Christian Hand and Beach Ceremony

Welcome. We gather here on God's beautiful beach to celebrate the joyful union of this man, (Groom) and this woman, (Bride) in Holy Matrimony.

We thank God for the beauty of this day, for the miracle of love, and for this exact moment. We are thankful for all the blessings given to (Groom) and (Bride) and for bringing their two hearts together as one with Love.

Today you receive a gift -- the life and love of the other. You receive this gift not only from the one you love, but also from the parents who brought you into the world and reared you, and from the personal worlds of friends and family who are joined in friendship and faith in your marriage. Some family members and friends, in heaven and on earth, are here in spirit. I offer this Irish blessing on their behalf:

(Note: Any blessing can be used in place of this one) May you both be blessed with the strength of heaven, The light of the sun and the radiance of the moon, The splendor of fire, the speed of lightning, The swiftness of win, the depth of the sea, The stability of earth, and the firmness of rock.

Throwing of stones into the sea (Optional)

After the conclusion of the ceremony, the bride and groom would like all of us to make a blessing or say a prayer and to cast a stone in the water. The ripples that are made represent the love and good wishes not only for (Bride and Groom), but for the entire world. As our ripples cross and re-cross one another, so do our love and good wishes touch and retouch all around us.

Opening

A marriage ceremony represents one of life's greatest commitments. But it also is a declaration of love. I wish to read to you what Paul wrote of love in a letter to the Corinthians. I believe it is a true model of love and it is a model of love I hope you pursue in your marriage:

"Love is very patient and kind, never jealous or envious, never boastful or proud. Love is never haughty or selfish or rude. Love does not demand its own way. Love is not irritable or touchy. Love does not hold grudges and will hardly notice when others do it wrong. Love is never glad about injustice but rejoices whenever truth wins out. If you love someone, you will be loyal to them no matter what the cost. You will always believe in them, always expect the best in them, and will always stand your ground in defending them."

Hand Ceremony Today, you give yourself, your life and love into the hands of the one you love. Would you please face each other and join hands.

(Bride), please face (Groom) and hold his hands, palms up, so that you may see the gift that they are to you. These are the hands that will passionately love you and cherish you through the years, for a lifetime of happiness. These are the hands that will countless times wipe the tears from your eyes; tears of sorrow and tears of joy. These are the hands that will comfort you in illness and hold you when fear or grief fills you. These are the hands that will give you support and celebrate with you in your accomplishments.

(Groom) please hold (Bride’s) hands, palms up, so that you may see the gift that they are to you. These are the hands that will hold you tight as you struggle through difficult times. They are the hands that will comfort you when you are sick or console you when you are grieving. These are the hands that will passionately love you and cherish you through the years for a lifetime of happiness. These are the hands that will give you support as she encourages you to fulfill your dreams. Together, as a team, everything you wish for can be realized.

Prayer God, bless these hands that you see before you this day. May they always be held by one another. Give them the strength to hold on during the storms of stress and the dark of disillusionment. Keep them tender and gentle as they nurture each other in their wondrous love. Help these hands to continue building a relationship founded in your grace, rich in caring and devoted in reaching for your perfection. May (Bride) and (Groom) see their four hands as healer, protector, shelter and guide. We ask this in your name.

Vows (Note: You may choose vows from the other ceremonies or write your own here.)

(Bride to Groom): "I love you more than words can describe. I thank God every day for bringing you into my life. I was only half a person before you came into my life, but now I am whole and complete. I'm grateful that you love my true self, unconditionally. I receive you as my husband, a gift from God. I promise to honor, cherish, respect, and trust you. I promise to work beside you to build a loving and a happy home. I commit myself to do these things through the power of the Holy Spirit for all of my life."

(Groom to Bride): "I love you dearly. I am elated to take you as my wife today before the presence of God. I am thankful that he designed you with me in mind and that I will not be whole without you. I promise to protect you, giving you a secure household in which you can share your deepest thoughts with me. I promise to listen to you and help guide you through troubled times. I am glad you are my best friend, my love, my life, and my whole world. And I am honored to become your husband."

The Rings The ring is the symbol of the commitment which binds these two together. There are two rings because there are two people, each to make a contribution to the life of the other and to their new life together. Let us pray: "Bless, O Lord, the giving of these rings that they who wear them may abide together in your peace and grow in one another's eyes."

(Groom), please repeat after me: "I give you this ring as I give you myself, with love and affection. Wear it in peace always."

(Bride), please repeat after me: "I give you this ring as I give you myself, with love and affection. Wear it in peace always."

Closing (Optional) As we stand beside the ocean tide, may your love always be as constant and unchanging as these never-ending waves that pour beneath our feet, flowing endlessly from the depths of the sea; your love came softly upon your hearts just as the foam comes softly upon the sand. And just as there will never be a morning without the ocean's flow, let there never be a day without your love for each other.

You have pledged yourselves to each other today. Your love will need to be as unchanging and dependable as the tide. As these waters nourish the earth and sustain life, may your constant devotion nourish and sustain you until the end of time. Today you marry your friend, the one you will live with, dream with and love. You have taken each other as husband and wife. From this day forward, cherish each other. Look with joy down the path of your tomorrow's knowing that you will walk together side by side, hand in hand, and heart to heart.

Declaration Having witnessed the vows (Bride) and (Groom) have made to each other, surrounded by their family, their love and by the sand, the sun and the ocean, upon the authority vested in me by the state of Florida, I now declare you to be husband and wife.

Benediction "May the Lord bless and keep you. May the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious unto you. May the Lord lift up his countenance unto you and give you peace."

Congratulations, you may kiss your bride.

I present to you Mr. and Mrs. ________________________