by Holly Parmer (Ste. Genevieve, MO)
God our Father, & Lord of all Creation:
We gather here now to celebrate the love and commitment of (bride) & (groom), as they share their first meal together as husband and wife.
We thank You for giving Your Holy blessing today upon their marriage, and ask that You continue to bless them with Your love and mercy throughout their lives together.
Let this be the first of many loving meals shared together with their family and friends, and blessed by Your amazing grace.
And with (bride) & (groom), as we are their family, friends, & loved ones gathered here in Your presence,
we ask for Your Holy blessing upon this meal as together we say:
Bless us, oh Lord, and these Thy gifts, which we are about to receive from Thy bounty; through Christ our Lord, Amen.
Return to Wedding Prayers and Blessings
More than ever today, as a husband and wife unite in marriage, they need the prayers of friends and loved ones to help them build a strong foundation of godly love established on Christ, their Rock. If you want to give something special and lasting to a couple on their wedding day, here is a prayer you can offer on their behalf.
A Wedding Prayer
As this couple begins their lives together on their wedding day, I pray that their hearts will unite as one with You in their desire to make You the center. May this day be the start of something beautiful, a celebration unlike any other.
As they offer their vows to one another in the sight of God and others, give them a clear understanding of their commitment to each other. May their loyalty in marriage mirror Your own love and faithfulness to all Your children. Let them know that two are better than one as they mutually invest in and depend on each other—but that the third strand of their marriage ties should always be You.
May their love—like the wedding rings they will wear—be a circle that never ends. Grow that love relationship into one that is patient and kind, not boastful or proud, one that is unselfish and trusting, and a love that protects and perseveres through every season of life.
SEE ALSO: A Valentine Prayer Letter: Husband to Wife
I pray you will give this couple unforgettable moments, unending dedication, and unselfish motives as they pledge their devotion to each another. In every way possible, make the house they build together a godly home—a place where hurts are healed with grace, a place where hearts are sealed with forgiveness, and a place where emotions feel safe when shared with honesty and gentleness. Keep their communication open—with You, and with each other as they make prayer a constant priority.
Lord, today and every day, let laughter echo in the halls of their hearts and home; let joy fill every room; and let the radiance of Your face shine on them, bless them, and give them a gracious peace that passes all understanding. Light a fire of passion that prompts them to love you with all their heart, soul, and strength, and one that engulfs their own union as man and wife in purity and oneness. Help them to bear each other’s burdens, even as they cast their cares on Your shoulders. May they always choose to see the best in each other, even in the worst of times.
May they visualize their marriage as more than just a bonding of two lives, but as two on mission for You, Lord—a lighthouse of refuge, a welcome place for encouragement, and a testimony to Your power and grace. Help them to cherish their wedding day as a sacred memorial, and their union as a treasure to protect at all costs. Make it a reminder of hope that keeps on going and faith that keeps on growing. Help them to believe that all things are possible through Christ, the One who began the good work in them.
Lord, on their wedding day, may every word spoken and every precious token remind them of the One who holds all things together and who makes all things good. Together as this couple stands side by side, and hand in hand, hold them tightly and never let them go. Fill their hearts with unceasing gratitude. Be their vision, their strength, and their constant companion.
SEE ALSO: A Valentine Prayer Letter to My Husband
In Jesus’s name,
Rebecca Barlow Jordan is an inspirational author, speaker, and passionate follower of Jesus who loves to encourage others heart to heart. She has written 11 books and over 1700 other articles, greeting cards, and other inspirational pieces. Her daily devotional Daily in Your Presence is available for delivery through Crosswalk.com. You can find out more about Rebecca at www.rebeccabarlowjordan.com.
Publication date: June 30, 2017
SEE ALSO: A Prayer for a New Day
This article is part of our larger Prayers resource meant to inspire and encourage your prayer life when you face uncertain times. Visit our most popular prayers if you are wondering how to pray or what to pray. Remember, the Holy Spirit intercedes for us and God knows your heart even if you can’t find the words to pray.
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If you have ever been to a Jewish wedding or a service at a synagogue, you may have noticed a swath of cloth draped over the men’s and sometimes women’s shoulders. This is a prayer shawl, or tallit, a traditional garment worn by Jews to signify reverence and communication with God. The tallit shows that a dialogue has been opened between God and the wearer. Think of it as a spiritual uniform meant to inspire awe and respect for the task at hand. Someone wearing the tallit is actively engaged in matters of serious religious import.
Using the Tallit
A wedding ceremony is considered one of the most sacred rituals in Judaism. Traditions vary between sects and even within denominations but the tallit is familiar to all of them. A rabbi will most certainly wear a tallit when performing wedding rites. In a traditional Sephardic Jewish wedding, the groom wears the tallit for the ceremony after it is presented to him by his wife-to-be. Sephardic Jews are of Portuguese, Spanish or North African descent. Most Sephardic men do not wear a tallit until they are married, and the bride’s gift symbolizes her part in her husband’s cooperation with and deference to God.
During some ceremonies, a large tallit serves as the top of the chuppah, or wedding canopy. Even when a separate chuppah top is created, it is not unusual to incorporate the bridegroom’s tallit or one used by his father or grandfather. Today it is not uncommon to see elaborate chuppah created specifically for the wedding, decorated in flowers and ornate vines. Before the introduction of these grand constructions, however, the tallit was used instead. Often the wedding couple is wrapped in a large tallit during the recitation of the seven blessings and benediction as a symbol of their unity.
Substituting the Kittel
An Ashkenazi Jew, one whose ancestors come from Western Europe, sometimes wears a kittel instead of a tallit. The kittel is a coat traditionally worn on High Holy Days, the most important holidays in the faith, at funerals, and, oddly, at weddings. The kittel’s color, white, symbolizes purity, the chastity of the bride and the sanctity of the holy union. The kittel has no pockets, representing that the marriage is being entered into for love and not financial gain.
A commandment from God prompted the Jews to adapt their talitot as vestiges for tzitzit, Hebrew for the four knotted fringes affixed to each corner of the cloth. God instructed Moses that every Jew must wear tzitzit as a demonstration of faith. Although there are cosmetic differences between the talitot of different Judaic sects, talitot are usually rectangular-cut and made from cotton, linen or silk — never a mixture of linen and wool, though, as this is strictly forbidden by the Torah. The ideal tallit is made of coarse, half-bleached lamb’s wool. Embroidered strips on one side show where the tallit should meet the neck.