Prayer For An Engagement Ceremony
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Prayers for Meetings
You are our Creator and our Sustainer.
You are our Light and our Fortress.
You are our Wisdom and our Strength.
We ask for your guiding hand to lead us through this meeting.
May we approach our tasks with wisdom, and may we approach our members with respect.
May our conduct create an environment of cooperation and kindness.
Thank you for helping us to accomplish our work this day.
We ask these things in your powerful name,
Copyright © 2015 Beth McLendon ofInspirational-Prayers.com
Prayer for a Ceremony
a new medical facility
We come before you today tohonor you as our Creator and our Healer.
We gather today to thank you for thisbeautiful new medical facility.
We ask that you would put your hand olessing on this building, and on all the medical equipment, andon all the men and women who will be working here to bring your healing to the sickand injured.
We especially ask that you would pour outyour healing mercies on those who will come here in need of help.
Lord, we pray that this place would notonly be a place of healing, but also a place of kindness and compassion.
May your heavenly peace be feltin this building.
We pray all this in your holy name,
Copyright © 2015 Beth McLendon ofInspirational-Prayers.com
More Prayers for Meetings
Lord of all Creation,
We come today to honor you – andto remind ourselves of your pivotal place in our lives.
We ask for your blessings on this meeting.
We ask that your wisdom would guide us as we seek to accomplishthe goals on today’s agenda.
Thank you for the opportunities you give us to serve you and to serveothers.
May our actions and our attitudes please you this day.
We pray these things in your mighty name,
Copyright© 2015 Beth McLendon of Inspirational-Prayers.com
Opening Prayer for Meetings
Wecome today to bow our heads and open this meeting in prayer.
Weask that you would bless our speaker (speakers) and that you would bless our time togethertoday.
Maywe grasp those things that you want us to understand.
Mayour hearts always be ready to respond to you and your wisdom.
Wepray these things in Jesus’ name,
Copyright© 2015 Beth McLendon of Inspirational-Prayers.com
Prayer for Ceremonies
Wegive you praise and honor as we begin these festivities.
Wegather today to celebrate this historic event.
Weare thankful to you and to all those who have worked so hard to put this eventtogether.
Weask that this day be a day of reflection and refreshment.
Maywe remember the deeper meanings of this day as we share enjoyable fellowship withone another.
Wepray these things in your glorious name,
Copyright© 2015 Beth McLendon of Inspirational-Prayers.com
Prayer Before a Sunday school class
Two Opening Prayers
before a Sunday school class
Dear Heavenly Father,
We come today to spend time in yourWord.
Bless this time together. Guide our thoughts and cleanse our hearts.
In Ephesians 5:26, you tell us thatyou wash us with the water of the Word of God. Thank you that as we study yourWord today you will – Wash Us with your Word. Thank you that you will wash us, cleanse us,refresh us, and redirect us – with your Word.
In love and devotion we pray,
Copyright© 2018 Beth McLendon of Inspirational-Prayers.com
Thank you for our Sunday school teacher and for our pastor, and for our church.
Lord, we are here with an open heart wanting to learn more about you.
We come to you today asking you to help us gain the steadfastness, the strength, and the determination that we need to follow you closely every day.
We pray this prayer in the Mighty and Miraculous name of Jesus Christ,
Copyright© 2017 Beth McLendon of Inspirational-Prayers.com
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This page has opening prayers for meetings and opening prayers for ceremonies and two opening prayers for a Sunday school class.
Library : Engagements–In Church
by Chester Wrzaszczak
This article describes the betrothal ceremony and includes the ceremony taken from the old Roman Ritual.
Publisher & Date
The Catholic University of America Press, October 1962
NOTE: This article was written while the old Code of Canon Law was in effect.
Canon 1062 of the new Code states: A promise of marriage, whether unilateral or bilateral, called an engagement, is governed by the particular law which the Episcopal Conference has enacted, after consideration of such customs and civil laws as may exist.
While there is no obligation to have a betrothal ceremony some Catholics may desire to do so. This article is provided to offer suggestions for those interested in becoming engaged in church.
An age-old and excellent engagement ceremony is found in Father Weller's translation of the Roman Ritual.
1 The Queen's Work reproduces the rite in a pamphlet published by this writer under the title: Your Engagement Should Be in Church,2 as does the Catholic University in the author's doctoral dissertation: The Betrothal Contract in the Code of Canon Law.3In the Oriental Church, both the contract and the ceremony have been ordinary practice for centuries. Recent codification of Eastern marriage legislation specifically treats of solemn espousals in canons six and seven of the newly codified oriental law.4
From Roman law sources, espousals were always understood as “the mention and promise of future marriage.”5 Pope Nicholas I defined them as “pacts of promise of future marriage.
“6 The Code of Canon Law today regards betrothals as either bilateral or unilateral contracts, accordingly as they are mutually agreed on by both parties or made by one and accepted by the other party.7 St.
Thomas referred to the engagement as a “quasi-sacramental.”8
The Engagement Ceremony
Officially speaking, there is no prescribed ritual for betrothals. Since, however, the engagement is so closely allied with the Sacrament of Matrimony, it is most fitting that it take place in church, preferably at the communion railing.
Because Father Weller includes the ceremony in his translation of the Roman Ritual, it would be wise to adopt it. The Holy See does not permit the introduction of any new liturgical ceremonies on private authority.
The ceremony is as follows:
1. The priest (vested in surplice and white stole) with his assistants (vested in surplice) awaits the couple at the communion table. At hand are the stoup with holy water and the altar missal. As the man and woman come forward with the two witnesses they have chosen, the following antiphon and psalm are sung on the eighth psalm tone:
Antiphon: To the Lord I will tender my promise: in the presence of all His people.
Unless the house be of the Lord's building, in vain do the builders labor.
Unless the Lord be the guard of the city, 'tis in vain the guard keeps his sentry.
It is futile that you rise before daybreak, to be astir in the midst of darkness,
Ye that eat the bread of hard labor; for He deals bountifully to His beloved while they are sleeping.
Behold, offspring result from God's giving, a fruitful womb the regard of His blessing.
arrows in the hand of the warrior, are children begotten of a youthful father.
Happy the man who has filled therewith his quiver; they shall uphold him in contending at the gate with his rival.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
As it was in the beginning, is now, and forever, through endless ages. Amen.
Antiphon: To the Lord I will tender my promise: in the presence of all His people.
2. The priest now addresses them:
AllocutionBeloved of Christ: It is in the dispensation of Divine Providence that you are called to the holy vocation of marriage. For this reason, you present yourselves today before Christ and His Church, before His sacred minister and the devout people of God, to ratify in solemn manner the engagement bespoken between you.
At the same time you entreat the blessing of the Church upon your proposal, as well as the earnest supplications of the faithful here present, since you fully realize that what has been inspired and guided by the will of your heavenly Father requires equally His grace to be brought to a happy fulfillment.
We are confident that you have given serious and prayerful deliberation to your pledge of wedlock; moreover, that you have sought counsel from the superiors whom God has placed over you.
In the time that intervenes, you will prepare for the sacrament of matrimony by a period of virtuous courtship, so that when the happy and blessed day arrives for you to give yourselves irrevocably to each other, you will have laid a sound spiritual foundation for long years of godly prosperity on earth and eventual blessedness together in the life to come. May the union you purpose one day to consummate as man and wife be found worthy to be in all truth a sacramental image and reality of the union of Christ and His beloved Bride, the Church. This grant, thou Who livest and reignest, God, forever and evermore.
3. The priest now bids the couple to join their right hands, while they repeat after him the following:
In the name of our Lord, I, N.N., promise that I will one day take thee, N.N., as my wife, according to the ordinances of God and holy Church. I will love thee even as myself. I will keep faith and loyalty to thee, and so in thine necessities aid and comfort thee; which things and all that a man ought to do unto his espoused I promise to do unto thee and to keep by the faith that is in me.
In the name of our Lord, I, N.N., in the form and manner wherein thou hast promised thyself unto me, do declare and affirm that I will one day bind and oblige myself unto thee, and will take thee, N.N„ as my husband. And all that thou hast pledged unto me I promise to do and keep unto thee, by the faith that is in me.
4. Then the priest takes the two ends of his stole and in the form of a cross places them over the clasped hands of the couple.
Holding the stole in place with his left hand, he says: I bear witness of your solemn proposal and I declare you betrothed. In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
As he pronounces the last words, he sprinkles them with holy water in the form of a cross.
5.Thereupon he blesses the engagement ring:
V. Adjutorium nostrum in nomine Domini.
R. Qui fecit caelum et terram.
V. Domine, exaudi orationem meam.
R. Et clamor meus ad te veniat.
V. Dominus vobiscum.
R. Et cum spiritu tuo.
Oremus: Omnipotent Deus, creator et conservator humani generis, ac largitor aeternae salutis, permitte digneris Spiritum sanctum Paraclitum super hunc annulum. Per Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum, Filium tuum: Qui tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum.
Et aspergatur aqua benedicta.
V. Our help is in the name of the Lord.
R. Who made heaven and earth.
V. O Lord, hear my prayer.
R. And let my cry come unto thee.
V. The Lord be with you.
R. And with thy spirit.
Let us pray:O God Almighty, Creator and preserver of the human race, and the Giver of everlasting salvation, deign to allow the Holy Spirit, the Consoler to come with His blessing upon this ring. Through our Lord, Jesus Christ, thy Son, who liveth and reigneth with thee in the unity of the Holy Spirit God, for endless ages.
The ring is sprinkled with holy water.
6. The man takes the ring and places it first on the index finger of the left hand of the woman, saying: In the name of the Father, (then on the middle finger, adding): and of the Son; (finally placing and leaving it on the ring finger, he concludes): and of the Holy Spirit.
7. The priest opens the missal at the beginning of the Canon, and presents the page imprinted with the crucifixion to be kissed first by the man and then by the woman.
8. If Mass does not follow (or even if Mass is to follow, if he deems it opportune), the priest may read the following passages from Sacred Scripture:
Tobias said: I will not eat nor drink here this day, unless thou first grant me my petition, and promise to give me Sara thy daughter… The angel said to Raguel: Be not afraid to give her to this man, for to him who feareth God, is thy daughter due to be his wife; therefore another could not have her… And Raguel taking the right hand of his daughter, he gave it unto the right hand of Tobias, saying: The God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob be with you, and may He join you together, and fulfill His blessing in you. And taking paper they made a writing of the marriage. And afterwards they made merry, blessing God… Then Tobias exhorted the virgin, and said to her: Sara, arise, and let us pray to God today, and tomorrow, and the next day; because for these three nights we are joined to God; and when the third night is over, we will be in our own wedlock. For we are children of saints, and must not be joined together heathens that know not God. So they both arose, and prayed earnestly both together that health might be given them.
R. Thanks be to God.
At that time, Jesus said to His disciples: Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abide in the vine, so neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same beareth much fruit; for without me you can do nothing.
If any one abide not in me, he shall be cast forth as a branch, and shall wither, and they shall gather him up, and cast him into the fire, and he burneth. If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, you shall ask whatever you will, and it shall be done unto you.
In this is my Father glorified; that you bring forth very much fruit, and become my disciples. As the Father hath loved me, I also have loved you. Abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you shall abide in my love; as I also have kept my Father's commandments, and do abide in His love.
These things I have spoken to you, that my joy be in you, and your joy may be filled. This is my commandment, that you love one another, as I have loved you.
R. Praise be to thee, O Christ!
9. Lastly, the priest extends his hands over the heads of the couple and says:
May God bless your bodies and your souls. May He shed His blessing upon you as He blessed Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. May the hand of the Lord be upon you, may He send His holy Angel to guard you all the days of your life. Amen. Go in peace!
Competency Of Bishops And Pastors
Except for the “local ordinary” (the bishop and the vicar-general), only the pastor is officially competent to witness a betrothal contract.13 Delegation to another priest, even the assistant in the parish, is disallowed in code law.14 However, any priest may act as a private witness, provided another private witness signs the contract with him, lay or clerical.15In the absence of positive legislation, any priest may wise assist at the liturgical ceremony described above, since the ritual is not mandatory.16
Advantages Of The Engagement
Priests would do well to encourage a Solemn Betrothal and discourage marriage, if possible, when:
1. Military service will separate the groom from his bride very shortly after, if not before, the marriage. An engagement in church will insure fidelity and a partner (to a degree at least) without the inexorable and permanent effects produced by matrimony.
2. Pursuit of higher education is contemplated by one or both of the contractants. Experience points to the hardships, material and moral, accompanying student husbands, wives and parents.
3. Immaturity, emotional, physical and moral, present in either or both parties. The engagement can serve as a useful period conducive to the necessary growth of the still infantile and puerile couple.
4. Uncertainty and vacillation experienced by either party in regard to the choice of consort, the willingness to assume the burdens of the married state here and now, or the .
5. Well grounded fears harbored by any of the parties, the pastor and parents included, about the outcome and success of the marriage.
There is much to be gained and little to be lost by an engagement–in church.
1 The Roman Ritual, translated by Weller (Milwaukee: Bruce), I, 583-593.
2 Chester Wrzaszczak, Your Engagement Should be in Church (St Louis: The Queen's Work), pp. 22-29.
3 Chester Wrzaszczak, The Betrothal Contract in the Code of Canon Law (Washington, D. C.: CUA Press), pp. 154-159.
4 Canon 6, # 1: “The promise of marriage, even though bilateral, or in the nature of a mutual espousal, is null in both fora, unless made before
5 Momsen, Digesta Iustiana Augusti (Berlin), I, 656, n. 1.
6 Responsa, ad Consulta Bulgarum, C. III (Paris: Mansi), XV, 402.
7 Canon 1017, # 1.
8 Suppl. q. 43, art. 1, ad 6.
This item 2978 digitally provided courtesy of CatholicCulture.org
Best Engagement Wishes and Quotes For Friend
If it is your friend’s engagement day then it is also sure enough that you’re going to celebrate this engagement ceremony with lots of fun and enjoyment. Wish your friend by happy engagement wish or funny engagement message.
Let’s get some best Engagement Wishes For Friend from this post which are too awesome to congratulate your friend on his/her engagement.
We decorated this post by special engagement wishes for friend along with funny engagement messages, greetings and congratulations quotes to share with your friend’s on their happy engagement. You may share on , Whatsapp or other social media you use to make him/her happy.
Best Engagement Wishes For Friend
May you bring each other as much happiness as your friendship has brought to my life—and more!
We wish you everlasting love. May you be a blessing to each other. Hold on to the love that binds you!
What a catch you made for your life! Do call me in on your expenditure days. Have a happy engagement.There have been a lot of emotions from seeing my best friend get engaged. On one hand, I am happy that you found someone that fits you so well.
May the Lord guide you in all your plans. As you humbly submit to His commands. To bless and guide you along the way. Cheers on your engagement day!
The engagement ring you have on your finger is absolutely stunning. Congratulations on finding a man/woman with such an eye for style.
You’re such a lovely couple. We rejoice with you as you celebrate your engagement. May you be blessed in your journey as your take your love into a higher level. Best Wishes!
I am very surprise to hear about your Engagement, Congratulation for your new Life. Remember me in your prayer.
May your special union bring forth joy and blessing in your home. That you may be rooted, grounded and grow in love. Enjoy your sweet engagement!
Engagement means to be committed to be engaged with a new person who is going to be yours and you are going to be his/her. Best Wishes to you!You were the first of our friends to start dating, but the last to get engaged. It’s not that you’re a late bloomer, you just waited for the perfect man/woman.
Oh my friend! You was waiting for this day which is today, I am with you don’t worry, Congratulations to You.
Engagement Messages For a Friend
Who cares about your engagement? I can’t wait to go shopping for your wedding gown with you as your bridesmaid. Congratulations.
I’m truly happy that you’ve found the perfect girl and gotten engaged. She better know how lucky she is to have snagged a great man you.
Growing up, we always dreamed of our future wedding days and how wonderful they would be. Now yours is finally here! May the day be everything you ever wanted and the life ahead be more than you could have ever imagined. Congratulations, best friend!
Also Visit : Best Engagement Messages
Being your childhood friend I know all your good, bad and dirty secrets. You better host a luxurious and special engagement party for me or else I will tell your fiancée everything. Congratulations mate.
My dear friend, take my cordial wishes for your engagement, I’m not here to attend or hug you for this event but I’m very eager to meet you as soon as possible.
Did you know that Engagement is just a promise to get married? Don’t let down your guard yet and keep up all your efforts to woo him until he puts a wedding ring on that finger. Go girl.
On your engagement I am celebrating here by giving away all the empty bottles we drank together. From now on, it’s you and your fiancée after all. Have a happy engagement dear friend.Best friend, our friendship has meant the world to me. You’ve always been there for me whenever I needed you. While I never wanted to have to share you, you couldn’t have picked a better person for me to share you with. You two make a wonderful couple. Congratulations!
Engagement party, bachelor party, wedding party, anniversary party, kid’s birthday party… wow, your engagement seems to mark the beginning of endless partying. I can’t wait, congratulations.
Do you remember when we were little girls playing house with our dolls? Now, you are ready to play house for real, and I couldn’t be happier for you. Congratulations on the engagement and best wishes for the years to come.
Funny Engagement Wishes For Best Friend
Friend, I am with you as you say goodbye to your freedom. You have all my sympathy, but don’t expect to be near you as you take your frequent calls from your fiancé. Have a glorious engagement.
The bachelor brigade has lost one of their own. Congratulations to you buddy, but we are mourning the loss of a fallen soldier.
I heard you are getting engaged buddy. Congratulations on your engagement. I really wish your fiancé gets all wet with champagne when you uncork the bottle for a cheer.
On your engagement I am celebrating here by giving away all the empty bottles we drank together. From now on, it’s you and your fiancé after all. Have a happy engagement dear friend.
Through this card, I send only wishes and nothing else. Were you expecting a gift too? Sorry the card can carry only a message and nothing else. Have a happy engagement buddy.
Cupid took too long to get you both to slip engagement rings on each others’ fingers. Better late than never, I guess. Congratulations.
To friend, I wish you a happy engagement ceremony. I hope your partner knows how much you drank last night and not leave you with a glass of wine rather than the engagement ring.Marriage is a public toilet, those waiting outside are desperate to get in and those inside are desperate to come out. But you shouldn’t be fearful!
Friend, I am sad that you took my advice too seriously. I asked you for getting into a relationship, not to devote all the time to that fatso and not have time for me. Have a happy engagement.
Read More : Long Distance Friendship Messages
People celebrate when they get prison. But you are celebrating the fact that you are turning yourself in, for life. Congratulations nevertheless.
I am just sad that you fell into the trap. I am still there when you need to hide from that ‘nerd’ fiancé of yours. Have a happy engagement ahead.
Congratulations On Your Engagement Friend
Of all the big life events we’ve celebrated together, this one tops the list. Congratulations!
Congratulations with this wonderful commitment to each other. I knew you two are made for each other. May you always stay in love for the rest of your lives.
Congratulations on your engagement! I am so happy to call both of you my friends, and I can’t wait to celebrate with you.
Engaged is a synonym for busy. Now you can officially ward off your friends and family from disturbing you because you are ‘engaged.’ Congratulations!
Congratulation on your engagement ceremony may you live happily it’s my prayers for you all worlds be in your feet may you have prosperity!
Best Wishes on your Engagement. Wishing you the very best as you begin to plan your lives together. May your sweet pair be always happy.
May your companionship be strengthened as your love blooms every single day. Marriage can be a bumpy ride but you have each other by your side. Congratulations on your engagement.
Read More : Emotional Friendship MessagesI know your marriage will be as strong and last as long as our friendship. Congrats on your engagement!
Engagement mean have care for someone, Care for whom who not live in front of your eyes. Congratulation for your new life.
Hearty congratulations on your engagement. Do send me over the ‘champagne and wine’ bottles untouched. After all, I also need to celebrate for a longer period on my friend getting engaged.
Wishing the both of you a world of happiness and joy on this wonderful day. Congratulations on your engagement, we are so delighted for you!
Congratulations on your engagement! You make a wonderful couple. Wishing that this be just the start of a long and wonderful journey.
Engagement Quotes and Greetings For Friend
Woke up in bed with a gorgeous woman, who I’m going to have lunch and the rest of my life with. – Jason Barmer
Time is too slow for those who wait, too swift for those who fear, too long for those who grieve, too short for those who rejoice, but for those who love, time is eternity.
To keep your marriage brimming, with love in the wedding cup, whenever you’re wrong, admit it; whenever you’re right, shut up. – Ogden NashIt takes a little bit of mindfulness and a little bit of attention to others to be a good listener, which helps cultivate emotional nurturing and engagement.
It is sometimes essential for a husband and a wife to quarrel—they get to know each other better. – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Love seems the swiftest but it is the slowest of all growths. No man or woman really knows what perfect love is until they have been married a quarter of a century.
A happy man marries the girl he loves; a happier man loves the girl he marries.
You don’t need to be on the same wavelength to succeed in marriage. You just need to be able to ride each other’s waves. – Toni Sciarra Poynter
Also Read : Goodbye Messages for Friends
A long marriage is two people trying to dance a duet and two solos at the same time. – Anne Taylor Fleming
True love is neither physical nor romantic but is an acceptance of all that is, has been, will be and will not be.
We’re all a little weird. And life is a little weird. And when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall into mutually satisfying weirdness and call it love, true love. – Robert Fulghum
These engagement wishes for friend and funny engagement messages are too amazing to congratulate your friend’s on their happy engagement and your friend will feel happy for having these king of engagement greetings from you.
Wedding Prayer – Beautiful Ceremony Blessing
More than ever today, as a husband and wife unite in marriage, they need the prayers and blessings of friends and loved ones to help them build a strong foundation of godly love established on Christ, their Rock.
If you want to give something special and lasting to a couple on their wedding day, here are two sample prayers you can offer on their behalf.
Feel free to use these prayers and marriage blessings as a part of your own ceremony!
A Wedding Day Prayer
As this couple begins their lives together on their wedding day, I pray that their hearts will unite as one with You in their desire to make You the center. May this day be the start of something beautiful, a celebration un any other.
As they offer their vows to one another in the sight of God and others, give them a clear understanding of their commitment to each other.
May their loyalty in marriage mirror Your own love and faithfulness to all Your children.Let them know that two are better than one as they mutually invest in and depend on each other—but that the third strand of their marriage ties should always be You.
May their love— the wedding rings they will wear—be a circle that never ends. Grow that love relationship into one that is patient and kind, not boastful or proud, one that is unselfish and trusting, and a love that protects and perseveres through every season of life.
I pray you will give this couple unforgettable moments, unending dedication, and unselfish motives as they pledge their devotion to each another.
In every way possible, make the house they build together a godly home—a place where hurts are healed with grace, a place where hearts are sealed with forgiveness, and a place where emotions feel safe when shared with honesty and gentleness.
Keep their communication open—with You, and with each other as they make prayer a constant priority.
Lord, today and every day, let laughter echo in the halls of their hearts and home; let joy fill every room; and let the radiance of Your face shine on them, bless them, and give them a gracious peace that passes all understanding.
Light a fire of passion that prompts them to love you with all their heart, soul, and strength, and one that engulfs their own union as man and wife in purity and oneness. Help them to bear each other’s burdens, even as they cast their cares on Your shoulders.
May they always choose to see the best in each other, even in the worst of times.
May they visualize their marriage as more than just a bonding of two lives, but as two on mission for You, Lord—a lighthouse of refuge, a welcome place for encouragement, and a testimony to Your power and grace.Help them to cherish their wedding day as a sacred memorial, and their union as a treasure to protect at all costs. Make it a reminder of hope that keeps on going and faith that keeps on growing.
Help them to believe that all things are possible through Christ, the One who began the good work in them.
Lord, on their wedding day, may every word spoken and every precious token remind them of the One who holds all things together and who makes all things good. Together as this couple stands side by side, and hand in hand, hold them tightly and never let them go. Fill their hearts with unceasing gratitude. Be their vision, their strength, and their constant companion.
In Jesus’s name,
A Wedding Ceremony Prayer
Father in Heaven, thank You for this husband, ______, and wife, _______, and their commitment to Christian marriage. As we look ahead, we pray that their future will never lack the convictions that make a marriage strong.
Bless this husband, ______. Bless him as provider and protector. Sustain him in all the pressures that come with the task of stewarding a family. May his strength be his wife’s boast and pride, and may he so live that his wife may find in him the haven for which the heart of a woman truly longs.
Bless this wife, ______. Give her a tenderness that makes her great, a deep sense of understanding, and a strong faith in You. Give her that inner beauty of a soul that never fades, that eternal youth that is found in holding fast to the things that never age. May she so live that her husband may be pleased to reverence her in the shrine of his heart.
Teach them that marriage is not living for each other. It is two people uniting and joining hands to serve You. Give them a great spiritual purpose in life. May they seek first Your kingdom and Your righteousness, knowing that You will sustain them through all of life’s challenges.
May they minimize each other’s weaknesses and be swift to praise and magnify each other’s strengths so that they might view each other through a lover’s kind and patient eyes. Help them every day to be kind and gentle, more You. Give them a little something to forgive each day, that their love might learn to be long-suffering.
Bless them and develop their characters as they walk together with You. Give them enough hurts to keep them humane, enough failures to keep their hands clenched tightly in Yours, and enough of success to make them sure they walk with You throughout all of their life.
May they never take each other’s love for granted but always experience that breathless wonder that exclaims, ” all this world, you have chosen me.” Then, when life is done and the sun is setting, may they be found then as now, still hand in hand, still very proud, still thanking You for each other.May they travel together as friends and lovers, brother and sister, husband and wife, father and mother, and as servants of Christ until He shall return or until that day when one shall lay the other into the arms of God. This we ask through Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, the Great Lover of our souls. Amen.
excerpt by Lysa Terkeurst
Rebecca Barlow Jordan is an inspirational author, speaker, and passionate follower of Jesus who loves to encourage others heart to heart.
She has written 11 books and over 1700 other articles, greeting cards, and other inspirational pieces. Her daily devotional Daily in Your Presence is available for delivery through Crosswalk.com.
You can find out more about Rebecca at www.rebeccabarlowjordan.com.
Publication date: June 30, 2017
This article is part of our larger Prayers resource meant to inspire and encourage your prayer life when you face uncertain times. Visit our most popular prayers if you are wondering how to pray or what to pray. Remember, the Holy Spirit intercedes for us and God knows your heart even if you can't find the words to pray.
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Prayer for Forgiveness
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Tenaim: The Conditions of Marriage
The decision to marry is one of life’s momentous choices. Some couples have made it the occasion for a celebration the Ashkenazic custom of tenaim — literally, the “conditions” of the marriage.
Every engagement announces that two people are changing their status; the public declaration of their decision instantly designates them bride and groom. Tenaim kicks off the season of the wedding, officially and Jewishly.
An Old Ceremony
From the 12th to the early 19th century, tenaim announced that two families had come to terms on a match between their children. The document setting out their agreement, also called tenaim, would include the dowry and other financial arrangements, the date and time of the huppah [the actual wedding ceremony], and a knas, or penalty, if either party backed the deal.
After the document was signed and read aloud by an esteemed guest, a piece of crockery was smashed.
The origins of this practice are not clear; the most common interpretation is that a shattered dish recalls the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem, and it is taken to demonstrate that a broken engagement cannot be mended. The broken dish also anticipates the shattered glass that ends the wedding ceremony.
In some communities it was customary for all the guests to bring some old piece of crockery to smash on the floor. There is also a tradition that the mothers-in-law-to-be break the plate–a symbolic rending of mother-child ties and an acknowledgment that soon their children will be feeding each other. After the plate breaking, the party began.
Possibilities for Celebration of Tenaim Today
Tenaim is not required by Jewish law, and as family-arranged weddings became a thing of the past, the ceremony lost much of its meaning and popularity.
The signing of traditional tenaim remains a vestigial practice in some Jewish communities, where the agreement to marry is signed on the day of the wedding itself.
Modern reinterpretations of the tenaim return the ceremony to its original, anticipatory celebration some months in advance.The celebration of your decision to marry doesn’t “require” that anything be put on paper at all, but some couples have used this occasion to formalize decisions about their married life, including some regarding very specific subjects, such as money management, job decisions in a two-career household, moving to another part of the country or making aliyah (settling in Israel), raising children, and agreeing to counseling in case of difficulties. While this may sound very nontraditional, in fact, tenaim documents have historically included clauses and amendments that reflected current and personal concerns.
A modern document can be written in English or in Hebrew and English and can draw on the language and execution of traditional tenaim. It can be calligraphied, witnessed, and formalized by the act of kinyan, a symbolic exchange of some object that seals a contract and effects a change in personal status.
Or tenaim can be handwritten or typed and entirely original. You can read your “contract” before a community of family and friends at a party or keep it private. Written tenaim might simply consist of letters the bride and groom write and perhaps exchange at their engagement celebration.
These could be read the night before the wedding ceremony or on another occasion–a wedding anniversary, for example.
A party to announce the news of a Jewish wedding can be simple or elaborate, formal or casual.
Modem tenaim celebrations often involve improvisational rituals, sometimes structured around recognizable Jewish symbols, sometimes rooted in family traditions, and sometimes altogether original.
A Havdalah Tenaim
Barbara and Brian knew that circumstances would prevent them from being together for quite a while. They decided to make an agreement, in the presence of witnesses, that they would marry “in accordance with the law of Moses and Israel” within 12 months of their residing in the same household.
They promised that until such time they would support and care for each other, visit and communicate as often as possible, and in case of a serious personal problem, they would attempt a reconciliation.
They wrote this agreement in Hebrew and in English, with room for their signatures and the signatures of two witnesses.They sent invitations to friends and family to come and celebrate their tenaim. The invitations included an explanation of the ceremony and a quote from Hosea 2:21: “I will betroth you forever. I will betroth you with righteousness and justice and with goodness and mercy.
” Their tenaim was structured around havdalah, the ceremony on Saturday evening that separates Shabbat [Sabbath] from the rest of the week and that celebrates distinctions.
After Barbara explained the history of tenaim, she lit two separate candles rather than the customary braided havdalah candle.
Brian talked about the contract they had drawn up, and then a friend told a midrash [interpretive story] about how Jacob and Rachel fell in love and made a pact that someday they would marry, no matter what happened to them. “And so the Bible says that Jacob served seven years for Rachel and they seemed to them but a few days because of their love for one another.”
Barbara explained that at this havdalah she and Brian were making a distinction between a time when they were separate and a time when they would be together. The blessing over wine was sung and translated, and the couple dipped their ring fingers in the wine and put them to each other’s lips. The wine was then passed to the people around them.
The witnesses read the tenaim document, and it was signed. The havdalah blessing traditionally recited over a spice box was pronounced over two fragrant blossoms Brian and Barbara gave to each other as tokens of kinyan [literally, acquisition], which were then passed around the room.
The guests were invited to add their thoughts and blessings, and then the couple took the two candles and together read, “As we bring together the two candles of our lives until this moment, we ask that our bond be as vibrant and as illuminating as this flame, that it continually be renewed by the strengths of our individual selves, and that this powerful flame, our life together may bring light and warmth and service to our people.” They brought the light of their two candles together and recited the blessing over the flame and a final havdalah prayer:
Blessed be You, Life-Spirit of the universe,
Who makes a distinction between holy and not yet holy,
between light and darkness,
between Shabbat and the six days of the week,
between committed and uncommitted,
between common goals and personal goals,
between love and aloneness.
Blessed be you,
Who distinguishes between what is holy, and what is not yet holy.
Some wine was poured into a plate, and the candles were doused together in the wine. The plate was wrapped in a cloth and broken against a wall to shouts of “Mazel tov!” The Sheheheyanu, a prayer of thanksgiving, was sung. And the party went on into the night.
Barbara and Brian had the pieces of the broken plate mounted and framed. It hangs in their home, a conversation piece that is already an heirloom.
Excerpted with permission from The New Jewish Wedding (Simon & Schuster, Inc.).Pronounced: hahv-DAHL-uh, Origin: Hebrew, From the root for “to separate,” the ceremony marking the end of Shabbat and the beginning of the week.
Pronounced: shuh-BAHT or shah-BAHT, Origin: Hebrew, the Sabbath, from sundown Friday to sundown Saturday.
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