The minister at a wedding has the enormous task of not only legally marrying the couple, but also making the ceremony unique to the bride and groom and meaningful to all in attendance. Although there are some slight variations among the different denominations, there are specific statements that apply to every wedding ceremony.
Although it may seem obvious why everyone has gathered, the minister will officially declare the purpose of the ceremony. This outward celebration we shall see and hear is an expression of the inner love and devotion they have in their hearts. The bride and groom must declare their intent to be married.
The minister will ask each one individually if they intend to enter into the covenant of marriage, and the bride and groom need to respond in the affirmative. Will you love her, comfort her, honor and keep her, in sickness and in health, and forsaking all others, be faithful to her so long as you both shall live?
If so, answer, 'I will. The minister will ask the same question of the bride, and she will respond affirmatively. The part of the ceremony where the bride and groom exchange their vows, or promises, will vary depending on their particular faith.
For example, the Catholic faith has a specific set of vows but Protestants can tailor their vows to be more unique to the couple. Protestant couples often write their own vows and include personal details such as, "I promise I will make you your favorite milkshake, even when the 49ers lose.
In Jewish ceremonies, which are conducted by a rabbi, traditionally only the groom will say a vow. When specific vows are included, the minister or rabbi typically will have the couple repeat after him as he recites the vows line by line.
If the couple has chosen to exchange rings, the minister usually says something about the symbolism of the wedding ring. Made of precious metal, they remind us that love is not cheap, nor common; indeed love is to be cherished.
Rodda holds a Bachelor of Arts in liberal studies with a concentration in psychology from Point Loma Nazarene University. Regardless of how old we are, we never stop learning. Classroom is the educational resource for people of all ages.
Based on the Word Net lexical database for the English Language. See disclaimer. Related Articles.