse,
A spring shut up, a fountain sealed.

Song of Songs 8: 6-7

Set me as a seal upon your heart, as a seal upon your arm;
for love is strong as death, passion fierce as the grave.
Its flashes are flashes of fire, a raging flame.
Many waters cannot quench love,
Neither can floods drown it.
If one offered for love all the wealth of his house,
contempt is all that he would gain.

3.  Beatitudes from the Gospel of Luke 6:20-38

Then [Jesus] looked up at his disciples and said: “Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.

 Blessed are you who are hungry now, for you will be filled. Blessed are you who weep now, for you will laugh.

Blessed are you when people hate you, and when they exclude you, revile you, and defame you on account of the Son of Man. Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, for surely your reward is great in heaven; for that is what their ancestors did to the prophets.

But I say to you that listen: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you.

Do to others as you would have them do to you.

Do not judge, and you will not be judged; do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven; give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap; for the measure you give will be the measure you get back.”



N & N, you have made it known that you wish to be joined together in marriage.  If either of you, or anyone here present, can show just cause why you may not lawfully be married, now is the time to declare it.

“Ubi caritas et amor, Deus ibi est.”

(Where [there is] charity and love, there God is.)

N & N, you are about to make a solemn promise before God and these witnesses.  You believe and affirm that it was the loving providence of God that brought you together, that your union with each other is for the sake of your deeper union with Christ, and that your love is a manifestation of the Holy Spirit, meant to be a light and a blessing to many others as well as yourselves. 

Do you say “YES” to God wholeheartedly and without reservation?             We do.

You are about to enter a life-long covenant as spouses in marriage, to share your joys and sorrows, to care for each other with devotion and respect, to help each other discern and defend your deepest truth, to take delight in each other and in life, so that you may be a help and comfort to many.

Do you say “YES” to each other wholeheartedly and without reservation?  We do.

Do you, N, take N to be your spouse in marriage?                I do.

Do you, N, take N to be your spouse in marriage?                I do.

N and N will now light their tapers as a sign of their promise of love.

Turning to the witnesses:

You have been asked to stand as witnesses for N & N. Do you give them your blessing and promise to uphold and care for them in their marriage, to speak the truth to them with discretion and compassion?  Do you promise to be happy for them when they are happy, to encourage them when they face challenges, and to offer comfort when they are sorrowing?                We do.

Turning to their family members:

N and N ask their families to stand in support of them. [Both families stand.]  Do you give them your blessing and promise to uphold and care for them in their marriage, to be a source of security, strength and hope for them, and to walk with them as their companions on the way of truth?     We do.

Turning to the assembled guests: 

You all have been invited by N & N to witness to their vows. [All stand.]  Do you promise to honour their commitment, give them your blessing and support, appeal to the best in them with the best in you, and share the love here expressed with others?                   We do.

EXCHANGE OF VOWS (The couple join hands):

I, N, take you, N, to be my lawful wedded spouse, 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; this is my solemn vow.

I, N, take you, N, to be my lawful wedded spouse, 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; this is my solemn vow.


N & N receive their rings from their witnesses.

N, I have known from the day I met you that you were the one I had been waiting for all my life: my true love and soul-mate, my lover and my friend, my faithful companion and the partner of my fortunes, my sister and my spouse.  I give you this ring, N, as a token of my commitment to be all these same things to you, trusting in the grace of God and the love of all our friends to help me.

With this ring I thee wed, with my body I thee worship: In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.


N & N have made vows of marriage before God and in the presence of all of us.

They have confirmed their marriage by the joining of hands and by the exchange of rings.

Therefore, I declare them to be lawfully wedded spouses.


N & N each take one of the side candles and together light the central candle.  Then they extinguish the side candles and replace them in the candelabrum.  Then they light their tapers from the central candle, light the tapers of their witnesses, and so on, until all are standing and singing  “Servant Song” with tapers lit. At the end of the song, they remain standing and holding their lit tapers during the Gospel reading and prayers.

“Servant Song”

1. Will you let me be your servant
Let me be as Christ to you
Pray that I may have the grace to
Let you be my servant too.

2. We are pilgrims on a journey
We are trav’lers on the road
We are here to help each other
Walk the mile and bear the load.

3. I will hold the Christ-light for you
In the night-time of your fear
I will hold my hand out to you
Speak the peace you long to hear.

4. I will weep when you are weeping
When you laugh I’ll laugh with you
I will share your joy and sorrow
Till we’ve seen this journey through.


You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hid.  No one after lighting a lamp puts it under a bushel basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.



At the end of the Lord’s Prayer, all extinguish their tapers and sit down.


SONGS: “Make Me a Channel of Your Peace”

“You Are Mine” (sung by all)

1. I will come to you in the silence
I will lift you from all your fear
You will hear my voice, I claim you as my choice
Be still and know I am here.

2. I am hope for all who are hopeless
I am eyes for all who long to see.
In the shadows of the night, I will be your light
Come and rest in me.

Refrain:Do not be afraid, I am with you.
I have called you each by name.
Come and follow me, I will bring you home
I love you and you are mine.

3. I am strength for all the despairing
Healing for the ones who dwell in shame.
All the blind will see, the lame will all run free
And all will know my name.  (Refrain)

4. I am the Word that leads all to freedom
I am the peace the world cannot give.
I will call your name, embracing all your pain
Stand up, now walk, and live!  (Refrain)


FINAL SONG:  “The Rose”

1. Some say love it is a river
that drowns the tender reed;
some say love it is a razor
that leaves your soul to bleed.
Some say love it is a hunger
an endless aching need;
I say love it is a flower
and you its only seed.

2. It’s the heart afraid of breaking
that never learns to dance;
it’s the dream afraid of waking
that never takes the chance.
It’s the one who won’t be taken
who cannot seem to give;
and the soul afraid of dying
that never learns to live.

Love is Stronger than Death

Through the curtain
the moon pregnant
floods the bed
sheets like peaks
of mountains streaming
down steep valleys

silver rivers
pool in ankles’ fens
knees’ gullies – 

on the slopes long black
cedars flutter, poles
to hold the billows the constellated
canopy.  St. Teresa’s robe cups
the cool night breeze, lifts
and parts
unveils the bride.

Join the discussion