Wedding Resources

In preparing your wedding service, you will need to choose two or three hymns, a reading from the Bible, and a number of prayers. Listed below, are a number of the most popular choices to help you decide which items will be most suitable for your own personal wedding.  The Vicar will be more than happy to assist you in your choices.

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Many couples today choose to have their friends or relations take part within the service. We wholly welcome this, but do request that they attend the rehearsal so that they know where they will be speaking from and are able to practice before the event.

SUGGESTED HYMNS

The following hymns have proved most popular in recent years:

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And can it be that I should gain
All things bright and beautiful
Amazing grace
Be still, for the presence of the Lord
Father hear the prayer we offer
For the beauty of the earth
Give me joy in my heart, keep me praising (Sing hosanna!)
God is our strength and refuge
Great is Thy faithfulness
Lead us heavenly Father, lead us
Lord of all hopefulness, Lord of all joy
Lord, the light of your love is shining (Shine, Jesus, shine)
Love divine, all loves excelling
Make me a channel of your peace
O Jesus, I have promised
O praise ye the Lord
O worship the King, all glorious above
P
raise my soul the King of heaven
Praise to the Lord, the almighty, the King of creation
Tell out my soul, the greatness of the Lord
The Lord’s my shepherd
Thine be the glory

The organist will be only too pleased to play through these hymns at the end of a service to assist you in making the best possible choices for your wedding.

SUGGESTED BIBLE READINGS

There are a great many Bible passages which speak of the love and qualities necessary to forge a successful marriage.  Listed below are a selection of the most popular passages:

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1 Corinthians 13

If I speak in human or angelic tongues, but do not have 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 do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body [to hardship] that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.   Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonour others, 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.  Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.  And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

John 2:1-11

On the third day a wedding took place at Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there, and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. When the wine was gone, Jesus’ mother said to him, “They have no more wine.” “Woman, why do you involve me?” Jesus replied. “My hour has not yet come.” His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.” Nearby stood six stone water jars, the kind used by the Jews for ceremonial washing, each holding from twenty to thirty gallons. Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water”; so they filled them to the brim. Then he told them, “Now draw some out and take it to the master of the banquet.” They did so, and the master of the banquet tasted the water that had been turned into wine. He did not realize where it had come from, though the servants who had drawn the water knew. Then he called the bridegroom aside and said, “Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but you have saved the best till now.” What Jesus did here in Cana of Galilee was the first of the signs through which he revealed his glory; and his disciples put their faith in him.

1 John 4:7-12

Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.

John 15:9-12

Jesus said, “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.

Mark 10:6-9

Jesus said, “But at the beginning of creation God ‘made them male and female. For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”

Ephesians 3:14-21

For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.  Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

Ephesians 5:21-55

Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.  Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Saviour. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.  Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, people have never hated their own bodies, but they feed and care for them, just as Christ does the church – for we are members of his body. “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” This is a profound mystery – but I am talking about Christ and the church. However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

Colossians 3:12-17

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. 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. 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.

Song of Solomon 2:10-13

My beloved spoke and said to me, “Arise, my darling, my beautiful one, come with me.  See! The winter is past; the rains are over and gone.  Flowers appear on the earth; the season of singing has come, the cooing of doves is heard in our land.  The fig tree forms its early fruit; the blossoming vines spread their fragrance.  Arise, come, my darling;
my beautiful one, come with me.”

Song of Solomon 8:6-7

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.  Many waters cannot quench love; rivers cannot sweep it away.  If one were to give all the wealth of one’s house for love, it would be utterly scorned.

SUGGESTED MUSIC

In addition to choosing your hymns, you will also need to choose suitable entry and exit music, and music to be played during the signing of the registers.

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Many couples, especially those planning a more traditional wedding, will choose for the bride to enter church to ‘The Brides Chorus from Lohengrin’ by Wagner; often known as ‘Here comes the Bride’.  This is often accompanied by ‘The Wedding March from A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ by Mendelssohn to exit to.  However, as you will see from the lists below, there are many alternatives to these.  The Vicar and organist will be only too pleased to help you choose the most suitable items for your wedding.

The Processional

This is music played during the bride’s arrival and procession down the aisle.  The music which is chosen should be stately and last the duration of the bridal party’s journey to the groom who will be standing at the front of church.

The following items have proved most popular in recent years:

Wedding March from Lohengrin (‘Here Comes The Bride’) by Wagner
Arrival of the Queen of Sheba by Handel
Trumpet Voluntary (Prince of Denmark’s March) by Clarke
Grand March from Aida by Verdi
Trumpet Voluntary by Stanley
Trumpet Tune by Purcell
Trumpet Tune by Charpentier
I Was Glad by Parry
Hornpipe from the Water Music by Handel
The Rejoicing from Music for the Royal Fireworks by Handel
Morning from Peer Gynt by Grieg
Spring from the Four Seasons by Vivaldi
Winter from the Four Seasons by Vivaldi

Signing of the Registers

As an integral part of the service, you will sign the wedding registers.  As this process often takes a few minutes to complete, many couples choose suitable music to be played in the background. You can choose a piece of music for the organist to play, or else a friend might sing or play an instrument, or a suitable CD might be played.  Once again, the Vicar and organist will be only too pleased to assist you.

The following items have proved most popular in recent years:

Ave Maria by Schubert
Ave Maria by Gounod
Air on the G String by Bach
Sheep May Safely Graze by Bach
Canon in D by Pachelbel
Ave Verum Corpus by Mozart
Flower Duet from Lakmé by Delibes
Jesu Joy of Man’s Desiring by Bach
Exsultate Jubilate by Mozart
Laudate Dominum by Mozart
Clair De Lune by Debussy
Air from the Water Music by Handel
The Lord Bless You And Keep You by Rutter
Ave Verum Corpus by Mozart

The Recessional

Following the final blessing at the altar table, you will walk down the aisle and leave church as husband and wife.  This is a very joyful and celebratory occasion, and you will naturally want this to be reflected in your choice of music.

The following items have proved most popular in recent years:

Wedding March from a Midsummer Night’s Dream by Mendelssohn
Toccata from Symphony No 5 by Widor
Trumpet Voluntary (Prince of Denmark’s March) by Clarke
Overture from The Marriage of Figaro by Mozart
Pomp and Circumstance March No 4 by Elgar
The Rejoicing from Music for the Royal Fireworks by Handel
Bridal March by Hollins
Hornpipe from the Water Music by Handel
Grand March from Aida by Verdi
Ode to Joy by Beethoven
March from Scipio by Handel
Hallelujah Chorus , from Messiah by Handel
Finale from Symphony No.1 by Widor
Maestoso from Symphony No 3 in C by Saint Saens

Important:   Please ensure that you have received approval for your musical
                     choices prior to booking musicians, soloists and ensembles.

SUGGESTED PRAYERS

Prayer is very personal and, at its best, reflects the nature of an individuals or couples relationship with God.  Listed below are examples of the set prayers found within the Marriage Service.  However, if you have an alternative prayer, or prayers, that you would like to include within your service, please discuss it with the Vicar at one of your arrangement meetings.

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(A) Standard Formal Prayers

Faithful God,
holy and eternal,
source of life and spring of love,
we thank and praise you for bringing N and N to this day,
and we pray for them.
Lord of life and love:
All hear our prayer.

May their marriage be life-giving and lifelong,
enriched by your presence
and strengthened by your grace;
may they bring comfort and confidence to each other
in faithfulness and trust.
Lord of life and love:
All hear our prayer.

May the hospitality of their home
bring refreshment and joy to all around them;
may their love overflow to neighbours in need
and embrace those in distress.
Lord of life and love:
All hear our prayer.

May they discern in your word
order and purpose for their lives;
and may the power of your Holy Spirit
lead them in truth and defend them in adversity.
Lord of life and love:
All hear our prayer.

May they nurture their family with devotion,
see their children grow in body, mind and spirit
and come at last to the end of their lives
with hearts content
and in joyful anticipation of heaven.
Lord of life and love:
All hear our prayer.

(B) Alternative Informal Prayers

A selection of prayers may be made from the following:

For the Sharing of Love

God of love, we thank you for the gift of marriage
and for the joys it brings.
Bless us as we share in this wedding.
We thank you for the love
which has brought N and N to each other
and for their desire to share that love
for the rest of their lives;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.

For Grace to Live Well

Faithful God, giver of all good things,
give N and N wisdom and devotion
in the ordering of their life together.
May they dwell together in love and peace
all the days of their life,
seeking one another’s welfare,
bearing one another’s burdens
and sharing one another’s joys;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.

For Faithfulness and Peace

O God of love,
look mercifully upon N and N in the new life
which they begin together this day.
Unite them evermore in your love.
Keep them faithful to the vows
they have made one to the other;
strengthen them with every good gift;
and let your peace be with them,
now and always;
for the sake of Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.

For Faithfulness

God of all grace,
friend and companion,
look in favour on N and N,
and all who are made one in marriage.
In your love deepen their love
and strengthen their wills
to keep the promises they have made,
that they may continue
in lifelong faithfulness to each other;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.

For the Healing of Memory

Loving God,
you are merciful and forgiving.
Grant that those who are suffering the hurts of the past
may experience your generous love.
Heal their memories, comfort them,
and send them all from here
renewed and hopeful;
in Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.

For the Support of Friends

Holy Spirit of God,
you know our strength
and have compassion on our frailty.
Be with N and
N
in all they undertake.
And grant that we their friends,
with all who become their friends,
may sense and understand their needs;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.

For an Existing Family

God of all grace and goodness,
we thank you for this new family,
and for everything parents and children have to share;
by your Spirit of peace draw them together
and help them to be true friends to one another.
Let your love surround them
and your care protect them;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.

For Children and Home

Heavenly Father,
maker of all things,
you enable us to share in your work of creation.
Bless this couple in the gift and care of children,
that their home may be a place of love, security and truth,
and their children grow up
to know and love you in your Son
Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.

For Children and Family

Lord of life,
you shape us in your image,
and by your gracious gift
the human family is increased.
Grant to N and N the blessing of children.
Fill them with wisdom and love
as they care for their family,
so that they and their children
may know and love you;
through your Son Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.

For the Joy of Companionship

All praise and blessing to you, God of love,
creator of the universe,
maker of man and woman in your likeness,
source of blessing for married life.
All praise to you, for you have created
courtship and marriage,
joy and gladness,
feasting and laughter,
pleasure and delight.
May your blessing come in full upon N and N.
May they know your presence
in their joys and in their sorrows.
May they reach old age in the company of friends
and come at last to your eternal kingdom;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.

For Grace and Delight

God of love, ever gracious and kind,
we pray for N and
N
as they make the promises of marriage.
Let them know you
as the God of mercy and new beginnings,
who forgives our failures and renews our hope.
May the grace of Christ
be poured into their wedding
for celebration and for joy.
God of love, ever present and faithful,
may N and N know that their marriage
is your delight and will.
May the promises they make govern their life together,
as your presence surrounds them,
and your Spirit strengthens and guides them;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.

The prayers conclude with the Lord’s Prayer in one of the following forms:

(A) Traditional

As our Saviour taught us, so we pray

Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins
as we forgive those who sin against us.
Lead us not into temptation
but deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours
now and for ever.
Amen.

or

(B) Contemporary

Let us pray with confidence as our Saviour has taught us

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, the power and the glory,
for ever and ever.
Amen.

The text of the Marriage Service is copyright © 2000-2014 The Archbishops’ Council.