A Service of Prayer & Dedication after Marriage

Introduction

God is love, and those who live in love live in God, and God lives in them.
1 John 4

The minister welcomes the couple and their family and friends, using these or similar words:

[N and [N, you stand in the presence of God having contracted a legal marriage earlier, to dedicate to God your life together. We pray with you that God may empower you to keep the vows you have made to one another.

The Holy Scriptures teach us that marriage is a gift of God’s grace, a holy mystery in which two people become one flesh. It is God’s purpose that, as two people give themselves to each other in love throughout their lives, they shall be united in that love as Christ is united with the Church.

Marriage is given, that two people may comfort and help one another, living faithfully together in need and in plenty, in sorrow and in joy. It is given that with delight and tenderness they may know each other in love, and through the joy of their bodily union may strengthen the union of their hearts and lives.

[N, [N – Is it your wish today to affirm your desire to live as followers of Christ, and to come to him, the fountain of grace, that, strengthened by the prayers of the Church, you may be enabled to fulfil your marriage vows in love and faithfulness?

The couple reply: It is.

A hymn may be sung here.

Collect

Almighty God,
You have taught us through your Son
that love is the fulfillment of the Law.
Grant to these your servants
that, loving one another,
they may continue in your love until their lives’ end.
Through Jesus Christ our Lord,
Amen.

Readings

At least one Bible reading should be used, and other readings, poems, may also be used here.

The Dedication

The couple face the minister, who says

[fullnames,
you have committed yourselves to each other in marriage
And your marriage is recognised by law.
The Church of Christ understands marriage to be a lifelong union
For better, for worse
For richer, for poorer,
in sickness and in health,
to love and to cherish
Til parted by death.
Is this your understanding of the covenant and promises that you have made?

The couple reply: It is.

Have you resolved to be faithful to one another,
forsaking all others,
so long as you both shall live?

The couple reply: We have.

[N, This ring is a symbol of never-ending love
Of all that I am and all that I have.
Receive and treasure it
As a token and pledge of the love I have for you
Wear it always
And find in it a protection whenever we have to be apart.

[N, This ring is a symbol of never-ending love
Of all that I am and all that I have.
Receive and treasure it
As a token and pledge of the love I have for you
Wear it always
And find in it a protection whenever we have to be apart.

The priest says to the congregation:

Will you, the family and friends of [N and [N
support and uphold them in their marriage
Now and in the years to come?
All: We will.

The priest takes the two ringed hands and wraps them in his stole

Heavenly Father, by your blessing
let these rings be to [N and [N
symbols of unending love and faithfulness
and of the promises they have made to each other:
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
All: Amen.

Blessing

God the Giver of Life,
God the Bearer of Pain
God the Maker of love
bless, preserve and keep you

The divine light illuminate you,
and shine out even from the cells of your being
guiding you in truth and peace
and making you strong in faith and wisdom
that you may grow together in this life
and that the love which endures
carved and polished like a diamond,
the love that can never be overcome,
may it bear you even beyond death itself
and transfigure you to glory

God bless you both
as we bless you from our hearts
now and always
Amen

A hymn may be sung here

Prayers

Faithful God,
holy and eternal,
source of life and spring of love,
we thank and praise you for bringing [N and [N to this day,
and we pray for them.
Lord of life and love:
hear our prayer.

May their marriage be life-giving and life-long,
enriched by your presence and strengthened by your grace;
may they bring comfort and confidence to each other
in faithfulness and trust.
Lord of life and love:
hear our prayer.

May the hospitality of their home
bring refreshment and joy to all around them;
may their love overflow to neighbours in need
and embrace those in distress.
Lord of life and love:
hear our prayer.

May they discern in your word
order and purpose for their lives;
and may the power of your Holy Spirit
lead them in truth and defend them in adversity.
Lord of life and love:
hear our prayer.

May they nurture each other
and come at last to the end of their lives
with hearts content and in joyful anticipation of heaven.
Lord of life and love:
hear our prayer.

As our Saviour taught us, so we pray

Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come;
thy will be done;
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation;
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
the power and the glory,
for ever and ever.
Amen.

Conclusion

God the Holy Trinity make you strong in faith and love,
Defend you on every side, and guide you in every truth and peace;
and the blessing of God almighty,
the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit,
be with you and remain with you always.
Amen.