The Ceremony



THE PROCESSIONAL

THE APOSTOLIC GREETING

      P: The Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all.
      C: And also with you.

THE COLLECT OF MARRIAGE FOR DAMIAN AND SUSAN

      Let us pray.
      Eternal God, our creator and redeemer, as you gladdened the wedding at Cana in Galilee by the presence of your Son, so by his presence now bring your joy to this wedding. Look in favor upon Damian and Susan and grant that they, rejoicing in all your gifts, may at length celebrate with Christ the marriage feast which has no end.
      Amen.

THE GIVING AWAY OF THE BRIDE

      P: Who gives this woman to be married to this man?
      Dad: Her mother and I do.

THE READING
"Man and Woman" by D.H. Lawrence
Read by Tracy Fingerhut

Man and Woman are like the earth that brings forth flowers in summer, and love, but underneath is rock. Older than flowers, older than ferns, older than foriminiferae, And when, throughout all the wild chaos of love slowly a gem forms, in the ancient, once-more-molten rocks of two human hearts, a man's heart and a woman's, that is the crystal of peace, the slow hard jewel of trust, the sapphire of fidelity. The gem of mutual peace emerging from the wild chaos of love.

THE LECTION

The Old Testament
Genesis 2:18-24

18 And God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make a helper for him. 19 And out of the ground God formed every beast of the field, and every bird of the heavens; and brought them unto the man to see what he would call them; and whatsoever the man called every living creature, that was the name thereof. 20 And the man gave names to all cattle, and to the birds of the heavens, and to every beast of the field; but for man there was not found a helper suitable for him. And God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept; and he took one of his ribs and closed up the flesh instead thereof: 22 and the rib, from the man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. 23 And the man said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, for she was taken out of Man. 24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall become one flesh.

The Epistle
1 Corinthians 13:1-13

If I speak with the tongues of men and of the angels, but have not love, I am becoming sounding brass, or a clanging cymbal. 2 And if I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 And if I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and if I give my body to be burned but have not love, it profiteth me nothing. 4 Love suffereth long, and is kind; love envieth not; love vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, 5 doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not its own, is not provoked, taketh not account for evil; 6 rejoiceth not in unrighteousness, but rejoiceth with the truth; 7 beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. 8 Love never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall be done away; whether there be tongues, they shall cease, whether there be knowledge, it shall be done away. 9 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part; 10 but when that which is perfect is come, that which is in part shall be done away. 11 When I was a child, I spake as a child, I felt as a child, I thought as a child: now that I am become a man, I have put away childish things. 12 For now we see in a mirror, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then was fully known. 13 But now abideth faith, hope, love, these three; and the greatest of these is love.

The Holy Gospel
Matthew 19:4-6

4 And he answered and said, Have ye not read, that he who made them from the beginning made them male and female, 4 and said, For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall cleave unto his wife; and the two shall become one flesh? 6 So that they are no more two, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let no man put asunder.

THE HOMILY
The Rev. John G. Fleischmann, Pastor

THE EXCHANGE OF VOWS

      The Lord God in his goodness created us male and female, and by the gift of marriage founded human community in a joy that begins now and is brought to perfection in the life to come.

      Because of sin, our age-old rebellion, the gladness of marriage can be overcast and the gift of the family can become a burden. But because God, who established marriage, continues still to bless it with his abundant and ever-present support, we can be sustained in our weariness and have our joy restored. Damian and Susan, if it is your intention to share with each other your joys and sorrows and all that the years will bring, with your promises bind yourselves to each other as husband and wife.

[To the altar and join hands]

Damian:

I take you, Susan,
To be my wife from this day forward,
To join with you and share all that is to come,
And I promise to be faithful to you
Until death parts us.


Susan:

I take you, Damian,
To be my husband from this day forward,
To join with you and share all that is to come,
And I promise to be faithful to you
Until death parts us.


THE EXCHANGE OF RINGS

Damian:

With this ring,
I give to you my promise,
That from this day forward you shall not walk alone.
May my heart be your shelter,
And my arms be your home.
May God bless you always.
May we walk together through all things.
May you feel deeply loved for indeed you are.
May you always see your innocence in my eyes.
With this ring,
I give to you my heart.
May we feel this joy forever.
I thank God.
I thank you.
Amen.


Susan:

With this ring,
I give to you my promise,
That from this day forward you shall not walk alone.
May my heart be your shelter,
And my arms be your home.
May God bless you always.
May we walk together through all things.
May you feel deeply loved for indeed you are.
May you always see your innocence in my eyes.
With this ring,
I give to you my heart.
May we feel this joy forever.
I thank God.
I thank you.
Amen.


THE WORD TO THE PARENTS

      To the parents of Susan and Damian, congratulations on the part you have played in raising a daughter and son of such serious purpose. They accept a very mature and meaningful task in taking on this marriage. On their behalf, and on behalf of all those here, I thank you. I remind you that it is more than their blood that is joined here; it is yours as well. With this marriage, God joins your two families, and it is the family unit that shall rebuild the world. With this in mind, I ask you, Susan's parents, to take this man, Damian, as your son. I ask your family to take him into their hearts, as son and brother, and beloved to Susan. May a great and glorious light sanctify this joining.

      And of you, Damian's parents, I ask the same. I ask that you take this woman, Susan, into your hearts, that she might live from this day forward as your daughter, for she is dear and beloved to your son, and shall be so, through the grace of God, to all your family. May the miracle of this marriage extend throughout your family.

THE PRONOUNCEMENT

      P: Damian and Susan, by their promises before God and in the presence of this congregation, have bound themselves to one another as husband and wife.

      C: Blessed be God the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit now and forever.

      P: Those whom God has joined together let no one put asunder.

      C: Amen.

THE LIGHTING OF THE UNITY CANDLE

      The Lord God, who created our first parents and established them in marriage, establish and sustain you, that you may find delight in each other and grow in holy love until your life's end.
      Amen.

[Lighting of the unity candle]

May you dwell in God's presence forever; may true and constant love preserve you.

THE PRAYERS

      Let us bless God for all the gifts in which we rejoice today.

Lord God, constant in mercy, great in faithfulness; With high praise we recall your acts of unfailing love for the human family, for the house of Israel, and for your people the Church. We bless you for the joy which your servants, Damian and Susan, have found in each other, and pray that you give to us such a sense of your constant love that we may employ all our strength in a life of praise of you, whose work alone holds true and endures forever. Amen.

      Let us pray for all families throughout the world.

Gracious Father, you bless the family and renew your people. Enrich husbands and wives, parents and children more and more with your grace, that, strengthening and supporting each other, they may serve those in need and be a sign of the fulfillment of your perfect kingdom, where, with your Son Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit, you live and reign, one God through all ages of ages. Amen.

      Let us pray for Damian and Susan in their life together.

Faithful Lord, source of love, pour down your grace upon Damian and Susan, that they may fulfill the vows they have made this day and reflect your steadfast love in their life-long faithfulness to each other. As members with them of the body of Christ, use us to support their life together; and from your great store of strength give them power and patience, affection and understanding, courage, and love toward you, toward each other, and toward the world, that they may continue together in mutual growth according to your will in Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with the Father and the Holy Spirit ever one God, world without end. Amen.

THE OUR FATHER

      Our father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever and ever.
      Amen.

THE BENEDICTION

      Almighty God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, keep you in his light and truth and love now and forever.
      Amen.

[We kiss!!!!!]

THE RECESSIONAL

1997 Susan Lynch