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Blessing a Civil Marriage a primer

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BC: THE BLESSING OF A CIVIL MARRIAGE FIRST EDITION A private devotional, study text and service guide with guest book, special prayers and space for vows, wedding notes and reception memories. by Dr. Marshall Thomas | FATHER AMBROSEPRESS First Edition $9.98 + S/H All Profits to Charity

FC: THE BLESSING OF A CIVIL MARRIAGE A devotional primer and book of reflection by Dr. Marshall Thomas

1: THE BLESSING OF A CIVIL MARRIAGE The service is a celebration of Holy Eucharist, complete with the Collect and Lessons appointed in a Christian Marriage Service.* Following the Gospel Lesson and Homily, both spouses stand in the presence of the Celebrant, who may address them as follows: n and n, you come here in the presence of God and believers seeking the blessing of the Almighty and of Christ's church upon your marriage. This company needs, therefore, your solemn promise, with the help of God, to fulfill the duties, delights and obligations which Christian marriage implores. C: ( addressing the first joined in union): n, you have taken n to be your spouse. * Please see A Reflection Order for Marriage, page 14

2: TABLE OF CONTENTS Preface and Opening... 1 Table of Contents... 2 Promises and Address... 3 Response, Blessing and Proclamation... 4 Scriptures... 5 Official Notices... 6 Engagement Prayer... 7 Thanks, Dedication and Acknowledgments... 8 Prayer for Spouses... 9 Prayer for Anniversaries... 10 Hymns: Commitment; Christian Life...11 An Illumination Prayer...12 Hymns: Love; Marriage ...13 A Reflection: Order for Marriage...14 Personal Reflections on the Vows... 15 Wedding Notes...16 Reception Notes...17 Guests...18-19 | 2

3: Do you promise to love, comfort, honour and keep your spouse, n, in sickness and health; and, forsaking all others, to be faithful, devoted and constant to n so long as you both will live? The Spouse replies: I do. C: ( addressing the second joined in union): n, you have taken n to be your spouse. Do you promise to love, comfort, honour and keep your spouse, n, in sickness and health; and, forsaking all others, to be faithful, devoted and constant to n so long as you both will live? The Spouse replies: I do. C: (addressing those gathered in the presence of Christ and one another): Will you who have here witnessed these

4: promises do all in your power and blessed prayer life to uphold these two persons in their marriage? The Gathered respond: We will. Should one or two rings be blessed, each spouse, in turn, extends their hand(s) toward the Celebrant, who offers: Bless, Lord God, this/these ring/rings to be a sign of Holy vows taken by both spouses to bound themselves to one another in your embrace; all this through our risen Lord and Saviour, Christ Jesus. C: Joins the hands of both spouses and says: Those whom God has joined together let no one put asunder. The Gathered respond: Amen. Jesus, have mercy. Service continues with the Prayers. | 4

5: SCRIPTURES MARRIAGE | MARRIED | MARRY for study, prayer, reflection - with a surprise verse... JE. 3: 14 MT. 19: 10 MT. 22: 2 MT. 22: 4 MT. 22: 9 MT. 22: 30 MT.24: 38 MT. 25. 10 MAK. 12: 25 LU. 14:20 LU. 20: 35 JN. 2: 1 1 CO. 7:9 1 CO. 7: 33-34 HE. 13: 4 1 TI. 4: 3 RE. 19: 7

6: THE BLESSING OF A CIVIL MARRIAGE A devotional primer and book of reflection by Dr. Marshall Thomas A THOMAS ILLUSTRATION STUDIO EDITION A FATHER AMBROSE PRESS BOOK in cooperation with MODERN MASTERWORKS GALLERY Copyright 2011 by 7 Arts Foundation | All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means without the prior written permission of the copyright holder. The 7 Arts Foundation is a co- underwriter of this text in the company of Signature Recording Industries/Signature Records and CCM Distributed by the Friends of the 7 Arts Foundation | 14 Azalea | Gibson House Texarkana, TX 75503 All original artwork was made by the author and appears by arrangement through TIS (Thos. Illustration Studios). All interpreted text was written by the author. Design by Dr. Thomas. Techne and printing by Mixbook. Printed and bound in the USA. | 6

7: ENGAGEMENT PRAYER Lord, who prepares our hearts as they leap with joy: Our days are filled with gladness as we accept what You bring one to another - a partner in life. We thank you, God, we praise You, the One who leads paths toward one another, who guides footsteps in the surety of who we are in Your midst. Now, gracious Three-in-One Lord of all, help us receive what You grant us as people engaged with lives and actions and ways that bring honour, respect and dignity to our families, our fellow congregants and all You claim to be in our path, our walk in Your perfect company and direction. With deep respect that casts its light beyond the ends of our days on earth, we know You are with us, edifying us even when we do not always sense Your grace-filled presence. May we remember that as we commit ourselves one to another, we are ever-mindful that we first and foremost belong to You. Thank You for guarding us from jealousy, self-centeredness, and the grips of envy and mis-understandings which can keep us from Youand Your blessings on our love for each other. Into Your care we entrust our hearts and minds. Into the folds of Your grace we commend the spirits You gave us to glorify Your name in all we say and do. We look forward to receiving Your blessings on all we share, Lord, in the company of families joined in Your Peace, Your countenance. We receive it all done in Jesus name. Amen.

8: THANKS To our married family, friends and fellow congregants around the globe. Blessings and faith-filled prayers abound. DEDICATION For my bride, Ruth. Love is unconditional, uncompromising; and, marriage is cleary for everyone loved by God. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS Colossal Concepts Management http://colossalconcepts.weebly.com 773.234.1880 Father Ambrose Press http://fatherambrosepress.weebly.com Modern Masterworks Gallery www.modernmasterworks.net 646.389.7431 Signature Recording Industries/Signature Records which commissioned some of the original artwork - Managed Worldwide by Colossal Concepts Management co-underwriters of this text series TIS F: 309.343.7574 All original artwork by Dr. Marshall Thomas for the TIS Collection; all adaptations of services and all reflections and notes from the author's notebooks for Caritatem-Charivari. TRINITY ENDOWMENT FUND All Profits from the First Edition of this text are assigned to this charitable organization that they may give to missions, building fund, education, outreach initiatives... 309.343.4191 | 8

9: PRAYER FOR SPOUSES Heavenly Father, You join us in holy wedlock. Hand-in-hand, we walk in the wake of the courage with which You embolden us. For we share this journey in a mutual love that is bigger than us, in a blessed home life that is sweeter than us, in a clutched heart beating as one that is more devoted than us, witnessing Your world and all that is purposed beyond us - a hallowed walk of lives interlaced in the light that is Christ revealed. Help us accept Your grant of days and nights together covered in Grace. Forgive us sins, strengthen our shared faith, and help us receive Your mercy, Your guidance. May Your word instruct us, Your promises comfort us. And may our hearts be joined temples where Your divine presence is our platform to share Your kindness, compassion, long-suffering acceptance for a thoughtful, considerate and patient life that overcomes all griefs, strains, disappointments and problems best left toYou. And for our joys, let there be portions of remembrance in You to help us know Your protection, Your steadfastness, Your ways as we keep Your word holy and precious in the wedding feast found in lives committed to loving through Christ Jesus. Amen.

10: PRAYER FOR ANNIVERSARIES Gracious Lord, we observe a celebration made in Your holy presence that makes our hearts a glad benediction and the joyous sending in the couple You made whole so that we may be a joined service to one another and Your world. Please accept our thanks in grateful acknowledgment of our lives intertwined in prayers before You borne out in humble lives that receive Your bounty, Your grace, Your blessings. Grant that our days ahead will be ever-nearer the rich path of contentment, love, support, devotedness, thoughtfulness, and kindness - rare gifts You give with each joy-filled blessing. Strengthen our loyalty, devotion and trust accorded each other as we strive to consecrate our lives in service through Your glory and honour in the name of God. For each new trial, sorrow or temptation, we accept Your help, guidance and presence. For You are always with us, a marriage feast everlasting that fills us with Your peace. May each day be a hallowed sacrifice of praise, a happy rejoinder to the promises we made before Your throne of glory. We bless the day You made us one through Christ Jesus. Amen. | 10

11: HYMNS COMMITMENT | CHRISTIAN LIFE Arise, your light has come Be Thou my vision Children of the Heavenly Father Fight the good fight with all your might God is here! I lay my sins on Jesus In the hour of trial Jesus, thy boundless love to me Lord, speak to us that we may speak May we your precepts, Lord, fulfill O Lord, now let your servant O love that will not let me go Rise, my soul, to watch and pray Rise up, O saints of God! Take my life, that I may be "Take up your cross," the Saviour said With the Lord begin your task Let us ever walk with Jesus Love divine, all loves excelling O God of mercy, God of light O God, my faithful God O Jesus, I have promised O Master, let me walk with you Oh, that the Lord would guide my ways On my heart imprint your image

12: AN ILLUMINATION PRAYER Almighty God, maker of us all, we entrust everyone You place deep in our hearts, an essence dearer than life itself, in Your perpetual care and love, believing with scant understanding and little special knowledge that You do for them what is right in Your sight. This certainty of blessing we discern with only wisps of wisdom, but with certain hope and faith, that what You do exceeds all the prayers and desires of our hearts for those we name, all whom we claim in the assurance that is Jesus Christ, our saviour and redeemer - the order of the universe. Amen. | 12

13: HYMNS LOVE | MARRIAGE A new commandment Blest be the tie that binds Chief of sinners tho' I be Great God,Your love has called us In Christ there is no east or west Jesu, Jesu, fill us with your love Jesus, refuge of the weary Jesus, thy boundless love to me Joyful, joyful we adore thee Lord of all nations, grant me grace Lord, speak to us, that we may speak O God, I love thee; not that my poor love O God of love, O King of peace O Master, let me walk with you One there is, above all others Son of God, eternal saviour Thee will I love, my strength, my tow'r What wondrous love is this, O my soul... Where cross the crowded ways of life Bind us together Jesus,Come! For we invite you O perfect love Hear us now, our God and Father Heavenly Father, hear our prayer When love is found

14: A REFLECTION: ORDER FOR MARRIAGE Wheresoever permitted by civil law Those promised to one another gather with witnesses, family members and friends assembled in the presence of God: The stated teaching of the Church concerning Holy Matrimony is declared. The intention of the two persons who wish to freely enter into the state of matrimony is made plain and public. Holy Scripture readings precede the exchange of vows, always inclusive of a reading from the Gospel. Communion is the preferred heightened act of this celebration; all parts of the service lead up to this spiritual encounter. The betrothed exchange vows. The Celebrant declares the union undertaken in the sight of Almighty God. Prayers for the spouses, their life to be shared, their Christian community and the world are offered. The couple receives a solemn blessing. Communion is shared, followed by the exchange of the Peace. The Offertory is followed by Prayers, Silence for Reflection, the Blessing & Sending | 14




18: GUESTS | GUESTS | 18


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Marshall Thomas
  • By: Marshall T.
  • Joined: over 8 years ago
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About This Mixbook

  • Title: Blessing a Civil Marriage a primer
  • A private devotional for those entering into a civil marriage, those celebrating a civil marriage, and those witnessing a civil marriage. A primer, a personal book of reflection on the state of civil marriage.
  • Tags: civil marriage, devotional, reflection, private reflection, celebration, celebrating, marriage, witness, witnessing
  • Published: over 8 years ago