We are joined together in the sight of God and in the face of this congregation to join together this man and this woman, in holy matrimony, which is an honorable estate, instituted of God, in a time of man’s innocence, and therefore is not by any to be enterprised, nor taken in hand unadvisedly, or lightly, or wantonly, but reverently, discretely, soberly, and in the fear of God. If any man can show any just cause why they may not lawfully be joined together, let him speak, or else forever hold his peace.
O eternal God: We bring You our children, Jimmy and Shirley. They were Yours, but You in love did lend them to us for a little season to care for, to love, and to cherish. It has been a labor of love that has seemed but a few days because of the affection we bear them. Fresh from Thy hand they were in the morning of their lives. Clean and upright, but yet two separate personalities. Tonight we give them back to You—no longer as two, but as one flesh. May nothing short of death dissolve the union here cemented. And to this end let the marvelous grace of God do its perfect work!
It is also our earnest prayer for them, not that God shall have a part in their lives, but that He shall have the preeminent part; not that they shall possess faith, but that faith shall fully possess them both; that in a materialistic world they shall not live for the earthly and temporal alone, but that they shall be enabled to lay hold of that which is spiritual and eternal.
Let their lives together be like the course of the sun, rising in strength, going forth in power, and shining more and more unto the perfect day. Let the end of their lives resemble the setting of the sun, going down in a sea of glory, only to shine on undimmed in the firmament of a better world than this. In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.
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