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An Irish Wedding Ceremony

The following is an Irish wedding ceremony that I compiled from some ideas I saw on other web sites.


Minister: Who presents the bride in marriage?

DAD: Her mother and I do.

Opening Words

MINISTER: When two individuals meet, so do two private worlds. None of our private worlds is big enough for us to live a wholesome life in. We need the wider world of joy and wonder, of purpose and venture, of toil and tears.

What are we, any of us, but strangers wandering through the nighttime, until we draw together and find the meaning of our lives in one another, dissolving our fears in each other's courage, making music together, and lighting torches to guide us through the dark? We belong together. Love is what we need. To love and be loved. Let our hearts be open; and what we would receive from others, let us give. For what is given still remains to bless the giver -- when the gift is love. --A. Powell Davies

Statement of Purpose

MINISTER: Family and friends, we are gathered here to join Michael and Jenna in marriage. It is fitting and appropriate that you, their families and friends, be there to witness and to participate in their wedding, for the love that they have for each other has some of its roots in the love, friendship, and guidance you have given them. Marriage makes us aware of the changes brought about by time, but their new relationship as husband and wife will continue to draw much of its beauty and meaning from their associations with all of you who join with them today.

Michael and Jenna in the specialness of this place, we come to celebrate your wedding. Throughout all of the days of your years may you remember this day with tenderness and joy, remember is as a day when the glory and the beauty and your precious lives began to unfold in a most gracious way before you.

Blessings by Family

MINISTER: From time immemorial, weddings such as this one have been public occasions where family and friends gather to express the joy and approval that they feel for the new union.

Let me therefore ask you, the parents, this question:

Do you, John and Carol, and you, David and Gail, who have raised and nurtured these two, give your blessings now to them as they enter into this new relationship, and do you aspire in the days and years ahead to give them your deepest love, understanding, and support during both good times and bad? If so, please say, "We do."


Reading: I Corinthians

Though I speak with the tongues of mortals and angels and have not love,
I am but a sounding gong, a clanging cymbal.
And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge;
And though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, Yet have not love,
I am nothing.
And though I share all my goods among the poor,
And though I give my body to be burnt,
But have not Love, It profits me nothing.
Love is patient; Love is kind;
Love is not envious or boastful, arrogant or rude.
It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;
It does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth.
Love bears al things, believes all things, Hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never ends.
Faith, hope, and love: These three abide,
And the greatest of these is Love.

Preface to the Vows


The vows through which you accept each other as husband and wife have no hidden power within themselves. Only to the extent that they express in words your continuing intention and commitment do they have meaning. In a world where the pressures pushing people apart might often seem stronger than those drawing people together, your commitment to each other will need to be re-expressed in many different ways in the coming days and years. The expression in today's vows is simply a visible milestone in your journey together.

I invite you now to join hands as you repeat your vows. The hand offered by each of you is an extension of self, just as is your mutual love. Cherish the touch, for you touch not only your own, but another life. Be ever sensitive to its pulse. Seek always to understand and respect its rhythm.

Exchange of Vows

The groom takes the bride's right hand in his right hand and repeats the vows line by line after the minister or reads them from the card. The bride then repeats the vows in her turn, substituting husband for wife and father for mother.


I honor your God
I drink at your well
I bring an undefended heart to our meeting place
I have no cherished outcome
I will not negotiate by withholding
I am not subject to disappointment

Jenna, I take you to be my wife,
To be the mother of my children,
To be the companion of my days.
We shall bear together whatever of sorrow and adversity life may lay upon us.
We shall share together whatever of joy and fulfillment life may hold in store.


I honor your God
I drink at your well
I bring an undefended heart to our meeting place
I have no cherished outcome
I will not negotiate by withholding
I am not subject to disappointment

Michael, I take you to be my husband,
To be the father of my children,
To be the companion of my days.
We shall bear together whatever of sorrow and adversity life may lay upon us.
We shall share together whatever of joy and fulfillment life may hold in store.

The next part should be read together by the bride and groom after both vows have been said:

We swear by peace and love to stand
Heart to heart and hand in hand.
Mark, O Spirit, and hear us now,
Confirming this our Sacred Vow.

Preface to the Ring Ceremony

The best man and matron of honor now give the rings to the minister.


A circle is the symbol of the sun and the earth and the universe. It represents wholeness and peace. In the form of a ring it is the accepted token of marriage. Love freely given has no beginning and no end. Love freely given has no separate giver and receiver. You are each the giver and each the receiver. By the use of these rings you express in visible form the unbroken circle of your love in which wherever you go you will always return to your shared life together.

The Ring Ceremony

The one giving the ring repeats after the minister:

I give you this ring
As a symbol of my commitment
To love, honor, and respect you.

Unity Candle Ceremony

Michael and Jenna, as you light the unity candle together, we hope for harmony and creativity, as well as for love and laughter, in your life together. And when there is pain, may there be a peace that passes not away. As you share the richer experiences of life, may your hearts and minds be knit ever more closely, while yet your bonds of sympathy strengthen your separate personalities. Finally, we hope that at the end of your lives you will be able to say these two things to each other: "Because you have loved me, I have learned to love myself more fully And because I have seen good in you, I have learned to see good in humanity."


Michael and Jenna, you have told me and all of your friends and family members who have gathered here to share this moment of joy with you, that you deeply love one another, and wish to live together now seeking an ever-richer, ever-deeper relationship. You have formed your own union -- in friendship, in respect for one another, and in love -- and it is therefore my joyful task to pronounce you Husband and Wife.

Ring the bell.


Prayer or Benediction

Let us pray: O Divine Love, we rejoice in the splendor of the world and beauty of this day. We give thanks for all the binds us to one another and helps us recognize the mystery of Your presence among us. May Michael and Jenna know more and more wondrously the power and blessedness of life. May they trust and not be afraid. May the home they establish together be a place of peace and grace for them and for all who enter therein. And my their days be good and long upon this earth. Amen.

Closing Words

Go now to walk the ways of the world together,
And may your days be good and long upon the earth.
May God go with you and bless you,
May you see your children's children,
May you be poor in misfortune and rich in blessings,
May you know nothing but happiness from this day forward.