Tansley Church
Holy Trinity Church
Tansley

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The Church of England
Marriage Service



If you wish to be married in a Church, you should first arrange to see the Minister of your Parish Church to discuss your marriage. You do not have to be regularly attending church to get married in the Church of England, neither are you required to have been baptised. The Church of England gives all British citizens, with no former partner still living, the right to get married in the Parish Church of the place where they are resident or in the church where either of the couple is on the church's electoral roll. If either you or your partner has been married previously then you will need to arrange an appointment with the Vicar.

                        The core of the Marriage Service comprises 7 important sections.
                       1    Introduction - where the Minister outlines why two people marry
                       2    Declarations - where the bride and groom pledge to be faithful and caring to each other.
                       3    Vows - where the bride and groom make their vows to each other.
                       4    Giving or exchange of rings
                       5    Proclamation - where the Minister declares you are now man and wife.
                       6    Blessing of the marriage
                       7    Registration of the marriage - signing the registers



The service starts with prayers, a reading and a hymn


Introduction

The Minister addresses the congregation.
In the presence of God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, we have come together to witness the marriage of N and N, to pray for God's blessing on them, to share their joy and to celebrate their love.

Marriage is a gift of God in creation through which husband and wife may know the grace of God. It is given that as man and woman grow together in love and trust, they shall be united with one another in heart, body and mind, as Christ is united with his bride, the Church.

The gift of marriage brings husband and wife together in the delight and tenderness of sexual union and joyful commitment to the end of their lives. It is given as the foundation of family life in which children are [born and] nurtured and in which each member of the family,in good times and in bad, may find strength, companionship and comfort, and grow to maturity in love.

Marriage is a way of life made holy by God, and blessed by the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ with those celebrating a wedding at Cana in Galilee. Marriage is a sign of unity and loyalty which all should uphold and honour. It enriches society and strengthens community. No one should enter into it lightly or selfishly but reverently and responsibly in the sight of Almighty God.

N and N are now to enter this way of life. They will each give their consent to the other and make solemn vows, and in token of this they will [each] give and receive a ring. We pray with them that the Holy Spirit will guide and strengthen them, that they may fulfil God's purposes for the whole of their earthly life together.



Declarations

The Minister says to the congregation.
First, I am required to ask anyone present who knows a reason why these persons may not lawfully marry, to declare it now.

The minister says to the couple
The vows you are about to take are to be made in the presence of God,
who is judge of all and knows all the secrets of our hearts;
therefore if either of you knows a reason why you may not lawfully marry, you must declare it now.

The minister says to the bridegroom
N, will you take N to be your wife?
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?

He answers
I will.

The minister says to the bride
N, will you take N to be your husband?
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?

She answers
I will.

The minister says to the congregation
Will you, the families and friends of N and N, support and uphold them in their marriage now and in the years to come?

All answer
We will.



[At this point prayers and a bible reading are said, together with any other contributions from the family]


Vows

The Minister addresses the couple
N and N, I now invite you to join hands and make your vows, in the presence of God and his people.


The bride and bridegroom face each other. The bridegroom takes the bride's right hand in his.


The Minister asks the bridegroom to repeat after him the vow
I, N , take you, N 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,
till death us do part;
according to God's holy law.
In the presence of God I make this vow.


They loose hands. The bride takes the bridegroom's right hand in hers


The Minister asks the bride to repeat after him the vow
I, N , take you, N 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,
till death us do part;
according to God's holy law.
In the presence of God I make this vow.



The Giving of rings

The minister receives the ring(s), and says this prayer.
Heavenly Father, by your blessing let these rings be to N and N a symbol of unending love and faithfulness, to remind them of the vow and covenant which they have made this day through Jesus Christ our Lord.

All say
Amen.

The bridegroom places the ring on the fourth finger of the bride's left hand and, holding it there, says, after the Minister
N, I give you this ring as a sign of our marriage.
With my body I honour you,
all that I am I give to you,
and all that I have I share with you,
within the love of God,
Father, Son and Holy Spirit.


If rings are exchanged, they loose hands and the bride places a ring on the fourth finger of the bridegroom's left hand and, holding it there, says, after the Minister.
N, I give you this ring as a sign of our marriage.
With my body I honour you,
all that I am I give to you,
and all that I have I share with you,
within the love of God,
Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

If only one ring is used, before they loose hands the bride says, after the Minister.
N, I receive this ring as a sign of our marriage.
With my body I honour you,
all that I am I give to you,
and all that I have I share with you,
within the love of God,
Father, Son and Holy Spirit.


The Proclamation

The minister addresses the congregation
In the presence of God, and before this congregation,
N and N have given their consent
and made their marriage vows to each other.
They have declared their marriage by the joining of hands
and by the giving and receiving of rings.
I therefore proclaim that they are husband and wife.

The minister joins their right hands together and says to the congregation
Those whom God has joined together let no one put asunder.



Blessing of the Marriage

The husband and wife kneel. The minister may use the following blessing or another suitable one.
Blessed are you, O Lord our God, for you have created joy and gladness, pleasure and delight, love, peace and fellowship.
Pour out the abundance of your blessing upon N and N in their new life together.
Let their love for each other be a seal upon their hearts and a crown upon their heads.
Bless them in their work and in their companionship; awake and asleep, in joy and in sorrow, in life and in death.
Finally, in your mercy, bring them to that banquet where your saints feast for ever in your heavenly home. We ask this through Jesus Christ your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.

All respond
Amen

The minister says to the couple
God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit,
bless, preserve and keep you; the Lord mercifully grant you the riches of his grace, that you may please him both in body and soul, and, living together in faith and love, may receive the blessings of eternal life.

All respond
Amen


Signing of the Registers

The congregation are asked to sit whilst the Bride and Groom and witnesses move to the table to sign the registers.
During the signing music can be played or a friend can be asked to sing.




The service ends with prayers and a hymn



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