|The Book of Common Prayer|
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 Minister 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, 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 honour-able among all men: and therefore is not by any to be entered into unadvisedly or lightly; but reverently, dis-creetly, advisedly, soberly, and in the fear of God. Into this holy estate these two persons present come now to be joined. If any man can show just cause, why they may not lawfully be joined together, let him now speak, or else hereafter for ever hold his 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 impedi-ment, 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 Minister, 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 Minister shall say to the Man,
N. 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,
¶ Then shall the Minister 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 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,
Then shall the Minister say,
¶ Then shall they give their troth to each other in this manner. The Minister, receiving the Woman at her father's 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 N. 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,
I N. take thee N. 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.
¶ Then shall they again loose their hands; and the Man shall give unto the Woman a Ring on this wise: the Minister 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 Minister, shall say,
this Ring I thee wed: In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of
the Holy Ghost. Amen.
¶ And, before delivering the Ring to the Man, the Minister may say as followeth.
BLESS, O Lord, this Ring, that he who gives it and she who wears it may abide in thy peace, and continue in thy favour, unto their life's end; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
¶ Then, the Man leaving the Ring upon the fourth finger of the Woman's left hand, the Minister shall say,
Let us pray.
¶ Then shall the Minister 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 Minister 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 this Ring given and received is a token and pledge,) and may ever remain in perfect love and peace together, and live accord-ing to thy laws; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
¶ The Minister may add one or both of the following prayers.
O ALMIGHTY God, Creator of mankind, who only art the well-spring of life; Bestow upon these thy servants, if it be thy will, the gift and heritage of children; and grant that they may see their children brought up in thy faith and fear, to the honour and glory of thy Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
O GOD, who hast so consecrated the state of Matrimony that in it is represented the spiritual marriage and unity betwixt Christ and his Church; Look mercifully upon these thy servants, that they may love, honour, and cherish each other, and so live together in faithfulness and patience, in wisdom and true godliness, that their home may be a haven of blessing and of peace; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit ever, one God, world without end. 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 company.
FORASMUCH as N. 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, each to the other, and have declared the same by giving and receiving a Ring, and by joining hands; I pronounce that they are Man and Wife, In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.
¶ The Man and Wife kneeling, 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 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.
¶ The laws respecting Matrimony, whether by publishing the Banns in Churches, or by Licence, being different in the several States, every Minister is left to the direction of those laws, in every thing that regards the civil contract between the parties.
¶ And when the Banns are published, it shall be in the following form: I publish the Banns of Marriage between N. of —, and N. of —. If any of you know cause, or just impediment, why these two persons should not be joined together in holy Matrimony, ye are to declare it. This is the first [second or third] time of asking.
Thanksgiving of Women
Commonly called the Churching of Women.
¶ This Service, or the concluding prayer alone, as it stands among the Occasional Prayers and Thanksgivings, may be used at the discretion of the Minister.
¶ The Woman, at the usual time after her delivery, shall come into the Church decently apparelled, and there shall kneel down in some convenient place as hath been accustomed, or as the Ordinary shall direct.
¶ The Minister shall then say unto her,
FORASMUCH as it hath pleased Almighty God, of his goodness, to give you safe deliverance, and to preserve you in the great danger of Child-birth; you shall therefore give hearty thanks unto God, and say,
¶ Then shall be said by both of them the following Hymn, the Woman still kneeling.
Dilexi, quoniam. Psalm cxvi.
delight is in the Lord; because he hath heard the voice of my prayer;
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost;
¶ Then shall the Minister say the Lord's Prayer, with what followeth: but the Lord's Prayer may be omitted, if this be used with the Morning or Evening Prayer.
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.
Minister. Let us pray.
O ALMIGHTY God, we give thee humble thanks for that thou hast been graciously pleased to preserve, through the great pain and peril of child-birth, this woman, thy servant, who desireth now to offer her praises and thanksgivings unto thee. Grant, we beseech thee, most merciful Father, that she, through thy help, may faithfully live according to thy will in this life, and also may be partaker of everlasting glory in the life to come; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
¶ Then may be said,
GRANT, we beseech thee, O heavenly Father, that the child of this thy servant may daily increase in wisdom and stature, and grow in thy love and service, until he come to thy eternal joy; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
¶ The Woman, that cometh to give her Thanks, must offer accustomed offerings, which shall be applied by the Minister and the Church-wardens to the relief of distressed women in child-bed; and if there be a Communion, it is convenient that she receive the Holy Communion.
Return to the U. S. Book of Common Prayer (1928)
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