Liturgical Risk for the year goes to Andy and Martine who invited everyone to their engagement party but got married instead! A great way to raise the energy levels at a party! Values of faith, simplicity/abundance, service and creation shaped the ceremony in the beautiful garden at Christ Chruch, Hawthorn looking out over the city. Andy and Martine gave the reflection themselves and included the symbol of footwashing and a creatively dissonant Franciscan Benediction. Well done guys! Ceremony below….
The Engaging Wedding of Andy and Martine
Invitation to a Wedding: Roger (with Betty and Andy’s parents) (in Hall / Courtyard)
Marcus to introduce himself and Mark and invite volunteers for the readings.
Also, privately encourage musicians that it will be ok!….15 mins later…..
Music: Jane and Kate
Andy and Parents followed by Martine and Parents
Welcome / Opening Prayer: Marcus Curnow
On behalf of Andy and Martine, a warm welcome to this garden today.
In holding the wedding in this place and in this way they wish to help us think about the values that they see as essential to who they are and what it is that brings them together.
The connection of marriage with their Creator and the Creation as well as themes of Service and of Simplicity have been very important in shaping the ceremony today.
Accordingly, today is not the ordinary nor extravagant, it’s spontaneous and low key, but neither is it sparse or lacking. Today Andy and Martine want us to celebrate the abundance they share, in the love they have found in their journey toward each other and the love of Christ. An abundance of meaning and of joy.
Let us open the ceremony with a prayer.
Instead of closing your eyes though I ask you to open them and to be aware of your surrounds.
Be aware of your senses, what you see, hear, smell, breathe deeply and take it in.
Allow yourself to appreciate the connection and dependence we have with the creation in which we live.
Let us give thanks to the Creator who sustains all of this.
Be aware of the connection that we share with Martine and with Andy.
What is it that we bring to this place and this celebration today? What is it that you feel?
A sense of surprise may be a common feeling!
Hopefully it is a pleasant one with feelings of goodwill, a sense of connection with Andy and Martine and others, excited hopes for them, a desire to enjoy and celebrate.
Or perhaps not so pleasant. Weddings can also be lonely times, a reminder of people who are not here, of relationships that have failed or that remain unreconciled.
One of the values we celebrate today is honest simplicity.
So Martine and Andy wish us to bring the feelings we have, the good and the bad. Our hopes, as well as our fears for their future.
God, We let go and we offer them to you.
We recognise Andy and Martine’s desire for us to celebrate their commitment
May you grant each of us peace and grace as we share this time with them.
Move amongst us and unite us in purpose as we unite Andy and Martine in the power of your love.
The Purpose and Meaning of Marriage: Mark Leach
We have come together in the presence of God to witness the marriage of Andy and Martine and to ask God’s blessing on them as we share in their joy.
Marriage is a gift of God, our creator.
It is a symbol of God’s unending love for his people, and of the union between Christ and his Church.
Christ loved his bride the Church, and gave himself for her.
As he has called Andy and Martine to marriage, so he draws their differing gifts and hopes into a unity of love and service.
Scripture teaches that marriage is a lifelong partnership uniting a woman and a man in heart, mind and body.
In the joy of their union, husband and wife enrich and respond to each other, growing in tenderness and understanding. Through marriage a new family is formed, where children may be born and grow in secure and loving care.
Marriage is therefore to be honoured by all.
No one should enter it lightly or selfishly, but responsibly and joyfully, with the mutual respect and the promise to be faithful.
So let us pray with Andy and Martine as they prepare to exchange their solemn vows:
Blessed are you, loving God, your spirit binds us together.
Crown our lives with your goodness; sustain us all our days with your love
Bless Andy and Martine with wisdom and pleasure.
Be their friend and companion in joy, their comfort in need and in sorrow.
And when this life is ended, welcome them into your presence, there with your people to praise your holy name. Amen.
Reflection : Andy and Martine
The Declaration :
A/M I give myself to you as your husband/wife to live with you forever in an unconditional commitment forsaking all others, according to God’s will. I will be faithful to you and love and serve you in the way that you need through times of both challenge and blessing.
A/M, in the presence of God and our community, I take you as my husband/wife. I promise to keep God at the centre in all that I do and receive my self-worth from Him and not from you alone. Recognising that we are not perfect and that we will let each other down, I promise to continually forgive you and not hold on to past hurts.
With God’s help I will always be honest and genuine with you as we grow together. I will respect you and encourage you to embrace the woman/man that God has created you to be. And following the example of Jesus, I will seek to serve those in need, to trust in God’s provision, and be responsible with the spiritual, material and natural resources God has blessed us with.
To Family: Mark Leach
Mark and Kathy, Roger and Betty, you have raised Andy and Martine out of the love and support of your own marriage. Simon, Luke, Josh, Natalie, Carolyn and Chris, you have grown up alongside them. Having heard their vows, will you support them in their marriage and share in its joys and challenges as they embark on this way of life together?
To Friends: Mark
Friends, you are witnesses to these vows and have an integral role to play in Andy and Martine’s well-being. Will you do everything in your power to encourage and support them in their personal lives and union together?
Exchange of Rings: Mark Leach
God of steadfast love, by your blessing, let these rings be for Andy and Martine a symbol of their love and faithfulness through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen
Andy I give you this ring as a symbol of our marriage. With all that I am and all that I have I honour you; in the name of God.
Martine I receive this ring as a symbol of your Love and faithfulness to the end of our days.
Martine I give you this ring as a symbol of our marriage. With all that I am and all that I have I honour you; in the name of God.
Andy I receive this ring as a symbol of your Love and faithfulness to the end of our days.
Before God and in the presence of us all, Andy and Martine have joined hands and made their solemn vows, promising life-long faithfulness to each other.
In the name of God, I declare them to be husband and wife. What God has joined together, let no one separate.
Kiss: Andy and Martine
Footwashing : : Marcus Curnow
What image of love shall we use to capture and celebrate the significance of the committment Andy and Martine have just made. Today they have share with us the values that shape this union. Honest simplicity, faith, abundance and creation. For Martine and Andy these values are given focus in Jesus Christ, who through his life, death and ressurection offered us an image of love grounded in self giving service. In a confronting demonstration of this serving love, Christ washed the feet of his followers at their final meal, and told them to do likewise.
As their first act as a married couple, Andy and Martine have chosen to follow the example and command of Christ by washing each others feet.
It is a symbol of their desire to serve each other in mutual submission.
It is a symbol of their desire to serve and be served by you their community of family and friends.
It is a symbol of their desire to serve those who are often considered least in our world.
It is a symbol of their desire to serve all of creation.
Celtic Circle Blessing: Marcus Curnow
(Congregation form circle around the couple. All say “Circle them Lord”, various voices give the blessings.)
Circle them Lord :
May the angels of Heaven protect you this day and circle you with the fragrance of peace.
Any individual may name something they wish to be kept without
Circle them Lord:
May Christ your Lord and loving friend protect you this day and circle you with affection and love.
Any individual may name something they wish to be kept within
Circle them Lord:
May the Spirit of Truth, who dwells in your heart, protect you this day and circle you, and fill your heart with joy.
A m e n
May God bless us with Discomfort…
at Easy Answers, Half-Truths and Superficial Relationships
so that we may live Deep Within Our Hearts
May God bless us with Anger…
at Injustice, Oppression and Exploitation of People,
so that we may work for Justice, Freedom and Peace.
May God bless us with Tears…
to shed for those who suffer from Pain, Rejection, Starvation and War,
So that We may reach out Our Hands to Comfort them and to turn their Pain into Joy.
And may God bless us with enough foolishness…
to Believe that We can Make a Difference in this World,
so that we can DO what others claim cannot be Done.
Invitation to return to Hall/ Courtyard, opportunity for speeches later : Roger / Andy and Martine
Family photos then sign register with Mark in his office, then back to Hall/courtyard to continue the “Engagement” Party!