Thursday, March 15, 2018

Contemporary Wedding Liturgy , Bridget Mary Meehan ARCWP






Wedding Liturgy with Eucharistic Prayer

( Resource: Mary Beben and Bridget Mary Meehan Walking the Prophetic Journey, published in 1998 by Woven Word Press, 
pp.75-83, To adapt gender neutral language, use personal names and instead of Bride and Groom, use Couple. Cite resource if you use or adapt material below.) 


Processional:

Both sets of parents could be in the processional as a symbol of the power of two individuals, the Bride and Groom, coming from different rich heritages and choosing to join their traditions together in a new family.


Introduction of Theme:

We come together to celebrate the joining of (name Bride and Groom) in holy matrimony. We pray that their love may be the folfilment of the covenant, given to us by a God who is boundless, passionate love, the perfect manifestation of forgiveness, tenderness, intimacy and playfulness. We rejoice with (name Bride and Groom) in this celebration of their sacred commitment.


Greeting of Peace:

Let us express our friendship and support of (name Bride and Groom) as we share a sign of peace with one another.

Opening Prayer:
God of lovers, hear our prayers for (name Bride and Groom) . They bring before you their hopes and dreams as they join their lives together in a union of hearts so intimate that it is the most perfect human symbol of your divine love for humankind.


Readings: Genesis 1:26-27; 1 Corinthians 13; John 15:9-16


Homily:

Today, our homily is preached by the witness of (name Bride and Groom), who pledge their love and fidelity in their marriage commitment. By their love for one another, they are reflecting love's power, God's passionate, tender presence revealed in intimate human relationships. Their future is an act of faith, with all its promises and challenges, hopes and dreams. Today they stand before us , and risk everything in walking this path together through good and bad times, no matter what happens. They are saying "yes", they believe in one another, they hope in one another, they love one another.



Let us pledge our support and friendship to them in the days and years ahead. (Name Bride and Groom), we promise to be there for you in your successes and failures. We promise to love you in your joys and sorrows, triumphs and sufferings. You are a visible sign to us that true love calls us to care for one another, and that relationships, even in our disposable society, are worth the hard work it takes to maintain them.



(Name Bride and Groom), your vowed commitment reminds us that love is a treasure worth pursuing with our hearts and that Lover God is present every time we reach out to touch another person with smiles, caresses, open hearts and listening ears. Today your wedding reminds us of our call to reach out to others with compassion. You challenge us to believe that love can work miracles and that we can be channels of Lover God's healing, empowering love in the world. Amazing Grace, how much more love you give us , than we can ever hope for or imagine! Let us immerse ourselves in God's infinite love and become, like (name Bride and Groom), the face of God for each other.



(Name Bride and Groom), we celebrate with you this day and pray that you will grow more deeply in love with one another in Lover God's passionate heart. May your commitment to fidelity be a source of hope for all of us this day that love can always be new and fresh, like a summer breeze; that love can grow and grow, like the seed that is transformed into the tallest of trees; that love is forever striving for new heights and depths of intimacy, like the human hearts who seek love's fullness again and again. Thank you for preaching to us today! We bless you! We love you!



We now invite your family members to share their words of encouragement and love as you begin your wedded love this day.


Declaration of Intent:

(Name Bride and Groom), you have come together to witness your faith in one another as you pledge your love. The God of Lovers embraces and blesses you as you hold one another this day in mutual love. Since it is your desire to enter into this sacred relationship, join your hands and proclaim your love before God and this community.



(Name Groom), do you take (name Bride) to be your loving, equal partner for as long as you may live? (I do.)

(Name Bride), do you t'ake (name Groom) to be your loving, equal partner for as long as you may live? ( I do.)


Exchange of Vows:

(It is recommended that Bride and Groom create their own marriage vows that reflect their loving commitment. The following is an adapted version of the traditional vows.)



(Name Groom), repeat after me. I, (Groom), take you, (Bride), to be my lover, friend, and companion as long as I may live. I promise to be faithful to you in happy and sad times, in sickness and in health. I will cherish and love you as my beloved forever.



(Name Bride), repeat after me. I, (Bride), take you, (Groom), to be my lover, friend, and companion as long as I may live. I promise to be faithful to you in happy and sad times, in sickness and in health. I will cherish and love you as my beloved forever.


Blessing and Exchange of Rings:

(Name Bride and Groom), you will now symbolize your eternal love through the giving and receiving of rings. The circle of a ring symbolizes a love that lasts forever. May-these rings remind you of your passionate love for one another, a love that will endure the tribulations of life, a love that will grow stronger with each passing day. May the bliss of romantic love that you now experience be a mere shadow of the happiness that lies ahead in your married life.

Faithful God, bless these rings that (name Bride and Groom) may experience overflowing love for one another in your abiding presence everyday of their lives.


Presider gives groom the bride's ring:

(Name Groom), place this ring on (name Bride's) finger and repeat after me: (name Bride), I give this ring to you as a sign of my faithful love. I will love you all the days ofmy life.


Presider gives bride the groom's ring.

(Name Bride), place this ring on ( name Groom's) finger and repeat after me: (name Groom), I give this ring to you as a sign of my faithful love. I will love you all the days of my life.



(Name Bride and Groom), you have promised to give yourselves in self­ giving love to one another in the exchange of these rings. Now I declare you united in marriage. You may now kiss one another.



Unity Candle (Optional)

The two candles represent your individual lives, families, cultures, and backgrounds. As you light the Unity Candle, you symbolize the powerful union you now share as a married couple bringing these two traditions together in a new family.


Intercessions:

As (name Bride and Groom) are united in this Iioly union today, may they be signs of your intimate love calling us to open, caring relationships with one another..

(Response: God of lovers, unite us in love.)



That all God's creatures may experience justice, peace and harmony, we pray...


That we, the people of God, may reflect harmony and peace in all our
relationships, we pray...



That (name Bride and Groom) may be dynamic witnesses of your passionate tender love for all people, we pray...


That we, the friends and relatives of (name Bride and Groom), may be blessed with all we need to grow spiritually as a family of faith , we pray...



That our deceased loved ones, especially those we remember today, may experience God's eternal embrace. ( Let us pause now to name our loved ones.) And for all the ad, we pray...



That God may answer the special prayers we bring today, we pray... ( Time for spontaneous petitions from community.)



Presentation of Gifts:

(Instrumental and /or classical music may be played as family members bring gifts to altar.)

(Hold up bread and wine) Blessed are you, God of all life, through your goodness we have bread, wine, all creation, and our own lives to offer. Through this sacred meal may we become your new creation.



The Eucharistic Prayer: Part One:

God of passionate love, Initiator of romantic desire, Spirit of union, we delight in your playful tenderness and intimate communion revealed in married love. We thank you that from the beginning, you called woman and man to equal partnership in the sacred bond of holy matrimony. We praise you as we celebrate the mystery of divine love that is reflected in the union of (name Bride and Groom), whom you have joined in marriage this day.



All: Holy, Holy, Holy, God of lovers. Heaven and earth are bound together in your eternal embrace. Hosanna in the Highest! Blessed are you who call us to loving relationships. Happy are we who are called to this wedding feast of boundless joy. Hosannah in the Highest!

Part Two:

We thank you for (name Bride and Groom). May their marital union be a sacred experience of your healing, forgiving, empowering love. We praise you for married couples whose love has illuminated our lives and flooded our hearts with brilliant insight into the presence of the holy all around us.



We express our gratitude to you, Lover of all Lovers, who call us to undreamed of closeness with you and all God's people in this sacred meal. We are one body, your body. We offer thanks for this holy bread and wine, signs of our communion with you and with the entire cosmos, that we will share around this festive table.



On the night before he died, Jesus gathered for the Seder supper with the people closest to him, lifted the Passover bread, spoke the blessing, broke the bread and offered it to them saying:

All: Take and eat of the Bread of Life
Given to strengthen you
Whenever you remember me like this
I am among you. 



( PAUSE)

At the end of the meal Jesus took a cup of wine, blessed you, Lover of all

Lovers, shared the cup with all those at the meal saying:

All: Take and drink of the covenant
Made new again through my life in you.
Whenever you remember me like this,
I am among you. (pause)

All: Let us share this bread and cup, and welcome everyone to the Banquet as we ly to soar to love's heights in your presence.


Part Three:

We are a family of faith bonded together in joy as we celebrate our union in this holy meal. May the married love of (name Bride and Groom) flourish and be a beacon of light for all the world to see.



Let us pray for the earth in which your divine indwelling is manifested. (Mention nature's gifts which we cherish.)

Part Four:

Let us pray for all people around the globe, especially the poor, the oppressed, the neglected, the "least" of our sisters and brothers. (Mention specific intentions.)


May we let go of all that keeps us from caring for one another with sincere hearts.



All: And so we pray: through, with and in our Lover God, in the unity of the passionate Spirit, we give glory and praise to you, Love of the Ages, forever and ever. Amen.



The Prayer of Jesus: (Traditional or see appendix)


Breaking of Bread:
All: O God of Courage, You call us to live the Gospel of peace and justice.
We will live justly.
O God of Compassion, You call us to be Your presence in the world.
We will love tenderly.
O God of Truth, You call us to speak truth to power.
We will walk with integrity in your presence.



This is the bread of life and the cup of blessing. Through it we are nourished and we nourish each other. All are welcome to the Feast.


Communion:

"Wherever You Go" by the Western Priory Monks


Prayer after Communion:

0 Everlasting Love, you draw us closer together in your divine embrace. May you hold (name Bride and Groom) close to your heart forever, as you delight in their sacred union. We ask this through Christ, our companion in life's journey. Amen.


Final Blessing of Community:

Family and friends of (name Bride and Groom), let us raise our hands in blessing for this newly married couple: God of Love, bless (name Bride and Groom) with joy and peace on this their wedding day. May their home be a sacred place of welcome for all who dwell there. May they grow more deeply in love every day of their lives. May their love be fruitful and may they give you glory and praise, one in mind, body and spirit forever.


Closing Song: (See attached sheet) 


Alternative and Contemporary Versions of the Prayer of Jesus
1. Divine Parent, you are everywhere; sacred is your presence. May your family grow in oneness and closeness to you,

as we forgive ourselves, others, and you for the hurts that wound us.

Show us how to love as you love. Help us to embrace one another as family. Empower us to meet every challenge. Deliver us from all that divides us,

for you are our Mother/Father, the Giver of Life forever and ever. Amen.



2. Our God, who brought us into being and dwells in all creation, Holy is your name.

May your new creation come; may your heart's desires be fulfilled. Nourish us this day with all that we need.

Forgive us our failures and heal our brokenness and give us, too, forgiving hearts.

Strengthen us to resist temptation; deliver us from evil.

For yours is the power and glory that dwells everywhere in the cosmos, forever and ever. Amen.



3. Our Birther God who dwells among us, we praise your holy name. Your love be born in us; Your will be done. You give us allwe need. You forgive us and help us to forgive others.

You deliver us from evil and liberate us to live in freedom.

For you are the Creator, the Lover and the Empowerer that enfolds us forever in your Divine Womb-Love. Amen.



4. 0 God of Love, You dwell everywhere.

Holy is your passionate presence everywhere and in e,.ve ryone.

Your vision be praised; Your dreams be fulfilled in us and in all generations.

You give us all we need to be free and whole.

You forgive us our failures and heal the wounds of our souls. Your reign will be forever glorious. Amen.





5. 0 Passionate God of Love, You dwell in the hearts of all people. Intimate Warmth is your Name. May your tenderness be felt! Embrace us this day in your compassionate arms.

Forgive us our failures to love and heal the hurts of our hearts and give us the power to heal one another.

Help us to let go of resentment and all that separates us from one another.

Deliver us from hostility.

For Yours is the brilliant beauty and magnificent power of Divine Love forever. Amen.

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