As I stated a little while ago, I created a website called YoungMinisters.com. It was designed to be a place where folks new to ministry could find resources, tidbits, and encouragement to help them get started.
Because of this danged blog, I haven’t updated it in months. So today, I am beginning the migration of the information found there to here.
Here is the first service outline…that of a wedding service.
Sample Wedding Service–submitted by John Harvey
Prelude: Theme to Romeo and Juliet
Special music: “You Needed Me”
Procession: Wedding March
Minister: Who gives this woman to be married to this man?
Bride’s father: Her mother and I.
Special music: “Sunrise, Sunset” (hand flowers to mothers)
Minister: Dearly beloved, we have assembled here today in this place to witness the solemn occasion of marriage. (Groom) and (Bride) come with you, their family and friends, asking you to share their joy, and witness their promises of commitment. (Groom) and (Bride), as I read from God’s Holy Word, your promises to Him and to one another will become an eternal covenant.
“The Lord God said, ‘It is not good for man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.’ And the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, He took one of the man’s ribs and closed up the place with flesh. Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib He had taken out of the man and He brought her to the man. The man said, ‘This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called woman, for she was taken out of man.’ For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.” (Gen 2:18, 21-25)
Woman was not taken from the head of man that she might rule over him. Neither was she taken from the sole of his foot that he might oppress her. But woman was taken out of man’s side that she might always be closest to his heart. “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work. If one falls down, the other can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up! Also, if the two lie down together they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves.” (Eccles. 4:9-12)
“A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies. Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value. She brings him good not harm, all the days of her life.” (Proverbs 31:10) “Marriage is to be honored by all.” It is a commitment of love. “Love is patient, love is kind. Love does not envy, love does not boast, love is not proud. Love is not rude, love is not self-seeking, love is not easily angered, love keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not rejoice in evil but rejoices with the truth. Love always protects, love always trusts, love always hopes, love always perseveres. Love never fails.” (1 Cor. 13:4-8)
In the spirit of this love, (Groom) and (Bride) come now, before God and these witnesses, to be joined as one in marriage. Will you (groom’s full name), have this woman to be your wedded wife, to live together according to God’s word in the holy estate of marriage? Will you love her, comfort her, honor and keep her in sickness and health; and forsaking all others, keep yourself only unto her, as long as you both shall live?
Groom: I will.
Minister: Will you, (bride’s full name), have this man to be your wedded husband, to live together according to God’s word in the holy estate of marriage? Will you love him, comfort him, honor and keep him in sickness and health; and forsaking all others, keep yourself only unto him, as long as you both shall live?
Bride: I will.
Groom: I, (full name), take (bride’s full name), to be my wedded wife, to have and 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 do us part, according to God’s Holy Word.
Bride: I, (full name), take (groom’s full name), to be my wedded husband, to have and 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 do us part, according to God’s Holy Word.
Minister: Will you seal these vows with a sign of your love and commitment?
Couple: We will.
Minister: These rings are symbols of your love, and from this day forward they will remind you of this sacred day in your lives. A ring is a perfect symbol of marriage for it is made of gold, a precious metal. As men value gold, hold your marriage to each other precious in your sight. A ring is made of pure gold. This should remind you both of the purity necessary to preserve your love. And a ring is a circle; it has neither beginning nor end. May your love likewise be never-ending.
Bless O Lord this ring, that he who gives it and she who wears it may live in your peace, and continue in your favor, till their lives end, through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Now will you, (groom’s full name), take this ring, the emblem of the purity and the perpetuity of your love, and placing it upon the finger of (bride’s full name), repeat after me: With this ring…I thee wed…with all my heart’s affection…I thee endow…In the name of the father…and the Son…and the Holy Spirit.
Bless O Lord this ring, that she who gives it and he who wears it may live in your peace, and continue in your favor, till their lives end, through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Now will you, (bride’s full name), take this ring, the emblem of the purity and the perpetuity of your love, and placing it upon the finger of (groom’s full name), repeat after me: With this ring…I thee wed…with all my heart’s affection…I thee endow…In the name of the father…and the Son…and the Holy Spirit.
Candlelight portion of ceremony:
Song of couple’s choice plays as the minister speaks:
“As two moving clouds move into one and two falling raindrops merge into one and catch the gleam of the sun and reflect across the sky making a rainbow, the sign of God’s loving covenant, so two devoted hearts come together to become one and catch the gleam of God’s intention that in marriage with the two becoming one it might reflect God’s beautiful purposes among men.” (Couple return to front)
Now you will feel no rain, for each of you will be shelter to the other.
Now you will feel no cold, for each of you will be warmth to the other.
Now there is no more loneliness, for each of you will be a companion to the other.
Now you are two bodies, but there is only one life before you.
Go now to your dwelling place, to enter into the days of your togetherness. And may your days be good and long upon the earth.
Now may the Lord bless you and keep you, the Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up His countenance upon you and give you peace.” (Num. 6:4-26)
“Those whom God has joined together let no man put asunder” And now by the authority of the (state of the wedding), and by the still Higher Power of the Word of God, I pronounce you husband and wife. You may kiss the bride.
Ladies and Gentlemen, may I present to you Mr. and Mrs. (Groom’s full name).
[John Harvey is the Minister at Newberry Christian Church in Newberry, South Carolina. He loves coffee and British comedy. You can reach John via his church website at www.newberrychristian.org.]