Service for Christian Marriage

Service for Christian Marriage

©The Book of Common Worship

This is the customary liturgy for marriage at McIntosh Presbyterian Church.

The final form of the service is worked out in consultation with the pastor.



This liturgy commences immediately after the wedding party has processed and the bride has been presented for marriage (if this is desired as part of the service)

Sentences from Scripture

1) 1 John 4:16

God is love, and those who abide in love, abide in God, and God abides in them.

2) Psalm 118:24

This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.

3) Psalm 106:1

O give thanks, for the Lord is good. God’s love endures forever.


Statement on the Gift of Marriage

“We gather in the presence of God

to give thanks for the gift of marriage,

to witness the joining together of (Bride), and (Groom),

to surround them with our prayers,

and to ask God’s blessing upon them,

so they may be strengthened for their life together

and nurtured in their love for God.”


“God created us male and female,

and gave us marriage

so that husband and wife may help and comfort each other,

living faithfully together in plenty and in want

in joy and in sorrow,

in sickness and in health,

throughout all their days.”

The Savior Himself said of Marriage:

“Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So then, they are no longer two but one flesh.”


“God gave us marriage

for the full expression of the love between a man and a woman.

In marriage a woman and a man belong to each other,

and with affection and tenderness

freely give themselves to each other.

God gave us marriage

for the well-being of human society,

for the ordering of family life,

and for the birth and nurture of children.”


“God gave us marriage as a holy mystery

in which a man and a woman are joined together,

and become one,

just as Christ is one with the church.”


“In marriage, husband and wife are called to a new way of life,

created, ordered, and blessed by God.

This way of life must not be entered into carelessly,

or from selfish motives,

but responsibly, and prayerfully.”


“We rejoice that marriage is given by God,

blessed by our Lord Jesus Christ,

and sustained by the Holy Spirit.

Therefore, let marriage be held in honor by all.”



“Gracious God,

You are always faithful in Your love for us.

Look mercifully upon (Bride) and (Groom),

who have come seeking your blessing.

Let your Holy Spirit rest upon them

so that with steadfast love

they may honor the promises they make this day,

through Jesus Christ our Savior.



Declarations of Intent

The minister addresses the bride and groom individually:

“(Name), understanding that God has created, ordered, and blessed the covenant of marriage, do you affirm your desire and intention to enter this covenant?”

Answer: “I do.”


Affirmations of the Families

The minister may address the families of the bride and groom:

“(Bride), (Groom) [Names of family members],

do you give your blessing to (Bride) and (Groom),

and promise to do everything in your power to uphold them in their marriage?”

The families of the bride and groom answer:

“We (I) do.”


Affirmation of the Congregation

The minister may address the congregation, saying:

“Will all of you witnessing these vows

do everything in your power

to uphold (Bride) and (Groom) in their marriage?”

Answer: “We will.”


A psalm, hymn, spiritual, or anthem may be sung.


Reading from Scripture

[Suggested scripture reading: 1 Corinthians 13]

1 Corinthians 13 (NIV)

If I speak in the tongues[a] of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,[b] but do not have love, I gain nothing.

4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.


A psalm, hymn, spiritual, or other music here.



The minister addresses the couple:

“(Bride) and (Groom)

since it is your intention to marry,

join your right hands,

and with your promises

bind yourselves to each other as husband and wife.”


The bride and groom face each other and join right hands. They in turn then make their vows to each other:

The man says: (or repeats after the minister)

“I, (Name), take you, (Name), to be my wife;

and I promise,

before God and these witnesses,

to be your loving and faithful husband;

in plenty and in want;

in joy and in sorrow;

in sickness and in health;

as long as we both shall live.”

The woman says: (or repeats after the minister)

“I, (Name), take you, (Name), to be my husband;

and I promise,

before God and these witnesses,

to be your loving and faithful wife;

in plenty and in want;

in joy and in sorrow;

in sickness and in health;

as long as we both shall live.”


Exchange of Rings (or Other Symbols)

When the rings are presented, the minister may say the following prayer.

“By your blessing, O God,

may these rings be to (Bride) and (Groom) symbols of unending love and faithfulness,

reminding them of the covenant they have made this day,

through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.”


As each ring is given, the one giving the ring says:(or repeats after the minister)

“This ring I give you,

as a sign of our constant faith

and abiding love,

in the name of the Father,

and of the Son,

and of the Holy Spirit.”



Bless, O Lord, these Your servants and give them grace to perform and keep the promises they have made this day. Bless them and their union with Your Holy Spirit that they may grow in grace, in love for one another, and in the knowledge of God.

We make our prayer in the name of Jesus, the Christ, Who taught us to pray together:

Lord’s Prayer

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 oud daily bread, and forgive is our debts as we forgive our debtors.

And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever.



Announcement of Marriage

“Before God and in the presence of this congregation,

(Bride) and (Groom) have made their solemn vows to each other.”

“They have confirmed their promises by the joining of hands

and by the giving and receiving of rings.

Therefore, I proclaim that they are now husband and wife.”

“Blessed be the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit now and forever.”


The minister joins the couple’s right hands.

“You may kiss your bride.”


The Blessing of Commencement

“Those whom God has joined together let no one separate.”

Charge to the Couple

1) “As God’s own, clothe yourselves with compassion,

kindness, and patience,

forgiving each other

as the Lord has forgiven you,

and crown all these things with love,

which binds everything together in perfect harmony.”


2) Colossians 3:17

“Whatever you do, in word or deed,

do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus,

giving thanks to God through him.”



1) “The Lord bless you and keep you.

The Lord be kind and gracious to you.

The Lord look upon you with favor

and give you peace.”


2) “The grace of Christ attend you,

the love of God surround you,

the Holy Spirit keep you,

that you may live in faith,

abound in hope,

and grow in love,

both now and forevermore.”


Presentation of the Married couple:

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you Mr. and Mrs. (Name)