THE MARRIAGE CEREMONY
Dearly beloved, we are gathered together here in the sight of God, and in the presence of these wit nesses, to join together this man and this woman in holy matrimony; which is an honorable estate, instituted of God in the time of man’s innocency, signifying unto us the mystical union that is between 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 St. Paul to be honorable among all men; and therefore is not by any to be taken in hand unadvisedly, but reverently, discreetly, and in the fear of God.
Into which holy estate these two persons present come now to be joined. Therefore, if any can show any just cause why they may not lawfully be joined together, let him now speak, or else hereafter for ever hold his peace.
I require and charge you both (as you will answer at the dreadful day of judgment, when the secrets of all hearts shall be disclosed) that if either of you know any impediment why you may not be lawfully joined together in matrimony, you do now confess it, for be ye well assured, that so many as are coupled together otherwise than God’s word doth allow, are not joined together by God, neither is their matrimony lawful.
M., wilt thou have this woman to be thy wedded wife, to live together after God’s ordinance, in the holy estate of matrimony? Wilt thou love her, comfort her, honor, and keep her, in sickness and in health; and, forsaking all others, keep thee only unto her, so long as ye both shall live?
N., wilt thou have this man to be thy wedded husband, to live together after God’s ordinance, in the holy estate of matrimony? Wilt thou love, honor and keep him, in sickness and in health; and, forsaking all others, keep thee only unto him, so long as ye both shall live?
[Then the woman shall answer:]
Those whom God bath joined together let not man put asunder.
Inasmuch as M. and N. have consented together in holy wedlock, and have witnessed the same before God, and this company, and thereto have pledged their faith each to the other, and have declared the same by joining hands; I pronounce that they are husband and wife together, in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.
God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Ghost, bless, preserve, and keep you; the Lord mercifully with his favor 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.