Christian and Jewish wedding ceremonies include prayers that celebrate the Lord and couple to be married. The prayers recited are a significant part of the ceremony. The priest or rabbi presiding over the wedding most likely will offer prayers to choose from for the ceremony. If you would like to use prayers of your own during the ceremony, discuss this with your minister or rabbi before the ceremony. Sample prayers can help the couple prepare for their big day.
Christian Wedding Opening Prayers
Christian wedding ceremonies typically begin and end with a prayer. The prayers also usually thank the Lord for being present and asks for the protection and blessing of the couple. Here are two examples of an opening prayer that could be used:
"Our gracious heavenly father, we thank you for the love you provide for us each day. Today, we thank you for the love you have given _ and _ as they come before you on their wedding day. We invite you here to bless and protect their union and ask you to help them to grow closer to each other, while growing closer to you. In the precious name of your son Jesus, amen."
Or: "Lord, God, we thank you for bringing us all together on the joyous occasion of the wedding of _ and _. We ask that you will bless them and be with them through all the days of their life together. In the precious name of Jesus, amen."
Christian Wedding Closing Prayers
The closing prayer also typically asks for the Lord to bless the union and provide peace to the newly married couple. Here are two examples:
"Dear Father, I thank you that _ and _ are united in holy matrimony. I ask you to bless and keep them. Make your face shine upon them and be gracious unto them. Please give them your peace in all they do. In Jesus' name, amen."
Or: "Heavenly father, please surround _ and _ with your love and peace as they begin this new chapter. Keep them close to you always. Keep them ever faithful to each other and to you, just as you are ever faithful to those who love and serve you. In the name of your son, Jesus, amen."
Jewish Wedding Opening Prayers
A traditional Hebrew wedding prayer discusses the Lord's involvement in the couple's happiness and asks that others might share the bride and groom's joy. One example:
"Blessed art thou, O Lord our God, king of the universe, who hath created joy and gladness, bridegroom and bride, mirth and exultation, pleasure and delight, love and brotherhood, peace and friendship. May there soon be heard in the cities of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem,
the voice of joy and gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride, the jubilant voice of bridegrooms from the wedding canopy, and of youths from their feasts of song. Blessed art thou, O Lord, who gives the bridegroom joy in his bride."
Jewish Wedding Closing Prayers
The rabbi or a special guest will recite the seven blessings at the end of the ceremony before the traditional breaking of the glass takes place. This closing prayer:
"We acknowledge the unity of all within the sovereignty of God, expressing our appreciation for this wine, symbol and aid of our rejoicing. We acknowledge the unity of all within the sovereignty of God, realising that each separate moment and every distinct object points to and shares in this oneness.
We acknowledge the unity of all within the sovereignty of God, recognising and appreciating the blessing of being human. We acknowledge the unity of all within the sovereignty of God, realising the special gift of awareness that permits us to perceive this unity and the wonder we experience as a man and a woman joined to live together. May rejoicing resound throughout the world as the homeless are given homes, persecution and oppression cease, and all people learn to live in peace with each other and in harmony with their environment. From the Divine, source of all energy, we call forth an abundance of love to envelop this couple. May they be for each other lovers and friends, and may their love partake of the same innocence, purity and sense of discovery that we imagine the first couple to have experienced. We acknowledge the unity of all within the sovereignty of God, and we highlight today joy and gladness, bridegroom and bride, delight and cheer, love and harmony, peace and companionship. May we all witness the day when the dominant sounds through the world will be these sounds of happiness, the voices of lovers, the sounds of feasting and singing. Praised is love; blessed be this marriage. May the bride and bridegroom rejoice together."
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