Today I have the profound privilege of joining a bride and groom in Holy Matrimony.

When I took this pastoral role in this college town–it took awhile for me to realize premarital counseling and officiating weddings would be a big part of the job. I love it.

There are challenging moments–as you may imagine–but the joy is all the sweeter for those challenges.

Today’s Happy Couple is part of a larger friend group that has adopted me as a group–which changes this Wedding Weekend to feel more like a Family Reunion. No one (but the bride and groom) will want to leave.

There are lots of reasons the Bible uses wedding imagery to explain the relationship between Our Lord and His Bride, the Church. We live in a period of angst–like an engaged couple awaiting their Wedding Day–longing for the Return of the Groom–The Great Consummation–the Marriage Supper of the Lamb. Come quickly, Lord Jesus.

So Thank you, my friends, for the honor of having a front row seat–indeed, a closer than front row seat–to these hors d’oeuvres of Heaven. May your marriage be a source of hope.

Here is your Wedding Prayer–shared by countless others–from the The Book of Common Prayer:

Eternal God, creator and preserver of all life, author of salvation, and giver of all grace: Look with favor upon the world you have made, and for which your Son gave his life, and especially upon this man and this woman whom you make one flesh in Holy Matrimony. 

Give them wisdom and devotion in the ordering of their common life, that each may be to the other a strength in need, a counselor in perplexity, a comfort in sorrow, and a companion in joy. 

Grant that their wills may be so knit together in your will, and their spirits in your Spirit, that they may grow in love and peace with you and one another all the days of their life. 

Give them grace, when they hurt each other, to recognize and acknowledge their fault, and to seek each other’s forgiveness and yours. Make their life together a sign of Christ’s love to this sinful and broken world, that unity may overcome estrangement, forgiveness heal guilt, and joy conquer despair. 

Bestow on them, if it is your will, the gift and heritage of children, and the grace to bring them up to know you, to love you, and to serve you.

Give them such fulfillment of their mutual affection that they may reach out in love and concern for others.

Grant that all married persons who have witnessed these vows may find their lives strengthened and their loyalties confirmed.

Grant that the bonds of our common humanity, by which all your children are united one to another, and the living to the dead, may be so transformed by your grace, that your will may be done on earth as it is in heaven; where, O Father, with your Son, and the Holy Spirit, you live and reign in perfect unity, now and for ever.  Amen.

The Book of Common Prayer