|The Book of Common Prayer|
THE FORM OF
¶ First the Banns of all that are to be married together must be published in the Church three several Sundays, during the time of Morning Service,* or of Evening Service, (if there be no Morning Service,) immediately after the second Lesson: thus Minister saying after the accustomed manner,
|* See at the end of the Litany.|
¶ And if the persons that are to be married dwell in divers Parishes, the Banns must be asked in both Parishes; and the Curate of the one Parish shall not solemnize Matrimony betwixt them, without a Certificate of the Banns being thrice asked, from the Curate of the other Parish.
¶ At the day and time appointed for solemnization of Matrimony, the persons to be married shall come into the Body of the Church with their friends and neighbours: and there standing together, the Man on the right hand, and the Woman on the left, the Minister shall say,
beloved, we are gathered together here in the sight of God, and in the
face of this congregation, to join together this man and this woman in
holy Matrimony; which is an honourable estate, instituted of God in the
time of man's innocency, signifying unto us the mystical union that is
betwixt Christ and his Church; which holy estate Christ adorned and beautified
with his presence, and first miracle that he wrought, in Cana of Galilee;
and is commended of Saint Paul to be honourable among all men: and therefore
is not by any to be enterprized, nor taken in hand, unadvisedly, lightly,
or wantonly, to satisfy men's carnal lusts and appetites, like brute beasts
that have no understanding; but reverently, discreetly, advisedly, soberly,
and in the fear of God; duly considering the causes for which Matrimony
¶ And also, speaking unto the persons that shall be married, he shall say,
REQUIRE and charge you both, as ye will answer at the dreadful day of
judgement, 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 so many
as are married together otherwise than God's Word doth allow, are not
joined together by God; neither is their Matrimony lawful.
¶ At which day of Marriage, if any man do allege and declare any impediment, why they may not be coupled together in Matrimony, by God's law, or the laws of this Realm; and will be bound, and sufficient sureties with him, to the parties; or else put in a caution (to the full value of such charges as the persons to be married do thereby sustain) to prove his allegation: then the solemnization must be deferred, until such time as the truth be tried.
¶ If no impediment be alleged, then shall the Curate say unto the Man,
M. 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 other, keep thee only unto her, so long as ye both shall live?
The Man shall answer,
Then shall the Priest say unto the Woman,
N. WILT thou have this man to thy wedded husband, to live together after God's ordinance in the holy estate of Matrimony? Wilt thou obey him, and serve him, love, honour, and keep him, in sickness and in health; and, forsaking all other, keep thee only unto him, so long as ye both shall live?
The Woman shall answer,
¶ Then shall the Minister say,
Who giveth this woman to be married to this man?
¶ Then shall they give their troth to each other in this manner.
¶ The Minister, receiving the Woman at her fatherís or friend's hands, shall cause the Man with his right hand to take the Woman by her right hand, and to say after him as followeth.
I M. take thee N. 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 Minister,
N. take thee
M. 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, cherish, and to obey, till death us do part, according to God's
holy ordinance; and thereto I give thee my troth.
¶ Then shall they again loose their hands; and the Man shall give unto the Woman a Ring, (which is here used only as a civil ceremony and pledge,) laying the same upon the book with the a ccustomed duty, &c.
WITH this Ring I thee wed, with my worldly goods I thee endow: and by this our Marriage we become One according to God's holy institution. And this I declare in the presence of Almighty God, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Amen.
¶ Then the Man leaving the Ring upon the fourth finger of the Woman's left hand, they shall both kneel down, and the Minister shall say,
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, as Isaac and Rebecca lived faithfully together, so these persons may surely perform and keep the vow and covenant betwixt them made, and may ever remain in perfect love and peace together, and live according to thy laws; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
¶ Then shall the Minister join their right hands together, and say,
Those whom God hath joined together let no man put asunder.
¶ Then shall the Minister speak unto the people.
FORASMUCH as M. and N. have consented together in holy wedlock, and have witnessed the same before God and this company, and thereto have given and pledged their troth either to other, and have declared the same by giving and receiving of a ring, and by joining of hands; I pronounce that they be man and wife together, In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.
¶ And the Minister shall add this Blessing.
GOD the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Ghost, bless, preserve, and keep you; the Lord mercifully with his favour look upon you, and so 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.
¶ Then the Minister or Clerks, being either in the body of the Church, or at the Communion Table, shall sag or sing this Psalm following.
Beati omnes. Psalm cxxviii.
are all they that fear the Lord : and walk in his ways.
Or this Psalm.
Deus misereatur. Psalm 67
be merciful unto us, and bless us : and shew us the light of his countenance,
and be merciful unto us:
¶ The Psalm ended, and the Man and the Woman kneeling, the Minister shall say,
Lord, have mercy upon us.
OUR Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy Name, Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, in earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; And forgive us our trespasses, As we forgive them that trespass against us; And lead us not into temptation, But deliver us from evil. Amen.
Minister. O Lord, save thy servant, and thy handmaid ;
O GOD of Abraham, God of Isaac, God of Jacob, bless these thy servants, and plant thy fear in their hearts; that whatsoever in thy holy Word they shall profitably learn, they may in deed fulfill the same. Look, O Lord, mercifully upon them from heaven, and bless them. And as thou didst send thy blessing upon Abraham and Sarah, to their great comfort, so vouchsafe to send thy blessing upon these thy servants; that they obeying thy will, and alway being in safety under thy protection, may abide in thy love unto their lives' end; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
¶ This Prayer next following shall be omitted where the Woman is past child-bearing.
O MERCIFUL Lord and heavenly Father, by whose gracious gift mankind is increased; We beseech thee to bless these thy servants with children, if thou in thy wisdom seest it to be convenient for them, and grant them to live together so long in godly love and honesty, that they may see their children christianly and virtuously brought up, to thy praise and honour; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
GOD, who by thy mighty power hast made all things of nothing; who also
(after other things set in order) didst appoint, that out of man (created
after thine own image and similitude) woman should take her beginning;
arid, knitting them together, didst teach that it should never be lawful
to put asunder those whom thou by Matrimony hadst made one: O God, who
hast consecrated the state of Matrimony to such an excellent mystery,
that in it is signified and represented the spiritual marriage and unity
betwixt Christ and his Church: Look mercifully upon these thy servants,
that both this man may love his wife, according to thy Word, (as Christ
did love his spouse the Church, who gave himself for it, loving and cherishing
it even as his own flesh,) and also that this woman may be loving and
amiable, faithful and obedient to her husband; and in all quietness, sobriety,
and peace, be a follower of holy and godly matrons. O Lord, bless them
both, and grant them to inherit thy everlasting kingdom; through Jesus
Christ our Lord. Amen.
¶ Then shall the Minister, turning towards them, say,
ALMIGHTY God, who at the beginning did create our first parents, Adam and Eve, and did sanctify and join them together in marriage; Pour upon you the riches of his grace, sanctify and bless you, that ye may please him both in body and soul, and live together in holy love unto your lives' end. Amen.
¶ After which, if there be no Sermon declaring the duties of Man and Wife, the Minister shall read as followeth.
that are here present, hear what the holy Scripture doth say as touching
the duty of husbands towards their wives, and wives towards their husbands.
Let us pray.
O ALMIGHTY Lord and everlasting God, vouchsafe, we beseech thee, to direct, sanctify, and govern both our hearts and bodies in the ways of thy laws, and in the works of thy commandments: that through thy most mighty protection, both here and ever, we may be preserved in body and soul, through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.
THE peace of God, &c.
¶ If the new married persons signify beforehand to the Minister that they desire the holy Sacrament, there shall be a Communion. If they do not, they shall be exhorted to receive it as soon as they have an opportunity.
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