July 18, 2005

Rev. Norman Faulds

St Margaret Chapel, Edinburgh Castle

Edinburgh , Scotland


We have come together here today from far and near because of our love and friendship for Craig and Joanne.*   We want to assure them of our support as they make their marriage promises to one another.  Christian marriage is a special kind of relationship.  The Bible tells us that from the beginning it was our Creator's intention that men and women should live together and help one another throughout their lives.  It also tells us that Jesus enjoyed being a guest at a wedding in Cana long ago.  Marriage takes on a special significance for  Christians  because it represents the union between Christ and his Church.  It should not therefore be entered into frivolously or irresponsibly, but thoughtfully, reverently, and with respect for God, bearing in mind its original purpose.  That is the lifelong companionship, help and comfort, which husband and wife ought to receive from one another.  Its purpose is also to ensure that people enjoy a stable family life, so that children, who are the gifts of God, may receive adequate physical and spiritual nourishment.  It is further intended to ensure the well-being of human society, which is strongest and happiest when the marriage bond is held in honour.  Into this special relationship these two persons, Bridegroom and Bride now desire to enter.  Let us therefore ask God to bless their becoming one.  Let us pray.


Wedding Prayer by Robert Louis Stevenson
Lord, behold our family here assembled.  We thank you for this place in which we gather, for the love that unites us, for the peace accorded us this day, for the hope with which we expect the morrow, for the health, the work, the food, and the bright skies that make our lives delightful; for our friends in all parts of the earth.  Amen.


The best kind of love people can have for one another is described in the words of St Paul to the Christians in Corinth...


Scripture Reading

Love is patient, love is kind and envies no one.  Love is never boastful, nor conceited, nor rude;  never selfish, not quick to take offence.  Love keeps no score of wrongs, does not gloat over other people's mistakes, but delights in the truth.  There is nothing love cannot face:  there is no limit to its faith, its hope and its endurance.  Love will never come to an end.  In a word, there are three things that last for ever:  faith, hope and love;  but the greatest of them all is love.   (1 Corinthians 13).


Marriage is a Promise of Love by Edmund O'Neill   (Read by Craig )

Marriage is a commitment to live--to the best that two people can find and bring out in each other.  It offers opportunities for sharing and growth no other human relationship can equal, a physical and emotional joining that is promised for a lifetime.
Within the circle of its love, marriage encompasses all of life's most important relationships.  A wife and a husband are each other's best friend, confidant, lover, teacher, listener, and critic.  There may come times when one partner is heartbroken or ailing, and the love of the other may resemble the tender caring of a parent for a child.
Marriage deepens and enriches every facet of life.  Happiness is fuller; memories are fresher; commitment is stronger; even anger is felt more strongly, and passes away more quickly.
Marriage understands and forgives the mistakes life is unable to avoid.  It encourages and nurtures new life, new experiences, and new ways of expressing love through the seasons of life.
When two people pledge to love and care for each other in marriage, they create a spirit unique to themselves, which binds them closer than any spoken or written words.  Marriage is a promise, a potential, made in the hearts of two people who love, which takes a lifetime to fulfill.


Why Marriage?  By: Mari Nichols-Haining (Read by Joanne)
Because to the depths of me, I long to love one person,
With all my heart, my soul, my mind, my body...

Because I need a forever friend to trust with the intimacies of me,
Who won't hold them against me,
Who loves me when I'm unlikable,
Who sees the small child in me, and
Who looks for the divine potential of me...

Because I need to cuddle in the warmth of the night
With someone who thanks God for me,
With someone I feel blessed to hold...

Because marriage means opportunity
To grow in love in friendship...

Because marriage is a discipline
To be added to a list of achievements...

Because marriages do not fail, people fail
When they enter into marriage
Expecting another to make them whole...

Because, knowing this,
I promise myself to take full responsibility
For my spiritual, mental and physical wholeness
I create me,
I take half of the responsibility for my marriage
Together we create our marriage...

Because with this understanding
The possibilities are limitless.


Craig  and Joanne, as a seal to the vows you are about to make, please face one another and hold each other's right hand.


Marriage Vows  


Would the bridegroom please repeat after me:

I Craig, / take you Joanne / to be my wedded wife;  / and do / in the presence of God / and before this congregation / promise and covenant / to be a loving / faithful / and dutiful husband to you / so long as we both shall live.


Would the bride please repeat after me:

I Joanne,/ take you Craig /to be my wedded husband  / and do / in the presence of God / and before this congregation / promise and covenant / to be a loving / faithful /and dutiful wife to you / so long as we both shall live.


Exchange of Rings

As a token of the promises you have made to one another, this ring/these rings is/are given and received.  By this sign/these signs, you take each other, 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, so long as you both shall live.


Declaration of Marriage

Joanne & Craig, as you have made these promises to one another before God and these witnesses, I now pronounce you to be husband and wife, in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.  Jesus said "What God has joined together, let no one put apart."

Blessing of Aaron on Bride and Bridegroom

The Lord bless you and keep you, the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious unto you.  The Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.  Amen.


Prayers for the Bride and Bridegroom and for their Families