The Presider may address the assembly in these words
Dear friends in Christ,
we have gathered together today
to witness N. N. and N. N. publically committing themselves to one another and, in the name of the Church, to bless their union:
a relationship of mutual fidelity and steadfast love,
forsaking all others,
holding one another in tenderness and respect,
in strength and bravery,
as long as they live.
Therefore, in the name of Christ, let us pray
that they may be strengthened for the promises they make this day, and that we will have the generosity
to support them in what they undertake
and the wisdom to see God at work in their life together.
The Collect of the Day
© 2012 The Church Pension Fund
Presider People Presider
The Lord be with you. or God be with you. And also with you.
Let us pray.
The Presider says one of the following Collects
Gracious and everliving God:
assist by your grace N. and N.,
whose lifelong commitment of love and fidelity we witness this day. Grant them your blessing, that with firm resolve
they may honor and keep the covenant they make;
through Jesus Christ our Savior,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Almighty and everliving God:
look tenderly upon N. and N.,
who stand before you in the company of your Church. Lift them up in joy in their life together.
Grant them so to love selflessly and live humbly,
that they may be to one another and to the world
a witness and a sign of your never-failing care; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, to the ages of ages. Amen.
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O God, faithful and true,
whose steadfast love endures for ever:
we give you thanks for sustaining N. and N. in the life they share and for bringing them to this day.
Nurture them and fill them with joy in their life together, continuing the good work you have begun in them;
and grant us, with them, a dwelling place eternal in the heavens where all your people will share the joy of perfect love,
and where you, with the Son and the Holy Spirit, live and reign, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
For those who bring children
Holy Trinity, one God,
three Persons perfect in unity and equal in majesty: Draw together with bonds of love and affection
N. and N., who with their families
seek to live in harmony and forbearance all their days, that their joining together will be to us
a reflection of that perfect communion
which is your very essence and life,
O Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,
who live and reign in glory everlasting. Amen.
I'm an atheist but also a life-long member of the Episcopal Church, though I don't attend except occasionally, maybe once every two years. But the church does have a beautiful service and uses beautiful language. I appreciate the historical value of ritual and can honor that even if not buying religion.