Partners Task Force for Gay & Lesbian Couples
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Free Catholic Church Union
© 1998, Partners Task Force


The following sample marriage ceremony solemnizes a relationship.

While this may not be reproduced by any print or electronic means for distribution, permission to use this text is hereby given to individual same-sex couples for use in their personal commitment ceremonies.

Opening Prayer
(please stand)

Priest:
Almighty God, hear our prayers for [name-1] and [name-2], who have come here today asking to be united as one in the bonds of love. Increase their faith in you and in each other, and through them bless your Church. We ask this through our Lord, Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever,
Amen.

(Please be seated)

Readings: Song of Songs 2, 8-10, 14. 16:8, 6-7

Priest:
Hark! My lover ó here he comes springing across the mountains, leaping across the hills. My lover is like a gazelle or a young stag. Here he stands behind our wall, gazing through the windows, peering through the lattices.

My lover speaks; he says to me, ďArise, my beloved, my beautiful one, and come!Ē

ďO my dove in the clefts of the rock, in the secret recesses of the cliff,
Let me see you, let me hear your voice,
For your voice is sweet, and you are lovely.Ē

My lover belongs to me and I to him. (He said to me) Set me as a seal on your heart, as a seal on your arm;
For stern as death is love, relentless as the nether world is devotion; its flames are a blazing fire.
Deep waters cannot quench love, nor floods sweep it away.

This is the word of the Lord.

Response:
Thanks be to God.

Priest:
The Lord is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and of great kindness. The Lord is good to all and compassionate toward all his works.

Response:
The Lord is compassionate to all his creatures.

Priest:
Let all your works give you thanks, O Lord, and let your faithful ones bless you. The eyes of all look hopefully to you, and you give them their food in due season.

Response:
The Lord is compassionate to all his creatures.

Priest:
The Lord is just in all his ways and holy in all his works. The Lord is near to all who call upon him, to all who call upon him in truth.

Response:
The Lord is compassionate to all his creatures.

Second Reading:
Rom: 8, 31-35. 37-39
A reading from the letter of Paul to the Romans.

Priest:
If God is for us, who can be against us? Is it possible that he who did not spare his own Son but handed him over for the sake of us all will not grant us all things besides? Who shall bring a charge against Godís chosen ones? God, who justifies? Who shall condemn them? Christ Jesus, who died or rather was raised up, who is at the right hand of God and who intercedes for us? Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Trial, or distress, or persecution, or hunger, or nakedness, or danger, or the sword? Yet in all this we are more than conquerors because of him who has loved us. For I am certain that neither death nor life, neither angels nor principalities, neither the present nor the future, nor powers, neither height nor depth nor any other creature, will be able to separate us from the love of God that comes to us in Christ Jesus, our Lord.

This is the Word of the Lord.

Response:
Thanks be to God.

The Gospel
Alleluia verse:
(All stand)

All:
God is love; let us love one another as he has loved us.

Priest:
Peace be with you.

All:
And also with you.

Matthew 5, 1-12

Priest:
The Gospel of the Lord.

All:
Praise to you Lord Jesus Christ.

Homily

All:
Our Father Ö

Prayers of the faithful

Priest:
In peace, we pray to the Lord.
For their joining together in union of love and life, we pray to the Lord,
For these servants of god, [name-1] and [name-2], and for their union in Christ, we pray to the Lord,
That the lord our god unite them in perfect love and inseparable life, we pray to the Lord,
That they and we, be granted all things necessary for salvation, we pray to the Lord,
That they and we be preserved from all suffering, danger and need, we pray to the Lord,
For the assembled guests here, that the lord will grant to each, that which is needed the most, we pray to the Lord,
For the holy church of god; that the lord guide and protect it, we pray to the Lord.

God of love, our refuge and our strength, hear the prayers of your Church, and grant us today what we ask of you in faith. We ask this through Christ our Lord.

All:
Amen.
(Please be seated)

Prayers of union and exchange of vows
(Couple stands before Priest.)

Priest:
I. Lord our god, glorified in the council of the saints, great and awesome ruler over all around Thee, bless Thy servants [name-1] and [name-2], grant them knowledge of the holy spirit. Guide them in thy holy fear, grant them joy, that they may become united more in the spirit than in the flesh. Because it is Thou who does bless and sanctify those who trust in Thee and Thine is the everlasting glory.
Amen.

2. (Bless rings, and then Personal vows and ring exchange)

Blessed be your name, O lord, you are the fount and source of every blessing. Draw near, we pray, to these Thy servants and, as they wear these rings as a symbol of their love, faith and devotion, grant that they may also strive to be transformed into the likeness of Christ, your son, who lives and reigns with you for ever and ever.
Amen.

(Rings are placed at head of altar.)

[Name-1] and [Name-2], is it both your wills to come before the church to declare your love, and ask for Godís blessing?

Couple:
It is.

Priest:
[Name-1], do you desire to spend the rest of your life with [Name-2]?

Partner-1:
I do.

Priest:
[Name-1], do you love this man/woman with all your heart and soul, and will you keep him/her in sickness and health, forsaking all others?

Partner 1:
I do and I will.

Priest:
[Name-2], do you desire to spend the rest of your life with [Name-1]?

Partner-2:
I do.

Priest:
[Name-2], do you love this man/woman with all your heart and soul, and will you keep him/her in sickness and health, forsaking all others?

Partner-2:
I do and I will.

(Partner-1 takes ring and places it on partner2ís wedding finger.
Partner-2 takes ring and places it on partner1ís wedding finger.
Wrap stole around both rights hands held together.)

In as much as you have both publicly declared your love and intentions before these witnesses and the church, and exchanged a symbol of this love, I declare you both united as one in love, spirit, and life.

3. (Place Gospel in the hands of the couple, place one hand of Partner 1 on the Gospel, and Partner 2ís hand on Partner 1ís hand.)

In peace we beseech Thee, O Lord.
For heavenly peace, for the peace of the entire world,
That these Thy servants, [Name-1] and [Name-2], be sanctified with Thy spiritual benediction,
That their love abide without offense or scandal all the days of their lives,
That they be granted all things needed for salvation and godly enjoyment of life everlasting,
That the lord god grant unto them unashamed faithfulness and sincere love,
That we be saved, we beseech Thee O Lord.
Have mercy on us, O god.
Lord have mercy, Lord have mercy, Lord have mercy.

(Both Partners kiss the Gospel)

For as Thou, O Lord and ruler, art merciful and loving, who did establish humankind after Thine image and likeness, who didst deem it meet that Thy holy apostles Philip and Bartholomew be united bound one unto the other not by nature but by faith and the spirit. As Thou did find thy holy martyrs Sergius and Bacchus worthy to be united together, bless also these Thy servants [Name-1] and [Name-2], joined together not by the bond of nature but by faith and in the mode of the spirit, granting unto them peace and love and oneness of mind. Cleanse from their hearts every stain and impurity and vouchsafe unto them to love one other without hatred and without scandal all the days of their lives, with the aid of the Mother of God and all Thy saints, for as much as all glory is Thine.
Amen.

The Lord be with you! And also with you.

Let us exchange with one another a sign of Godís peace.

O Lord our God, who hast granted unto us all things necessary for salvation and did command us to love one another and to forgive one another our failings, protect in Thy holiness, lord and lover of good, these Thy servants who love each other with a love of the spirit and have come before Thy holy church to be blessed and consecrated by Thee. Grant them unashamed faithfulness, true love, and as Thou did vouchsafe unto Thy holy disciples, Thy peace, bestow also on these servants all those things needed for salvation and eternal life.
Amen.

Litany of the Saints:
(Please stand)

Priest:
St John the Beloved, pray for us,
Holy Michael,
Holy Raphael,
all holy angles of God,
Holy Abraham,
Holy Sergius And Bacchus,
Holy Maximillian Kolbe,
Holy Elizabeth Ann Seaton,
Holy Mar Georgius,
all holy priests and bishops,
Lord, be merciful,
Lord, save your people
Christ hear us,
Lord, hear our prayer.

Final blessing:

Priest:
May the peace of God,
Which is beyond all understanding,
Keep your hearts and minds
In the knowledge and love of God,
And of his son, our lord Jesus Christ.
Amen.

May almighty God bless you, the Father, and the Son and the Holy Spirit.
Amen.

Let us go in love and peace to serve the Lord.
Thanks be to God.



This vow courtesy
Fr. Bruce J. Simpson
Christ the Redeemer Parish
c/o Church of the Ascension
630 Sligo Ave., Silver Spring, MD 20910
301-731-5766
lawman@erols.com



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