A Guide To Performing A Wedding
by Pastor Wesley Darby
Pastor Darby used this guide which he had typed out as his "script" for weddings he performed.
THE WEDDING SERVICE OF _____________ and ____________
Prelude: Ushers seating guests - Groom's mother seated - Bride's mother the last to be seated - Lights dimmed - Candle lighters - Head ushers roll out carpet -
* Special Music--
Men follow pastor in. Bride's Maids lead for Bride.
PASTORAL PRAYER (God has created all things. It is good)
DEARLY BELOVED: We are gathered together here in the sight of God and in the presence of these witnesses, to join together this man and this woman in the holy estate of matrimony; which is an honorable estate instituted of God in the time of man's innocency, signifying unto us the mystical union that exists between Christ and His Church (Eph. 4:21-33). Which holy estate Christ adorned and beautified with His presence and the first miracle at the wedding in Cana of Galilee (John 2:1-12). And is commended of the Apostle Paul to be honorable among all men (Heb. 13:14). But is not by any to be entered into unadvisedly, but reverently, prayerfully, discreetly, and in the fear of God. And in this day in which we live we are called upon to enter this marriage with much more care and more prayer than ever before, for this is a sacred thing and God will not hold a person guiltless who enters into this thoughtlessly.
_____________ Wilt though have (Do you take) this woman to be thy wedded wife, to live together after God's ordinance in the holy estate of matrimony? Wilt thou love, honor, comfort and keep her, in sickness and in health; and, forsaking all others, keep thee only unto her so long as ye both shall live? (He answers I will - or I do)
_____________ Wilt though have (Do you take) this man to be thy wedded husband, to live together after God's ordinance in the holy estate of matrimony? Wilt thou love, honor, and obey him, in sickness and in health; and, forsaking all others, keep thee only unto him so long as ye both shall live? (She answers I will - or I do)
Who giveth this woman to be married to this man?
Parents, you have nurtured them, sacrificed for them -- Will you give them to each other? (Father says "I do", and steps back and takes his seat; couple steps forward and joins hands)
Do you , ____________, and __________ both understand that this ordinance is not man made, but God ordained, and is not to be entered into except for the entire duration of your natural life, and with this in mind do you solemnly promise that you will let none but God Himself ever dissolve this relationship that will hold you together as man and wife? (They answer - We do)
Face each other and repeat after me (Groom first, then Bride). I, _________ take thee __________ to be my wedded wife (husband) - and I do promise and covenant - before God and these witnesses - to be thy faithful and loving husband (wife) - To have and to hold - from this day forward - for better, for worse - for richer, for poorer - in sickness and in health - according to God's holy ordinance - and thereto I plight thee my troth (or and thereto I pledge thee my faith).
As a seal and a token of this covenant you will not give and receive the marriage ring. The circle, the emblem of eternity, and the gold for that which is most valuable. (Bouquet given to Bridesmaid - Best Man unties rings)
As the union now formed is to be put asunder only by death, it becomes you to consider the duties you solemnly assume. These duties, if faithfully discharged, will add happiness to this life by lightening its inevitable sorrows and doubling its blessings. If you neglect or violate these duties, you cannot escape the keenest misery or the darkest guilt. Indeed, the slightest doubt, suspicion or jealousy between you two will double life's sorrows and halve its blessings.
(To him) __________ It is the duty of (Best man gives ring to Groom) the husband to provide for the support of his wife, to shelter her from danger and to cherish for her a manly and pure affection, as God has commanded that husbands love their wives, even as Christ loved the church and gave Himself for it. __________ This ring which you give to ________ (Groom puts ring on Bride) whom you have now taken as your lawful wife, is a token of the affection with which you will cherish her, and the fidelity with which you will perform the sacred vows you have now made.
(To her) _________ It is the duty of the wife (Bridesmaid gives ring to Bride) to reverence and obey her husband 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 to Christ. _________ This ring which you give to ________ (Bride puts ring on Groom) whom you have now taken as your lawful husband is a token of the affection with which you will cherish him, and the fidelity with which you will perform the sacred vows you have now made.
Let us Pray (Couple kneels where possible - everyone bows their head but if the slightest dizziness occurs, open your eyes to keep your balance.)
*Special Music -
We have before us three candles - two outer ones burning represent the families from whence they come - they shall light the center candle as the symbol of the formation of a new family, and extinguish the outer candles - symbolizing that change from old ties.
Forasmuch as __________ and __________ have consented together in holy wedlock, and have pledged the same before God and these witnesses, I do therefore, by the authority of God and of this State, pronounce to all that they are Husband and Wife. In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Therefore what God has joined together, let no man put asunder.
(The Bride gets kissed; a kiss of less than two seconds has to be repeated!) (Bouquet - back to Bride) Couple continues their turn, holding hands they retreat down the aisle, followed by the others.