Saturday, September 11, 2004

The Vows

I used very similar vows for both the heterosexual and same-sex couples. I based them on the 1928 Episcopal Book of Commom Prayer. It is pretty much the wedding they use in churches and movies.

Interestingly enough, the base version was the revised one, in which the Episcopals had already removed the bridge's pledge to obey her husband. I also negotiated with the first couple whose wedding I solemnized, removing the Christ stuff. However, neither couple objected to the Lord's Prayer or the standard one following it.

For both ceremonies, I formatted it in FrameMaker to fit in a leather binder. That package also incuded a scanned copy of the solemnization certificate and the marriage license. Both of those have to go to the county records office for permanent storage. You can do similar formatting in Word so that you can print it on heavy stock and cut it to your book.

Note: In Massachusetts, if you want a copy of these, you should make them before turning them in. The county or state can provide certification of the marriage, but holds the originals.

The Form of Solemnization of Matrimony

At the day and time appointed for Solemnization of Matrimony, the Persons to be married shall come into the body of the Church, or shall be ready in some proper house, with their friends and neighbours; and there standing together, the Man on the right hand, and the Woman on the left, the Solemnizer shall say,

DEARLY beloved, we are gathered together here in the sight of God, and in the face of this company, to join together this Man and this Woman in holy Matrimony; which is an honourable estate, instituted of God, and therefore is not by any to be entered into unadvisedly or lightly; but reverently, discreetly, advisedly, soberly, and in the fear of God. Into this holy estate these two persons present come now to be joined. If any can show just cause, why they may not lawfully be joined together, speak now, or else hereafter for ever hold your peace.

And also speaking unto the Persons who are to be married, he shall say,

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, ye do now confess it. For be ye well assured, that if any persons are joined together otherwise than as God's Word doth allow, their marriage is not lawful.

The Solemnizer, if he shall have reason to doubt of the lawfulness of the proposed Marriage, may demand sufficient surety for his indemnification: but if no impediment shall be alleged, or suspected, the Solemnizer shall say to the Man,
P WILT thou have this Woman to thy wedded wife, to live together after God's ordinance in the holy estate of Matrimony? Wilt thou love her, comfort her, honour, and keep her in sickness and in health; and, forsaking all others, keep thee only unto her, so long as ye both shall live?

The Man shall answer, I will.

Then shall the Solemnizer say unto the Woman,
K WILT thou have this Man to thy wedded husband, to live together after God's ordinance in the holy estate of Matrimony? Wilt thou love him, comfort him, honour, and keep him in sickness and in health; and, forsaking all others, keep thee only unto him, so long as ye both shall live?

The Woman shall answer, I will.

Then shall they give their troth to each other in this manner. The Solemnizer shall cause the Man with his right hand to take the Woman by her right hand, and to say after him as followeth.
I P take thee K to my wedded 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, till death us do part, according to God's holy ordinance; and thereto 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 Solemnizer,
I K take thee P to my wedded 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, till death us do part, according to God's holy ordinance; and thereto I give thee my troth.

Before delivering the Ring to the Man, the Solemnizer may say as followeth.
BLESS, O Lord, these Rings, that they who give them and wear them may abide in thy peace, and continue in thy favour, unto their life's end. Amen.

Then shall they again loose their hands; and the Man shall give unto the Woman a Ring on this wise: the Solemnizer taking the Ring shall deliver it unto the Man, to put it upon the fourth finger of the Woman's left hand. And the Man holding the Ring there, and taught by the Solemnizer, shall say, K, with this Ring I thee wed.

Then shall they again loose their hands; and the Woman shall give unto the Man a Ring on this wise: the Solemnizer taking the Ring shall deliver it unto the Woman, to put it upon the fourth finger of the Man's left hand. And the Woman holding the Ring there, and taught by the Solemnizer, shall say, P, with this Ring I thee wed.

Then, the Woman leaving the Ring upon the fourth finger of the Man's left hand, the Solemnizer shall say, Let us pray.

Then shall the Solemnizer and the People, still standing, say the 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 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.

Then shall the Solemnizer add,
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 they, living faithfully together, may surely perform and keep the vow and covenant betwixt them made, (whereof these Rings given and received are token and pledge,) and may ever remain in perfect love and peace together, and live according to thy laws. Amen.

Then shall the Solemnizer join their right hands together, and say,
Those whom God hath joined together let no one put asunder.

Then shall the Solemnizer speak unto the company.
FORASMUCH as P and K 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 their Rings, and by joining hands; I pronounce that they are Husband and Wife. Amen.

The Solemnizer shall add this Blessing.
GOD bless, preserve, and keep you, mercifully with favour look upon you, and 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.

No comments:

UpTweet