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Services following a civil partnership
Inclusive Church has a network of churches and clergy who would be prepared to work with couples who are seeking a service of blessing fowllowing a Civil Partnership ceremony.
Please contact The Revd Bob Callaghan for more information.
Sample order of service for a service of dedication and thanksgiving
In the light of Revd Lewis' paper, we have prepared the following sample order of service for a service of dedication and thanksgiving following a civil partnership. We have been advised by ecclesiastical lawyers that this service does not fall outside the remit of Canon B5. It is not an "authorised liturgy" and as such is offered by Inclusive Church as a possible resource for parishes.
A sample service of dedication and thanksgiving following a civil partnership ceremony
Welcome and Introduction
The priest addresses the congregation:
Brothers and sisters, we meet here in the presence of God to celebrate and affirm the commitment of N & M to each other. May they, through the assistance of the Holy Spirit, commit themselves today to each other; promising to live together in love, faithfulness, trust and forgiveness. While they make this solemn covenant we remember that our Saviour Jesus Christ shows us the path of courage and selfless love and we ask God’s blessing on their lives. We join in rejoicing with them and offer them support with our love and prayers. Let us hold them in our hearts as we commit their lives to the love and grace of God.
Pause for a moment of silence before the minister continues.
Loving and gracious God, who made us in your image and sent your son Jesus Christ to welcome us home; protect us in love and empower us for service. Through the power of the Holy Spirit may N and M become living signs of his love and may we uphold them in the promises that each will make this day, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
- Invitation to confession
The grace of God has dawned upon the world with healing for all. Let us come to him, in sorrow for our sins,seeking healing and salvation.
God be gracious to us and bless us, and make your face shine upon us:
Lord, have mercy Lord, have mercy
May your ways be known on the earth, your saving power among the nations:
Christ, have mercy. Christ, have mercy.
You, Lord, have made known your salvation, and reveal your justice in the sight of the nations:
Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy.
May God who loved the world so much that he sent his Son to be our Saviour forgive you your sins and make you holy to serve him in the world, through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Almighty God, source of all being, we thank you for your love, which creates and sustains us. We thank you for your unique and personal gifts to every one of us in our minds, our bodies and our spirits; and for the blessings of companionship and friendship. We pray that we may use your gifts so that we can ever grow into a deeper understanding of love and of your purpose for us, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
- First Reading
- The Gospel
- Questions of Intent
N & M is it your intention to enter into a solemn covenant with each other in love and trust?
Do you believe God has called you to live together in love?
Do you promise to be loyal to each other, remaining strong against all which may test your partnership?
Will you give yourselves wholeheartedly and without reservation?
Will you, under God, recognise one another's freedom to grow as individuals, and give each other time and space to do so?
Will you give each other the opportunity for your love to grow and deepen as a couple?
Will you do all in your power to make your life together a witness to the love of God in the world?
Will you be generous to each other’s weaknesses and a foundation for each others’ strengths? Will you be there as an encouragement for one another; a companion in joy and a comfort in times of trouble?
Do you offer your lives together for God’s blessing?
Bidding to the Company.
Will you, the family and friends of N & M, do all in your power to support and strengthen them in the days and years ahead?
- The Promises.
N & M the covenant that you have made with one another and that you re-affirm today in the presence of God and this congregation is a union in body, mind and spirit. It offers to each of you a life of help, comfort and mutual joy. From the love that you have one of another you are called to serve God and your brothers and sisters in the world.
N., I give myself to you without reserve. I love you, trust you, and delight in you. I will share your burdens and your joys. I will go with you wherever God calls us, sharing my love and my life, my wholeness and my brokenness, my success and my failures. This is my solemn promise.
We, N & M witness before God and this congregation that we have pledged ourselves to each other. We offer you, Lord, our souls and bodies, our thoughts and deeds, our love for each other and our wish to serve you. Take us as we are, and make us all that we should be, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
The Service may conclude here with a hymn and a blessing of the congregation, or continue with the Eucharist. For more resources, or for advice on drawing a service together, or to help locate a church or minister who may be able to help with your blessing - please get in touch.