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RENEWAL OF VOWS
No attempt has been made here to present a large variety of pastoral prayers. The Presider can "wing" this section – the main thing is to pray for not only the newly wed couple, but for all families, and for ourselves as individuals. The following is a traditional prayer that accomplishes this goal.
Note that following this prayer the Benediction is normally given - following which the signing of the register takes places.
PRAYER ONE - UCC
Let us pray: O God, Lord of life and love eternal, author of all good and giver of all joy, we thank you for the gift of marriage. We bless thee for the joy that - Name - and - Name - have found in each other and for the covenant that they have made before thee.
Grant, O Lord, that - Name - and - Name - may dwell together in unity and love all the days of their life. Give them health, prosperity and peace. Strengthen them to obey and serve thee, that they may walk in the steps of Jesus Christ and when the joys and sorrows and all the good and evil of this passing world are ended, inherit thy promises and share in thy eternal Glory.
O God, look too in favour upon us and all our homes. Defend us from evil from within and without, and supply our needs according to the riches of thy grace - that directed by thy spirit, we may look to the good of others in word and deed and grow in grace as we advance in years. We ask it through Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour, saying together as one, the prayer he taught us
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, THE POWER AND THE GLORY, FOR EVER AND EVER. AMEN
Let us pray -- Eternal God, without your grace no promise is sure. Strengthen - Name and Name - with the gift of your Spirit, so they may fulfill the vows they have taken. Keep them faithful to each other and to you. Fill them with such love and joy that they may build a home where no one is a stranger. And guide them by your word to serve you all the days of their lives.
The following Prayer was Used For The Wedding of a friend of ours some 22 years ago. It reflects a conservative theology - but has in it many beautiful clauses that could be used. The original author was Louis H. Evans, DD, LLD
Prayer Two - For A Bride A Groom (Bohanan)
O God of Love, Thou hast established marriage for the welfare and happiness of mankind. Thine was the plan, and only with Thee can we work it out with joy. Thou hast said, "It is not good for man to be alone. I will make a helpmeet for him." Now our joys are doubled, since the happiness of one is the happiness of the other. Our burdens are now halved, since when we share them, we divide the load.
Bless this husband. Bless him as provider of nourishment and raiment and sustain him in all the exactions and pressures of his battle for bread. May his strength be her protection, his character be her boast and her pride, and may he so love that she will find in him the haven for which the heart of woman truly longs.
Bless this loving wife. Give her a tenderness that will make her great, a deep sense of understanding and great faith in Thee. Give her that inner beauty of soul that never fades, that eternal youth that is found in holding fast the things that never age.
Teach them that marriage is not living merely for each other; it is two uniting and joining hands to serve Thee. Give them a great spiritual purpose in life. May they seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and the other things shall be added unto them.
May they not expect that perfection of each other that belongs alone to Thee. May they minimize each other's weakness, be swift to praise and magnify each other's points of comeliness and strength, and see each other through a lover's kind and patient eyes.
Now make such assignments to them on the scroll of Thy Will as will bless them and develop their characters as they walk together. Give them enough tears to keep them tender, enough hurts to keep them humane, enough of failure to keep their hands clenched tightly in Thine, and enough success to make them sure they walk with God.
May they never take each other's love for granted, but always experience that breathless wonder that exclaims, "Out of all this world you have chosen me." When life is done and the sun is setting, may they be found, then as now, hand in hand, still thanking God for each other.
May they serve Thee happily, faithfully, together, until at last one shall lay the other into the arms of God.
This we ask through Jesus Christ, Great Lover of our souls. Amen.
And now unto you - and all who present, may this blessing come upon you - that you be in love, grow in love, stand in love, and act by love – through the God of love - both now and forevermore. Amen
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