Summary: Officiating a Messianic wedding? Here are the words I used. Thoughts on becoming a minister in the US. Plus, Messianic wedding music.
I officiated my first wedding the other week. The couple attend my congregation and asked me to officiate the wedding. It was a real honor to do so and join two Messianic believers together in marriage.
Seeing as how I’ve never officiated a wedding before, I had little idea what to say. I did a bit of research and found some traditional words spoken at Jewish and Christian weddings. Things like Ruth’s vow, the Shehekianu, etc. But I also wanted to add my own words as well. (I’ve been married for 11 years, after all! I have some wisdom to contribute. )
What I put together for the wedding may be useful to you, fine Kineti reader / Google searcher.
Below is my Messianic Wedding Officiating template. Feel free to use it as-is, or tweak for your liking.
Dearly beloved and honored guests, friends, family, and disciples of the Messiah, we are gathered together today to join ___ and ___ in the holy covenant of marriage.
Marriage is a divine institution that God ordained in the beginning. He says in the opening chapters of the Scripture, “It is not good for man to be alone.”
So as ___ and ___ join in marriage today, they are in fact fulfilling a mitzvah, a commandment of God, by joining together as God intended.
Marriage itself is woven throughout the Scriptures. In the Hebrew Bible, God relates to his people using marriage terminology, saying in the prophets, “I am a faithful husband to my people Israel.”
And likewise in the gospels, Yeshua the Messiah is likened to a bridegroom coming for his people: we who are to be the wise, patient and faithful bride of the Lord.
Messiah himself amplified and strengthened marriage: when the religious authorities of the 1st century permitted divorce for almost any reason, Messiah rebuked them and called for husband and wife to remain as one barring only extreme circumstances.
Marriage is not something to be entered into lightly or flippantly. The Scriptures present to us a high calling of marriage, one in which the bride is prepared with purity, clothed in righteous deeds, a lesson of kindness on her tongue, having eyes only to please her groom.
Likewise, the groom comes to the bride willing to sacrifice his own life for her, and forsaking all others in order to love and serve his wife alone.
When husband and wife are in mutual submission to one another, a peaceful and holy environment for raising Godly children is created. And in doing so, the couple fulfill the mitzvah to be fruitful and multiply.
Marriage is accomplished by three unions: a union of the heart, of the mind, and of the flesh.
In the union of the heart, the husband and wife share the same desires and work towards the same life goals for their marriage and their family. Instead of individuals traveling in separate trajectories, the hearts of a husband and wife work together and encourage one another in their unified direction. Together they are stronger than they were as individuals, their goals and desires of their heart now closer and more attainable as each spurs on the other.
In the union of the mind, husband and wife are no longer dueling intellects with disparate and diverging views. Instead, the minds of husband and wife in a God-ordained marriage converge, complementing the other’s understanding and wisdom, each filling in for the other’s weaknesses. The two minds of husband and wife become a unified, complementary intellect, making whole and complete both husband and wife, to the glory of God the Father.
In the union of the flesh, husband and wife are no longer distinct individuals to be addressed alone. When the husband is blessed, so is the wife. When the wife is blessed, so is the husband. When a person speaks to the husband, he is speaking also to the wife. When a person speaks to the wife, he is also speaking to the husband. As a unified front standing together, being bound together by their joining today, ___ and ___ no longer belong to themselves alone, but each to the other.
With this knowledge, as set-apart children of God and adopted son and daughter of Israel, ___ and ___ come now to be wedded as one before the Holy One, blessed be He."
This day, ___ and ___ both take up and commit to the ancient Biblical covenant:
___ and ___ repeat after me:
“I am my beloved’s,
and my beloved is mine.”
Therefore, let no man come between these two, as God has called ___and ___ to join together this day, and to remain as one until the last day of their lives.
Today, ___ (groom) confirms the words of Ruth, as he says to his bride,
“Wherever you go, I will go
Wherever you stay, I will stay.”
Today, also, ___ (bride) confirms these words and says to her groom,
“Your people will be my people
And your God will be my God.”
For this reason, a man shall leave his parents and cling to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.
___ (groom full name), I pray this blessing from the Scriptures upon you as you join yourself to your bride this day:
“Blessed are you, ___ (groom full name), man who fears the Lord
Blessed are you, ___ (groom full name), who walks in the ways of the Lord
May you eat the fruit of your labor
May you be joyful and prosperous
May your bride be as a fruitful vine in your house
May your children be as olive plants around your table
May the Lord bless you from Zion
May you see the good of Jerusalem all the days of your life
May you live to see the return of Israel’s king
May you live to see your children’s children
And may you live to see God’s shalom upon Yisrael.”
___ (bride full name), I pray this blessing from the Scriptures upon you as you join yourself to your groom this day:
“Blessed are you, ___ (bride full name), woman of valor
Blessed are you, woman who fears the Lord
Your value is beyond pearls
May your husband’s heart trust in you
May you prove to be your husband’s greatest treasure
May you bring good, and not harm, to your husband and your home
May the Lord bless the work of your hands
You will be like a merchant ship, bringing sustenance from afar
You will extend your hands to the needy
And you will open your arms to the poor
You will rise while it is still nighttime and provide food for your house
Strength and dignity will be your clothing
You will neither worry nor fear, but you will laugh at the days to come
You will open your mouth and speak wisdom
You will be known for your kindness and gentle spirit
Charm and beauty are temporary
But you, ___, woman who fears the Lord, will be praised.”
Baruch atah Adonai eloheinu melech haolam
Shehekianu v’qimanu v’higianu lazman hazeh
Blessed are you, Lord our God, King of the Universe
Who has kept ___ and ___ in life
Sustaining them both, and preserving them until this special time
Do you, ___ (groom full name), take this woman of God, ___ (bride full name), to be your lawfully wedded wife, to live with her in obedience to the Most High and trust in the Messiah?
[Groom says, ‘I do’]
"Do you, ___ (bride full name), take this man of God, ___ (groom full name), to be your lawfully wedded husband, to live with him in obedience to the Most High and trust in the Messiah?"
[Bride says, ‘I do’]
___ and ___ , what further vows and tokens do you bring to seal this union today?
[Exchange of vows and rings]
These solemn vows and rings are given as seals and outward signs of the covenant of marriage and as a public acknowledgment of the holy union between this man and woman.
In accordance with the Torah of Moses and the covenants of Israel, by the power of the Ruach HaKodesh, in the authority of the Master, Yeshua the Messiah, King of Israel, recognizing the authority of the Holy One alone in ordaining marriage, I declare this union sealed in the name of the Messiah, and now pronounce you, ___ and ___ , as husband and wife.
___ , you may now kiss your bride!
Ladies and gentlemen, I give to you Mr. and Mrs. ___
There you have it, folks! These were the words I used in officiating a marriage of two Messianic believers. I hope it is useful to some of you.
Who’s a minister? Everyone! And no one.
As a side note, becoming an official minister in the eyes of the United States government is, shall we say, a low bar?
While I actually am a minister in the real sense of the word – I help run Tabernacle of David Messianic congregation – I didn’t have to prove that I was a minister in any real capacity. The state government didn’t care whether I was actually a minister. It seems almost anyone can be a minister in the eyes of the US government, given a page or two of paperwork and $20 at the county courthouse.
In my opinion, that cheapens marriage and lessens the sanctity of the role for those who do minister and perform weddings.
Even so, I recognize the authority of God alone in ordaining marriage. The local government is a mere formality along the way.
Messianic wedding music for the reception
At the wedding reception, I played some Messianic songs appropriate for a wedding. Live music is always best, IMO. Then you can lift the groom on a chair and parade him around the room to Hava Nagila! (We did this and had a real joyful time.)
But, if you need some background Messianic music fitting for a wedding, see my previous post 14 Messianic Wedding Songs. Some beautiful, some joyful, all fitting for a Messianic wedding.