Gay Christian Online - Same-Sex Marriage Ceremony - Traditional Formal Gay Marriage Ceremony
Gay Christian same-sex (gay or lesbian) marriage ceremony.
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This Page - Same-Sex Marriage Ceremony - Traditional Formal Gay Marriage Ceremony. (Suggestions and examples of the contents of a traditional style marriage ceremony for use by gays and lesbians, with additional suggestions for music, sacraments, and prayers).

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Gay Christian Online - Same-Sex Marriage Ceremony - Traditional Formal Gay Marriage Ceremony

INDEX

PRELUDE
PROCESSIONAL
WELCOME, INTRODUCTION, AND CHARGE
FAMILY CANDLES
FIRST READING
SPECIAL MUSIC
SECOND READING
SPECIAL MUSIC
GIVING AND RECEIVING
GIVING OF CANDIDATES
VOWS
BLESSING OF RING(S)
EXCHANGE OF RING(S)
PRAYER OF BLESSING
THE LORD'S PRAYER
JOINING
BLESSING
UNITY CANDLE
COMMUNION (THE LORD'S SUPPER)
COMMENTARY/SERMON
KISS
INTRODUCTION OF THE COUPLE
CLOSING PRAYER
INSTRUCTIONS
CLOSING
RECESSIONAL
END OF THIS PAGE

he following is a same-sex marriage ceremony (gay marriage ceremony or lesbian marriage ceremony), in traditional formal style. It is based on the traditional marriage ceremonies used in English speaking countries, i.e. the United Kingdom, the United State of America, etc. It is compiled based on the Anglican (Episcopal) Book of Common Prayer Marriage Ceremony from 1945, marriage ceremonies used by the Presbyterian Church, and other traditional denominations. It has been modified in sections more specific to straight (heterosexual) marriage to reflect same-sex (homosexual) context. It includes suggestions and recommendations for traditional music, scripture readings, and blessings. Combining all these various sources and traditions, I present my version for use by gays and lesbians who wish a traditional Christian approach for their wedding or commitment ceremony. I believe it could be used in Protestant and Catholic Churches. You may freely use it, but I would appreciate mention and reference to this website as its source, so it might be readily available and properly noted. If you use it, I would enjoy hearing from you, too.

Although I provide this at no cost, a generous donation would be greatly appreciated to off-set the cost of posting these pages and the website.

Thanks, Ben.

Gay Christian Online - Same-Sex Marriage Ceremony - Traditional Formal Gay Marriage Ceremony HOME

PRELUDE HOME

usic begins.
The ushers seat the guests and secondary family members.
Assigned person(s) enter and light candles, and place item(s) necessary for the ceremony.
Parents of the couple are escorted, and seated.
The Officiate(s) (Minister, Pastor, Priest, etc.) enters and proceeds to the front.

Candidate's Marriage Party Entrance -
Variation One:
The First Candidate's marriage party members(s) enters and proceeds to the front, and stop on the side where will stand the First Candidate.
The Second Candidate's marriage party member(s) enters and proceeds to the front, and stop on the side where will stand the Second Candidate.
Variation Two:
A member of the First Candidate's marriage party is paired with a member of the Second Candidate's marriage party. The paired marriage party member(s) enter as couples, proceed to the front, then separate to their Candidate's respective either side.

The Ring Bearer and/or Flower Person enter, proceed to front, and sit down.
Music concludes.

Suggestions for Prelude Music -

"Adagio" (From Sonata in E-Flat), Mozart
"Air", From Handel "Water Music"
"Air On The G String", From J.S. Bach's "Orchestral Suite No.3"
"Prelude (And Fugue) Number One In C Major", J.S. Bach
"Allegro", From J. S. Bach's "Brandenburg Concerto #4 in G"
"Nocturne In E flat, Op.9 No.2", Chopin
"Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun", Debussy
"Waltz", From Tchaikovsky's Sleeping Beauty Act 1

PROCESSIONAL HOME

he Officiate asks the audience to rise and welcome the Candidate(s).

Music begins.
Processional Entrance Variations for the Candidates -
Variation One:
Both Candidates proceed arm-in-arm or hand-in-hand to the front, stop in front of the Officiate.
Variation Two:
One Candidate follows the other Candidate to the front, stop in front of the Officiate.
Variation Three:
One Candidate enters during the Prelude with the Officiate, and the other Candidate enters during the Processional and proceeds to the front to join the other Candidate, and stop in front of the Officiate.
Music concludes.

Suggestions for Processional Music -

Traditional Wedding March From Lohengrin ("Here Comes the Bride"), Wagner
Processional To "Te Deum", Charpentier
"Trumpet Tune", Purcell
"Trumpet Voluntary In D Major" ("Prince of Denmark's March"), Clarke
"Canon In D", Pachelbel
"Arioso", J.S. Bach
"Introduction", Purcell
"Romance from String Quartet", Mozart
"Rondeau" ("Masterpiece Theater Theme"), Shoshana Damari

WELCOME, INTRODUCTION, AND CHARGE HOME

fficiate shall open by saying,

"Dearly beloved, we are gathered together here in the sight of God, and in the face of this company, to join together (First Candidate's Name) and (Second Candidate's Name) in holy union; which is an honorable estate, instituted of God, signifying unto us the mystical union that is between Christ and His Church: which holy estate Christ adorned and beautified with His presence and first miracle that He wrought in Cana of Galilee: and therefore is not by any to be entered into unadvisedly or lightly; but reverently, discreetly, advisedly, soberly, and in the fear of God. Into this holy estate these two persons present come now to be joined. If any man can show just cause, why they may not be joined together, let him now speak, or else hereafter forever hold his peace."

And also speaking unto the Candidates who are to be joined, the Officiate shall say,

"I require and charge you both, as you will answer to God, that if either of you know any impediment, why you may not be lawfully joined together, you do now confess it."

FAMILY CANDLES - Optional HOME

andidates light candles to represent their two families. A single candle remains unlit between the other candles to later be lighted after the Candidates are joined together.

Optional -
Candidates present flowers to the other Candidate's parent(s).

FIRST READING HOME

s the Father hath loved Me, so have I loved you: continue ye in My love. This is My commandment, that ye love one another, as I have loved you." John 15:9, 12. KJV

"Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not love, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have no love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not love, it profiteth me nothing. Love is patient and kind; love is not envious; charity is not proud, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth: beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, edureth all things. Love never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. And now abideth faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love." I Corinthians 13:1-10, 13. KJV, Modified

SPECIAL MUSIC HOME

uggestions for Special Music -

"Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring", J.S. Bach
Air - "Sheep May Safely Graze", J.S. Bach
"Air On The G String" (From Orchestral Suite No.3), J.S. Bach
"Ave Maria", Schubert
"Lord's Prayer" (Various)
"Canon In D", Pachelbel
"He Shall Feed His Flock" (From "Messiah"), Handel
"Pastoral Symphony" (From "Messiah"), Handel
"Piano Sonata No. 14 In C-Sharp Minor, Movement One," Beethoven

SECOND READING HOME

esus answered and said unto him, If a man love Me, he will keep My words; and My Father will love him, and We will come unto him, and make Our abode with him." John 14:23.

"Owe no one any thing, but to love one another; for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law." Romans 13:8. KJV, Modified

"Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. In this was manifested the love of God towards us, because that God sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another." I John 4:7-11. KJV

SPECIAL MUSIC HOME

pecial Music.

GIVING AND RECEIVING HOME

he Officiate, if no impediment shall be alleged, or suspected, shall say to the First Candidate,

"(First Candidate's Name), Wilt thou have (Second Candidate's Name) to thy wedded spouse, to live together after God's ordinance, joined in holy estate? Wilt thou love him/her, comfort him/her, honor, and keep him/her in sickness and in health; and, forsaking all others, keep thee only unto him/her, so long as ye both shall live?"

The First Candidate shall answer, "I will."

Then shall the Officiate say to the Second Candidate,

"(Second Candidate's Name), Wilt thou have (First Candidate's Name) to thy wedded spouse, to live together after God's ordinance, joined in holy estate? Wilt thou love him/her, comfort him/her, honor, and keep him/her in sickness and in health; and, forsaking all others, keep thee only unto him/her, so long as ye both shall live?"

The Second Candidate shall answer, "I will."

GIVING OF CANDIDATE(S) - Optional HOME

iving of Candidate(s) Variations -
Variation One -Both Candidates Given:
Then shall the Officiate say,
"Who giveth these two persons to be joined together?"
The parent(s) of both Candidates shall answer, "We/I do."
The parent(s) place the hands of the Candidates into the hands of the Officiate.
Variation Two - One Candidate Given:
Then shall the Officiate say,
"Who giveth this person to be joined together?"
The parent(s) of the given Candidate shall answer, "We/I do."
The parent(s) place the hands of the Candidate into the hands of the Officiate.

VOWS HOME

he Officiate, receiving the Candidate(s), shall cause the First Candidate with his/her right hand to take the Second Candidate by his/her right hand, and to say after as follows:

"I, (First Candidate's Name), take thee, (Second Candidate's Name), to my wedded spouse (or lover, partner, companion, etc.), to have and to hold from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death us do part, according to God's holy ordinance; and thereto I give and plight thee my troth."

Then shall they loose their hands; and the Second Candidate with his/her right hand taking the First Candidate by his/her right hand, shall likewise say after the following:

"I, (Second Candidate's Name), take thee, (First Candidate's Name), to my wedded spouse (or lover, partner, companion, etc.), to have and to hold from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death us do part, according to God's holy ordinance; and thereto I give and plight thee my troth."

BLESSING OF RING(S) HOME

he Officiate shall receive the ring(s) from the appropriate bearer. Upon receipt of the ring(s), the Officiate shall pray,

"Bless, O Lord, this/these Ring(s), that he/she who gives it and he/she who wears it may abide in thy peace, and continue in thy favor, unto their life�s end; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen."

EXCHANGE OF RING(S) HOME

hen shall the Candidates again loose their hands; and the First Candidate shall give unto the Second Candidate a Ring in this wise: the Officiate taking the ring shall deliver it unto the First Candidate, who shall to put it upon the fourth finger of the Second Candidate's left hand. And the First Candidate holding the Ring there, and taught by and repeated after the Officiate, shall say,

"With this Ring I thee wed: In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen."

Then, the First Candidate, leaving the Ring upon the fourth finger of the Second Candidate's left hand, shall turn back towards the Officiate.

Then the Second Candidate shall give unto the First Candidate a Ring in this wise: the Officiate taking the ring shall deliver it unto the Second Candidate, who shall to put it upon the fourth finger of the First Candidate's left hand. And the Second Candidate holding the Ring there, and taught by and repeated after the Officiate, shall say,

"With this Ring I thee wed: In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen."

Then, the Second Candidate, leaving the Ring upon the fourth finger of the First Candidate's left hand, shall turn back towards the Officiate.

PRAYER OF BLESSING HOME

he Officiate shall ask all present and able to stand, and say,

"Please stand. Let us pray,

O Eternal God, Creator and Preserver of all, Giver of all spiritual grace, the Author of everlasting life; Send thy blessing upon these thy servants, whom we bless in thy Name; that they, living faithfully together, may surely perform and keep the vow and covenant betwixt them made, (whereof this/these Ring(s) given and received is a token and pledge,) and may ever remain in perfect love and peace together, and live according to thy laws; through Jesus Christ our Lord, Who taught us to pray, saying,"

THE LORD'S PRAYER HOME

ecited by all present.

Protestant Version One -

"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, and the Power, and the Glory, for ever and ever. Amen."

Protestant Version Two -

"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 debts, As we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, But deliver us from evil. For Thine is the Kingdom, and the Power, and the Glory, for ever and ever. Amen."

Roman Catholic Version -

"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. Amen."

Then the Officiate may add the following optional prayer,

"O God, who hast so consecrated the state of Union that in it is represented the unity betwixt Christ and His Church; Look mercifully upon these thy servants, that they may love, honor, and cherish each other, and so live together in faithfulness and patience, in wisdom and true godliness, that their home may be a haven of blessing and of peace; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Spirit ever, one God, world without end. Amen."

The Officiate concludes by asking everyone present to again be seated.

JOINING HOME

hen shall the Officiate join the Candidates right hands together, and say,

"Those whom God hath joined together let no man (no one) put asunder."

Then shall the Officiate speak to all present,

"Forasmuch as (First Candidate's Name) and (Second Candidate's Name) have consented together in holy union, and have witnessed the same before God and this company, and thereto have given and pledged their troth, each to the other, and have declared the same by giving and receiving a Ring, and by joining hands; I pronounce that they are united, In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen."

BLESSING HOME

oth Candidates shall kneel, and the Officiate shall add this Blessing,

"God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Ghost, bless, preserve, and keep you; the Lord mercifully with his favor look upon you, and fill you with all spiritual benediction and grace; that ye may so live together in this life, that in the world to come ye may have life everlasting. Amen."

The Candidates shall stand.

UNITY CANDLE - Optional HOME

andidates use one candle from their respective family candle(s) to light a single candle to represent their bond together.

Suggestions for Unity Candle Music -

"Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring", J.S. Bach
"There Is Love (Wedding Song)", Paul Stookey
"Ave Maria", Shubert
"Lord's Prayer", Mallote
"Amazing Grace", Traditional
"Canon in D", Pachelbel

COMMUNION (THE LORD'S SUPPER) - Optional HOME

ommunion, The Lord's Supper, may be shared only by the united Candidates, or by the entire Congregation, all those persons gather together.

The Officiate says,

"As their first act united together in Christ, (First Candidate's Name) and (Second Candidate's Name) choose to share in Holy Communion. (They also invite everyone gathered together here today to share with them in Christ' Supper, which is open to all persons; all are welcome at Christ'�s table)."

The Candidates shall kneel (the People remain seated).

The Officiate says, "Blessed be God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit."
The Candidates/People say, "Blessed be His kingdom, now and for ever. Amen."
Officiate, "Christ is risen."
The Candidates/People, "The Lord is risen indeed. Allelulia."
The Officiate prays, "Almighty God, unto whom all hearts are open, all desires known, and from whom no secrets are hid: Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of thy Holy Spirit, that we may perfectly love Thee, and worthily magnify Thy Holy Name; through Christ our Lord. Amen."
The Officiate says, "Let us silently humbly confess our sins unto Almighty God."
A few moments of silence follows.
The Candidates/People, "Lord, have mercy upon us. Christ, have mercy upon us. Lord, have mercy upon us."
The Officiate says, "Let us rejoice for the forgiveness given us through Jesus Christ, Our Lord. Amen."

The Officiate, "The Lord be with you."
The Candidates/People, "And also with you."
The Officiate, "Lift up your hearts."
The Candidates/People, "We lift them up unto the Lord."
The Officiate, "Let us give thanks unto our Lord God."

The Officiate continues, saying, "All glory be to Thee, Almighty God, our heavenly Father, for that Thou, of Thy tender mercy, didst give Thine only Son Jesus Christ to suffer death upon the cross for our redemption; who made there, by Himself once offered, a full, perfect, and sufficient sacrifice for our sins; and did institute, and in His Holy Gospel command us to continue, a perpetual memory of His precious sacrifice, until His coming again."

At the following words concerning the bread, the Officiate is to hold it, or lay a hand upon it; and at the words concerning the cup, to hold up or place a hand upon the cup and any other vessel containing wine to be consecrated, and say,

"For in the night in which he was betrayed, he took bread; and when he had given thanks, he brake it, and gave it to his disciples, saying, 'ake, eat, this is My Body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of Me." 'Likewise, after supper, He took the cup; and when He had given thanks, He gave it to them, saying, 'Drink ye all of this; for this is My Blood of the New Testament, which is shed for you, and for many, for the remission of sins. Do this, as oft as ye shall drink it, in remembrance of Me.'"

"Wherefore, O Lord and heavenly Father, according to the institution of Thy dearly beloved Son, our Savior Jesus Christ, bless and sanctify, with Thy Word and Holy Spirit, these Thy gifts of bread and wine, making them that which Ye desire; that we, receiving them according to Thy Son our Savior Jesus Christ's holy institution, in remembrance of His death and passion, may be partakers of His most blessed Body and Blood."

Optional bell or chime.

"And here we offer and present unto thee, O Lord, our selves, our souls and bodies, to be a reasonable, holy, and living sacrifice unto thee; and made one body with Him, that He may dwell in us, and we in Him."

"By whom, and with whom, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, all honor and glory be unto thee, O Father Almighty, world without end. Amen."

The Officiate breaks the consecrated Bread and lifts the consecrated Wine, saying, "The Gifts of God for the People of God."

And may add, "Take them in remembrance that Christ died for you."

The Officiate receives the Sacrament in both kinds, and then immediately delivers it to the Candidates (and then the People).

The Bread (and the Cup) are given with these words, "The Body of Christ, the Bread of Heaven. Amen." (and "The Blood of Christ, the Cup of Salvation. Amen.").

During the ministration of Communion, hymns may be sung, or Special Music.

After Communion, the Officiate says,

"Let us pray,

The peace of God, which passeth all understanding, keep your hearts and minds in the knowledge and love of God, and of His Son Jesus Christ our Lord; and the blessing of God Almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, be amongst you, and remain with you always. Amen."

The Candidates stand.

COMMENTARY/SERMON - Optional HOME

he Officiate shares comments, a short Sermon, etc.

KISS HOME

he Officiate shall say,

"You may now seal the promises you have made with each other with a kiss."

INTRODUCTION OF THE COUPLE HOME

he Officiate shall say,

"Ladies and gentlemen, I/we present to you the loving couple (Candidates Names)."

CLOSING PRAYER HOME

fficiate says,

"Let us pray,

Now unto Him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy, to the only wise God our Savior, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever, Amen." (Jude, Verse 24)

(or)

The LORD bless thee, and keep thee: The LORD make His face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee: The LORD lift up His countenance upon thee, and give thee peace." (Numbers 6:24-26)

INSTRUCTIONS - Optional HOME

fficiate shares any information regarding any celebrations or other information the joined couple wishes shared.

CLOSING HOME

fficiate says, "Go in peace."

RECESSIONAL HOME

usic begins.
Joined Candidates exit.
The Ring Bearer and/or Flower Person exit.

Candidates Marriage Party Exit -
Variation One:
The First Candidate's marriage party members(s) exit.
The Second Candidate's marriage party member(s) exit.
Variation Two:
The paired Candidates marriage party member(s) exit.

The Officiate(s) (Minister, Pastor, Priest, etc.) exit.
Parents of the couple are escorted, exit.
Assigned person(s) enter and extinguish candles, and remove item(s) necessary for the ceremony.
The ushers exit the guests and secondary family members.
Music concludes.

Suggestions for Recessional Music -

Traditional "Wedding March", From Mendelssohn's "A Midsummer Night's Dream"
"Ode to Joy", By Beethoven
"Spring", from Vivaldi's "Four Seasons"
"Arrival of the Queen of Sheba", From Handel's "Solomon"
"Hornpipe", From Handel's "Water Music"
"Brandenburg Concerto #1 in F, First Movement", J.S. Bach
"La Rejouissance", From Handel's "Royal Fireworks Music"

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