RENEWAL MARRIAGE CEREMONY

SATURDAY, MAY 21, 2016

PROCESSIONAL My Baby, sung by Edie Brickell and Steve Martin

GREETING

Friends and family, we are gathered together to witness and bless the renewal of marriage of Barbara Ellen Brown and John Edward Downs Senior. This sacred promise of marriage is one of sacrificial love and ongoing fidelity. John and Barb now come once again to pledge themselves to one another in this holy covenant. Barbara and John, you first joined hands and hearts on a Saturday, four o’clock, Newberry United Methodist Church on Diamond Street. She wore a knee length blue dress carrying silk flowers and John wore dark pants and a simple shirt. They were Rev. Fetterman’s final wedding before retirement. Scott and Florence stood with them with John Jr., Becky and Chris in the wings. And with younger sister, Jacque with James crashing the nuptials. They had little idea of where life would take them, but they naively promised to love, honor, and cherish and, with kids in tow, took up housekeeping in a half-double on Depot Street. Through it all, the good times and the bad, you are both still standing, having fulfilled the vows to love, honor and cherish you made on your wedding day; May 17,1986.  

DECLARATION OF INTENTION

I ask you now, in the presence of these present, to declare your intention; to renew your union one to the other as you did thirty years ago. When you are ready I invite you to face one another’s and join hands. Barbara, do you reaffirm your love and promise to continue to have John to be your husband, to live together in the bond of marriage? Will you continue to love him, comfort him, honor and keep him, in sickness and in health, and forsaking all others, continue to be faithful to him to the end of your days? Barbara: I do. John, do you reaffirm your love and promise to continue to have Barbara to be your wife, to live together in the bond of marriage? Will you continue to love her, comfort her, honor and keep her, in sickness and in health, and forsaking all others, continue to be faithful to her to the end of your days? John: I do.

RESPONSE OF IMMEDIATE FAMILY AND OTHERS

The marriage of Barbara and John united not just the two of them, but brought together two already existing families to create a new one. I now invite their children, those who are able to be here: Rebecca, Chris, and John to stand: (PAUSE) Later, came Laura. From these children’s unions came grandchildren, if you would stand as you hear your name: Chanel, Haleigh, Nate, Jasmyn,Sophie, JJ, Dylan, and Hannah, Cora, Brooklyn, and Hunter. Your parents and grandparents ask for your blessing. So I ask you, do you rejoice in their union and wish all blessings upon them now and in the years to come? If so answer, “We do.”

SPECIAL MUSIC AND PRESENTATIONS (Address Gathering)

And I ask the remainder of you who have come to this celebration today, Will all of you do everything in your power to uphold and care for these two persons in their marriage? If so you may answer, “We will.”

HOMILY OR SPECIAL READING :  from The Velveteen Rabbit 

EXCHANGE OF VOWS (Repeated BY EACH.)

I take you, Barbara (John), to be my wife (husband). and I promise before all who are here to be your loving and faithful husband (wife), to share all that is to come; to give and to receive, to speak and to listen, to inspire and to respond, and in all our life together to be loyal to you with my whole being, as long as we both shall live.

BLESSING AND EXCHANGE OF NEW RINGS

Barbara and John, on your wedding day you exchanged rings to symbolize the never-ending circle of eternal love. Now as you exchange new rings you reaffirm, with inner peace and certainty, that you made the right decision. (Collects rings.)

PRAYER

Divine One, bless these rings and the two who wear them. We pray that Barbara and John remain safe in its circle of protection and love. Barbara: John, I give you this ring as a sign of my vow, and with all that I am, and all that I have, I honor you. John: Barbara, give you this ring as a sign of my vow, and with all that I am, and all that I have, I honor you. May your rings remind you of your renewed vows to one another, and your commitment to continue to live in unity and happiness.

ADDRESS TO FAMILY AND FRIENDS

Barbara and John asked me to share how blessed they feel to have had over thirty years together. Their fondest wish is that you, their very special friends and family, be invited to celebrate your love. They invite committed couples to turn and face each other, take one another’s hands, look into your loved-one’s eyes, and receive a special blessing. (PAUSE) Here is their prayer for you. “May you be blessed with the guidance, strength, and direction so that your relationship grows and blossoms in the years ahead. May your home be blessed with happiness, may your worries be few, may your joys be many, and may you make your hopes and dreams come true.”  

PRONOUNCEMENT

John and Barbara, today you have renewed the promises you made to each other before this gathering by joining hands, taking vows, and exchanging rings. It is with pleasure that I announce to you that they are still husband and wife. You may seal your renewed promise with a kiss. (Receive flowers. Turn and face gathering.)

PRESENTATION I present to you Mr. and Mrs. John and Barbara Downs. (Applause.)

RECESSIONAL I Have You, Sung by Edie Brickell and Steve Martin