Couples who would like to include prayers in their wedding ceremony have a wide variety of options for how to include prayers in the ceremony and what kinds of prayers they should be. This overview will address the main types of wedding prayers that should be included in a wedding ceremony to honor God and receive His blessing upon the marriage.
Wedding Ceremony Prayers: Opening Prayer
An opening prayer, traditionally done just after the pastor welcomes the guests, and before they are seated, will simply dedicate the ceremony to God and ask for His blessing on all that occurs. It is a good way for couples to focus themselves after all the pre-wedding jitters and the surreal experience of having your wedding ceremony actually happen. It also demonstrates to the guests that the ceremony has religious significance to the couple.
Wedding Ceremony Prayers: Prayer Over the Rings
After the couple exchanges vows and rings, the other most traditional prayer of the ceremony is performed, typically thanking God for the couple and their commitment, and asking for his blessing and strength to be upon them as they live out the covenant they have made. The minister gives this prayer and often lays his hands on the couple as he prays, either on their heads, shoulders, or hands.
Wedding Ceremony Prayers: Responsive Congregational Prayers
Many liturgical ceremonies will involve congregational responses to prayers that the minister is reading, which is a great way for the congregation as a whole to come together in support of the couple. As the Bible says, when two people agree on something in prayer, God will grant it, so these prayers do hold a lot of spiritual power (Matthew 19:19).
Wedding Ceremony Prayers: Family Blessing
A family prayer of blessing is not an element typically included in wedding ceremonies, but it is a good way for couples to include their parents and grandparents in the ceremony. Especially for the groom’s family, which does not have as prominent of a role, it is a good way for them to feel involved in the ceremony.
The family blessing can happen in a variety of ways, from having the heads of households come up and pray on the whole family’s behalf, or having the whole family come up and passing a microphone from one person to the next as they all offer short prayers.
Wedding Ceremony Prayers: Open Microphone
Even less conventional, but a great way to involve special people beyond the families, is a time during the wedding ceremony for the congregation to come up and pray for the couple. The best way to do this is to make sure it is limited to a specific length of time per person, so that things don’t take too long. The minister can help with this by tapping the person praying on the shoulder if they are taking too long, and then passing the microphone to the next person.
Open Microphone wedding prayers can either be focused on a specific topic, or just allow people to pray as they would like for the couple’s future together as husband and wife.