Chapter 5 Examples of Holy Union

The following are samples contributed by members of DignityUSA.

Site Index Terms: 

Holy Union Example Provided by Bill, Dignity/San Jose, CA

Welcome

Good evening and welcome. Thanks for being with us this day to celebrate and participate in this wonderful and very special occasion. I am(presider name), a lay minister of Dignity/San Jose, a local chapter of DignityUSA, an organization for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Catholics, their friends, families and loved ones. I appreciate the invitation of (name #1) and (name #2) to serve as a lay presider and to be with all of you on this very important day of their lives.

(Music — as party enters area)

Why we are gathered

My sisters and brothers, we are gathered to witness, celebrate and affirm the joining together of (name #1) and (name #2) in a holy union as partners in life. Trusting in the Word of God that "Where two or more are gathered together in my name, I am in their midst," we come together in confidence and prayer to ask God's blessing on the joined and personal lives of (name #1) and (name #2) as they freely enter a bond of a loving, living relationship of shared commitment. (name #1) and (name #2) number you among their family of friends, and have invited you to share the loving joy of this milestone in their lives. They want it to be a happy, joyous occasion, not only for themselves, but also for you.

Recognizing their spiritual, social and physical relationship as wholesome and good, they wish to acknowledge God's enriching presence in their lives by proclaiming and solemnizing their union as life partners. This holy union is a joyful celebration and thanksgiving for the gifts God has given them. (name #1) and (name #2) invited you to be with them today and chose this ceremony to be an outward sign of their mutual love and a source of encouragement to the gay and lesbian community for the establishment and respect of similar relationships of commitment.

This will not be a home or Nuptial Mass. Nor will there be consecrated bread and wine. I will serve as presider of this prayer and liturgical service. All of you are encouraged to actively participate in this celebration. As with a Nuptial Mass and wedding, the couple freely enters into a contract with each other. (name #1) and (name #2) will exchange their vows of love and commitment to each other.

Opening Prayer

Let us take a few moments to quiet and center ourselves in God's presence and in prayer.

(pause)

And so we begin with the sign of the Cross.

In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.

We express our beliefs as Christians by praying AMEN at the conclusion.

We believe in God, Creator of the universe, of all humanity and all about us. We believe in Jesus Christ, God made flesh, who lovingly taught and redeemed us by his life, death and resurrection, and left us the Eucharist as a living memorial. We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Sanctifier, who dwells amongst us and guides us to the truth. We believe that we are brothers and sisters of and in Jesus Christ, created in God's image and likeness, and share in God's unconditional love. Lord, as members of the Mystical Body of Christ, and trusting in your word, we come together in confidence and pray that you be with us this day and at these moments. Look into our minds and hearts and recognize the love that is there as we join in the celebration of life and the bonding of our brothers (name #1) and (name #2) in a loving partnership. We pray this through Christ Our Lord. AMEN.

A Reflection on Love (from works of the humanist poet and writer Walter Rinder)

"Spectrum of Love" by Walter Rinder

"I love you."

There is a much greater motivation than simply my spoken words.

For me, to love is to commit myself freely and without reservation. I am sincerely interested in your happiness and well being. Whatever your needs are, I will try to fulfill them and will bend in my values depending on the importance of your need. If you are lonely and need me, I will be there. If in that loneliness you need to talk; I will listen. If you need to listen, I will talk. If you need the strength of human touch, I will touch you. If you need to be held, I will hold you. I will lie naked in body with you if that be your need. If you need fulfillment of the flesh I will give that also, but only through my love.

I will try to be constant with you so that you will understand the core of my personality and from that understanding you can gain strength and security that I am acting as me. I may falter with my moods. I may project, at times, a strangeness that is alien to you, which may bewilder or frighten you. There will be times when you question my motives. But because people are never constant and are as changeable as the seasons, I will try to build up within you a faith in my fundamental attitude and show you that my inconsistency is only for the moment and not a lasting part of me. I will show you love now. Each and every day, for each day is a lifetime. Every day we live, we learn more how to love. I will not defer my love nor neglect it, for if I wait until tomorrow, tomorrow never comes. It is like a cloud in the sky, passing by. They always do, you know!

If I give you kindness and understanding, then I will receive your faith. If I give hate and dishonesty, I will receive your distrust. If I give you fear and am afraid, you will become afraid and fear me. I will give to you what I need to receive.

To what degree (amount) I give love is determined by my own capability. My capability is determined by the environment of my past existence and my understanding of love, truth and God. My understanding is determined by my parents, friends, places I have lived and been. All experiences that have fed into my mind from living.

I will give you as much love as I can. If you will show me how to give more, then I will give more. I can only give as much as you need to receive or allow me to give. If you receive all I can give, then my love is endless and fulfilled. If you receive a portion (part) of my love, then I will give others the balance I am capable of giving. I must give all that I have, being what I am

Love is universal. Love is the movement of life. I have loved a boy, a girl, my parents, art, nature. All things in life I find beautiful. No human being or society has the right to condemn any kind of love I feel or my way of expressing it, if I am sincere, sincerity being the honest realization of myself and there is no hurt or pain intentionally involved in my life or any life my life touches.

I want to become a truly loving spirit. Let my word, if I must speak, become a restoration of your soul. But when speech is silent, does a man project the great depth of his sensitivity. When I touch you, or kiss you, or hold you, I am saying a thousand words.

Prayer of invocation

As I pray to invoke God's blessings on the couple as they exchange vows, I invite each of you in the quiet of yourself and in your own way, also pray that God will bless (name #1) and (name #2) and their intentions.

Dear God, we pray that you look into the minds and hearts of your sons and our brothers (name #1) and (name #2) and see their love for you and each other. Find their intentions to join together in this holy union and commitment to each other are founded on Christian love and a depth of love and affection for each other. Understand that they have seriously considered what they are about to do in their exchange of vows.

Brothers and sisters, as the couple exchange vows you will be invited to participate in this ceremony by responding to the opening and closing questions with the words "We do" and "We will," respectively.

Exchange of Vows and Rings

Friends of (name #1) and (name #2), do you affirm their free choice of this holy union and joining as partners in life?

We do.

In the presence of God, loved ones and loving friends, do you, (name #1), take (name #2) to be your spouse and partner in life, to have and to hold, to love and cherish in joy and sorrow, for better or worse, in health and sickness, and in good as well as difficult times?

I do.

Do you promise to respect (name #2)'s spirituality and human dignity and the spirituality and dignity of this holy union to the best of your ability?

I do.

Do you promise to do your best to promote and be responsive to ongoing dialogue to enrich this holy union and to quickly search out ways of mutual reconciliation as the need arises?

I do.

In the presence of God, loved ones and loving friends, do you, ( name #2), take ( name #1) to be your spouse and partner in life, to have and to hold, to love and cherish in joy and sorrow, for better or worse, in health and sickness, and in good as well as difficult times? I do.

Do you promise to respect (name #1)'s spirituality and human dignity and the spirituality and dignity of this holy union to the best of your ability?

I do.

Do you promise to do your best to promote and be responsive to ongoing dialogue to enrich this holy union and to quickly search out ways of mutual reconciliation as the need arises?

I do.

Brothers, sisters and friends of (name #1) and (name #2) will you honor, respect and encourage them in their relationship of commitment?

We will.

Blessing and exchange of rings

Water is a symbol of life and nourishment. At Baptism, water is used in the cleansing away of sin and in the inauguration of our life with Jesus Christ. A circle is used as a sign of unity. The rings to be exchanged are symbols of unity of purpose and a mutual commitment of supportive love as partners in life. We use this holy water and ask that God will bless the couple.

Loving God and Brother Jesus Christ, with this holy water, we pray that you bless (name #1) and (name #2) in their commitment of loving support and affirmation towards each other. We pray that the Spirit will always be with them and give them the strength and courage to fulfill their shared vows of commitment to each other in a living partnership.

We pray that you will bless them in their individual and shared lives with your blessings of love, joy, inner peace and genuine happiness. May their lives and loving partnership be further extensions of your love in our community.

Symbolic Ceremony of Unity of Purpose

(Name #1) and (name #2) have chosen to express their commitment, solidarity and unity of purpose by a Unity Candle Ceremony. They symbolically merge the light and warmth of their individual lives into a living and loving partnership in a shared journey -- two separate candles of light and lives become as one light and life in the sight of God and humanity.

Exchange of Feelings and Sentiments

(Name #1) and (name #2) exchange sentiments towards each other.

Community prayer - a symbol of unity and a calling of God's love on the couple

All join hands and pray the Lord's Prayer.

A symbol of reconciliation, joy, and loving family - exchange of the Kiss of Peace

Brief closing prayer and remarks

As we leave this celebration today, let us remember that we are Christ for one another in our daily lives. Remember (name #1) and (name #2)in your prayers. Be supportive of them in their personal lives and in their partnership in life.

God of the Universe, we your children thank you for gathering us together to celebrate this holy union of our brothers (name #1) and (name #2). Thank you for giving us this day and being present with us. Be with us daily and help us do your will by being sensitive towards our sisters and brothers. Guide us to be channels of your peace and reconciliation as we go forth and be Christ for one another. This we pray through Christ our Lord. AMEN.

Site Index Terms: 

Holy Union Example Provided by Brian and Ken, Madison, Wisconsin

Prelude For You, My Friend (written by Karin Scott)

Opening Greeting

Entrance Song City of God

Affirmation of Intention

Affirmation of Family & Friends

"Sts. Serge & Bacchus" (J. Boswell, translation)

Meanwhile the blessed Serge, deeply depressed and heartsick over the loss of Bacchus, wept and cried out, "No longer, brother and fellow soldier, will we chant together, 'Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!' You have been unyoked from me and gone up to heaven, leaving me alone on earth, made single, without comfort." After he uttered these things, the same night the blessed Bacchus suddenly appeared to him with a face as radiant as an angel's, wearing an officer's uniform, and spoke to him. "Why do you grieve and mourn, brother? If I have been taken from you in body, I am still with you in the bond of union, chanting and reciting, 'I will run the way of thy commandments, when thou hast enlarged my heart.' Hurry then, yourself, brother, through beautiful and perfect confession to pursue, and obtain me, when finishing the course. For the crown of justice for me is with you."

Response Song: For All The Saints

Paul's First Letter to the Corinthians: 1-13

If I had the gift of being able to speak in other languages without learning them, and could speak in every language there is in all of heaven and earth, but didn't love others, I would only be making noise. If I had the gift of prophecy and knew all about what is going to happen in the future, knew everything about everything, but didn't love others, what good would it do? Even if l had the gift of faith so that l could speak to a mountain and make it move, I would still be worth nothing at all without love. If I gave everything I have to poor people, and if I were burned alive for preaching the Gospel but didn't love others, it would be of no value whatever.

Love is very patient and kind, never jealous or envious, never boastful or proud, never haughty or selfish or rude. Love does not demand its own way. It is not irritable or touchy. It does not hold grudges and will hardly even notice when others do it wrong. It is never glad about injustice, but rejoices whenever truth wins out. If you love someone you will be 1oyal to him no matter what the cost. You will always believe in him, always expect the best of him; always stand your ground defending him.

All the special gifts and powers from God will someday come to an end, but love goes on forever. Someday prophesy, and speaking in unknown languages, and special knowledge -- these gifts will disappear. Now we know so little, even with our special gifts, and the preaching of those most gifted is still so poor. But when we have been made perfect and complete, then the need for these inadequate special gifts will come to an end, and they will disappear. There are three things that remain -- faith, hope and love -- and the greatest of these is love.

Alleluia Song: Seek Ye First

Gospel

Presider: A reading from the Gospel according to John (John 4:7-21)

Homily

Prayers of the Faithful

Presider: For heavenly peace,

Response: we beseech Thee, O Lord.

Presider: For the peace of the entire world,

Response: we beseech Thee, O Lord.

Presider: For this holy place,

Response: we beseech Thee, O Lord.

Presider: That these thy servants, (couple’s names), be sanctified with thy spiritual benediction,

Response: we beseech Thee, O Lord.

Presider: That their love abides without offense or scandal all the days of their lives,

Response: we beseech Thee, O Lord.

Presider: That they be granted all things needed for salvation and godly enjoyment of life everlasting,

Response: we beseech Thee, O Lord.

Presider: That the Lord God grant unto them unashamed faithfulness and sincere love,

Response: we beseech Thee, O Lord.

Presider: For all those invited to join our joyous celebration today, who have been kept away by their own or other's fears,

Response: Loving God, hear our prayer.

Presider: In thanksgiving for all who have gone before us, and for the gifts, lessons and legacies they have left us, and in particular for (couple’s names),

Response: Loving God, hear our prayer.

Presider: For all who are lonely,

Response: Loving God, hear our prayer.

Presider: That we may all hear when God's Spirit is speaking within us, and find the strength to act when we hear God's call,

Response: Loving God, hear our prayer.

Presider: In peace we beseech thee, O Lord, Have mercy on us, O God. Lord, have mercy. (shall be said three times)

Offertory Prayers

We rejoice today, O God, as we've come together to marvel in the beauty of your human creation. We, your people, stand in awe of the gifts you have bestowed on us, in us, and through us. We rejoice especially today that you have given us (couple’s names), whose love draws each one of us here together and creates of us a brilliant tapestry of life. May they continue to weave strong bonds of family, friendship and love throughout their lives, so that through them many will know the meaning of communion. Amen.

We thank you, most generous God, for giving us this gift of bread, made of earth and water and sun. We ask that in breaking and sharing this loaf today we might learn to break open and share ourselves with each other; and in so doing be fed by the food of one another's souls. Help us to remember that you bring us together in love for a purpose, to strive together, hand-in-hand, until all people taste the bread of community and are filled in body and nourished in soul. Then we will know the fullness of communion. Amen.

We celebrate you, Sweet Spirit, as we share the gift of wine. It runs deep and red as the blood coursing through our veins. We ask that in sharing this cup today we might know the fire in our own blood, the vibrant life that calls us into love beyond fear. For we know that it is only this kind of love, deep and true, honest and brave, that has the power to make our hearts whole and heal our broken world. Only in this love can we truly live as communion. Amen.

And so, behold these gifts -- our brothers, our bread, our wine. We invite you to come forward, to claim your place at the table, created by God, prepared by friends, offered as gift. Come share in this banquet of hope and love and joy.

Communion Sharing

Communion Song: Blest Art They

Exchange of Peace

Benediction

Site Index Terms: 

Holy Union Example Provided by Michael and Dennis, Dignity/Washington

Gathering and Entrance Rites

Prelude

Procession (stand)

Trumpet Tune

Greeting

Presider:

In the name of the God Who Creates us, Who Redeems us and Who makes us Holy.

Response:

Amen

Presider:

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ and the Love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.

Response:

And also with you.

Penitential Rite

Presider:

My brothers and sisters, to prepare ourselves to celebrate the Sacred Mysteries, let us call to mind our sins. Your were sent to heal the contrite of heart, Lord have mercy

Response:

Lord have mercy,

Presider:

You came to call all Sinners, Christ have mercy.

Response:

Christ have mercy.

Presider:

You plead for us at the right hand of the Father, Lord have mercy.

Response:

Lord have mercy.

Presider:

May almighty God have mercy on us, forgive us our sins, and bring us to everlasting life

Response:

Amen.

Opening Prayer

Presider:

Let us pray.

Oh Lord our God, You bestowed all things on us for salvation and commanded us to love one another and to bear with one another's weakness. You yourself were a friend to humankind; therefore grant unashamed devotion and unfeigned love all their days to {first name} and {second name}, Your servants, who love each other in a Holy and Blessed love and have come into Your Holy Temple to be blessed by You. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ Your Son, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever.

Response:

Amen

Liturgy of the Word

First Reading: A reading from the First Book of Samuel. (1 Samuel 16:19.23; 18:1-5; 20:35; 20:40-43)

Saul sent messengers to Jesse, saying "Send me David your son who is with the sheep." Jesse took five loaves, a skin of wine and a kid, sent them to Saul by David his son. And so David came to Saul and entered his service; Saul loved him greatly and David became his armor bearer. Then Saul sent to Jesse saying, "Let David enter my service; he has won favor. And whenever the spirit from God troubled Saul, David took the harp and played; then Saul grew calm, and recovered, and the evil spirit left him.

After David had finished talking to Saul, Jonathan's soul became closely bound to David's and Jonathan came to him as his own soul. Saul kept him from that day forward and would not let him go back to his father's house. Jonathan made a pact with David to love him as his own soul; he took off the cloak he was wearing and give it to David, and his armor too, even his sword, his bow and belt. Whenever David went out, on whatever mission Saul sent him, he was successful, and Saul put him in command of the fighting men; he stood well in his people's eyes and in the eyes of Saul's officers.

The next morning Jonathan went out into the fields for the agreed meeting with David, taking a young servant with him.

Jonathan then gave his weapons to his servant and said, "Go and carry them to the town." When the servant went off, David rose from beside the hillock and fell with his face to the ground and bowed three times. Then they kissed each other and shed many tears. Then Jonathan said to David, "Go in peace. And as regards the oath that both of us have sworn in the name of Yahweh be witness between you and me, between your descendants and mine forever.

The Word of the Lord.

Response: Thanks be to God.

Responsorial Psalm: We Have Been Told

Second Reading: A reading from the First Letter of Paul to the Church at Corinth

(1 Corinthians 12:31; 13:4-13)

Set your hearts on the greater gifts. I will show you the way, which surpasses all others. If I speak with human tongues and angelic as well, but do not know love, I am a noisy gong, a clanging cymbal. If I have the love of prophecy and, with full knowledge, comprehend all mysteries; if I have the faith great enough to move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give everything to feed the poor and hand over my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient, love is kind. Love is not jealous, it does not put on airs, it is not snobbish. Love is never rude, it is not selfish, it is not prone to anger; neither does it brood over injuries. Love does not rejoice in what is wrong but rejoices with the truth. There is no limit to love's forbearance, to its trust, its hope, its power to endure.

Love never fails. Prophecies will cease, tongues will be silent, and knowledge will pass away. Our knowledge is imperfect and our prophesying is imperfect. When the perfect comes, the imperfect will pass away. When I was a child, I used to talk like a child, think like a child, reason like a child. When I became an adult, I put childish ways aside. Now we see indistinctly, as in a mirror; then we shall face to face. My knowledge is imperfect now; then I shall know even as I am known. There are in the end three things that last: faiths, hope, and love, and the greatest of these is love. Love never fails.

The Word of the Lord.

Response: Thanks be to God.

Gospel Acclamation: Celtic Alleluia (stand)

Gospel

Presider:

The Lord be with you.

Response:

And also with you

Presider:

A reading from the Holy Gospel according to Matthew (Matthew 5: 13-16)

Jesus said to his disciples: "You are the salt of the earth. But what if salt goes flat? How can you restore its flavor? Then it is good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled under foot."

"You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. People do not light a lamp and then put it under a basket. They set it on a stand where it gives a light to all in the house. In the same way, your light must shine before all so that they may see your goodness in your acts and give praise to your heavenly Creator."

This is the Gospel of the Lord

Response: Praise to You, Lord Jesus Christ.

Homily

Holy Union Address and Statement of Intention

Presider:

My dear friends, you have come together in this church so that the Lord may seal and strengthen your love in the presence of the Church's minister and this community. In this way you will be strengthened to keep mutual and lasting faith with each other and to carry out the duties of your Most Holy Union. And so, in the presence of the Church, I ask you to state your intentions.

{first name}, you come here freely and without reservation to affirm your covenant of love and fidelity to {second name} and your intention to live together in a committed relationship. Will you love (him/her), comfort (him/her), honor and keep (him/her), forsaking all others, and be faithful to (him/her) as long as you both shall live?

1st person:

I will.

Presider:

{second name}, you come here freely and without reservation to affirm your covenant of love and fidelity to {first name} and your intention to live together in a committed relationship. Will you love (him/her), comfort (him/her), honor and keep (him/her), forsaking all others, and be faithful to (him/her) as long as you both shall live?

2nd person:

I will.

Presider:

Will all of you witnessing these promises do all in your power to uphold these two persons in their covenant?

Witnesses:

We will.

Consent and Exchange of Vows

Presider:

Since it is your intention to enter into this Holy Union, join your hands and declare your consent before God and the Church.

1st person:

In the presence of God and our community, I, {first name}, take you, {second name}, to be my companion in a covenant of love, comfort, forgiveness and faithfulness; in times of ease or unease, whether we are rich or poor, in sickness and in health, as long as both shall live. This is my solemn vow.

2nd person:

In the presence of God and our community, I, {second name}, take you, {first name}, to be my companion in a covenant of love, comfort, forgiveness and faithfulness; in times of ease or unease, whether we are rich or poor, in sickness and in health, as long as both shall live. This is my solemn vow.

Presider:

You have declared your consent before the Church. The sweet smell of love is lovely to us and much desired. It was the foundation of our ancestors, the guide of prophetic voices sanctified through the preaching of the Holy Apostles, because love is superior to all beautiful things of earth. Where there is love, enmity cannot harm, demons have no power, and sin has no reality. May the Lord in His goodness strengthen your consent and fill you both with God's blessings. What God has joined, men and women must not divide.

Blessing and Exchange of Rings

Presider:

Lord, bless these rings which we bless (sign of the cross) in your name. Grant that those who wear them may always have a deep faith in each other. May they doYour will and always live together in peace, goodwill and love. We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Response:

Amen.

Exchanging Rings, each person says to the other:

{the other person's name}, I give you this ring as a symbol of my love and commitment. In the name of God The Creator, The Redeemer and The Sanctifier.

General Intercessions

Presider:

(petitions) We pray to the Lord.

Response:

Amen.

Liturgy of the Eucharist

Presentation of the Gifts

Prayer over the Gifts

Presider:

Pray, my brothers and sisters, that our sacrifice may be acceptable to Almighty God.

Response:

May the Lord accept the sacrifice at your hands for the praise and glory of God's name and the good of all God's Church.

 

(stand)

Presider:

Loving God, accept our offering for {first name and second name}. By your love and providence you have brought them together May the mystery of Christ's unselfish love, which we celebrate in this Eucharist, increase their love for you and for each other. We ask this in the name of Jesus the Lord.

Response:

Amen.

Eucharistic Prayer

Presider:

The Lord be with you.

Response:

And also with you.

Presider:

Lift up your hearts.

Response:

We lift them up to the Lord.

Presider:

Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.

Response:

It is right to give God thanks and praise.

Preface

Holy, Holy, Holy

Memorial Acclamation

The Great Amen

Communion Rite

The Lord's Prayer

Nuptial Blessing (Adaptation from a Twelfth Century Roman Catholic Marriage Rite for Two Persons of the Same Gender)

Presider:

My dear friends, let us turn to God and pray that God will bless {first name} and {second name} and that through the sacrament of the Body and Blood of Christ, God will unite in love the couple joined in this Holy Union. For these two persons joining themselves in the loving union of life.

Response:

We pray to the Lord.

Presider:

For these servants, {first name and second name} and for their union in Christ.

Response:

We pray to the Lord

 

 

Presider:

That the Lord our God unites them in perfect love and inseparable life.

Response:

We pray to the Lord.

Presider:

For the holy gift of the precious Body and Blood of our Lord, Jesus Christ, that they should receive it in holiness and it should preserve their union without jealousy.

Response:

We pray to the Lord.

Presider:

Oh Lord Our God, Benefactor and Friend of the human race, these two servants of Yours, who love each other with the sacred and holy love, have come to Your holy temple wishing to receive your sanctification and blessing. Grant them unashamed fidelity and sincere love in all things needed for salvation and eternal life and union for the rest of their lives through God, the Creator, the Redeemer and the Sanctifier.

Response:

Amen.

Sign of Peace

Presider:

Lord, Jesus Christ, you said to our Apostles: I leave you peace, my peace I give you. Look not on our sins, but on the faith of your Church, and grant us the peace and unity of your kingdom, where you live forever and ever.

Response:

Amen.

Presider:

The peace of the Lord be with you always.

Response:

And also with you.

Presider:

Let us offer each other the sign of peace.

Breaking of the Bread

Lamb of God

Communion

Presider:

This is the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. Happy are those who are called to this supper.

Response:

Lord, I am not worthy to receive you, but only say the word and I shall be healed

Communion Song We Remember

Meditation A Nuptial Blessing (Choir)

Prayer after Communion

Presider:

Lord, in your love you have given us this Eucharist to unite us with one another and you. We pray for our friends, {first name and second name}, whom you have joined together in this Holy Union. May their love for each other proclaim to all the world their faith in you

Response:

Amen.

Concluding Rites

Blessing

Presider:

The Lord be with you.

Response:

And also with you.

Presider:

(Blessing)

Response:

Amen.

Dismissal

Presider:

Go in the peace of Christ.

Response:

Thanks be to God.

 Closing Hymn: Now Thank We All Our God

Site Index Terms: 

Holy Union Example Provided by Nick and Kurt, Brandon, Florida

Gather and Greeting

Welcome

Presider:

Dear friends in Christ We have come together in the presence of God to witness and bless the union of (first name and second name) in a lifelong commitment of love. The calling to live in the bond of a covenant is a gift from God, in whose image we are created and by whom we are called to love, to reason, to work and play, and to live in God and one another. In celebrating this covenant we are reminded of our highest vocation to love God and to love one another.

 

(first name and second name) are here to bear witness to their love for each other and to their intention to embody Christ's love in their relationship. Each has found the other to be a gift of God in the midst of a broken world. We are now called to share in their happiness and to witness this exchange of vows, because we believe God, who is love and trust, sees into their hearts and accepts the offering they are making.

 

The joining of (first name and second name) in heart, body, and mind is intended by God for their mutual joy, for the health and comfort given one another in prosperity and adversity, and for the greater rnanifestation of love in the lives of all whom they encounter. Therefore this commitment is to be undertaken and affirmed seriously, reverently, deliberately and in accordance with God's intention for us.

Opening Prayer (Presider)

First Reading (harp begins) A reading from the first letter of Paul to the Corinthians.

(silent pause)

Second Reading A reading from the letter of Paul to the Romans.

(silent pause) (harp ends)

Reflection on why we are gathered (Presider)

Exchange of Vows

1st person:

In the name of God, I, (first name), take you, (second name), to be my companion and partner. I solemnly promise before God and those present that I will be with you always. I love you now and wish to grow with you...to challenge, as the years pass, how we love our God, each other and those whom God puts in our path. I promise to love you in the times of celebration and of sadness in times of pleasure and of anger, in times of sickness and of health. I will love you and honor you all the days of my life.

2nd person:

In the name of God, I, (second name), take you, (first name), to be my companion and partner. I solemnly promise before God and those present that I will be with you always. I love you now and wish to grow with you...to challenge, as the years pass, how we love our God, each other and those whom God puts in our path. I promise to love you in the times of celebration and of sadness in times of pleasure and of anger, in times of sickness and of health. I will love you and honor you all the days of my life.

Blessing of the rings (Presider)

Rose Ceremony

1st person:

(partner's name), I offer you this rose as a symbol of my love for you, a love that I will express by kindness, respect, trust and faith in you to the end of my life.

2nd person:

(partner's name), I offer you this rose as a symbol of my love for you, a love that I will express by kindness, respect, trust and faith in you to the end of my life.

Prayer of Gratitude

The Couple:

We would like to thank each of you for being an important part of our lives. We thank you for coming together to celebrate the public declaration of our commitment to each other. We extend an invitation to all of you to be as important a part of our tomorrow as you are of our today.

 

We would like to especially thank our families for the love and support that they have given us. I would like to thank my mother and father for their love and acceptance. We would like to remember all those who have gone before us and could not be here today to share in our joy but will always be present in our hearts, especially (names). We would like to thank our family and friends who are separated from us by distance, but have sent us their love and blessings.

Intercessory Prayer

Presider:

(Invite the people to join in prayer. The response will be: "Lord help them to grow in love.")

 

That they will have a steadily deepening love, which grows in understanding and unselfishness; for this we pray.

 

That they will have a measure of patience, especially in the early years when life must fall in step with life; for this we pray.

 

Grant them the ability to communicate that they may be saved from hurtful words spoken in anger or grudges nurtured in silence; for this we pray.

 

Bless them with a sense of humor, that they may laugh at themselves and with others; for this we pray.

 

That theirs be a happy home, where they may find and give serenity and strength; for this we pray.

 

Give them a sense of values, that they may care for people more than possessions, for giving rather than receiving, for loving rather than being loved, for understanding rather than being understood, for honor more than honors, for the dimensions of a home more than the details of a house, for your approval more than the world's approval; for this we pray.

 

Plant within them a growing faith, that finds your sufficient love and grace in every joy and sorrow and responds in lives of steadiness and service; for this we pray.

 

Make them instruments of your peace; for this we pray

 

We ask your blessing upon them. In health and in sickness, in abundance and in want, in life and in death.

Circle of Blessing (all) (harp plays quietly)

Closing Prayer (presider)

Gifts to Family, Friends (the couple)

Site Index Terms: 

Holy Union Example Provided by Rosemary and Janet, Dignity/Maine

Order of Liturgy

Entrance Hymn

Gather Us In (Haas)

First Reading

Isaiah 62:1-4

Responsorial Psalm

What You Hear In The Dark (Schutte)

Second Reading

1 John 4:7-16

Celtic Alleluia

 

Gospel

Mark 4:21-25

Homily

 

Commitment Ceremony

Reading

Magnificat of Betrothal, "Mairyam of Nazareth" Anne Johnson, page 21-22

Community Blessing

We gather today to witness and celebrate your love and commitment to each other. As your family and friends, we bless you with our love for you and pray that you may always have the strength of community to support you May you endure the challenge of committed life and always find joy in the celebration of it. We pray that you may continue to grow together in God's light. Amen.

Creed

We believe (Walker)

Response:

We believe in one God! We believe in one Lord! We believe in one Spirit!

Preparation Hymn

All I Ask Of You (Norbet)

Eucharistic Acclamations

Mass of Creation (Haugen)

Communion Hymn

Lover of Us All

Recessional Hymn

Stand Up Friends (Hass)


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