The Ceremony (To add to the pictures I am going to add snippets of the actual ceremony between the pictures.)
|Nick watching me walk down the aisle|
|We reach the end of the aisle|
gave us the example for the love of husband and wife. Martha and Nick come to give themselves to one another in this holy covenant.
Declaration of Intention: Pastor Randy: I ask you now, in the presence of God and these people, to declare your intention to enter into union with each other through the grace of Jesus Christ, who calls you into union with himself as acknowledged in your baptism.
Martha, will you have Nicholas to be your husband, to live together in holy marriage?
Will you love him, comfort him, honor and keep him, in sickness and in health, and forsaking all others, be faithful to him as long as you both shall live?
Nicholas, will you have Martha to be your wife, to live together in holy marriage?
Will you love her, comfort her, honor and keep her, in sickness and in health,
and forsaking all others, be faithful to her as long as you both shall live? If so answer I will.
Presentation: Pastor Randy: Who presents this woman to be married to this man?
Acknowledgement of Guests: Pastor Randy: Martha and Nicholas, please take a moment to turn and look upon the faces of the family and friends who have gathered here to spend this day with you. This group of loved ones may never be all together in the same place again. Many have traveled great distances for the sole purpose of being here today to witness your union. Take some time to think about how they have touched your lives, and appreciate that they are here with you today.
As you acknowledge those gather here today, let us take a moment to remember those that could not be with us. Even though they are not present in body, we know that they are present in spirit and send you their blessing.
I am so glad we decided to add the Acknowledgement of Guests into the ceremony. It provided not only a moment to slow down and just take in all of the faces of those gathered with us but also gave us a chance to remember those who couldn't be with us. It was also the moment that I realized that our good friend Austin had surprised us and made it back for the wedding. He had been stationed in Afghanistan until about a week before our wedding and we didn't think he would be able to get off base that soon from his deployment. It really was very special to see him sitting in the sanctuary. One of our other friends sitting in the very back row decided it would be funny to wave at us again making the moment very special and unique. I can still picture where all our guests were sitting; I would highly recommend adding this part.
Response of families and friends: Pastor Randy:
To families: The marriage of Martha and Nicholas unites their families and creates a new one. They ask for your blessing. Do you who represent their families rejoice in their union and pray God’s blessing upon them?
To Friends: And now those of you gathered here, Will all of you, by God's grace, do everything in your power to uphold and care for these two persons in their marriage?
Prayer: Pastor Randy: God of all peoples, You are the true light illumining everyone. You show us the way, the truth, and the life. You love us even when we are disobedient. You sustain us with your Holy Spirit. We rejoice in your life in the midst of our lives. We praise you for your presence with us, and especially in this act of solemn covenant; through Jesus Christ our Lord Amen.
Hymn: "Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing"
*If you would like to listen:
Come, thou Fount of every blessing,
tune my heart to sing thy grace;
streams of mercy, never ceasing,
call for songs of loudest praise.
Teach me some melodious sonnet,
sung by flaming tongues above.
Praise the mount! I'm fixed upon it,
mount of thy redeeming love.
Here I raise mine Ebenezer;
hither by thy help I'm coming;
and I hope, by thy good pleasure,
safely to arrive at home.
Jesus sought me when a stranger,
wandering from the fold of God;
he, to rescue me from danger,
interposed his precious blood.
O to grace how great a debtor
daily I'm constrained to be!
Let thy goodness, like a fetter,
bind my wandering heart to thee.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
prone to leave the God I love;
here's my heart, O take and seal it,
seal it for thy courts above.
Reading: Lindsay (Nick's cousin)
You have known each other from the first glance of acquaintance to this point of commitment. At some point, you decided to marry. From that moment of yes, to this moment of yes, indeed, you have been making commitments in an informal way. All of those conversations that were held in a car, or over a meal, or during long walks - all those conversations that began with, “When we’re married,” and continued with “I will” and “you will” and “we will” - all those late night talks that included “someday” and “somehow” and “maybe” - and all those promises that are unspoken matters of the heart. All these common things, and more, are the real process of a wedding. The symbolic vows that you are about to make are a way of saying to one another, “You know all those things that we’ve promised, and hoped, and dreamed - well, I meant it all, every word.” Look at one another and remember this moment in time. Before this moment you have been many things to one another - acquaintance, friend, companion, lover, dancing partner, even teacher, for you have learned much from one another these past few years. Shortly you shall say a few words that will take you across a threshold of life, and things between you will never quite be the same. For after today you shall say to the world –
This is my husband. This is my wife.
Scripture: Pastor Terri:
Romans 12: 9-18
Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.
Homily and Prayer: Pastor Randy
Exchange of Vows:
Blessing and Exchange of Rings:
Reading: Peggy (Friend of ours)
"Oh! The Places You'll Go!"
Adapted from Dr. Seuss
"Congratulations! Today is your day.
You’re off to Great Placed! You’re off and away!
You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself any direction you choose.
You’re on your own. And you know what you know.
YOU are the couple who’ll decide where to go.
You’ll look up and down streets. Look ‘em over with care.
About some you will say, “We don’t choose to go there.”
With your heads full of brains and your shoes full of feet,
you’re too smart to go down, any not-so-good street.
And you may not find any you’ll want to go down.
In that case, of course, you’ll head straight out of town.
It’s more open out there in the wide open air,
Out there things can happen and frequently do
to people as brainy and footsy as you.
And when things start to happen, don’t worry. Don’t stew.
Just go right along. You’ll start happening too.
Oh! The Places You’ll Go!
You’ll be on your way up! You’ll be seeing great sights!
You’ll join the high fliers who soar to great heights!
You won’t lag behind, because you’ll have all the speed.
You’ll pass the whole gang, and you’ll soon take the lead.
Wherever you fly you’re the best of the best.
Wherever you go, you’ll top all the rest.
Just never forget to be dexterous and deft.
And never mix your right foot with your left.
And will you succeed?
Yes! You will indeed!
(98 and ¾ percent guaranteed.)
NICK AND MARTHA, YOU’LL MOVE MOUNTAINS!
You’re off to great places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting.
So … get on your way!"
Unity Cross and Solo:
First a brief explanation: In place of a traditional Unity Candle Nick and I decided to use a Unity Cross instead. The symbolism being very much the same of two becoming one but we thought the Cross would make a more lasting keepsake than a candle. Here is a link to the website if you would like to know more about it. During the Unity Cross Ceremony Nick's mom sang "God Bless the Broken Road" by Rascal Flatts:
Declaration of Marriage: Pastor Randy: You have declared your consent and vows before God and this congregation. May God confirm your covenant and fill you both with grace. Now that Martha and Nicholas have given themselves to each other by solemn vows, with the joining of hands, and the giving and receiving of rings, I announce to you that they are husband and wife; In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Those whom God has joined together, let no one put asunder. Amen.
Blessing of the Marriage: Pastor Terri:
Most Gracious God, We give you thanks for your tender love in making us a covenant people. through our Savior Jesus Christ and for consecrating in his name the marriage of Martha and Nicholas.
Grant that their love for each other may reflect the love of Christ for us and grow from strength to strength as they faithfully serve you in the world. Defend them from every enemy. Lead them into all peace. Let their love for each other, be a seal upon their hearts, a mantle about their shoulders, and a crown upon their heads. Bless them in their work and in their companionship; in their sleeping and in their waking; in their joys and in their sorrows; in their lives and n their deaths. Finally, by your grace, bring them and all of us to that table where you saints feast for ever in your heavenly home;
through Jesus Christ our Lord, Who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
The Lord's Prayer
Nick and I also decided to include Communion as part of our ceremony. This isn't traditionally a part of Methodist weddings but it was important to both of us to include this Sacrament as part of the service. We also served our guests which was a very humbling experience. This was also another unplanned chance to really soak in all of the guests who were in attendance.
Presenting Roses to our Mothers:
Dismissal with Blessing: Pastor Randy: Martha and Nicholas may God the Eternal keep you in love with each other, so that the peace of Christ may abide in your home. Go to serve God and your neighbor in all that you do. And for those gathered here today. bear witness to the love of God in this world, so that those whom love is a stranger will find in you generous friends. The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen.
Nicholas, you may kiss your bride.
It is my privilege and honor to introduce to you Nicholas and Martha McGeehon
Whew that was long...thank for sticking it to the end even if you did just scroll through to look at the pictures :)