Biblical Basis

Gen 2:24 – “a man leaves his parents and clings to his wife and they become one flesh”;
Mark 10:2-12; Matt 19:1-9 – Jesus teaches against divorce; “What God has joined together, let no one separate”;
Eph 5:22-33; 1Cor 7:10-16 – Paul stresses the unity of husbands and wives;
(not simply Jesus’ presence at the wedding at Cana, John 2:1-11)

Central Words
“I, (name), take you, (name), to be my husband/wife. I promise to be true to you in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health. I will love you and honor you all the days of my life.”
(or a similar formula)

Central Actions

The husband and wife make these promises to each other publicly. (Rings are exchanged as a visible sign of this verbal commitment.)


Being united (“one flesh”) in God’s eyes; becoming a publicly and legally recognized couple.


The couple themselves! (clergy are just the official witnesses)