Blessing of the Marriage Ceremony
The Ceremony to bless a marriage (a couple who has already married civilly, outside the church), otherwise known as the Marriage Blessing Ceremony.
Background: Marriage as a social institution is as old as the human race. It was “instituted of God” in the Garden of Eden (Gen. 1:27–28; 2:18, 24) and obviously is not of Christian origin. It belongs to all mankind… to Jew, Gentile and Christian alike.
The essence of marriage is the mutual agreement between a man and a woman for a lifelong union, voluntarily assumed, and publicly acknowledged. The Church, in providing a fitting setting and a beautiful ceremony for its announcement and public ratification, does all in its power to safeguard the union and to make of it what a marriage ought to be.
The mutual contract between bride and groom can be acknowledged and publicly ratified before a Justice of the Peace or other officer of the State; but such a marriage, though legal, lacks a very definite “something” which a religious service gives it. That “something” is the blessing of the Church, and it gives the newly married couple a deeper understanding of God’s wish for them.
The civil ceremony lacks religious reference but like the church, still asks for similar consents. The “Mutual Consent” consists of questions to both bride and groom and may seem like a needless formality, “do you take this man” and so on, but this is necessary to fulfill the nature of the civil contract. The State is strict on determining consent of each party just as it would in any other signed civil contract. The civil ceremony, by design, simply lacks any reference of prayers to the Trinity, or in seeking any blessings from a creator.