Marriage Rite, 2012

For a comparison of the 1979 BCP and 2012 rites, click [here].

The Word of God

 

Gathering

The couple joins the assembly. A hymn of praise, Psalm, or anthem may be sung, or instrumental music may be played.

The Celebrant says the following, the people standing 

Celebrant
Blessed be the one, holy, and living God.
People
Glory to God for ever and ever.

From Easter Day through the Day of Pentecost
Celebrant 
Alleluia. Christ is risen.
People 
The Lord is risen indeed. Alleluia.

Celebrant
Beloved, let us love one another,
People
For love is of God.

Celebrant
Whoever does not love does not know God,
People 
For God is love.

Celebrant 
Since God so loves us,
People 
Let us love one another.

The Celebrant may address the assembly in these words

Dear friends in Christ,
we have gathered together today
to witness N. N. and N. N. publicly committing themselves to one another [in marriage] and, in the name of the Church, to bless their union:
a relationship of mutual fidelity and steadfast love,
forsaking all others,
holding one another in tenderness and respect,
in strength and bravery,
as long as they live.

Therefore, in the name of Christ, let us pray
that they may be strengthened for the promises they make this day,
and that we will have the generosity
to support them in what they undertake
and the wisdom to see God at work in their life together.

The Collect of the Day

Celebrant
The Lord be with you.
People
And also with you.
Celebrant
Let us pray.

The Celebrant says one of the following Collects

Gracious and everliving God:
assist by your grace N. and N.,
whose lifelong commitment of love and fidelity we witness this day.
Grant them your blessing, that with firm resolve
they may honor and keep the covenant they make;
through Jesus Christ our Savior,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

or this

Almighty and everliving God:
look tenderly upon N. and N.,
who stand before you in the company of your Church.
Lift them up in joy in their life together.
Grant them so to love selflessly and live humbly,
that they may be to one another and to the world
a witness and a sign of your never-failing care;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, to the ages of ages. Amen.

or this

O God, faithful and true,
whose steadfast love endures for ever:
we give you thanks for sustaining N. and N. in the life they share
and for bringing them to this day.
Nurture them and fill them with joy in their life together,
continuing the good work you have begun in them;
and grant us, with them, a dwelling place eternal in the heavens
where all your people will share the joy of perfect love,
and where you, with the Son and the Holy Spirit, live and reign,
one God, now and for ever. Amen.

or this

For those who bring children

Holy Trinity, one God,
three Persons perfect in unity and equal in majesty:
Draw together with bonds of love and affection
N. and N., who with their families
seek to live in harmony and forbearance all their days,
that their joining together will be to us
a reflection of that perfect communion
which is your very essence and life,
O Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,
who live and reign in glory everlasting. Amen.

The Lessons

The people sit. Then one or more passages of Scripture is read. If the Holy Communion is to be celebrated, a passage from the Gospels always concludes the Readings. When the blessing is celebrated in the context of the Sunday Eucharist, the Readings of the Sunday are used, except with the permission of the Bishop.

When a biblical passage other than one from the Gospels is to be read, the Reader announces it with these words

Reader
A Reading from __________.
After the Reading, the Reader says
The Word of the Lord.

Between the Readings, a Psalm, hymn, or anthem may be sung or said.

All standing, the Deacon or Priest reads the Gospel, first saying
The Holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to _________.
People
Glory to you, Lord Christ.

After the Gospel, the Reader says
The Gospel of the Lord.
People
Praise to you, Lord Christ.

The Sermon

 

The Witnessing of the Vows and the Blessing of the Covenant

The couple comes before the assembly. If there is to be a presentation, the presenters stand with the couple, and the Celebrant says to them
Who presents N. and N., who seek the blessing of God and the Church on their love and life together?
Presenters
We do.

Celebrant
Do you promise to love, respect, and pray for N. and N., and to do all in your power to stand with them in the life they will share?
Presenters
We do.

The Celebrant then addresses the couple, saying
N. and N., you have come before God and the Church to make public your commitment to one another and to ask God’s blessing.

The Celebrant addresses one member of the couple
N., do you freely and unreservedly offer yourself to N.?
Answer
I do.

Celebrant
Will you live together in faithfulness and holiness of life as long as you both shall live?
Answer
I will.

The Celebrant addresses the other member of the couple
N., do you freely and unreservedly offer yourself to N.?
Answer
I do.

Celebrant
Will you live together in faithfulness and holiness of life as long as you both shall live?
Answer
I will.

The assembly stands, the couple faces the people, and the Celebrant addresses them, saying
Will all of you here gathered do all in your power to uphold and honor this couple and respect the covenant they make?
People 
We will.

Celebrant
Will you pray for them in times of trouble and celebrate with them in times of joy?
People
We will.

The Prayers

Celebrant
Then let us pray for N. and N. in their life together and for the concerns of this community.

A Deacon or another leader bids prayers for the couple.

Prayers for the Church and for the world, for the concerns of the local community, for those who suffer or face trouble, and for the departed are also appropriate. If the rite takes place in the principal Sunday worship of the congregation, the rubric concerning the Prayers of the People on page 359 of the Book of Common Prayer is followed.

Adaptations or insertions may be made to the form that follows.

Intended text indicates a bidding that may be omitted.

Leader
For N. and N., seeking your blessing and the blessing of your holy people;
Lord, in your goodness
People
Hear our prayer.

Leader
For a spirit of loving-kindness to shelter them all their days;
Lord, in your goodness
People
Hear our prayer.

Leader
For friends to support them and communities to enfold them;
Lord, in your goodness
People
Hear our prayer.

Leader
For peace in their home and love in their family;
Lord, in your goodness
People
Hear our prayer.

Leader
For the grace, when they hurt each other,
to recognize and acknowledge their fault,
and to seek each other’s forgiveness and yours;
Lord, in your goodness
People
Hear our prayer.

Leader
For the outpouring of your love through their work and witness;
Lord, in your goodness
People
Hear our prayer.

Leader
For the wisdom to care for the children you may entrust (have entrusted) to them;
Lord, in your goodness
People
Hear our prayer.

Leader
For the growth of their children from strength to strength;
Lord, in your goodness
People
Hear our prayer.

Leader
For the strength to keep our vows and commitments;
Lord, in your goodness
People
Hear our prayer.

The leader may add one or more of the following biddings

Leader
For all who have been reborn and made new in the waters of Baptism;
Lord, in your goodness
People
Hear our prayer.

Leader
For those who lead and serve in communities of faith;
Lord, in your goodness
People
Hear our prayer.

Leader
For those who seek justice, peace, and concord among nations;
Lord, in your goodness
People
Hear our prayer.

Leader
For those who are sick and suffering, homeless and poor;
Lord, in your goodness
People
Hear our prayer.

Leader
For victims of violence and those who inflict it;
Lord, in your goodness
People
Hear our prayer.

Leader
For communion with all who have died in the hope of rising again
[especially _____];
Lord, in your goodness
People
Hear our prayer.

The Celebrant concludes the Prayers with the following or another appropriate Collect

Giver of every gift, source of all goodness,
hear the prayers we bring before you
for N. and N., who seek your blessing this day.
Give them a share in the saving work of Jesus,
who gave himself for us,
and bring about the fullness of life he promised,
who now lives and reigns for ever and ever. Amen.

If the Eucharist is to follow, the Lord’s Prayer is omitted here.

Leader
And now, as our Savior
Christ has taught us,
we are bold to say,

People and Leader
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,
and the power, and the glory,
for ever and ever. Amen.

Commitment

The people sit. The couple stands, facing the Celebrant.

Celebrant
N. and N., I invite you now, illumined by the Word of God

and strengthened by the prayer of this community,
to make your covenant before God and the Church.

Each member of the couple, in turn, takes the right hand of the other and says
In the name of God,
I, N., give myself to you, N., and take you to myself.
I will support and care for you by the grace of God:
enduring all things, bearing all things.
I will hold and cherish you in the love of Christ:
in times of plenty, in times of want.
I will honor and love you with the Spirit’s help:
forsaking all others,
as long as we both shall live.
This is my solemn vow.

or this

In the name of God,
I, N., give myself to you, N., and take you to myself.
I will support and care for you:
enduring all things, bearing all things.
I will hold and cherish you:
in times of plenty, in times of want.
I will honor and love you:
forsaking all others,
as long as we both shall live.
This is my solemn vow.

If rings are to be exchanged, they are brought before the Celebrant, who prays using the following words
Let us pray.
Bless, O God, these rings
as signs of the enduring covenant
N. and N. have made with each other,
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The two people place the rings on the fingers of one another, first the one, then the other, saying
N., receive this ring as a symbol of my abiding love.

If the two have previously given and worn rings as a symbol of their commitment, the rings may be blessed on the hands of the couple, the Celebrant saying
Let us pray.

By these rings N. and N. have shown to one another and the world
their love and faithfulness.
Bless these rings, Holy God,
that they may now be signs of the covenant
N. and N. have made this day,
through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Pronouncement

The Celebrant joins the right hands and says
Inasmuch as N. and N. have exchanged vows of love and fidelity
in the presence of God and the Church,
I now pronounce that they are bound to one another
in a holy covenant,
as long as they both shall live. Amen.

Blessing of the Couple

As the couple stands or kneels, the Celebrant invokes God’s blessing upon them, saying

Let us pray.

Most gracious God,
we praise you for the tender mercy and unfailing care
revealed to us in Jesus the Christ
and for the great joy and comfort bestowed upon us
in the gift of human love.
We give you thanks for N. and N.,
and the covenant of faithfulness they have made.
Pour out the abundance of your Holy Spirit upon them.
Keep them in your steadfast love;
protect them from all danger;
fill them with your wisdom and peace;
lead them in holy service to each other and the world.

The Celebrant continues with one of the following

God the Father,
God the Son,
God the Holy Spirit,
bless, preserve, and keep you,
and mercifully grant you rich and boundless grace,
that you may please God in body and soul.
God make you a sign of the loving-kindness and steadfast fidelity
manifest in the life, death, and resurrection of our Savior,
and bring you at last to the delight of the heavenly banquet,
where he lives and reigns for ever and ever. Amen.

or this

God, the holy and undivided Trinity,
bless, preserve, and keep you,
and mercifully grant you rich and boundless grace,
that you may please God in body and soul.
God make you a sign of the loving-kindness and steadfast fidelity
manifest in the life, death, and resurrection of our Savior,
and bring you at last to the delight of the heavenly banquet,
where he lives and reigns for ever and ever. Amen.

The Peace

The Celebrant bids the Peace.
The peace of the Lord be always with you.
People
And also with you.

The liturgy continues with the Holy Communion. When the Eucharist is not celebrated, the Celebrant blesses the people. The Deacon, or in the absence of a Deacon, the Priest, dismisses them.

At the Eucharist

The liturgy continues with the Offertory, at which the couple may present the offerings of bread and wine.

The following proper preface may be used.

Because in the giving of two people to each other in faithful love
you reveal the joy and abundant life
you share with your Son Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit.

The following postcommunion prayer may be used.

God our strength and joy,
we thank you for the communion of our life together,
for the example of holy love that you give us in N. and N.,
and for the Sacrament
of the Body and Blood of our Savior Jesus Christ.
Grant that it may renew our hope
and nourish us for the work you set before us,
to witness to the presence of Christ in the world,
through the power of your Spirit,
to the glory of your Name. Amen.

Adapted for use at St. Margaret’s from an extract of Liturgical Resources 1: I Will Bless You and You Will Be a Blessing. ©2012 by Church Publishing Corporation. Republishing rights requested.

Last updated: February 1, 2016 at 13:21 pm

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