Question by combat_medic253: How do you commence and preside over a wedding?
Two of my best friends are already married by Justice of the Peace but they are having a ceremony for friends and some family. They want me to preside over the wedding because I know them both. They aren't too religious so I don't know if I should open with a bible verse or not. Also how its all supposed to go down. Looking for ideas and suggestions.
Answer by krissylyn
There are not any rules about how such a ceremony has to go down, as it is not a legal requirement. Therefore, you are free to do whatever you like.
There aren't many references to marriage in the bible, that's why most people go with 1 Corinthians 13:13, which is about love, more than marriage, so most everyone has heard it - which can be good (comforting) or bad (overused), depending upon who is listening. Strictly speaking, I don't even believe that reading is about romantic type love.
An actual minister will generally pick a bible verse and then parlay that into a sermon about the couple. You could try that. You could pick a theme like "respect" and find a bible verse to go with that: Philippians 2:3 "Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind let each of you regard one another as more important than himself;" And then say a few words about that concept in marriage.
Or you could go with a standard like the golden rule Matthew 7:12 and talk about how they've always treated each other like they'd like to be treated (if that's appropriate). But you've got to be pretty experienced to pull something like that off. I would suggest starting off with a poem or reading:
Blessing for a Marriage
James Dillet Freeman
May your marriage bring you all the exquisite
excitement marriage should bring,
and may life grant you also patience,
tolerance, and understanding.
May you always need one another -
not so much to fill your emptiness
as to help you to know your fullness.
A mountain needs a valley to be complete;
the valley does not make
the mountain less, but more;
and the valley is more a valley because
it has a mountain towering over it.
May you need one another, but not out of weakness.
May you want one another, but not out of lack.
May you entice one another, but not compel one another.
May you embrace one another, but not out encircle one another.
May you succeed in all important ways with one another,
and not fail in the little graces.
May you look for things to praise, often say, "I love you!"
and take no notice of small faults.
If you have quarrels that push you apart,
may both of you hope to have
good sense enough to take the first step back.
May you enter into the mystery which is
the awareness of one another's
presence - no more physical than spiritual,
warm and near when you are
side by side, and warm and near when
you are in separate rooms
or even distant cities.
May you have happiness,
and may you find it making one another happy.
May you have love, and may you find it loving one another.
And then just say a few words personalizing that poem to the couple.
Know better? Leave your own answer in the comments!
How to Establish your Marriage
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