Prayers during a wedding ceremony are an essential part of most religious services. While many people associate prayers with specific religions, prayers are included in many cultural and religious ceremonies, such as Christian weddings, Indian weddings, Jewish weddings and Native American weddings.
Ceremonial Marriage Prayers
The prayers said at a wedding are ones meant to bless the couple's marriage. Components of a prayer for marriage at a wedding usually include:
- Appeal to the higher power
- Thanks to the power for various things (health, beautiful day, friends, family, love)
- Commitment of couple to the power
- Request that the power guide the couple's marriage
- Final words regarding particular religious beliefs
Every religion will have a different way of writing and reciting prayers. However, the main components are often the same. During the ceremony, it is appropriate to say a prayer at the beginning and end of the service. Some couples or religions may incorporate a prayer immediately before or after the "I do's."
The religious leader who is performing the ceremony usually recites wedding prayers. However, it is not uncommon to ask a close friend or relative of the same faith to do a wedding reading that includes a prayer. In these cases, the religious officiate will often want to approve the prayer prior to the ceremony to be sure it is suitable.
Wedding Prayers Resources
Religious leaders who perform wedding ceremonies may have a list of favorite and approved wedding ceremony readings for prayers that the couple can choose amongst. He or she may also suggest several prayers, depending on the scripture and verses being used in the ceremony. Leaders who are close to the couple may write or customize their own prayers, too.
Some religions have traditional prayers that are to be read during the ceremony. Depending on your religion, you may or may not be able to personalize the prayers or add additional prayers to the ceremony.
Religious Teaching Sources
If you are able to pick your own wedding prayers, one of the first places you want to look is your religious book. These books often have passages regarding love, marriage, and family that can easily be written into a prayer. Another place to look for prayers is in supplemental materials to your religious book. Authority figures in religions often publish volumes of work based upon the book(s), many of which include prayers suitable for weddings.
Finally, consider writing the prayer yourself. Get help from your religious leader, your soon-to-be spouse, and other persons of knowledge in your religious circle. A personally written prayer may be a solution for what to say in a prayer at a double wedding ceremony that incorporates two different religions.
Not all prayers need to be sourced from your religious leader, authority or scripture book. Additional resources for finding prayers include:
- Poems: Seek out a poet who is of your religion. Find a marriage poem you would like included in your wedding.
- Songs: Generally, every religion has songs appropriate for weddings. Instead of singing the lyrics, you can recite the song as a prayer, perhaps with sight modifications.
- Internet: Visit your church or religion's homepage. Search for prayers online through their website, or do a broad search using a major engine and type in your religion and the words "wedding prayer" or "marriage prayer" to find the most results.
- Books: The local bookstore usually has a large religion and wedding section. Look in these areas for prayer books. If you are located near a bookstore specializing in your religion, visit it to find a suitable book of prayers.
Wedding prayers offer wedding blessing wishes to the newlywed couple. Found in most major religions, they are an integral part of the ceremony. Include the prayer's origins or author in your wedding program for your guests. If you plan to have a prayer that includes responses from the guests, print the entire prayer in a program insert. Guests of different religious backgrounds will appreciate the information so they can participate in the prayer if they choose.