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Marriage Text with Commentary on the rite of Marriage

By Fr. Vladimir Borichevski

The Order of Marriage is composed of two parts: (1)the Betrothal and (2) the Sacrament of Crowning. The Bethrothal is usually celebrated in the Narthex of the Church. The exchange of rings is its distinctive act. After the Great Litany with added petitions for the blessing of the Bethrothal, the Priest prays that they will receive perfect and peaceful love and that God will bless the Bethrothal and unite them in peace and oneness of mind. The Priest then puts on the rings and they are exchanged thrice in the Name of the Holy Trinity; as a sign of their mutual pledge of integrity in love. The ring is placed on the right hand as the hand of power and of blessing.

With the words of the final prayer, "let Your Angel go before them all the days of their life," the Bethrothal ends and the next movement is anticipated. The Priest now leads the Bride and Groom into the Nave of the Church during the singing of Psalm 128.

The Priest, having given the end of his stole to be held by the Bride and Groom, leads the bridal procession into the Nave. He then asks the Bride and Groom to indicate that they are entering marriage freely without coercion, and that they are not committed to marry any one else.

Part 1 -THE RITE OF BETROTHAL

While the Priest is in the Sanctuary, the Bride and Groom enter and stand before the Doors of the Narthex (vestibule). The Groom on the right and the Bride on the left. In the center of the Nave, before the Royal Doors, have been placed on a table, the Holy Gospel, the Holy Cross, the rings, candles, the crowns and the Common Cup containing wine. The priest together with the deacon go to the entrance of the Narthex. He blesses the Bride and Groom and leads them into the Narthex.

Deacon: Bless, Master.

Priest: + Blessed is our God always, now and ever and unto ages of ages.

People: Amen.

The Great Litany

Deacon: In peace let us pray to the Lord.

People: Lord, have mercy.

Deacon: For the peace from above and for the salvation of our souls, let us pray to the Lord.

People: Lord, have mercy.

Deacon: For the peace of the whole world, for the welfare of the holy churches of God, and for the union of all, let us pray to the Lord.

People: Lord, have mercy.

Deacon: For this holy house and for those who enter it with faith, reverence, and the fear of God, let us pray to the Lord.

People: Lord, have mercy.

Deacon: For his Beatitude Metropolitan Theodosius; for his Grace our Bishop Job; for the honorable priesthood, the diaconate in Christ, for all the clergy and the people, let us pray to the Lord.

People: Lord, have mercy.

Deacon: For the President and all civil authorities of this country, and for those serving in its Armed Forces, let us pray to the Lord.

People: Lord, have mercy.

Deacon: For the servant of God, Name and for the handmaid of God, Name, who now betroth themselves to each other, and for their salvation, let us pray to the Lord.

People: Lord, have mercy.

Deacon: That there may be granted unto them children for the continuation of their family, and all their petitions which are unto salvation, let us pray to the Lord.

People: Lord, have mercy.

Deacon: That He will send down upon them perfect and peaceful love and help, let us pray to the Lord.

People: Lord, have mercy.

Deacon: That He will preserve them in oneness of mind, and in steadfastness of faith, let us pray to the Lord.People: Lord, have mercy.

Deacon: That He will bless them with a blameless life, let us pray to the Lord.

People: Lord, have mercy.

Deacon: That the Lord our God will grant them an honorable marriage, and a bed undefiled, let us pray to the Lord.

People: Lord, have mercy.

Deacon: For our deliverance from all affliction, wrath, danger, and distress, let us pray to the Lord.

People: Lord, have mercy.

Deacon: Help us, save us, have mercy on us, and keep us, O God, by Your grace.

People: Lord, have mercy.

Deacon: Commemorating our most holy, pure, most blessed and glorious Lady, the Theotokos and ever-virgin Mary with all the saints, let us commend ourselves and each other, and all our life unto Christ our God.

People: To You, O Lord.

Priest: For to You belong all glory, honor, and worship: to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever and unto ages of ages.

People: Amen.

Priest: O eternal God, Who have brought into unity those who were divided, and have ordained for them an indissoluble bond of love; Who blessed Isaac and Rebecca, and made them heirs of Your promise: Bless also these Your servants, Name and Name guiding them to every good work.

For You are a merciful God, Who loves mankind, and unto You we ascribe glory, to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever and unto ages of ages.

People: Amen.

Priest: + Peace be unto all.

People: And to your spirit.

Deacon: Bow your heads to the Lord.

People: To You, O Lord.

Priest: O Lord our God, Who have taken as Your bride the Church as a pure Virgin from among the Gentiles: bless this Betrothal, and unite and maintain these Your servants in peace and oneness of mind.

For to You belong all glory, honor, and worship, to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever and unto ages of ages.

People: Amen.

Then taking the rings, the Priest blesses the couple with them, making the sign of the cross with the ring of the Bride over the Bridegroom, and with that of the Bridegroom over the Bride, saying to the man:

Priest: The servant of God, Name, is betrothed to the handmaid of God, Name: in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

And to the woman:

Priest: The handmaid of God, Name, is betrothed to the servant of God, Name: in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

And when he has said this to each one three times, he places the rings on their right hands. Then the groomsman exchange the rings.

Deacon: Let us pray to the Lord.

People: Lord, have mercy.

Priest: O Lord our God, Who accompanied the servant of the patriarch Abraham into Mesopotamia, when he was sent to bring back a wife for his lord Isaac; and Who by means of the drawing of water, revealed unto him that he should choose Rebecca: as the same Lord, bless also the betrothal of these Your servants, Name, and Name, and confirm the word which they have spoken. Establish them in the holy union which is from You. For, in the beginning, You made them male and female, and by You is the woman joined to the man as a helpmate, and for the procreation of the human race. Wherefore, O Lord our God, Who have sent forth Your truth upon Your inheritance, and Your covenant unto Your servants our fathers, even Your elect, from generation to generation: Look upon Your servant, Name, and upon Your handmaid, Name, and establish and make stable their betrothal in faith, and in oneness of mind, in truth and in love. For You, O Lord, have declared that a pledge should be given and confirmed in all things. By a ring was power given to Joseph in Egypt; by a ring was Daniel glorified in the land of Babylon; by a ring was the uprightness of Tamar revealed; by a ring our heavenly Father showed forth his bounty upon His Son; for he said: put a ring on his hand, and bring the fatted calf, and kill it, and eat, and make merry. By Your own right hand, O Lord, You armed Moses in the Red Sea; by the word of Your truth were the heavens established, and the foundations of the earth were made firm; and the right hands of Your servants shall be blessed also by Your mighty word, and by Your upraised arm. Wherefore, O Lord, now bless this putting-on of the rings with Your heavenly benediction: and let Your angel go before them all the days of their life.

For You are He Who blesses and sanctifies all things, and unto You we ascribe glory, to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever and unto ages.

People: Amen.

The Sacrament of Crowning takes place before a table on which is placed the Gospel, the Word of God, and the Cross on which Christ redeemed and saved mankind by His sacrificial Death. After the traditional sacramental blessing, “Blessed is the Kingdom of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit,” the Litany of Peace with added petitions for the Bride and Groom is chanted. The three prayers after the Litany set the theme of Christian marriage. Marriage is the unique instrument by which God establishes His Kingdom. God blessed the first marriage, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it.” (Gen 1: 28) After Man’s fall in the Garden, God continues to work out His Divine plan. Now He utilizes marriage as an instrument of the redemption of mankind. His plan culminates in the birth of the Virgin Mary who conceives of the Holy Spirit, and of her is born a Son, Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world.

One of the first acts of His earthly ministry is to bless the marriage at Cana of Galilee by His presence and the miracle of changing water into wine. We pray that Christ, the Priest of mystical and pure marriage, by His presence, will bless this marriage; “for by You is the husband united to the wife...unite them in one mind. Wed them into one flesh...”

Part 2- THE SACRAMENT OF CROWNING

Psalm 128

Priest: Glory to You, our God; glory to You.

Blessed are all they that fear the Lord.

People: (Refrain: Glory to You, our God; glory to You.)

Priest: All they who walk in His paths. (Refrain)

You shall eat of the fruit of your labors. (Refrain)

O blessed are you, and happy shall you be. (Refrain)

Your wife shall be as the fruitful vine upon the walls of your house. (Refrain)

Your children like a newly-planted olive orchard around your table. (Refrain)

Lo, thus shall the man be blessed that fears the Lord. (Refrain)

The Lord in Zion shall so bless you, that you shall see the good things of Jerusalem all your life long. (Refrain)

You shall see your children’s children, and peace upon Israel. (Refrain)

The Priest leads the Groom and Bride to the table in the center of the Nave before the Royal Doors, then asks these questions

Priest: Have you, Name, a good, free and unconstrained will and a firm intention to take as your wife this woman, Name, whom you see here before you?

Groom: I have, reverend Father.

Priest: You have not promised yourself to any other bride?

Groom: I have not promised myself, reverend Father.

The Priest, looking at the Bride, shall inquire of her, saying:

Priest: Have you, Name, a good, free and unconstrained will and a firm intention to take as your husband this man, Name, whom you see here before you?

Groom: I have, reverend Father.

Priest: You have not promised yourself to any other man?

Groom: I have not promised myself, reverend Father.

THE CROWNING

Deacon: Bless, Master.

Priest: + Blessed is the Kingdom of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, now and ever and unto ages of ages.

People: Amen.

The Great Litany

Deacon: In peace let us pray to the Lord.

People: Lord, have mercy.

Deacon: For the peace from above and for the salvation of our souls, let us pray to the Lord.

People: Lord, have mercy.

Deacon: For the peace of the whole world, for the welfare of the holy churches of God, and for the union of all, let us pray to the Lord.

People: Lord, have mercy.

Deacon: For this holy house and for those who enter it with faith, reverence, and the fear of God, let us pray to the Lord.

People: Lord, have mercy.Deacon: For his Beatitude Metropolitan Herman for his Grace our Bishop Job; for the honorable priesthood, the diaconate in Christ, for all the clergy and the people, let us pray to the Lord.

People: Lord, have mercy.

Deacon: For the President and all civil authorities of this country, and for those serving in its Armed Forces, let us pray to the Lord.People: Lord, have mercy.

Deacon: For the servants of God Name, and Name, who are now being united to each other in the communion of marriage, and for their salvation, let us pray to the Lord.

People: Lord, have mercy.

Deacon: That He will bless this marriage, as He blessed that in Cana of Galilee, let us pray to the Lord.

People: Lord, have mercy.

Deacon: That He will grant unto them chastity, and of the fruit of the womb as is expedient for them, let us pray to the Lord.

People: Lord, have mercy.

Deacon: That He will make them glad with the sight of sons and daughters, let us pray to the Lord.

People: Lord, have mercy.

Deacon: That He will grant unto them the procreation of virtuous offspring, and an upright life, let us pray to the Lord.

People: Lord, have mercy.

Deacon: That He will grant to them and to us all our petitions which are unto salvation, let us pray to the Lord.

People: Lord, have mercy.

Deacon: That He will deliver them and us from all affliction, wrath, danger, and distress, let us pray to the Lord.

People: Lord, have mercy.

Deacon: Help us, save us, have mercy on us, and keep us, O God, by Your grace.People: Lord, have mercy.

Deacon: Commemorating our most holy, pure, most blessed and glorious Lady, the Theotokos and ever-virgin Mary with all the saints, let us commend ourselves and each other, and all our life unto Christ our God.

People: To You, O Lord.

Priest: For to You belong all glory, honor, and worship: to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever and unto ages of ages.

People: Amen.

Deacon: Let us pray to the Lord.

People: Lord, have mercy.

Priest: O God most pure, the Creator of every living thing, Who transformed the rib of our forefather Adam into a wife, because of Your love towards mankind, and blessed them, and said to them: increase and multiply, and have dominion over the earth; and made of the two one flesh: for which cause a man shall leave his father and mother and cling to his wife, and the two shall be one flesh. What God has joined together, let no man put asunder. You blessed Your servant Abraham, and opening the womb of Sarah You made him to be the father of many nations. You gave Isaac to Rebecca, and blessed her in child-bearing. You joined Jacob unto Rachel, and from that union You generated the twelve Patriarchs. You united Joseph and Asenath, giving to them as the fruit of procreation Ephraim and Manasseh. You accepted Zachariah and Elizabeth, and made their offspring to be the Forerunner. From the Root of Jesse according to the flesh, You budded forth the ever-Virgin One, and were incarnate of her; and were born of her for the redemption of the human race. Through Your unutterable gift and manifold goodness You came to Cana of Galilee, and blessed the marriage there, that You might make manifest that it is Your will that there should be lawful marriage and the begetting of children. As the same all-holy Master, accept the prayer of us Your servants. As You were present there, so likewise be present here, with Your invisible protection. Bless this marriage, and grant to these Your servants, Name and Name a peaceful life, length of days, chastity, mutual love in the bond of peace, long-lived seed, gratitude from their children, a crown of glory which does not fade away. Graciously grant that they may behold their children’s children. Preserve their bed unassailed, and give them of the dew of heaven from on high, and of the plenty of the earth. Fill their houses with wheat, and wine, and oil, and with every beneficence, that they may give in turn to the needy; granting also to those who are hear present with them all those petitions which are for their salvation.

For You are the God of mercies, and bounties, and love towards mankind, and unto You we ascribe glory, to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever and unto ages of ages.

People: Amen.

Deacon: Let us pray to the Lord.

People: Lord Have Mercy

Priest: Blessed are You, O Lord our God, the Priest of mystical and pure marriage, and the Ordainer of the law of the marriage of the body, the Preserver of immortality, and the Provider of good things. As the same Master, Who in the beginning made man and set him to be, as it were, a king over Creation, and said: It is not good for man to be alone on the earth; let us make a helpmate for him. And taking one of his ribs You fashioned woman, which when Adam beheld, he said: This is now bone of my bone, and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, for she was taken out of man; for this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cling to his wife, and the two shall be one flesh. Those whom God has joined together let no man put asunder. Now, also, O Master, our Lord and our God, send down Your heavenly grace upon these Your servants, Name and Name; and grant that this Your handmaid may, in all things, be subject unto her husband; and that this Your servant may be the head of his wife, that they may live according to Your will. Bless them, O Lord our God, as You blessed Abraham and Sarah. Bless them, O Lord, our God, as You blessed Isaac and Rebecca. Bless them, O Lord, our God, as You blessed Jacob and all the patriarchs. Bless them, O Lord, our God, as You blessed Joseph and Asenath. Bless them, O Lord, our God, as You blessed Moses and Sepphora. Bless them, O Lord, our God, as You blessed Joachim and Anna. Bless them, O Lord, our God, as You blessed Zachariah and Elizabeth. Preserve them, O Lord our God, as You preserved Noah in the ark. Preserve them, O Lord our God, as You preserved Jonah in the belly of the whale. Preserve them, O Lord, our God, as You preserved the three Holy Children from the fire, sending down upon them dew from heaven; and let that gladness come upon them which the blessed Helena had when she found the precious Cross. Remember them, O Lord our God, as You remembered Enoch, Shem, Elijah. Remember them, O Lord our God, as You remembered Your Forty Holy Martyrs, sending down upon them crowns from heaven. Remember them, O Lord our God, and the parents who have nurtured them; for the prayers of parents make firm the foundations of houses. [Remember, O Lord our God, Your servants the groomsman and the bridesmaid of the bridal pair, who are come together in this joy.] Remember, O Lord our God, Your servant, Name and Your handmaid, Name, and bless them. Grant them of the fruit of their bodies, fair children, harmony of soul and of body: exalt them like the cedars of Lebanon, like a luxuriant vine. Give them seed in number like the full ears of grain; that, having sufficiency in all things, they may abound in every work that is good and acceptable to You. And let them see their children’s children, like a newly-planted olive orchard, around their table; that, obtaining favor in Your sight, they may shine like the stars of heaven, in You, our God.

For to You belong all glory, honor and worship, to the Father, Who is without beginning, and to the Son, and to Your life-creating Spirit, now and ever and unto ages of ages.

People: Amen.

Deacon: Let us pray to the Lord.

People: Lord, have mercy.

Priest: O holy God, Who created man out of the dust, and fashioned his wife out of his rib, and joined her to him as a helpmate; for it seemed good to You that man should not be alone upon earth: Now also, as the same Lord, stretch out Your hand from Your holy dwelling place, and conjoin this Your servant, Name, and this Your handmaid, Name; for by You is the husband united to the wife. Unite them in one mind: wed them into one flesh, granting unto them of the fruit of the body and the procreation of fair children.

For Yours is the majesty, and Yours are the Kingdom and the power and the glory, of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, now and ever and unto ages of ages.

People: Amen.

The Priest takes the crowns and crowns first the Bridegroom, saying:

Priest: The servant of God, Name is crowned unto the handmaid of God, Name: In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

People: Amen.

In the same manner he crowns the Bride, saying:

Priest: The handmaid of God, Name, is crowned unto the servant of God, Name: In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

People: Amen.

Then he blesses them three times, saying each time:

Priest: + O Lord our God, crown them with glory and honor.

The Groom and Bride are crowned (wed) to one another with these words: “Lord our God, crown them with glory and honor.” The crowns remind us of the dignity and beauty of marriage as ordained by God for the continuation of the generation and the establishment of His Kingdom. The husband and wife are crowned to be good rulers of a new Christian family, to rule with love, humility, wisdom and patience.

Marriage is also a holy martyrdom, like that of the Forty Holy Martyrs who received their heavenly crowns. It is through mutual sacrifice in love that the father and mother establish and nourish the Christian family, the basic unit of the Church. For “as Christ loved the Church and gave Himself for her,” (Eph. 5, 25) so they must follow Him and sacrifice in love to create by Grace that unity in which two shall become one.

The Prokeimenon

Deacon: Let us attend!

Priest: + Peace be unto all.

Reader: And to your spirit.

Deacon: Wisdom!

Reader: The Prokeimenon in the eighth tone:

You have set upon their heads crowns of precious stones; they asked life of You, and You gave it to them.

People: You have set upon their heads crowns of precious stones; they asked life of You, and You gave it to them.

Reader: For You will give them Your blessing forever and ever: You will make them to rejoice with gladness through Your presence.

People: You have set upon their heads crowns of precious stones; they asked life of You, and You gave it to them.

Reader: You have set upon their heads crowns of precious stones…

People: … they asked life of You, and You gave it to them.

The Epistle Reading

Deacon: Wisdom!

Reader: The reading from the Epistle of the holy Apostle Paul to the Ephesians.

Deacon: Let us attend!

(Eph. 5:20-33)

Reader: Brethren, give thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another in the fear of God. Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church. For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones. “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church. Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.

Priest: + Peace to you who read.

Reader: And to your spirit.

Priest: Wisdom!

Reader: Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

The Gospel

Deacon: Bless, Master, him who proclaims the glad tidings of the holy Apostle and Evangelist John the Theologian.

Priest: + May God, through the prayers of the holy, glorious, and all-laudable Apostle and Evangelist John, enable you to proclaim the glad tidings with great power, to the fulfillment of the gospel of His beloved Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.

Deacon: Amen.

Wisdom! Let us attend! Let us listen to the Holy Gospel.

Priest: + Peace be unto all.

People: And to your spirit.

Deacon: The reading from the Holy Gospel according to Saint John.

People: Glory to You, O Lord, glory to You.

Priest: Let us attend!

(John 2:1-12)

Deacon: On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. Now both Jesus and His disciples were invited to the wedding. And when they ran out of wine, the mother of Jesus said to Him, “They have no wine.” Jesus said to her, “Woman, what does your concern have to do with Me? My hour has not yet come.” His mother said to the servants, “Whatever He says to you, do it.” Now there were set there six waterpots of stone, according to the manner of purification of the Jews, containing twenty or thirty gallons apiece. Jesus said to them, “Fill the waterpots with water.” And they filled them up to the brim. And He said to them, “Draw some out now, and take it to the master of the feast.” And they took it. When the master of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and did not know where it came from (but the servants who had drawn the water knew), the master of the feast called the bridegroom. And he said to him, “Every man at the beginning sets out the good wine, and when the guests have well drunk, then the inferior. You have kept the good wine until now!” This beginning of signs Jesus did in Cana of Galilee, and manifested His glory; and His disciples believed in Him. After this He went down to Capernaum, He, His mother, His brothers, and His disciples; and they did not stay there many days.

Priest: + Peace be to you who have proclaimed the gospel.

People: Glory to You, O Lord, glory to You.

The Litany of Fervent Supplication

Deacon: Let us say with all our soul and with all our mind, let us say.

People: Lord, have mercy.

Deacon: O Lord almighty, the God of our fathers, we implore You, hear us and have mercy.

People: Lord, have mercy.

Deacon: Have mercy on us, O God, according to Your great goodness, we implore You, hear us and have mercy.

People: Lord, have mercy. (3x)

Deacon: Again we pray for mercy, life, peace, health, salvation, and visitation for the servants of God Name and Name and for the pardon and remission of their sins.

People: Lord, have mercy. (3x)

Priest: For You are a merciful God, and You love mankind, and to You we ascribe glory: to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever and unto ages of ages.

People: Amen.

Deacon: Let us pray to the Lord.

People: Lord, have mercy.

Priest: O Lord our God, Who in Your saving providence granted by Your presence in Cana of Galilee to declare marriage honorable: Now also, as the same Lord, maintain in peace and concord Your servants, Name and Name, whom it has pleased You to join together. Cause their marriage to be honorable. Preserve their bed blameless. Mercifully grant that they may live together in purity; and enable them to attain to a ripe old age, walking in Your commandments with a pure heart.

For You are our God, and Yours it is to show mercy and to save, and unto You we ascribe glory, to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever and unto ages of ages.

People: Amen.

The Litany before the Lord’s Prayer

Deacon: Help us, save us, have mercy on us, and keep us, O God, by Your grace.

People: Lord, have mercy.

Deacon: That the whole day may be perfect, holy, peaceful, and sinless, let us ask of the Lord.

People: Lord, have mercy.

Deacon: For an angel of peace, a faithful guide, a guardian of our souls and bodies, let us ask of the Lord.

People: Grant it, O Lord.

Deacon: For pardon and remission of our sins and transgressions, let us ask of the Lord.

People: Grant it, O Lord.

Deacon: For all things that are good and profitable for our souls, and peace for the world, let us ask of the Lord.

People: Grant it, O Lord.

Deacon: That we may complete the remaining time of our life in peace and repentance, let us ask of the Lord.

People: Grant it, O Lord.

Deacon: For a Christian ending to our life: painless, blameless, and peaceful; and a good defense before the dread judgment seat of Christ, let us ask of the Lord.

People: Grant it, O Lord.

Deacon: Asking for the unity of the faith, and the communion of the Holy Spirit, let us commend ourselves and each other, and all our life unto Christ our God.

People: To You, O Lord.

Priest: And count us worthy, O Master, that with boldness and without condemnation we may dare to call upon You, the heavenly God, as Father, and to say

The Lord’s Prayer

Choir 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 the evil one.

Priest: For Thine is the Kingdom, and the power, and the glory, of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, now and ever and unto ages of ages.

People: Amen.

The Common Cup of which the Bride and Groom partake together reminds them that Christ is present with them now, and that He will remain with them as long as they communicate with Him.While they are drinking from the Common Cup, the verse, “I will lift the Cup of Salvation, and call upon the Name of the Lord (Psalm 126:12) is sung.

It is only in the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist that every marriage finds its ultimate unity in the Communion of Christ’s Body and Blood of which the Common Cup is a reminder.

The Prayer with Heads Bowed

Priest: + Peace be unto all.

People: And to your spirit.

Deacon: Bow your heads to the Lord.

People: To You, O Lord.

Deacon: Let us pray to the Lord.

People: Lord, have mercy.

Then the Common Cup is brought, and the Priest blesses it, saying:

Priest: O God, Who have created all things by Your power, and have fixed the orbit of the earth, and adorn the crown of all things which You have made: Bless now, with Your spiritual blessing, this common cup, which You give to those who are now united for a communion of marriage,

for blessed is Your name, and glorified is Your Kingdom, of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, now and ever and unto ages of ages.

People: Amen.

Then, taking the Cup in his hand, the Priest gives it to them three times: first to the Man and then to the Woman.

The Priest now joins the right hands of the Bride and Groom and leads them in procession around the table three times with the Crowns held above their heads. They walk around the table carrying candles, symbolic of the Light of Christ which is a light unto our feet as we walk in His Way. This is the Church guiding and leading the groom and bride in their first steps as husband and wife. The Church graphically shows them the way to walk in His way. “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life.”

At the center of their journey through life together they must keep the Gospel and the Cross which are on the table. They should light their way with the Light of Christ. Their hands are joined together in their new unity of love in Christ. In the person of the Priest, they are led by the Church, the true Teacher and Guide of Goodness and Perfection.

If they walk this way, then indeed their life together will be one of perfect love, peace and joy. They can hope to attain to that perfect unity in the Holy Trinity symbolized by the circling of the table tree times.

We pray that their hope will be fulfilled and they will receive heavenly crown having accomplished the real purpose of every Christian marriage: to be instruments of the Kingdom of Heaven itself.

People: Rejoice, O Isaiah! A Virgin is with child, and shall bear a Son, Emmanuel, both God and man: and Orient is His name; Whom magnifying we call the Virgin blessed.

O Holy Martyrs, who fought the good fight and have received your crowns: Entreat the Lord that he will have mercy on our souls. Glory to You, O Christ-God, the Apostles’ boast, the Martyrs’ joy, whose preaching was the consubstantial Trinity.

Then, taking the crown of the Bridegroom, the Priest says:

Priest: Be exalted, O Bridegroom, like Abraham; and be blessed, like Isaac; and multiply like Jacob, walking in peace, and keeping the commandments of God in righteousness.

Then, taking the crown of the Bride, the Priest says:

Be exalted, O Bride, like Sarah; and exult like Rebecca; and multiply like Rachel, and rejoice in your husband, fulfilling the commandments of God: for so is it well-pleasing unto God.

The priest removes the crowns, bestows on them a final blessing, and sends them forth into the world to work out creatively that unity for which they prayed; that as Husband and Wife they will together attain perfect unity of love and peace in Christ Jesus.

Deacon: Let us pray to the Lord.

People: Lord, have mercy.

Priest: O God, our God, Who came to Cana of Galilee, and blessed there the marriage feast: Bless, also, these Your servants, who through Your good providence are now united together in wedlock. Bless them as they travel through life, replenishing their life with good things: receive their crowns into Your Kingdom, preserving them spotless, blameless, and without reproach, unto ages of ages.

People: Amen.

Priest: + Peace be unto all.

People: And to your spirit.

Deacon: Bow your heads to the Lord.

People: To You, O Lord.

Priest: May the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, the all-holy, consubstantial and life-creating Trinity, one Godhead, and one Kingdom, bless you; and grant to you length of days, fair children, prosperity of life, and faith: and fill you with an abundance of all earthly good things, and make you worthy to obtain the blessings of the promise: through the prayers of the holy Birth-giver of God, and of all the Saints.

People: Amen.

The Dismissal

Deacon: Wisdom!

Priest: Glory to You, O Christ, our God and our hope, glory to You.

People: Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen.

Lord, have mercy. (3x)

Father, bless.

Priest: May He Who by His presence at the marriage feast in Cana of Galilee declared marriage to be an honorable estate, Christ our true God, through the prayers of His most pure Mother; of the holy, glorious, and all-laudable Apostles; of the holy, God-crowned Kings and Saints equal-to-the-Apostles Constantine and Helen; of the holy Great Martyr, Procopius; of St. Luke the Evangelist; of Prophet Zachariah and the Righteous Elizabeth , whom we commemorate today; and of all the saints: have mercy on us and save us for He is good and loves mankind.

People: Amen.

The Priest makes an exhortation to the newly-married couple and they kiss each other. The People come and congratulate the couple while the Deacon intones many years.

Deacon: Grant O Lord peace, health, salvation and visitation to the servants of God Name and Name, and grant them many years!

People: Many Years! Many Years! Many Years!

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