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Cathedral of Hope Holy 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.

The Charge To The Congregation

Officiator
Dearly beloved, we are gathered here in the sight of God to celebrate your joining in love and Holy Union. This is a special moment in the development of your love. Having found one another and established your relationship, you are here to sanctify it and give it special significance by celebrating in this holy place.

This service is not magic. It will not create a relationship that does not already exist. It is a time for tying a knot in the rope of days and saying, “We will not slip backwards from here, but will go forward together.”

It is a time for declaring vows and intentions, and for facing the uncertainties of the future with one thing of which you are certain; your love for one another and your desire for that love to last forever.

Statement of Intent

Officiator
The Apostle Paul wrote,

“If I speak with the tongues of humans and angels but have not love, I am but a sounding gong or a tinkling cymbal. Love is patient and is kind. It does not envy; it is not proud. Love is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered. Love keeps no record of wrongs. It does not rejoice in evil, but delights only in the truth. Love always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. Now abides faith, hope, and love; but the greatest of these is love.”
[Name-1] and [Name-2], you have heard the Bible’s definition of love. It is a high and lofty one, but the only one worthy of our efforts. I invite you now to state publicly your resolution to live out this kind of love.

[Name-1], will you endeavor with all that is within you to be faithful to this ideal of love? Will you love and forgive as freely and unconditionally as God loves and forgives you? Will you forsake all others and love faithfully so long as you both shall live?

Partner1:
I Will.

Officiator
[Name-2], will you endeavor with all that is within you to be faithful to this ideal of love? Will you love and forgive as freely and unconditionally as God loves and forgives you? Will you forsake all others and love faithfully so long as you both shall live?

Partner2:
I Will.

Exchange of Vows

Officiator
Since you have both stated your intentions to live together in love, and you have heard the love you profess defined by the scripture, I invite you to turn and, before God, make your vows to one another.

[Name-1] take [Name-2]’s hand and repeat this vow to her/him after me:
I [Name-1] take you, [Name-2], to be my partner in life. I will cherish our friendship and love today, tomorrow, and forever. I will trust you and honor you. I will love you faithfully through the best and the worst; through the difficult and the easy. Whatever may come, I will always be there. As I have given you my hand to hold, so I give you my life to keep. So help me God.

[Name-2] take [Name-1]’s hand and repeat this vow to her/him after me:
I [Name-2] take you, [Name-1], to be my partner in life. I will cherish our friendship and love today, tomorrow, and forever. I will trust you and honor you. I will love you faithfully through the best and the worst; through the difficult and the easy. Whatever may come, I will always be there. As I have given you my hand to hold, so I give you my life to keep. So help me God.

Exchange of Rings

Officiator
Throughout the ages, people have exchanged property as a sign of a covenant between them. In ancient times monarchs would give their ring to one who represented them and upon seeing the monarch’s ring all would know that a special relationship existed. In the story Jesus told about the prodigal son, when the prodigal responded to the parent’s faithful devotion, a ring was placed upon his finger.

For many years, rings have served as symbols of a loving relationship. Now [Name-1] and [Name-2] come to exchange rings. As often as you see these rings upon your fingers may you remember the vows you made today, and may you renew your determination to make your love last and your relationship grow.

Let us pray:
Bless O Lord these rings that as they are given and as they are worn they may serve to remind us that though we may fail, love never does. As the circle of these rings knows no end, so may the love this day declared never end.
Amen.

Ring Vow

Partner1:
With this ring I encircle you with my love. I present it as a symbol of my constant faith and abiding love. With this ring I pledge my love to you and give you my heart.

Partner2:
With this ring I encircle you with my love. I present it as a symbol of my constant faith and abiding love. With this ring I pledge my love to you and give you my heart.

Prayer of Dedication

Officiator
Faithful God, pour down your grace upon [Name-1] and [Name-2] that they may fulfill the vows that they have pledged this day. May they reflect your steadfast love in their life-long faithfulness to each other. From your great store of strength, give them power and patience, affection and understanding, courage and love. We ask, O God that in every time of difficulty that they may find the path to growth and maturity. May all the events of their lives bring them closer to one another and closer to you. May the world be the better for the life of their love.

Hear us now O God as we your children pray together the prayer which Jesus taught us saying: “Our God, which art in heaven …”

The Pronouncement

Officiator
Listen to the scriptures once more. This is a passage that is often quoted at weddings, but usually they don’t note that these words are spoken by two people of the same sex. Listen to the words which Ruth spoke to Naomi. May these words go with you and be yours forever:

And Ruth said to her: “Entreat me not to leave you, or to return from following after you: For whither thou goest I will go and whither thou lodgest I will lodge; and your people will be my people and your God my God. And where you die I will die and there I will be buried. May the Lord do so to me and more also if anything but death parts thee from me.” (Ruth 2:16-17)

Finally, listen to these words which are taken from the Apache Ceremony of Love:

        Now you will feel no rain,
            For each of you will be shelter for the other.
        Now you will feel no cold,
            For each of you will be warmth to the other.
        Now there is no more loneliness,
            For each of you will be companion to the other.
        Now you are two persons,
            But there is one life before you.
        Go now to your dwelling
            to enter into the days of your life together.
        And may your days be good
            and long upon the earth.

In as much as you have presented yourselves here and exchanged vows and rings as the symbols of your relationship; by the power that is vested in me by this church, and by the power of your love, I do proclaim that you are partners for life, in the name of God, the Parent, Son, and Holy Spirit,
Amen

Jesus said,

“What God has joined together, let no one put asunder.”
You may embrace.


This vow courtesy
Rev. Mike Piazza
Cathedral of Hope
5910 Cedar Springs; Dallas, TX 75235
214-351-1901
MPiazza@cathedralofhope.com
www.cathedralofhope.com



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