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First the Banns of those who are to be married, may be published in the Church three several Sundays or Holydays, in this manner;
I PUBLISH the Banns of marriage between M. of- and N. of. If any of know cause or you just impediment why these two persons should not be joined together in matrimony, ye are to declare it. This is the first [second or third] time of asking.
When the Persons to be married are assembled with their Friends, the Minister shall say,
DEARLY beloved, we are gathered together here in the sight of God, and in the face of this congregation, to join together this man and this woman in matrimony; which is an honourable estate, institut
ed of God in the time of man's innocency; which estate Christ adorned and beautified with his presence, and first miracle that he wrought in Cana of Galilee; and is commended of St Paul to be honourable among all men; and therefore is not by any to be enterprised, or taken in hand, lightly or unadvisedly; but reverently, discreetly, soberly, and in the fear of God.
And also, speaking to the
Persons who are to be married he shall say,
IREQUIRE and charge you both, as ye will answer at the dreadful day of judgment, when the se
crets of all hearts shall be disclosed, that if either of you know any impediment, why ye may not be lawfully united in matrimony, ye do now confess it. For be ye well assured, that so many as are joined together otherwise than God's word doth allow, are not joined together by God, neither is their matrimony lawful.
If no impediment be alleged, then shall the Minister say unto the Man,
M. WILT thou have this woman to thy wedded wife, to live together after God's ordinance, in the estate of matrimony? Wilt thou love her, comfort her, honour and keep her, in sickness and in health, in sorrow and in joy; and forsaking all other, keep thee only unto her, so long as ye both shall live?
The Man shall answer,
Then shall the Minister say unto the Woman;
N. WILT thou have this man to thy wedded
husband, to live together after God's ordinance, in the estate of matrimony? Wilt thou love him, comfort him, honour and keep him, in sickness and in health, in sorrow and in joy; and forsaking all other, keep thee only unto him, so long as ye both shall live?
The Woman shall answer,
Then shall the Minister say,
Who giveth this woman to be married to this man?
Then the Minister, receiving the Woman, at her Father's or Friend's hands, shall cause the Man with his right hand, to take the Woman by her right hand, and to say after him as followeth;
I, M. take thee, N. to my wedded wife, to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death us do part, according to God's holy ordinance, and the laws of the land.
Then shall the Woman likewise say after the Minister;
I, N. take thee, M. to my wedded husband, to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death us do part, according to God's holy ordinance and the laws of the land.
Then shall they loose their hands, and the Man shall give unto the Woman a Ring, putting it upon the fourth finger of her left hand. And the Man holding the Ring there, and taught by the Minister, shall say,
WITH this ring I thee wed; with all my worldly goods I thee endow; and to thee only do I promise to keep myself, so long as we both shall live. Amen.
Then the minister shall say,
Let us pray.
O ETERNAL God, creator and preserver of all mankind, giver of all spiritual grace, the author
of everlasting life; send thy blessing upon these thy servants, whom we bless in thy name. Enable them to perform the covenant which they have now made in thy presence. May they seriously attend to the duties of the new relation in which they stand to each other; that it may not be to them a state of temptation and sorrow, but of holiness and comfort; may they live together in peace and love; and wilt thou, the God of peace and love, be always with them, and lead them in the paths of innocence and virtue to eternal life; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Then shall the Minister speak unto the People.
FORASMUCH as M. and N. have consented together in wedlock, and have witnessed the same before God and this company, and thereto have engaged and pledged themselves to each other, and have declared the same by giving and receiving a ring, and by joining hands; I pronounce that they be Man and Wife; and those
whom God hath joined together, let no man put asunder.
Then shall he add this
THE Lord God Al
Let us pray.
Then shall the Minister mighty bless, preserve, and keep you; the Lord mercifully with his favour look upon you, and fill you with all spiritual benediction and grace; that ye may so live together in this life, that in the world to come ye may have life everlasting. Amen.
O MERCIFUL God and heavenly Father, who art the guide, the support and the felicity of all who put their trust in thee; we beseech thee to bless these thy servants, and give them grace to fear and serve thee all the days of their life. May their hearts be united in the closest bonds of love and purity; may they be blessings and comforts to one another, sharers of each other's joys, consolers of each other's sorrows, and helpers to one another in all the changes and chances of the world; and grant that they may so faithfully discharge the duties which belong to the condition into which they have entered, that they, and all who may be committed to their care, may meet together in that world of perfect felicity which thou hast revealed to us by Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
EXHORTATION to the Parties after marriage; to be read or omitted at the discretion of the Minister.
IT will become you to consider seriously the sacred and important engagement into which ye have now entered. Marriage is the union of one man with one woman for their
joint happiness, and for
5, 6.), this union is to be
Parent of mankind, to be a source of the purest satisfactions, to soften the unavoidable cares, and increase the innocent pleasures of life, by affording opportunities of sharing them with a most intimate friend and partner. By Christians in particular it is to be looked upon as a state of perfect indissoluble friendship, in which ye are to carry your regards for each other beyond the grave, that ye may so live in virtue and holiness here, that ye may live hereafter live hereafter in that state, where there will be no marrying nor giving in marriage, but ye shall be as the angels in heaven. Study then to correct what is amiss in your respective tempers and dispositions, which may disturb your mutual love and peace. And be severe censors of yourselves, but exact not too much one from another, and bear with each other's infirmities, for there is nothing perfect here below. None are faultless, but all are to endeavour to become such. Cultivate in your selves, and in each other, the knowledge and practice of virtue and true re
ligion, as the only foundation of present comfort and future hopes. Study the scriptures and the precepts and example of Christ, who alone hath the words of eternal life. And be not extravagant in your expectations from the world; for although it abound with many innocent joys and pleasures, yet it is not, nor is intended to be, a place of unmixed prosperity and enjoyment, but a transitory scene of trial and improvement for a better and more enduring
The other great end of marriage is for the well ordering of families and right education of children. This is a matter of the highest moment. For families are the nurseries and schools, in which the successive generations of men are to be instructed and fitted for their different stations and employments in life, to bear their part and burden in it, to be helpful to others, good citizens, useful magistrates, faithful husbands, virtuous wives, patterns of all that is excellent and worthy in every relation. Of a number of families united, na