Ceremony – God’s Knot – adapted by Arwen Freer

As we are told in Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 (NIV)

9 Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor:
10 If either of them falls down, one can help the other up.
But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.
 11 Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone?
12 Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves.
SPOUSE2 and SPOUSE2, symbolizing this scripture, you will now be braiding a God’s Knot to represent your relationship. The Cord of Three Strands symbolizes the joining of the two of you by God into a marriage. Marriage takes three; the husband, the wife, and God. It was God who taught us to love. By keeping Him at the center of your relationship, His love will continue to bind you together as one throughout your marriage.  In braiding these strands together, you are committing to a unity not just between the two of you, but also with God, weaving Him into every aspect of your lives together. (Pause for braiding to complete)

And so the knot is tied.

 

OPTIONAL: This additional text can be added, if the traditional cord colors are used:

Gold Strand – Represents God

The divinity of God is represented in Gold. This covenant relationship is initiated by Him, will be built under His authority, and is intended to glorify Him.

Purple Strand – Represents the Groom

As a new creation in Christ, the majesty of the Groom is represented in purple. As the husband loves his wife and submits himself to the Lord, the Lord in turn will demonstrate His great love in the marriage.

White Strand – Represents the Bride

Having been cleansed by salvation in Christ, the purity of the Bride is represented in white. As the wife loves her husband and submits herself to the Lord, the Lord in turn will nurture and strengthen the marriage.

 

Reading – Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis

“If the old fairy-tale ending ‘They lived happily ever after’ is taken to mean ‘They felt for the next fifty years exactly as they felt the day before they were married,’ then it says what probably never was nor ever would be true, and would be highly undesirable if it were. Who could bear to live in that excitement for even five years? What would become of your work, your appetite, your sleep, your friendships?

But, of course, ceasing to be ‘in love’ need not mean ceasing to love. Love in this second sense — love as distinct from ‘being in love’ — is not merely a feeling. It is a deep unity, maintained by the will and deliberately strengthened by habit; reinforced by the grace which both partners ask, and receive, from God. They can have this love for each other even at those moments when they do not like each other; as you love yourself even when you do not like yourself. They can retain this love even when each would easily, if they allowed themselves, be ‘in love’ with someone else. ‘Being in love’ first moved them to promise fidelity: This quieter love enables them to keep the promise. It is on this love that the engine of marriage is run: being in love was the explosion that started it.”

 

 

 

 

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Reading – The Bible – Ecclesiastes 4

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 (NIV)

9 Two are better than one,because they have a good return for their labor:
10 If either of them falls down, one can help the other up.
But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.
11 Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm.
But how can one keep warm alone?
12 Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves.
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.

 

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Reading – The Bible – Solomon’s Song of Songs

Solomon’s Song of Songs 8:6-7   (NIV)

6 Place me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm; for love is as strong as death, its jealousy unyielding as the grave. It burns like blazing fire, like a mighty flame. 7 Many waters cannot quench love; rivers cannot sweep it away.

 

 

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Reading – The Bible – Colossians

Colossians 3:12-15  (NIV)

12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.

 

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Reading – The Bible – 1 John 4

1 John 4:16-19 (NIV)

16 And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. 17 This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus. 18 There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. 19 We love because he first loved us.

 

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Reading – The Bible – Ephesians

Ephesians 4:1- 7 New International Version (NIV)

1 I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. 2 Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. 3 Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. 4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. 7 But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it.

Ephesians 5: 21-33 New International Version (NIV)

21 Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.

22 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.

25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— 30 for we are members of his body. 31 “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” 32 This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. 33 However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

 

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Reading – The Bible – 1 Corinthians 13

1 Corinthians 13 (NIV)

1 If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.

4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

 

 

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Ceremony – Blessing of the Coins

Minister: (Minister takes the coins in hand.) Now we will continue with the Blessing of the Coins.  The13 coins in this ceremony represent Jesus and his 12 disciples. The coins also represent different values that the couple desires to share between themselves: love, harmony. cooperation, commitment, peace, happiness, trust, respect, caring, wisdom, joy, wholeness and nurturing. In presenting the bride with these coins, the groom symbolically recognizes his responsibility as a provider, and pledges to support and care for his wife, as well as declares his trust in her. In receiving the coins, the bride accepts that trust and confidence unconditionally with total dedication, responsibility, and prudence. In the name of our Heavenly Father, I bless these coins, knowing that they are also a symbol of the good in store for this loving couple. I accept this for Bride’s Name and Groom’s Name, and so it is, Amen.
(Pause for Minister to pour the coins into the groom’s hands.  Groom holds his hands over the Bride’s hands.)

Minister to the Groom: Groom’s Name, please repeat after me.
I, Groom’s Name, give you Bride’s Name, these coins as a symbol of the unquestionable trust and confidence I place in you as my beloved wife. As we unite our lives today I share all material responsibility with you. (Pause as groom pours coins into bride’s hands,)

Minister to the Bride: Bride’s Name, please repeat after me.
I Bride’s Name, accept these coins and assure you, Groom’s Name, of my total dedication in looking after you and your possessions and pledge my unconditional love to you.

Minister: In exchanging these coins, Bride’s Name and Groom’s Name have agreed with each  other, what is his is hers and what is hers is his. May these coins be a symbol of this couple’s mutual love, fidelity and trust.
(Pause to hand off the coins to wedding attendant.)

 

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Ceremony – Lasso

Minister: Bride’s Name and Groom’s Name have chosen to incorporate the Lasso ritual into their wedding ceremony. The Lasso is a wedding ritual in which the couple is bound together with a ceremonial rosary. Lassoing is a declaration of intent, where the bride and groom clearly state that they are marrying of their own free will.
Bride’s Name and Groom’s Name, since your lives have crossed, you have formed and eternal and sacred bond. As you enter this state of matrimony you should strive to make real the ideals that give meaning to this ceremony.

With full awareness, know that within this Lasso you are not only declaring your intent to be bound together before your friends and family, but you speak that intent also to God.

The promises made today and the ties that are bound here greatly strengthen your union and will cross all the years or your lives.

Bride’s Name and Groom’s Name, I ask you to hold hands and look into each others eyes.
Will you honor and respect one another, and seek to never break that honor?
Will you share each other’s pain and seek to ease it?
Will you share the burdens of each so that your spirits may grow in this union?
And will you share each other’s laughter, and look for the brightness in life and the positive in each other?

Bride & Groom: We will.

(Pause while Lasso is draped in the form of a figure 8 around the Bride and Groom by parents or wedding attendants.)

Minister: Bride’s Name and Groom’s Name, as you are bound together now, so too your lives and spirits are joined in a union of everlasting love and trust. Above you are the stars and below you is the earth. Like the stars your love should be a constant source of light, and like the earth, a firm foundation from which to grow.

Minister: Let us pray.
Father in heaven, You ordained marriage for your children, and You gave us love. We present to You Bride’s Name and Groom’s Name, who come this day to be married. May the covenant of love they make be blessed with true devotion and spiritual commitment.

Bless this marriage, O God, as they begin their journey down the road of life together. We know not what lies ahead, for the road has many turns and bends, but we are grateful to you for helping them to make the best of whatever comes their way.

We are thankful that they can continue to enjoy each other as they did when they first met and for helping them to realize that nothing and no one is perfect and to look for the good in all things and all people including themselves.

Thank you for helping them to respect each other’s likes and dislikes, opinions and beliefs, hopes and dreams and fears, even though they may not always understand them.

Thank you for helping them to learn from each other and to help each other to grow mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.

Thank you for helping them to realize that no matter what happens to them they will hold on to each other and know that things have a way of working out for the good.

Thank you for helping them to create a peaceful, stable home of love as a foundation on which they can build their lives.

But most of all, dear God, thank you for helping them to keep lit the flame of love that they now share, so that by their loving example, they may pass on the light of love to their children and to their children’s children forever and ever.
And so it is. Amen
(Pause while Lasso is removed by the same people who placed it)

 

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Reading – quote from Devine Comedy by Dante Alighieri

The love of god, unutterable and perfect, flows into a pure soul the way light rushes into a transparent object. The more love we receive, the more love we radiate; so that, as we grow clear and open, the more complete the joy of loving is. And the more souls who resonate together, the greater the intensity of their love, for mirror-like, each soul reflects the other.

 

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Reading – Scottish Wedding Prayer

 

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 that nothing can divide us.

We ask for words both kind and loving and hearts always ready to ask forgiveness as well as to forgive.

Dear Lord, we put our marriage into your hands.

 

 

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Reading – “To Be One With Each Other” by George Eliot

What greater thing is there for two human souls
than to feel that they are joined together
to strengthen each other in all labor,
to minister to each other in all sorrow,
to share with each other in all gladness,
to be one with each other in the silent unspoken memories?

 

 

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Reading – The Bible – John 15: 9-12

In John 15: 9-12, Jesus says:

As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue in my love.

If you keep my commandments, you shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.

These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.

This is my commandment, that you love one another, as I have loved you.

 

 

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