A WEDDING CEREMONY!
Minister: Dearly beloved, we are gathered together in the sight of God and in the presence of these witnesses to join together this man, and this woman in holy matrimony. Who gives this woman to be married to this man?
Father: Her mother and I.
Minister: (Groom), will you have this woman to be your wedded wife, to live together after God’s ordinance in the holy estate of matrimony? Â Will you love her, comfort her, honor and keep her, in sickness and in health, and, forsaking all others, keep yourself only unto her so long as you both shall live?
Groom: I will.
Minister: (Bride), will you have this man to be your wedded husband, to live together after God’s ordinance in the holy estate of matrimony? Will you obey him and help him, love, honor, and keep him, in sickness and in health, and, forsaking all others, keep yourself only unto him so long as you both shall live?
Bride: I will.
Proverbs 31:10-15 Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies. The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil. She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life. She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands. She is like the merchants’ ships; she bringeth her food from afar. She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens.
Minister: It was in the spectacularly beautiful and enchantingly romantic surroundings of the Garden of Eden, under the archway of virgin trees and sky, that God Himself presided over the first wedding.
Having declared that it was «not good for the man to be alone,» God took from Adam’s side a rib, and formed for him a perfect complement— a partner, a helper, a lover, a companion, a friend, a wife.
It has been said: «The woman was not taken from man’s head that she should rule over him, nor from his feet that she should be his slave, but from his side that she should be his companion, from under his arm that she should live in his protection, and from near his heart that she should be the special object of his affections.»
It was then that Adam declared, «this is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh.» And God responded, «therefore shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.»
First, He was concerned about the pleasure, enjoyment, and security of His creatures.
Further, He wanted to provide for the filling of the earth through reproduction and for the love and training of children in the warmth of families.
But perhaps most important of all, when God instituted marriage, He wanted to provide us with a picture which would clearly portray the loving relationship which He desires to have with His children.
In the New Testament Book of Ephesians, after the Apostle Paul discusses the roles of husbands and wives, he concludes with these words: «For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ
and the church.»
The relationship of a husband and wife pictures the relationship between Christ and the church.
A wedding is a beautiful picture of how a man and woman become part of Christ’s bride, the church.
When a man and woman come together to the marriage altar, the man has already provided for his brides needs. He has prepared a home and furnished it so that all is ready for them to live together.
Even so, the Son of God, Jesus Christ, the Bridegroom, provided for our needs when He died on the Cross as our substitute to pay the penalty for our sins. It is our sins which separate us from God both in life and in eternity. «For all have sinned and come short of the Glory of God.» Christ, by His substitutionary death, not only prepared for us an eternal home in heaven, but also has made possible a lifetime of personal and intimate fellowship and joy together now.
Even as Adam’s side was pierced in order to gain his bride, Eve, from his rib-wound, so Christ’s side was pierced in order to purchase His bride.
But, just as a man and woman are not married until they have taken a definite step of forsaking all others and committing themselves to each other in love and trust, so no one is part of Christ’s Bride, the Church, until at a definite time and place, as real as this marriage ceremony, he has taken a definite step of forsaking his old life by repentance, and committing himself to Christ in faith and trust.
A few moments ago, I asked (Bride), «Will you take this man to be your wedded husband?» and she replied, «I will,» even so God comes to each of us by His Spirit and asks, «Will you take this Man, God’s sinless Son, to be your Savior and Lord?» Your response may be as simple as an «I Will» spoken to God in believing prayer.
Just as (Bride) will carry away from this marriage altar a new name, that of her bridegroom, so the one who has personally taken Christ as Savior receives a new name, the name of the heavenly Bridegroom … He becomes a «Christian.»
(Bride) and (Groom) have both personally received Jesus Christ as their personal Savior. It is their earnest desire that each of their family and friends know for certain that by a definite act of faith, they have become a part of the Bride of Christ.
Minister: PRAYER …
Minister: «(Groom), Repeat after me»
IÂ (Groom) take you (Bride) to be my wedded wife. 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 do us part. According to God’s holy ordinance, and thereto, I pledge you my faithfulness.
Minister: «(Bride), Repeat after me»
I (Bride) take you (Groom) to be my wedded husband, to have and to hold from this day forward. For better, for worse; for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love, to cherish and to obey, till death do us part. According to God’s holy ordinance, and thereto I give you my faithfulness.
Minister: The wedding ring is a symbol of love. As the ring is an unending circle, so your love is to be without end, eternal and unwavering. Gold speaks of purity. Even so, your love is to be pure and faithful. As you place this symbol of your pure unending love on your beloved’s finger, repeat after me:
As a token, and in pledge of the vows between us made; with this ring, I thee wed, and with all my worldly goods I thee endow; in the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, Amen.
Forasmuch as (Groom) and (Bride) have consented together in holy wedlock, and have witnessed the same before God and this company, and hereto have given and pledged their faithfulness each to the other, and have declared the same by the giving and receiving of a ring, I PRONOUNCE THAT THEY ARE MAN AND WIFE, in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.» Whom therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.
Minister: has Prayer …
(Groom), You may kiss your wife.
And now it is my happy privilege to introduce to you:
MR. and MRS. Groom’s First & Last Name
Genesis 1:26-28 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.
Genesis 2:20-25 And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him. And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh. And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.
Deuteronomy 24:1-5 When a man hath taken a wife, and married her, and it come to pass that she find no favor in his eyes, because he hath found some uncleanness in her: then let him write her a bill of divorcement, and give it in her hand, and send her out of his house. And when she is departed out of his house, she may go and be another man’s wife. And if the latter husband hate her, and write her a bill of divorcement, and giveth it in her hand, and sendeth her out of his house; or if the latter husband die, which took her to be his wife; Her former husband, which sent her away, may not take her again to be his wife, after that she is defiled; for that is abomination before the LORD: and thou shalt not cause the land to sin, which the LORD thy God giveth thee for an inheritance. When a man hath taken a new wife, he shall not go out to war, neither shall he be charged with any business: but he shall be free at home one year, and shall cheer up his wife which he hath taken.
Matthew 5:31-32 It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement: But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery.
Matthew 19:1-12 And it came to pass, that when Jesus had finished these sayings, he departed from Galilee, and came into the coasts of Judaea beyond Jordan; And great multitudes followed him; and he healed them there. The Pharisees also came unto him, tempting him, and saying unto him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause? And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder. They say unto him, Why did Moses then command to give a writing of divorcement, and to put her away? He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so. And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery. His disciples say unto him, If the case of the man be so with his wife, it is not good to marry. But he said unto them, All men cannot receive this saying, save they to whom it is given. For there are some eunuchs, which were so born from their mother’s womb: and there are some eunuchs, which were made eunuchs of men: and there be eunuchs, which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven’s sake. He that is able to receive it, let him receive it.
Mark 10:1-9 And he arose from thence, and cometh into the coasts of Judaea by the farther side of Jordan: and the people resort unto him again; and, as he was wont, he taught them again. And the Pharisees came to him, and asked him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife? tempting him. And he answered and said unto them, What did Moses command you? And they said, Moses suffered to write a bill of divorcement, and to put her away. And Jesus answered and said unto them, For the hardness of your heart he wrote you this precept. But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife; And they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.
I Corinthians 6:15-20 Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ? shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of an harlot? God forbid. What? know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh. But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit. Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body. What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.
Ephesians 5:22-33 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church. Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.