Outline for a Wonderful Family Wedding

OUTLINE FOR WEDDING SERVICE
Matthew Mackay and Andrea Bodnar
Brantford Golf and Country Club
August 9, 2014

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GATHERING

Prelude/Music

Entrance (procession)

Greeting/Welcome

P: The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ and the Love of God
and the communion
of the Holy Spirit be with you all.
All: And also with you.

P: Friends, we are gathered here today in the presence of God
and of one another to share together in celebrating the marriage of Andrea and Mathew and to ask God’s blessing upon them.

The bond of marriage was given by God who created us to be in covenant. We acknowledge the reality of human failure; yet we affirm the joy and freedom of lifelong union. In the assurance of God’s promise to be with us, let us open our hearts in faithfulness and in hope.

The Declarations (Statement of Intent)

P: Matthew and Andrea are here to today to declare their love for one another and to receive on their marriage the blessings of God as expressed through and within the Christian faith.

P: Andrea and Matthew, you have made it known that you wish
to have your marriage blessed and honoured according to the rites and customs of the Christian community. Before God and before these witnesses, do you freely confirm that you have come here to give yourselves to each other in marriage and will you honour and love each other for the rest of your life?

Andrea: I do
Matthew: I do

P: Do you, the families of Andrea and Matthew give them your love and blessings and promise to uphold and care for them in their marriage?

Family: We do.

P: And will all of you here today, the friends and community of Matthew and Andrea, give them your blessings and promise to support and honour them in their marriage?
All: We do.

Prayer

P: Eternal God, our creator and redeemer, as you gladdened the wedding in Cana of Galilee by the presence of your Son, so by his presence now bring your joy to this wedding. Look in favour upon Andrea and Matthew, and grant that they, rejoicing in all your gifts, may at length celebrate with Christ the marriage feast which has no end.

All: Amen.

SERVICE OF THE WORD

TWO READINGS

Reader One: Union by Robert Fulghum read by Emily Beaton

You have known each other from the first glance of acquaintance to this point of commitment. At some point, you decided to marry. From that moment of yes, to this moment of yes, indeed, you have been making commitments in an informal way. All of those conversations that were held in a car, or over a meal, or during long walks – all those conversations that began with, “When we’re married”, and continued with “I will” and “you will” and “we will” – all those late night talks that included “someday” and “somehow” and “maybe” – and all those promises that are unspoken matters of the heart. All these common things, and more, are the real process of a wedding.

The symbolic vows that you are about to make are a way of saying to one another, “You know all those things that we’ve promised, and hoped, and dreamed – well, I meant it all, every word.”

Look at one another and remember this moment in time. Before this moment you have been many things to one another – acquaintance, friend, companion, lover, dancing partner, even teacher, for you have learned much from one another these past few years. Shortly you shall say a few words that will take you across a threshold of life, and things between you will never quite be the same.

For after today you shall say to the world –
This is my husband. This is my wife.

Reader Two: The Rose that Grew from Concrete by Tupac Shakur read by Kyle Dix.

Did you hear about the rose
that grew from a crack in the concrete?
Proving nature’s law is wrong it
learned to walk without having feet.
Funny it seems, but by keeping it’s dreams, it learned to breathe fresh air.
Long live the rose that grew from concrete when no one else ever cared.

Sermon/Homily

Andrea and Matt, you are here in the midst of friends and family to celebrate your marriage. You have honoured us by inviting us to be with you and for that we thank you.  And I am especially pleased to be celebrating a wedding for and with members of my extended family.

In my faith tradition marriage is the only sacrament that is performed not by clergy but by the two people who are coming together in marriage. My primary role is that of witness. We are here to share in their celebration and joy but they are the key participants in a special ministry. And it is a very magical sacrament because we can’t actually point to the moment when the marriage occurs. There is a point in the ceremony where the legal requirements appear but the marriage itself is made real by the people involved. It could have already happened or may happen years from now when they look at each other and realize that something has happened in their life, an ontological change, that changes them from separate individuals to individuals who are somehow and forever a part of each other.

Matt and Andrea are established people in their own right. They are both doing the impossible by going into classrooms encouraging children to learn and by trying to instill a permanent sense of wonder and hope. And they are not strangers to each other. If you heard it, ask them how they met—it isn’t a story you’d find in a newspaper but it is a delightful one that wouldn’t be out of place in a folksong. They have their own friends, their own interests, their own experiences that have shaped them and will continue to shape them. Being married isn’t an ending of their uniqueness; it is an opportunity for something new to grow between them and within each of them.

Because this is a family wedding, I’ll take the liberty of giving some advice from an elder to the next generation. The best of times could always be better; the worst of times could always be worse. Don’t think about that. It is the meaning you find in each moment that is key. And it times of difficulty or tension or boredom, consider the worlds of Galway Kinnell:

“Wait” by Galway Kinnell

Wait, for now.
Distrust everything, if you have to.
But trust the hours. Haven’t they
carried you everywhere, up to now?
Personal events will become interesting again.
Hair will become interesting.
Pain will become interesting.
Buds that open out of season will become lovely again.
Second-hand gloves will become lovely again,
their memories are what give them
the need for other hands.

Matt and Andrea, it will take decades for you to truly appreciate one another. It may not always be fun; there will be stresses and strains; but your life’s journey together will always be fascinating if you remain open to each other. Remember to dream and take risks and cherish quiet time together.

There are a few pieces of advice I want to give to the bride and groom before I conclude:

The first is to remember that you are physical beings. Our creator expects you to enjoy all of life’s gifts.

The second is to remember to take time for both yourself and for each other. You are both individuals and a shared essence.

The third, and final, is to remember that you should engage in true mutual obedience—this does not mean following orders but listening to the way each other lives in the world, the personal story each of you is sharing.

May you always find wonder in your lives.

In the words of my grandmother’s people: Apegish wii-zhawenimik Manidoo (I hope you are blessed by the Creator)

The Marriage

Prayer

P: Almighty God, you send your Holy Spirit to fill the life of all your people. Open the hearts of these your children to the riches of your grace, that They may bring forth the fruit of the Spirit in love, joy and peace through Jesus Christ our Lord.
All: Amen.

RENEWAL OF VOWS:

Matthew and Andrea are delighted to be surrounded by friends and family today as the celebrate their marriage. There two here today who are celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary. Andrea and Matt chose today for this celebration not only begin their life as a married couple, but to honour and celebrate the promise of marriage made by Matt’s grandparents, Margie and Danny Murray, 50 years ago and who have asked to renew their vows this day. Margie and Danny (Murray), will you come forward and be prepared to repeat after me:

I, ________, take you ______, for my wife/husband, to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death do us part.

P: Bless, O God, the giving of these rings, that those who wear them may live in faithfulness and love all their days, through Jesus Christ our Lord.
All: Amen.

Exchange:

I give you this ring as a sign of our covenant. With all that I am, and all that I have, I honour you.

P: Amen.

Before God and this congregation Margie and Danny Murray have renewed their marriage vows to each other. May there be truth and understanding between you as you are a joy and a blessing to each other. May you enjoy length of days, fulfilment of hopes, and peace and contentment of mind. Amen.

Personal Vows of Matthew and Andrea

The Giving of Rings

P: Bless, O God, the giving of these rings, that those who wear them may live in faithfulness and love all their days, through Jesus Christ our Lord.
All: Amen.

Exchange:

I give you this ring as a sign of our covenant. With all that I am, and all that I have, I honour you.

PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE

P: Let us pray.

Almighty God, in whom we live and move and have our being: look graciously upon the world which you have made, and for which your Son gave his life; and especially on all whom you make to be one flesh in holy marriage. May their lives together be a sacrament of your love in this broken world, a sign of unity overcoming estrangement, forgiveness healing guilt, and joy vanquishing despair. God, in your mercy.
All: Hear our prayer.
P: May Matthew and Andrea so live together that the strength of their love may enrich our common life and become a sign of your faithfulness. God, in your mercy,
All: Hear our prayer.
P: May their home be a place of truth, security and love; and their lives an example of concerns for others and all of your creation. God, in your mercy,
All: Hear our prayer.
P: May those who have witnessed their vows find their lives strengthened and their loyalties and trust confirmed. God, in your mercy,
All: Hear our prayer.
P: Loving God, there is no joy that does not come from you, no pain that does not echo in your heart. See our needs and give us strength to work with you and each other in building a world where love can flourish. We ask through in Christ’s name.
All: Amen.

PRAYER AND BLESSING

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P: Friends, let us give thanks to our God.
All: Thanks be to God.
P: Most gracious God,
we give you thanks
for your tender love
in sending Jesus Christ
to come among us,
to be born of human mother,
and to make the way of the cross to be the way of life.
We thank you, also, for consecrating
the union in love
of Matthew and Andrea.
By the power of your Holy Spirit,
pour out the abundance
of your blessing
upon this man and this woman.
Defend them from every enemy.
Lead them into all peace.
Let their love for each other be a seal upon their hearts,
a mantle about their shoulders
and a crown upon their foreheads.
Bless them in their work
and in their companionship;
in their sleeping and in their waking;
in their joys and in their sorrows;
in their life and in their death.
Finally, in your mercy,
bring them to that table
where your saints feast for ever
in your heavenly home;
through Jesus Christ our Lord
we pray,
who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns,
one God, for ever and ever.
All: Amen.
P: In the words that Jesus taught us, let us pray:

All: Our Father in heaven
hallowed be your Name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done
on earth as in heaven.

Give us today our daily bread.

Forgive us our sins
as we forgive those
who sin against us.

Save us from the time of trial,
and deliver us from evil.

For the kingdom, the power,
and the glory are yours,
now and for ever.

Amen.

THE KISS

The Proclamation

P: Matthew and Andrea have made a covenant of marriage before God and in the presence of all of us. They have confirmed their marriage by the joining of hands, by the exchange of rings and by the giving of a kiss. Therefore, I declare them to be husband and wife.

The Blessing of the Marriage

P: May God bless, preserve and sustain you; may God look upon you with favour; May God fill you with all blessings and give you grace that you may in the life live together in joy, and in the world to come have life everlasting.
All: Amen.

Signing of Documents/Registrar

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P: Greet Andrea Mackay and Matthew Mackay, who are joined in marriage.

SENDING FORTH

Blessing

P: May the blessing of the God of Abraham and Sarah; of the Son, born of our sister Mary; and of the Holy Spirit who broods over the world as a mother over her children, be upon you and remain with you always.
All: Amen.

Sending Forth

P: Go in peace to love and serve the Lord and one another.
All: Thanks be to God.

RECESSIONAL

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