I strongly charge you both as husband and wife, to preserve sacredly the privacies of your own home, your marriage state, and your heart. Remember our Lord's urgent counsel: "What God hath joined together let not man put asunder". Therefore, let no one ever presume to come between you, or to share the joys or the sorrows that belong to you two alone.
It is your duty, Groom, to be to Bride a considerate, tender, faithful, loving husband: to support, guide and cherish her in prosperity and trouble; to thoughtfully and carefully enlarge the place she holds in your life; to constantly show to her the tokens of your affection, to shelter her from danger, and to cherish for her a manly and unalterable affection, it being the command of God's Word, that husbands love their wives, even as Christ loved the Church and gave His own life for her. It is your duty, Bride, to be to Groom a considerate, tender, faithful, loving wife; to counsel, comfort and cherish him in prosperity and trouble; to give to him the unfailing evidences of your affection; to study, as time passes to make the place he holds in your heart, broader and deeper; to reverence and obey him, and to put on the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is, in God's sight, an ornament of great price. His Word commands that wives be subject unto their own husbands even as the church is subject unto Christ, and forsaking all others to cling to him with a love which fails not as long as you both shall live. Let me charge you both to remember, that your future happiness is to be found in mutual consideration, patience, kindness, confidence, and affection. It is the duty of each to find the greatest joy in the company of the other; to remember that in interest as in affection you are to be henceforth one and undivided.
Groom and Bride, I charge you both as you stand in the presence of God, to remember that love, trust, and loyalty are the foundation of a happy and enduring marriage. No vows are more sacred than those you are about to make. If these vows are kept unbroken, and as you endeavor to do the will of your Heavenly Father, your lives together will be full of joy and love.
Groom and Bride, May your love never fade, may you never take each other for granted, and when you are old, may you be found, hand in hand, still thanking God for each other. Never forget to treat each other with tenderness, kindness, and respect, and remind yourselves often of what drew you together in the first place.
Bride and Groom, I call to your attention the seriousness of the decision which you have made and the covenant you are about to declare before God. Be very clear that your marriage is dependent upon your willingness to be faithful to each other and faithful to your understanding of God’s will for you. Unfaithfulness in either is a betrayal of your covenant. Constant and continuous obedience to your vow will result in a marriage which will be blessed, a home which will be a place of peace, and a relationship in which you both grow in love.
As you take these preliminary vows, Bride and Groom, I would have you remember: To love is to come together from the pathways of our past and then move forward...Hand in hand, along the uncharted roads of our future, ready to risk, to dream, and to dare.... And always believe that all things are possible with faith and love in God, and in each other.
I charge both of you, before God, the Searcher of all hearts, and before the Lord Jesus Christ, who shed His precious blood to redeem you from all sin, that if either of you know any impediment why you may not lawfully be joined together in marriage, you do now confess it. For, be well assured that, if any persons are joined together otherwise than as God's Word allows, their union is not blessed by Him.
I charge you both as you stand in the presence of God, to remember that true love and loyalty alone will avail as the foundation of a happy home. If the solemn vows you are about to make be kept inviolate, and if you steadfastly endeavor to do the will of your heavenly Father, your lives will be full of joy, and the home you are about to establish will abide in peace. No other human ties are more tender, no other vows are more sacred than those you are about to assume. You are entering into the holy estate which is the deepest mystery of experience, and which is the very sacrament of divine love.
I require and charge you both, as ye will answer at the dreadful day of judgment when the secrets of all hearts shall be disclosed, that if either of you know any impediment, why ye may not be lawfully joined together in Matrimony, that ye confess it. For ye be well assured, that so many as be coupled together otherwise than God's Word doth allow are not joined together by God; neither is their Matrimony lawful. At which day of Marriage, if any man do allege and declare any impediment, why they may not be coupled together in Matrimony, by God's Law, or the Laws of the Realm; and will be bound, and sufficient sureties with him, to the parties; or else put in a Caution (to the full value of such charges as the persons to be married do thereby sustain) to prove his allegation; then the solemnization must be deferred, until such time as the truth be tried. If no impediment be alleged, then shall the
I charge you both, as you stand in the presence of God, to remember that love and loyalty alone will avail as the foundations of a happy and enduring home. If the solemn vows which you are about to make be kept permanently, and if steadfastly you seek to do the will of your Heavenly Father, your life will be full of peace and joy, and the home which you are establishing will abide through every change.
Groom and Bride, you are giving yourselves to each other in unselfish love. You will make a solemn vow to each other, a deliberate promise that come what may, for better or for worse, in sickness and in health you will be true and faithful to each other. This means thoughtfulness and patience, ready sympathy and forbearance, talking over and sharing your special interests. Thus you will learn to bear each other's burdens, making your life journey together one of radiant joy and hope. This service is far more than the exchange of solemn vows. It is one of blessing. If is only with God's help that you can steadfastly keep the promises you will here make to each other. The ever living Christ is here to bless and guide you. He will always be by your side to help you. The nearer you keep to God, the closer and dearer you will be to each other.
In the presence of God and of these friends, I charge you, Groom and Bride, to cherish a mutual esteem and love; to bear with each other's infirmities and weaknesses; to comfort each other in sickness, trouble, and sorrow, in honesty and industry to provide for each other; to pray for and encourage each other in the things which pertain to God; and to live together as heirs of the grace of God. But you cannot do this alone. Trust in God, pray to him daily, give your talents to the church, find your place in its fellowship, and accept its ministries to inspire, to instruct, and to keep alive the love of God in your hearts which has brought you together and which sustains you. God is joining you together. He will seal you covenant with His. Thus you will be the instruments of his will and purpose for yourselves and for others. Your love is not your own; it is God's love implanted within you to which you in freedom have joyously responded. Now he will create out of your love something which did not exist before - a holy marriage. Marriage is more than your love for each other; it is God's holy ordinance; it is his act before it is yours. By the will of God you belong to each other until death will part you.
Of all the men and women you have met, you have chosen each other as partners in life. To grow together in love, you will need to commit yourselves to each other freely and gladly. If you know of nothing, legal or moral, to forbid your vows, and wish now to commit yourselves to each other, indicate that by joining right hands. I call on you both, now in the presence of God and your friends and families, to give expression to the commitment you have made to each other.
Groom and Bride, we want to remind you of the seriousness of the commitment you are about to make to each other. To pledge your life to another person in a lifelong relationship is an awesome, and yet beautiful, act. We want to hear from you your readiness to pledge your vows to each other, and so we ask... (to be followed by the I Do’s)
I charge you both to make your love for each other a growing part of your lives, feeding it from the very best resources of your living. You must grow to the point where each gains major satisfaction in giving happiness to the other. Give of yourself to the other, deeply and freely and generously, ever recalling the words of the poet who has said: Love ever gives, forgives, outlives: And ever stands with open hands. And while it lives. It gives. For this is love's prerogative: To give--and give--and give. Yes, it is also necessary to recognize that marriage is a relationship of two persons who are not always at their best, and even in these moments of human failing, I counsel you always to act with charity and compassion toward one another, sharing the spirit expressed in the Book of Ephesians: "Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another." I would further charge you to understand, and constantly to strengthen, the spiritual basis of your love, recognizing that it is the most precious of all God's gifts to you, and that it must be nurtured until it attains to the state of perfect love which is intended by God for all people. Keep ever before you the words of the New Testament: "Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God. If we love one another, God dwells in us, and in us shall his love be perfected." Keep your hearts and minds open to the inner working of his spirit, that you love for each other may become as his love for us, full and complete in every way. And finally, I do charge and require you both to remember this day as the most sacred day in your lives--as the day in which you promised, before God and man, that in every way possible you would strive to bring each other life's greatest fulfillment.
Hand in Hand you enter marriage, hand in hand you step out in faith. The hand you freely give to each other, is both the strongest and the most tender part of you body. In the years ahead you will need both strength and tenderness. Be firm in your commitment. Don't let your grip become weak. And yet, be flexible as you go through change. Don't let your hold become intolerable. Strength and tenderness...Firm commitment and flexibility....of such is a marriage made, hand in hand: Remember this well! Also remember that you don't walk this path alone. Don't be afraid to reach out to others when together you face difficulty. Other hands are there: friends, family, and the church. To accept an outreached hand is not an admission of failure, but an act of faith. For behind us, underneath us, around us all are the outstretched arms of the One from Galilee. It is into his hand, the hands of God in Jesus Christ, that, above all else, we commit this union of husband and wife. Hand in hand you enter marriage. Let us step out in faith. Amen.