This is the Order of Worship for Marriage as defined by the Uniting Church in Australia and regularly used within Wollongong Wesley Church, the Church on the Mall. Those sections marked with the symbol ‡ must be used on all occasions.
Unless otherwise indicated, words in normal red type are spoken by the minister.
Friends, we gather today to in the presence of God to witness the marriage of NNN and NNN, to surround them with prayer and to share in their joy.
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all.
And also with you.
The minister may use some words of scripture to call the people to worship
This or other prayers may be offered:
Gracious God, your generous love surrounds us, and everything we enjoy comes from you. In your great love you have given us the gift of marriage. Bless NNN and NNN as they pledge their lives to each other; that their love may continue to grow and be the true reflection of your love for us all; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
The following is a general statement that outlines the Church’s understanding of marriage:
Marriage is a gift of God and a means of grace. In the life-long union of marriage we can know the joy of God, in whose image we are made, male and female.
Marriage is founded in God’s loving nature, and in the covenant of love made with us in Christ. Husband and wife, in giving themselves to each other in love, reflect the love of Christ for his Church.
In Christian marriage, wife and husband are called to live together faithfully, and to love each other with respect, tenderness and delight. The companionship and comfort of marriage enables the full expression of physical love between husband and wife.
They share the life of a home and may be entrusted with the gift and care of children. They help to shape a society in which human dignity and happiness may flourish and abound.
Marriage is a way of life that all people should honour; it is not to be entered into lightly or selfishly, but responsibly and in the love of God.
NNN and NNN are now to begin this way of life that God has created and Christ has blessed. Therefore, on this their wedding day, we pray that they may fulfil God’s purpose for the whole of their lives.
One or more passages of scripture may be read. You should discuss with the minister which passage of scripture is most appropriate for your marriage.
The minister delivers a sermon appropriate to the occasion.
The minister says to the Bride and Bridegroom:
NNN and NNN, do you believe that God has blessed and guided you, and today calls you into marriage?
The Bride and Bridegroom each replies:
The minister shall ask the Bridegroom:
NNN, will you give yourself to NNN to be her husband, to live together in the covenant of marriage? Will you love her, comfort her, honour and protect her, and, forsaking all others, be faithful to her, as long as you both shall live?
The Bridegroom replies:
The minister shall ask the Bride:
NNN, will you give yourself to NNN to be his wife, to live together in the covenant of marriage? Will you love him, comfort him, honour and protect him, and, forsaking all others, be faithful to him, as long as you both shall live?
The Bride replies:
The minister may ask a representative or representatives of the two families to give their blessing to the couple.
The minister says to the people:
Will you, the family and friends of NNN and NNN, who have come to share this wedding day, give them your blessing and support?
The people reply:
These or similar vows are taken by the Bride and Bridegroom. The minister will discuss the vows with you as you prepare for your wedding.
The Bridegroom takes the Bride’s hand and says to her:
I, NNN, take you, NNN, to be my wife; to have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, as long as we both shall live. This is my solemn vow.
They loose hands.
The Bride takes the Bridegroom by the hand and says to him:
I, NNN, take you, NNN, to be my husband; to have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, as long as we both shall live.
This is my solemn vow.
The Bride and the Bridegroom may exchange rings (or a ring). The minister receives the ring(s) and offers a prayer.
NNN, I give you this ring as a sign of our marriage and of the vows which we have made today.
When only one ring is exchanged, the receiver of the ring says to the giver:
NNN, I receive this ring as a sign of our marriage and of the vows which we have made today.
The couple join hands. The minister may place his/her hand over the couple’s hands. The minister asks the people to stand and then says:
Before God and in the presence of us all, NNN and NNN have made their solemn vows. They have confirmed their marriage by the joining of hands and by the giving and receiving of rings (a ring). In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, I therefore proclaim that they are now husband and wife.
Those whom God has joined together no one must separate.
The minister pronounces this or a similar blessing:
God the Father make you holy in his love; God the Son enrich you with his grace; God the Holy Spirit strengthen you with joy. The Lord bless you and keep you in eternal life.
The newly-married couple may exchange a kiss.
The newly-married couple, the two official witnesses and the minister sign the necessary documents, either at this point or at the end of the ceremony.
The newly-married couple may light a candle together as they prepare to join with the people in prayer for their life together. They light their candle from the Easter Candle. The minister may introduce the lighting of the candle with words such as these:
We light this candle as your marriage is blessed, from the great candle which the Church lights at Easter as a symbol of the risen Christ. We also light candles from it at baptisms as new Christians go out into the world, bearing Christ.
Your love is a sign of the victory of God’s love over the divisions and disputes of humankind. May this candle remind you of this day, and the light of Christ be with you always.
The couple may sit or kneel as prayers are offered for them by the minister or a friend or family member, using these or similar words:
All grace comes from you, O God, the source of life and love. Bless your servants NNN and NNN, that they may faithfully live together to the end of their lives.
May they be patient and gentle, ready to trust each other, and to face together the challenge of the future. Be with them in all their happiness, and strengthen them in every time of trouble. Give NNN and NNN grace, when they hurt each other, to acknowledge their fault, to ask each other’s forgiveness, and to know your mercy and grace.
May your peace dwell in their home, and be a sign of hope for peace in the world. May their home be a place of peace and love, warm and welcoming to others. Through loving one another in Christ, may they be strengthened to love Christ in their neighbour. May they be creative in their daily work, and find fulfilment in the life of their community.
[May NNN and NNN enjoy the gift and heritage of children, and may they be wise and loving parents.] or
[We thank you for the gift of their child(ren), NNN and NNN … ]
Grant NNN and NNN grace to share their love and faith, that they may grow together as a loving family. Bless the parents and families of NNN and NNN, that they may be united in love and friendship.
May all who have witnessed these vows today find their lives strengthened and their relationships and commitments renewed. We ask these prayers in the name of Christ our Lord.
The minister gives the couple this or a similar blessing:
The blessing of God almighty, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, be upon you and remain with you always.