Parts of a Wedding Ceremony
Photo taken at the Scottish Rite Cathedral
by Halee Betzner Photography
by Halee Betzner Photography
Bible Readings and Christian Poetry
There are many different scriptures that talk about marriage and love. There are independent authors and poets that write based on their faith.
The moment I set my eyes on you,
I knew God answered my prayers.
And when you said "I do"
I know God made me to love you.
“Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.
“With all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace."
Two Lives Become One
As two lives become one
May the Father above
Bless our hearts and our home
With an abundance of love.
As two lives become one
And we pledge to each other
Our hearts intertwined
Professing love for one another.
As two lives become one
Let no one come between
And may God richly bless
A future, He has already seen.
14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.
16 Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.
17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
Instructions for Christian Households
18 Wives, submit yourselves to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.
19 Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them.
20 Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord.
Paul’s First Letter to the Corinthians, Chapter 13
JB Phillips New Testament
“If I speak with the eloquence of men and of angels, but have no love, I become no more than blaring brass or crashing cymbal. If I have the gift of foretelling the future and hold in my mind not only all of human knowledge but the very secrets of God, and if I also have that absolute faith which can move mountains, but have no love I amount to nothing at all. If I dispose of all that I possess, yes, even if I give my own body to be burned, but have no love, I achieve precisely nothing.
This love of which I speak is slow to lose patience – it looks for a way of being constructive. It is not possessive: it is neither anxious to impress nor does it cherish inflated ideas of its own importance. Love has good manners and does not pursue selfish advantage. It is not touch. It does not keep account of evil or gloat over the wickedness of other people. On the contrary, it is glad with all good men when truth prevails.
Love knows no limit to its endurance, no end to its trust, no fading of its hope; it can outlast anything. It is, in fact, the one thing that still stands when all else has fallen. In this life, we have three great lasting qualities – faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”
Gracious God, Richly Bless
Gracious God, richly bless this bride and groom
in the promises that they have made to each other.
Grant that the courtesies, the thoughtfulness,
and the self-giving which already
have laid the foundation for their love,
build the home which is raised on it.
May they be loyal and engaging companions to each other,.
and may they be loving and wise parents.
And in this world
where there is much disillusion and disappointment...
where love brings delight
and also wounding in the frailty of our ways...
make them a visible symbol of the love that does not wane when
the evening comes but is fresh with each new day.
And as you bless this special couple this day,
bless each union represented here.
Forgive us where we have not been good news
and glad days for each other.
Perfect our imperfect love with the joy that comes from above,
and may we grow ourselves and grow in affirmation of the other.
May the Lord bless you and take care of you:
May the Lord be kind and gracious to you:
May the Lord look on you with favor and give you peace.
"Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable — if anything is excellent or praiseworthy — think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me — put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you."
“But Ruth replied, ‘Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely if even death separates you and me.’”
“My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you."
by St. Francis of Assisi
Lord, make us instruments of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let us sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is discord, union;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
Where there is sadness, joy;
O Divine Master, Grant that we may not so much seek
To be consoled as to console,
To be understood as to understand,
To be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
And it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
Song of Solomon 4: 9
“You have captivated my heart, my sister, my bride; you have captivated my heart with one glance of your eyes, with one jewel of your necklace."
Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 NIV
The Chord of 3 Strands
9 Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor:
10 If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.
11 Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone?
12 Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.
Song of Solomon 2: 10-13
My beloved spoke and said to me,
“Arise, my darling,
my beautiful one, come with me.
11 See! The winter is past;
the rains are over and gone.
12 Flowers appear on the earth;
the season of singing has come,
the cooing of doves
is heard in our land.
13 The fig tree forms its early fruit;
the blossoming vines spread their fragrance.
Arise, come, my darling;
my beautiful one, come with me.”
Author, Theodore Colterelli
How little we know in our growing years?
Protected by our loved ones from woes and fears.
We continue to grow from our past.
Searching for a new love one that will last.We think back how easy it was to say, ‘I do’
But it was your conviction, good foundation and character that seen you through.
Each years number large or small celebrate your anniversary none the less.
For the greater the number the greater the the success.Accentuated by our social being to find one with to share.
We take our wedding vows to show the world we care.
A family is next to sustain our marriage and fortify our love.
To succeed this human experience needs to be blessed from above.
He who finds a wife finds what is good and receives favor from the Lord.
Song of Songs 8:6
6 Place me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm; for love is as strong as death, its jealousy unyielding as the grave. It burns like blazing fire, like a mighty flame.
1 Corinthians: 13 NIV
If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Our Wedding Day
On this our wedding day,
We are uniting to become one.
The journey of a lifetime
Has only just begun.
With family and friends present
We vow to live by faith,
And trust in God’s provision
With every step we take
For only by His goodness
Can we selflessly show our love
Striving to live exemplary lives
To point to the Father above.
Love, Joy, Understanding, Friendship, Courage
In joining your lives may God grant you both...
Love... to afford each other a special quality of time together.
Joy...in the accomplishments of one another.
Understanding...that your interests and desires
will not always be the same.
Friendship...based on mutual trust.
Courage...to speak of a misunderstanding
and to work on a solution
before the setting of the sun.
Compassion...to comfort each other in pain and sorrow.
Foresight...to realize rainbows follow rainy days.
Imagination...to keep with you part of the child you used to be.
Mirth...from your sense of humor.
Awareness...to live each day with the knowledge
that there is no promise of tomorrow.
May God bless you and keep you
in the Palm of His hand.
Jesus says: Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female,’ and said, “For this reason, a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.
From “Beyond Words: Daily Readings in the ABC’s of Faith”
Author, Frederick Buechner
“They say they will love, comfort, honor each other to the end of their days. They say they will cherish each other and be faithful to each other always. They say they will do these things not just when they feel like it, but even — for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health — when they don’t feel like it at all. In other words, the vows they make could hardly be more extravagant. They give away their freedom. They take on themselves each other’s burdens. They bind their lives together… The question is, what do they get in return? They get each other in return… There will always be the other to talk to, to listen to… There is still someone to get through the night with, to wake into the new day beside. If they have children, they can give them, as well as each other, roots and wings. If they don’t have children, they each become the other’s child. They both still have their lives apart as well as a life together. They both still have their separate ways to find. But a marriage made in heaven is one where a man and a woman become more richly themselves together than the chances are either of them could ever have managed to become alone.”
Author, Father Abram J. Ryan
Two loves came up a long, wide aisle,
And knelt at a low, white gate;
One tender and true, with a shyest smile,
One strong, true and elate.
Two lips spoke in a firm true way,
And two lips answered soft and low;
In one true hand such a little hand lay
Fluttering, frail as a flake of snow.
One stately head bent humble there,
Stilled were the throbbings of human love;
One head drooped down like a lily fair,
Two prayers went, wing to wing, above.
God blest them both in the holy place,
Long brief moment till the rite was done;
On the human love fell a heavenly grace,
Making two hearts forever one.
Between two lengthening rows of smiles,
One sweetly shy, one proud, elate,
Two loves passed down the long wide aisle
Will they ever forget the low white gate?
Canticle of Love
From the United Methodist Hymnal 1989
Let love be genuine and live in harmony;
hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good.
Outdo one another in showing honor;
be humble and never conceited.
Love is stronger than death
and jealousy is cruel as the grave.
Floods can not drown love and
wealth can not buy it.
Put love above all else;
let Christ’s peace rule your hearts.
Always be forgiving, as Christ has forgiven you.
Love is not jealous or boastful,
arrogant, rude, or stubborn,
irritable, resentful, or possessive.
Love is patient and kind.
Do not love in word or speech only;
love also in deed and truth.
Receive each other in sincerity,
find mercy and grow old together.
In This Union
Give this union a real form of love,
that no one can break and will never do.
Give this union joy so they may not find
it other worldly pleasures.
Give this union all that they need
so they may not seek what is not necessary.
In this union, may there be unconditional love
like You have shown us.
In this union, may there be friendship
even after a day of camaraderie.
In this union, may everything be treated with fairness
in this world of judgment.
18 The LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”
19 Now the LORD God had formed out of the ground all the wild animals and all the birds in the sky. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name.
20So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds in the sky and all the wild animals. But for Adam no suitable helper was found.
21So the LORD God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs and then closed up the place with flesh.
22 Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.
23The man said, “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman,’ for she was taken out of man.”
24 That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.
Wedding Day Poem
Author, Henry E. Henrich
Yes, I am enchanted with you,
My new wonderful mate of mine,
You are my enchantment rose
To bond and hold with love.
Where “L” in love stands for laughter
Where “O” in love stands for obedience
Where “V” in love stands for victory after
And “E” in love stands for enchantment.
This day with you, we do cast
A new family, we do plant
In the parents network of our past
We grow generations to implant.
Yes, I am enchanted with you
And promise with God’s help
To love and serve you always
All the many years left to us.
We both have one great friend,
It is Jesus our lord and guide,
Let us agree to always turn to him
Each day, for steady guidance and help.
Yes, I am enchanted with you,
My new wonderful mate of mine,
You are my enchantment rose
To bond and hold with love
Everyone longs to give themselves completely to someone, to have a deep soul relationship with another, to be loved thoroughly and exclusively. But God, to the Christians says, “No, not until you are satisfied, fulfilled and content with being loved by Me alone, with giving yourself totally and unreserved to Me, with having an intensely personal and unique relationship with Me alone; discovering that only in Me is your satisfaction to be found, will you be capable of the perfect human relationship that I have planned for you.” You will never be united with another until you are united with Me, exclusively of anyone or anything else, exclusively of any other desire or longing. I want you to stop planning, stop wishing, and allow me to give you the most thrilling plan existing, one that you can not imagine. I want you to have the best. Please allow me to bring it to you. You keep watching Me, expecting the greatest things. Keep experiencing and learning the things I tell you… You just have to wait. That’s all. Don’t be anxious. Don’t worry. Don’t look around at the things others have gotten or that I’ve given them. Don’t look around at the things you think you want. You just keep looking off and up to Me, or you will miss what I want to show you. And then…when you are ready, I’ll surprise you with a love far more wonderful than any other that you would dream of. You see, until you are ready and until the one I have for you is ready, I am working even at this moment to have both of you ready at the same time, until you are both satisfied exclusively with Me and the life I prepared for you, you won’t be able to experience the Love that exemplifies your relationship with Me and this perfect Love. Dear one, I want you to have this wonderful love. I want you to see in the flesh, a picture of your relationship with Me, and to enjoy materially and concretely the everlasting union of beauty, and perfection, and Love that I offer you with Myself. Know that I love you utterly. I am God. Believe and be satisfied.
Loving Each Other
The Lord taught us to love our neighbors.
He said to love even those who have hurt us.
Today, I profess to the world how much
I love this man with all my heart.
Bless this union, dear God,
that we only show kindness and purity
to one another. Give us the strength
to never let anyone down.
Loving each other is the best kind of love
especially since You are in the center of us.
God’s Gift of True Love
Many people search for love high and low
Some people find it in first sight.
But I believe that God has a plan
and that includes you for true love.
Bless the Father’s name for showing the way
to you and share a life that I’ve never imagined.
His name deserves all the glory
for the greatness, He has shown me
Love can always conquer
Whatever discord brings
and love can also cover
a multitude of things.
Don’t you underestimate
what love can ever do,
for love is God eternal
and His love can renew.
What is cold and lifeless,
now lost all hope and died,
for love can breathe new meaning
and give it back new life.
Please don’t give up on love
when it seems that all is lost,
for there is always hope
if we’re prepared to pay the cost.
For love is always worth it
no matter how much the price,
for love will be much stronger
when we trust in Jesus Christ.
So let God have full reign,
let Him live within your heart
then you will know true love,
for this He will impart.
Romans 8:31-35, 37-39
What then are we to say about these things? If God is for us, who is against us? He who did not withhold his own Son, but gave him up for all of us, will he not with him also give us everything else? Who will bring any charge against God's elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? It is Christ Jesus, who died, yes, who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who indeed intercedes for us. Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will hardship, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 12:1-2, 9-13
I appeal to you therefore, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God -- what is good and acceptable and perfect. Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good; love one another with mutual affection; outdo one another in showing honor. Do not lag in zeal, be ardent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints; extend hospitality to strangers
1 Peter 3:8-12a
Finally, all of you, have unity of spirit, sympathy, love for one another, a tender heart, and a humble mind. Do not repay evil for evil or abuse for abuse; but, on the contrary, repay with a blessing. It is for this that you were called--that you might inherit a blessing. For "Those who desire life and desire to see good days, let them keep their tongues from evil and their lips from speaking deceit; let them turn away from evil and do good; let them seek peace and pursue it. For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their prayer.
Treat Yourselves and Each Other with Respect
Treat yourselves and each other with respect,
and remind yourselves often of what brought you together.
Give the highest priority to the tenderness,
gentleness, and kindness that your connection deserves.
When frustration, difficulties, and fear assail your relationship,
as they threaten all relationships at one time or another,
remember to focus on what is right between you,
not only the part which seems wrong.
In this way, you can ride out the storms
when clouds hide the face of the sun in your lives...
remembering that even if you lose sight of it for a moment,
the sun is still there.
And if each of you takes responsibility for the quality
of your life together,
it will be marked by abundance and delight.
For where two or three are gathered together in my name,
there am I in the midst of them.
“For your Maker is your husband, the LORD of hosts is his name; and the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer, the God of the whole earth he is called.
“But you say, 'Why does he not?' Because the LORD was witness between you and the wife of your youth, to whom you have been faithless, though she is your companion and your wife by covenant."
Revelation 19:1, 5-9
After this I heard what seemed to be the loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, saying, “Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power to our God, And from the throne came a voice saying, “Praise our God, all you his servants, and all who fear him, small and great." Then I heard what seemed to be the voice of a great multitude, like the sound of many waters and like the sound of mighty thunder peals, crying out, “Hallelujah! For the Lord our God, the Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and exult and give him the glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready; to her, it has been granted to be clothed with fine linen, bright and pure”— for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints. And the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb." And he said to me, “These are true words of God."
28 God blessed them, and God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth." God saw everything that he had made, and indeed, it was very good.
58 And they called Rebekah, and said to her, "Will you go with this man?" She said, "I will."67 Then Isaac brought her into his mother Sarah's tent. He took Rebekah, and she became his wife; and he loved her. So Isaac was comforted after his mother's death.
Now if you are unwilling to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served in the region beyond the River or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord."
My child, do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments; 2 for length of days and years of life, and abundant welfare they will give you. 3 Do not let loyalty and faithfulness forsake you; bind them round your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. 4 So you will find favor and good repute in the sight of God and of people. 5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own insight. 6 In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths
10 A capable wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels. 11 The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain. 12 She does him good, and not harm, all the days of her life.
Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8
For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: 2a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; 3 a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; 4 a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; 5 a time to throw away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; 6 a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to throw away; 7 a time to tear, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; 8 a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace.
Song of Solomon 8:6-7
6 Set me as a seal upon your heart, as a seal upon your arm; for love is strong as death, passion fierce as the grave. Its flashes are flashes of fire, a raging flame. 7 Many waters cannot quench love, neither can floods drown it. If one offered for love all the wealth of his house, it would be utterly scorned.
Each will be like a hiding place from the wind, a cover from the tempest, like streams of water in a dry place, like the shade of a great rock in a weary land.
Isaiah 61: 10-11
10 I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my whole being shall exult in my God; for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation, he has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself with a garland, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels. 11 For as the earth brings forth its shoots, and as a garden causes what is sown in it to spring up, so the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to spring up before all the nations.
Jeremiah 33: 10-11
10 the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride, the voices of those who sing, as they bring thank-offerings to the house of the Lord: "Give thanks to the Lord of hosts, for the Lord is good, for his steadfast love endures forever!" For I will restore the fortunes of the land as at first, says the Lord.
16 On that day, says the Lord, you will call me, "My husband", and no longer will you call me, "My Baal" [Master].19 And I will take you for my wife forever; I will take you for my wife in righteousness and in justice, in steadfast love, and in mercy. 20 I will take you for my wife in faithfulness; and you shall know the Lord.
4 Tobias got out of bed and said to Sarah, "Sister, get up, and let us pray and implore our Lord that he grant us mercy and safety." So she got up, and they began to pray and implore that they might be kept safe.7 I now am taking this kinswoman of mine, not because of lust, but with sincerity. Grant that she and I may find mercy and that we may grow old together."
1 Happy is the husband of a good wife; the number of his days will be doubled. 2 A loyal wife brings joy to her husband, and he will complete his years in peace. 3 A good wife is a great blessing; she will be granted among the blessings of the man who fears the Lord. 4 Whether rich or poor, his heart is content, and at all times his face is cheerful.
I Will Be Here
by Steven Curtis Chapma
Tomorrow morning if you wake up and the sun does not appear...I will be here
If in the dark we lose sight of love hold my hand and have no fear because... I will be here.
I will be here.
When you feel like being quiet, when you need to speak your mind I will listen and...I will be here
When the laughter turns to crying, through the winning, losing and trying, we’ll be together, because... I will be here.
Tomorrow morning If you wake up and the future is unclear...I will be here.
As sure as seasons are made for change, our lifetimes are made for years so... I will be here.
I will be here.
So you can cry on my shoulder when the mirror tells us we’re older. I will hold you, and... I will be here
To watch you grow in beauty and tell you all the things you are to me...I will be here.
I will be true to the promise I have made to you and to the one who gave you to me...I will be here.
And just as sure as seasons are made for change, our lifetimes are made for years so...I will be here.
We’ll be together, I will be here.
22 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord.
23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior.
24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.
25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her
26 to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word,
27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.
28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.
29 After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church—
30 for we are members of his body.
31 “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”
32 This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church.
33 However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.