Reflection on Marriage Commitment
The weekend before we celebrated our tenth anniversary, I attended my first Episcopalian wedding ceremony with a great friend of mine. When I was handed the program, I was surprised that it was six pages long. I’d not seen one that contains almost all of the words that will be spoken during the ceremony before.
What I first thought was unusual ended up being a really special moment. Because I was there celebrating friends, but also because I know what attempting to live a life that reflects those declarations can bring. I am wishing Jenni and Micah that kind of union!
I wanted to share a portion of the program that I found especially impactful.
- Eternal God, creator and preserver of all life, author of salvation, and giver of all grace: Look with favor upon the world you have made, and for which your Son gave his life, and especially upon this man and this woman whom you make one flesh in Holy Matrimony. Amen.
- Give them wisdom and devotion in the ordering of their common life, that each may be to the other a strength in need, a counselor in perplexity, a comfort in sorrow, and a companion in joy. Amen.
- Grant that their wills may be so knit together in your will, and their spirits in your Spirit, that they may grow in love and peace with you and one another all the days of their life. Amen.
- Give them grace, when they hurt each other, to recognize and acknowledge their fault, and to seek each other’s forgiveness and yours. Amen.
- Make their life together a sign of Christ’s love to this sinful and broken world, that unity may overcome estrangement, forgiveness heal guilt, and joy conquer despair. Amen.
- Bestow on them, if it is your will, the gift and heritage of children, and the grace to bring them up to know you, to love you, and to serve you. Amen.
- Give them such fulfillment of their mutual affection that they may reach out in love and concern for others. Amen.
- Grant that all married persons who have witnessed these vows may find their lives strengthened and their loyalties confirmed. Amen.
- Grant that the bonds of our common humanity, by which all your children are united one to another, and the living to the dead, may be so transformed by your grace, that your will may be done on earth as it is in heaven; where, O Father, with your Son, and the Holy Spirit, you live and reign in perfect unity, now and for ever. Amen.
Amen, indeed! Grateful for my marriage to a man who really does everything he can to submit our lives to Christ and to love me how Christ loves his church!