MARRIAGE OF CLARK AND MELODY
UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST, CONGREGATIONAL
NOVEMBER 15, 1986

 

 

CALL TO CELEBRATION

Good people, friends and family of Clark and Melody, welcome to this celebration in which these two people declare before God and before all of us that they choose each other as husband and wife. You have been invited to share in this happy and solemn occasion in which a sacred covenant of marriage will be established between this man and this woman in the presence of God.

The marriage covenant is a commitment that is total, involving us as whole persons, in every aspect of our lives. True marriage calls for a special kind of love. The person who truly loves makes a commitment to love, over and above -- or even in spite of -- the unstable condition of being "in love." This kind of love creates a permanence whereby two people can relate with complete openness and experience each other at the deepest possible level. This love is not just a feeling by which we are overwhelmed, but is a committed, thoughtful decision, unselfishly -- by listening, giving, and forgiving -- to contribute to the growth and fulfillment of the spiritual potential within the other.

Therefore, out of affection for Clark and Melody, we have gathered here to witness and to ask for God's blessing as they exchange the vows through which they will be united in marriage. To this moment they bring the fullness of their hearts as a treasure to share. They bring the love which binds them together. They bring that particular personality and spirit which is uniquely their own and out of which will grow the reality of their life together. We rejoice with them as we witness this outward expression of their inward union, a union created by friendship, respect, and love.

Let us then pray, giving thanks for the covenant of marriage:


 

OPENING PRAYER

We give thanks to you, God, as we celebrate another special event of life. We thank you for the gift of life, and in life, for the gift of marriage.

We seek your love and grace for all who are here. May each of us grow closer to you as we consider your gifts to us and the covenant we share with you. Help us to remain a community which encourages commitment to one another.

We seek your blessing and guidance now and always.

Amen.

 

CHARGE

Clark, Melody, as you know, no minister, priest, rabbi, or public official can marry you. Only you can marry yourselves. By a mutual commitment to love each other, to work toward creating an atmosphere of care, consideration, and respect, by a willingness to face the tensions and anxieties that underlie human life, you can make your married life come alive.

Therefore I charge you both that, having duly considered the true meaning and full significance of the holy covenant you are about to make, you do now declare your promise of faith to each other.

 

DECLARATION OF COMMITMENT

The covenant of marriage is one that can be entered into only by persons who freely offer themselves to one another.

Clark, do you now come with a free and conscious will to be united in marriage with Melody?

(Yes, I do.)

Will you love her, comfort her, honor and keep her in sickness and in health, forsaking all others, keeping only unto her, so long as you both shall live?

(Yes, I will.)

Melody, do you now come with a free and conscious will to be united in marriage with Clark?

(Yes, I do.)

Will you love him, comfort him, honor and keep him in sickness and in health, forsaking all others, keeping only unto him, so long as you both shall live?

(Yes, I will.)

 

RESPONSE

Now, friends, we have heard the promise of marriage that Clark and Melody have made. Therefore, you are all invited to make a pledge of support to them and their marriage.

Will all of you pledge to do all within your power to strengthen and support this marriage in the years that lie ahead?

(We will.)

 

VOWS

Melody, I covenant with you to be your husband. I accept the responsibility I have as a person and as a man to do all I can to help you find the fulfillment of your inner self.
I will share my life with you openly, honestly, deeply. I will protect and take care of you. I will be your friend, companion, and ally. Always.

Clark, I covenant with you to be your wife. I accept the responsibility I have as a person and as a woman to do all I can to help you find the fulfillment of your inner self.
I will share my life with you openly, honestly, deeply. I will protect and care for you. I will be your friend, companion, and ally. Always.

Melody, I take you to be my wife...

Clark, I take you to be my husband...

(Couple in unison:)
to laugh with you in joy,
to grieve with you in sorrow,
to grow with you in love;
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,
keeping only unto you,
as long as we both shall live.
This is my solemn vow.

 

RINGS

(Clark:)
Melody, in token and in pledge of our constant faith and abiding love,
I give you this ring and join my life to yours.

(Melody:)
I accept this ring and will wear it as an outward sign to all of our pledge to each other.

Clark, in token and in pledge of our constant faith and abiding love,
I give you this ring and join my life to yours.

(Clark:)
I accept this ring and will wear it as an outward sign to all of our pledge to each other.

 

PRONOUNCEMENT

Forasmuch as Clark and Melody have consented together in Christian marriage, and have witnessed the same before God Eternal and this community of friends and family, and pledged their faith each to the other; I pronounce that they are husband and wife together, in the name of the Creator and of the Christ, and of the Holy Spirit.
Let us pray.

 

CLOSING PRAYER

God eternal, creator and sustainer of all humankind, giver of all spiritual grace, the author of life eternal and full: Send your blessings to Clark and Melody that they may surely perform and keep the covenant made between them and steadfastly endeavor always to do what is right. Look graciously upon them that they may grow together in patience and love, in wisdom and understanding, serving humanity in justice and hope, establishing their home in peace.

Amen.


BENEDICTION

Where there is hatred, let us sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy.
Grant that we may not so much seek to be consoled,
as to console;
to be understood, as to understand;
to be loved, as to love;
for it is in the giving that we receive.

 

The Kiss

The INTRODUCTION of Clark and Melody as Mr. & Mrs.


RECESSIONAL

 

 

Congratulations from the Pastor

 

 

_______________________________________________________________

 

 

 

...your friend, companion, and ally. Always.

 

_______________________________________________________________

 

 

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