If you are having a religious marriage ceremony, you will probably want to include at least one wedding prayer. There are a wide variety of existing prayers relating to love, marriage, and weddings for you to choose from, or if you want to make your ceremony very personal you could write your own with the help of your minister or celebrant.
There are a number of possibilities when it comes to reciting the wedding prayer. Some prayers are designed to be said by the couple themselves, while others are intended to be recited by the minister, a single guest, a child, or by the whole congregation altogether.
Usually you would include a wedding prayer in your ceremony after you have been pronounced husband and wife. Prayers designed to be used in wedding ceremonies tend to have similar themes which might include;
The type of wedding prayer that you choose will depend on whether you want to read the prayer as a couple, or whether you want the minister or guests to read it. Here are two examples of couples’ prayers, including a famous prayer by Robert Louis Stevenson:
Lord, behold our family here assembled.
We thank you for this place in which we dwell,
for the love that unites us,
for the peace accorded us this day,
for the hope with which we expect the morrow,
for the health, the work, the food,
and the bright skies that make our lives delightful;
for our friends in all parts of the earth.
Lord, help us to remember when we first met and the strong love that grew between us.
To work that love into practical things so nothing can divide us.
We ask for words both kind and loving, and for hearts always ready to ask forgiveness as well as to forgive.
Dear Lord, we put our marriage into Your hands.
The wedding prayer that you choose may also depend on your religious denomination. Here are two short wedding prayers for the minister or congregation to say at Protestant or Catholic weddings:
Eternal God, our creator and redeemer, as you gladdened the wedding in Cana of Galilee by the presence of your Son, so by his presence now bring your joy to this wedding. Look in favour upon ____ and ____ and grant that they, rejoicing in all your gifts, may at lengths celebrate with Christ the marriage feast which has no end.
Father, you have made the bond of marriage a holy mystery,
a symbol of Christ’s love for his Church.
Hear our prayers for ____ and ____.
With faith in you and in each other they pledge their love today.
May their lives always bear witness to the reality of that love.We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Some couples choose to have a simple blessing to finish their wedding ceremony, and this can be printed in the order of service to be said by the congregation. Here is a popular Irish wedding prayer that can be used as a final blessing:
May the road rise to meet you
May the wind be always at your back
May the warm rays of sun fall upon your home
and may the hand of a friend always be near
May God be with you and bless you;
May you see your children’s children.
May you be poor in misfortune,
Rich in blessings.May you know nothing but happiness
From this day forward.