When two people desire to form a lasting, lifelong partnership with each other in God’s love, they make their vows before God and the gathered community of family, friends and the Church. They in turn receive the grace and blessing of God to help them fulfill those vows. These are some of the prayers that The Episcopal Church uses in the blessing of a marriage:
O God, you have so consecrated the covenant of marriage that in it is represented the spiritual unity between Christ and his Church: Send therefore your blessing upon these your servants, that they may so love, honor, and cherish each other in faithfulness and patience, in wisdom and true godliness, that their home may be a haven of blessing and peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
God of abundance: assist by your grace _____ and _____, whose covenant of love and fidelity we witness this day. Grant them your protection, that with firm resolve they may honor and keep the vows they make; through Jesus Christ our Savior, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Almighty and everliving God: look tenderly upon _____ and _____, who stand before you in the company of your Church. Let their life together bring them great joy. Grant them so to love selflessly and live humbly, that they may be to one another and to the world a witness and a sign of your never-failing love and care; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, to the ages of ages. Amen.
O God, faithful and true, whose steadfast love endures for ever: we give you thanks for sustaining _____ and _____ in the life they share and for bringing them to this day. Nurture them and fill them with joy in their life together, continuing the good work you have begun in them; and grant us, with them, a dwelling place eternal in the heavens where all your people will share the joy of perfect love, and where you, with the Son and the Holy Spirit, live and reign, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
Eternal God, creator and preserver of all life, author of salvation, and giver of all grace: Look with favor upon the world you have made, and for which your Son gave his life, and especially upon _____ and _____ whom you make one flesh in Holy Matrimony. Amen.
Give them wisdom and devotion in the ordering of their common life, that each may be to the other a strength in need, a counselor in perplexity, a comfort in sorrow, and a companion in joy. Amen.
Grant that their wills may be so knit together in your will, and their spirits in your Spirit, that they may grow in love and peace with you and one another all the days of their life. Amen.
Give them grace, when they hurt each other, to recognize and acknowledge their fault, and to seek each other’s forgiveness and yours. Amen.
Make their life together a sign of Christ’s love to this sinful and broken world, that unity may overcome estrangement, forgiveness heal guilt, and joy conquer despair. Amen.
Bestow on them, if it is your will, the gift and heritage of children, and the grace to bring them up to know you, to love you, and to serve you. Amen.
Give them such fulfillment of their mutual affection that they may reach out in love and concern for others. Amen.
Grant that all married persons who have witnessed these vows may find their lives strengthened and their loyalties confirmed. Amen.
Grant that the bonds of our common humanity, by which all your children are united one to another, and the living to the dead, may be so transformed by your grace, that your will may be done on earth as it is in heaven; where, O Father, with your Son and the Holy Spirit, you live and reign in perfect unity, now and for ever. Amen.
Prayers are from the Book of Common Prayer and from I Will Bless and You Will Be a Blessing: Revised and Expanded 2015.