This is a popularized Medieval ceremony... It is a short
version of the full, original text - for which some couples
then add modern passages or readings to it. It also is
shorter. The core sources are the Book of Common Prayer of
HRM Elizabeth I of England, extracts from the Sarum Rite and
the York Rite, and various other lesser sources.
At the day and time
appointed for solemnization of Matrimony, the persons to be married
shall come into the porch of the Church with their friends and
neighbors; and there standing together, the Man on the right hand, and
the woman on the left, with that person who shall give the Woman
betwixt them, the Priest shall say:
Dearly beloved, we are
gathered together here in the sight of God to join together this Man
and this Woman in holy Matrimony; which is an honourable estate,
instituted of God in Paradise, and into which holy estate these two
persons present come now to be joined.
Therefore if any man can shew any just cause, why they may not
lawfully be joined together, let him now speak, or else hereafter for
ever hold his peace.
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
Priest say unto the
Man: Wilt the have this Woman to be thy wedded wife, to live together
after God's ordinance in the holy estate of Matrimony? Wilt the love
her, comfort her, honour, and keep her, in sickness and in health; and
forsaking all other, keep thee only unto her, so long as ye both shall
The Man shall answer: I will.
Then shall the Priest say to the Woman: Wilt the have this man to be
thy wedded husband, to live together after God's ordinance in the holy
estate of Matrimony? Wilt the obey him, and serve him, love, honour,
and keep him in sickness and in health; and, forsaking all other, keep
thee only unto him, so long as ye both shall live?
The Woman shall answer: I will.
Thus ends the formal betrothal. The couple shall advance to the Altar,
led by the Minister, who shall then turn to the assembled company, and
Who giveth this Woman to be married to this Man?
The person who gives the Woman shall answer, and shall place the
Woman's right hand in the hand of the Minister, and then shall retire.
Then shall they give their troth to each other in this manner: The
Minister, receiving the Woman at her father's or friend's hands, shall
cause the Man with his right hand to take the Woman by her right hand,
and to say after him as followeth,
GROOM' VOW: "I,
___________, take thee __________ to my wedded wife, to have and to
hold from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer for
poorer, for fairer or fouler, in sickness and in health, to love and
to cherish, till death us depart, according to God's holy ordinance;
and thereunto I plight thee my troth.
Then shall they loose their hands; and the Woman, with her right hand
taking the Man by his right hand, shall likewise say after the
BRIDE'S VOW: I
___________ take thee___________ to my wedded husband, to have and to
hold from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer or
poorer, in sickness and in health, to be bonny and buxom at bed and at
board, to love and to cherish, till death us depart, according to
God's holy ordinance; and thereunto I plight thee my troth.
Then shall they again
loose their hands; and the Man shall give unto the Woman a Ring,
laying the same upon the Book with the accustomed duty to the Priest
and Clerk. And the Priest shall bless the Ring(s) in the following
Bless these Rings, O
merciful Lord, that those who wear them, that give and receive them,
may be ever faithful to one another, remain in your peace, and live
and grow old together in your love, under their own vine and fig tree,
and seeing their children's children. Amen.
And the Priest, taking
the Ring, shall deliver it to the Man, to put it on the fourth finger
of the Woman's left hand. And the Man holding the ring there, and
taught by the Priest, shall say,
GROOM: With this Ring I
thee wed, (here placing it upon her thumb) and with my body I thee
honor, (here placing it upon her index finger) and with all my worldly
goods I thee endow; (here placing it upon her ring finger) In the Name
of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
If it be a double-ring
ceremony, let the Woman do the same as the Man, giving him the ring,
and repeating the same words as he. They both shall kneel down; and
the Minister shall say,
Let us pray. O Eternal
God, Creator and Preserver of all mankind, Giver of all spiritual
grace, the Author of everlasting life; Send thy blessing upon these
thy servants, this man and this woman, whom we bless in thy Name; +
that, as Isaac and Rebecca lived faithfully together, so these persons
may surely perform and keep the vow and covenant betwixt them made,
whereof this Ring given and received is a token and pledge, and may
ever hereafter remain in perfect love and peace together, and live
according to thy laws; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
And here shall be said the LORD'S PRAYER.
Then shall the Priest
join their right hands together, and say,
Those whom God hath
joined together let no man put asunder. Then shall the Minister speak
unto the people. Forasmuch as N and N have consented together in holy
wedlock, and have witnessed the same before God and this company, and
thereto have given and pledged their troth each to the other, and have
declared the same by giving and receiving of a Ring, and by joining of
hands; I pronounce therefore that they be Man and Wife together, in
the Name of the Father, + and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen
The Minister shall add
God the Father, God the
Son, God the Holy Spirit, bless, preserve, and keep you; the Lord
mercifully with his favour look upon you; and so fill you with all
spiritual benediction and grace, that ye may so live together in this
life, that in the world to come ye may have life everlasting. Amen.
And here the Minister
shall turn the couple to the Company, and they may kiss each the
other, and then proceed from the Altar. And if it be the wish of the
couple to take Communion, they may do it privately, following these
Wedding Program Papers
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Silver Wedding Camera
place one of these cameras on each table and watch your guests
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Decorate favors, accent bridal party gifts, tie
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Interlocking Heart Candle Holder
Your heart burns with love . . . now your
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Ring-for-a-Kiss Favor Cards
When guests want to encourage you to kiss, these bell favor
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Celebrate with colorful bubbles! Trust us,
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Give them as gifts or serve them
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