Today is July 28, 2016


The introductory words set the tone for the ceremony and usually say something about the nature of marriage that is in keeping with the beliefs of the couple. It is a statement about the occasion, its importance, its significance to society as well as the people involved.

Sample 1

Welcome, to all of you who have gathered today to share in this ceremony with _______ and _______. The words which will be spoken here today are sacred, although these words are not what joins these two. Indeed, it is not I who is joining these two today at all, nor is it this ceremony.

We are not here to mark the start of a relationship; we are here to recognize a bond that already exists. _______ and _______ have joined themselves together, and we have gathered so that they might bear witness before us of the oneness that has grown up between them. Here, they will affirm this oneness and this dedication formally and publicly, as they have already affirmed it to each other. As they now exist as one in their own eyes; so may they exist in yours. This union has already occurred in the giving and receiving of their love and in the myriad ways in which they have entwined their lives together.

We are here to witness their statement of love and commitment. This is an act as ancient as the human race, and as new as each morning, for it speaks of the past and of the future, of the life of the individual and the existence of the community.

Marriage is a going forth, a giving up of one way in search of a greater fulfillment than either can achieve alone, risking what they are for what they might be. _______ and _______ come now to declare their love and solemnize their commitment. Today we celebrate their faith in the continuance of that growth as they come to be united in marriage.

Sample 2

We are gathered here to join this man and this woman /this couple in marriage. This is an act as

ancient as the history of the human race and as new as each morning, for it speaks of the past and of the future, of life of the individual and the existence of the community.

Because marriage is concerned with the most fundamental of human relationships, it must not be regarded lightly. Those who enter into this relationship shall cherish for each other a mutual esteem and love, bear each others' infirmities and weaknesses, comfort each other in sickness, trouble and sorrow, encourage each other in trials of the spirit, and live together as the heirs of life.

Because the family/couple is the foundation of human fellowship, marriage is not to be entered into by any unadvisedly, but with devotion and discretion. Love and loyalty will avail as the foundation of a happy and enduring home, and if the solemn vows you are about to make are kept with honour and integrity, your life will be full of peace and joy, and the home you are establishing will be one of warmth and understanding.

Sample 3

_______ and _______ are here today, with their family and friends, to declare publicly their love for one another, and to be joined in marriage. This is much more than a social and civil occasion, because it is the declaration of their hearts, built upon experience, and enriched by their love. With love it is possible to live a life together, each seeking and encouraging the joy, the comfort, the health, and the enrichment of the other, all of which will divide sorrow and multiply satisfactions.

Sample 4

Friends, _______ and _______ have invited us here today to share in the celebration of their marriage. We come together not to mark the start of a relationship, but to recognize a bond that already exists. This marriage is one expression of many varieties of love. Love is one, though its expressions are infinite.

We live in a world of joy and fear and search for meaning and strength in the seeming disorder. We discover the truest guideline to our quest when we realize love in all its magnitudes. Love is the eternal force of life. Love is the force that allows us to face fear and uncertainty with courage.

For the giving of yourself in love is difficult, for you must learn to give of your love without total submission of yourself. Therefore, in your giving, give your joy, your sadness, your interest, your understanding, your knowledge - all expressions that make up life. But in this giving, remember to preserve yourself - your integrity, your individuality. This is the challenge of love within marriage.


Unitarian Congregation of Niagara
We are a welcoming congregation
223 Church Street
Saint Catharines, Ontario L2R 3E8