National Association of Christian Ministers How to Series: Weddings #
Below is a general outline for a Christian wedding ceremony conducted by a minister:
– Instrumental music or hymns played as guests are seated.
– The atmosphere is set for the ceremony.
– The wedding party, including the groomsmen, bridesmaids, ring bearer, and flower girl, enter the venue in a designated order.
– The bride, escorted by her father or a chosen person, walks down the aisle to the accompaniment of a processional song.
3. Welcome and Introduction:
– The minister welcomes the guests and begins the ceremony.
– Acknowledgment of the sacredness and significance of marriage.
4. Opening Prayer:
– A prayer to invoke God’s blessing, presence, and guidance over the ceremony and the couple’s marriage.
5. Scripture Reading:
– Selections from the Bible that highlight the importance of love, commitment, and God’s design for marriage.
– Readings may include passages such as 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 or Ephesians 5:22-33.
6. Charge to the Couple:
– The minister addresses the couple, reminding them of the commitment they are about to make.
– Encouragement to love, honor, and support each other in their journey together.
7. Exchange of Vows:
– The couple stands facing each other and expresses their vows, promising their love, faithfulness, and lifelong commitment to one another.
– Vows may be traditional or personalized based on the couple’s preferences.
8. Exchange of Rings:
– The couple exchanges wedding rings, symbolizing their unity, commitment, and love.
– The minister may offer a brief explanation of the significance of the rings.
9. Declaration of Marriage:
– The minister declares the couple as husband and wife before God and the witnesses.
– Words affirming the joining of their lives and the beginning of their marriage.
10. Blessing of the Marriage:
– A prayer for God’s blessing and guidance upon the couple’s marriage.
– A request for love, joy, and strength to be present in their relationship.
11. Pronouncement and Kiss:
– The minister pronounces the couple as husband and wife.
– The couple seals their vows with a kiss.
12. Presentation of the Couple:
– The minister introduces the newly married couple to the attendees, usually as “Mr. and Mrs. [Last Name].”
– Applause and congratulations from the guests.
– The couple, followed by the wedding party, walks back up the aisle to the accompaniment of a recessional song.
– The guests proceed to exit the venue.
Please note that this outline provides a general structure for a Christian wedding ceremony. It can be adapted and personalized based on the couple’s preferences, cultural traditions, and the guidelines of the specific Christian denomination or church.