The Day of Betrothal
(with NCCG Betrothal Ceremony)
Sabbath Day Sermon Given on the Occasion of the Betrothal of
Pastor Grant D. Robertson of Salt Lake City, Utah
to Joan Urquhart of Dundee, Scotland, Friday 7 March 2003
In the Name of Yah'shua our Messiah (Jesus the Christ) I welcome you all on this happy occasion of the betrothal of Brother Grant to Sister Joan. This is the very first wedding ceremony that we have conducted in the United States and is therefore something of a landmark for NCCG - we pray that many hundreds like it will follow over the years.
To New Covenant Christians, marriage marks the most sacred ordinance after the various ordinances of salvation which include baptism, Chrism (confirmation) and the Lord's Supper. Throughout the Bible, from the first moment Eve was introduced to Adam as his eternal mate in their primordial innocence, to the betrothal covenant of Israel to Yahweh at Mount Sinai, and to the final full marriage of the Messianic Community to their Messiah in heaven, we see the dominant theme of marriage throughout. Wherever you look in sacred Scripture, the word "marriage" leaps out at you. One might say, then, that marriage is both the ground and the consummation of the being of man and His Creator.
The New Testament teaches us that we are in an allegorical marriage relationship with Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ). Or to be more accurate, we are awaiting our full marriage or consummation when He returns to the earth. Our present contract with Him is a betrothal. Our relationship has not yet attained to its fullness. That relationship is a most interesting one - a relationship of both one and many, which in Hebrew is called echad. Like Eve being introduced to her husband Adam, from whom she was taken, our relationship to Christ is a simple one-to-one union, what we call having a 'personal relationship'. That relationship with our redeemer is utterly unique.
In the early days of our Christian life we bathe in this glorious love of our Master, soaking up His goodness which impels us towards good works and acts of kindness. Before long, however, we discover that our Lord is betrothed to many others, each believer having a unique relationship with Him. Because we are all bonded to the same Lord a natural bond of love and affection simultaneously grows between us, and we become what is known as the Messianic Community, or the world-wide and heaven-bound 'Church'. A sign of our union with our Messiah is that the bonds we have for one another grow deeper and deeper until, to all intents and purposes, we become a single Bride - a wife consisting of many souls. Paul describes this as a "great mystery", and so it is.
The betrothal ceremony that is to take place today is the ordinance that our Heavenly Father chooses to use to depict His relationship to us. The husband-to-be - Brother Grant - and the wife-to-be - Sister Joan - are actually re-enacting that sacred union of the Redeemed to their Redeemer. With this association clearly in their minds, their marriage will always be joyful and fruitful. In a short while I will address the rôles of husband and wife in this light.
Yahweh established the sanctity of marriage in the Paradise that was the Garden of Eden. We learn from this account of our first parents that Adam was originally one being, and that from him - his life - his wife Eve was taken. Please notice that she was not created in the same way as he was. They have two different origins. Eve is described as the 'rib' of Adam, which translates an old Semitic word, tsela, meaning a 'bosom companion'. And as we know, Eve was given to Adam to be his bosom companion, his assistant, his helpmeet, to fulfil his calling in life. Had Yahweh wished to indicate that woman was supposed to have a parallel existence and mission that they would mutually support as co-equals - like the parallel tracks of a railway line - He would have made her separately. Because so many potential conflicts arise in marriage over the rôles of spouses, it is vitally important that we understand from the beginning that whilst they are two separate beings, they are first and foremost a single being - Adam. What did Yahweh do? He took Eve out of Adam to make her a separate human being and then, almost immediately afterwards, commanded them to unite as "one flesh" (Gen.2:21-24). Eve cannot, of course, ever return to the state she was in before. However, she is commanded to return to him but as echad - one and two simultaneously.
There are many beautiful truths concealed in the story of the Garden of Eden upon which one could discourse for hours. My purpose today is to plant in the minds and hearts of the bride and groom today the cosmic potential to walk in the footsteps of the Elohim that marriage offers them if they will enter into this holy estate in the correct way. My hope is that these pictures will remain firmly in all your minds.
We believe that Grant and Joan were once Grant. And we believe this because we believe that Yahweh has brought them together. The act of marriage is the return journey of Eve to Adam. Mortality separated them but has brought them back together again. They were once both Grant. Yahweh separated them in the world of spirits before they came here, and they have since wandered, lived, suffered, and found each other again. They can never be the Grant that they were before they incarnated here, but they most certainly can become a New Creation. And I believe they shall.
The next truth I wish you to be aware of is that Adam was a type of Yah'shua (Jesus) (Rom.5:15). The Elohim (that is Yahweh, Yah'shua/Jesus and the Ruach/Spirit) caused a deep sleep to overtake Adam, and as you know, sleep is a biblical synonym for death (Eph.5:14). That deep sleep is a picture of the crucifixion of our Lord and it required the shedding of blood. The Elohim caused a deep sleep to fall upon the father of our race so that He could surgically take a rib from the side of his flesh. The creation of Eve required the shedding of blood, and on the spiritual plane where we came into being, indicates that as men we shed our life-force - our spirits - in order that woman could be created.
This procedure is directly paralleled on a cosmic level by the crucifixion of our Lord and Master upon the Cross, who was pierced in the side of his flesh, shedding his own blood. And the piercing of his wrists and feet is actually a symbol of the fastening of the sinful man in death, represented by the nailing of the bronze serpent to the pole by Moses, itself a shadow of the crucifixion. Many symbols combine in one here. The pierced hands or wrists represent the Two Great Commandments - to love Yahweh our Elohim with all our might, mind, and strength, and to love our neighbour as ourself. To obey these commandments as believers requires our willingness to be allegorical sin-bearers of others, to suffer for them as Yah'shua (Jesus) suffered for us. And in a marriage context it means that the husband must be prepared to suffer on behalf of his bride as Yah'shua (Jesus) suffers for His.
The crucifixion is not, however, an eternal thing. The time of agony is short, even though because of its intensity, it appears to last a lifetime. And sometimes life's difficulties seem endless to us, do they not, and we wonder if they will ever end. The good news is that they will. Marriage, as you know, has the potential for great happiness or great misery. They way it turns out will depend on one thing, and one thing only: whether we are true to our betrothal covenant.
What I am preaching today is not popular with out modern, secular word, which believes it has found a superior enlightenment to Christianity but which in truth is in the throes of despair. The marriage scene is enough, with its 30-50% failure rate - to convince the honest person that things have gone dreadfully wrong. And if you are living in a common-law relationship, your chances of maintaining a successful lifelong relationship are said to be no more than about 20%. The kind of marriage that Yahweh offers His people is not just a 100% success rate in this life, but a union that soars into the eternities too.
The betrothal covenant between Israel and Yahweh took place on Mount Sinai, and the contract was Torah - Yahweh's Law. As believers in the Lord Yah'shua (Jesus) our contract is New Covenant Torah - His commandments to us. And it is vitally important to us to realise from the outset that 'marriage' and 'church' are not two separate entities. You will spare yourselves a great deal of grief if you do not try to maintain them in separate compartments in your lives. Our allegorical marriage to Christ and our literal marriages to our spouses are a part of an organic whole, even if on different levels, and the laws that belong to one also belong to the other too.
Brother Grant and Sister Joan, your betrothal contract is New Covenant Torah. The rules by which you shall govern your marriage, and so prosper in it, are the commandments. Wander away from them, and stresses and strains will introduce themselves into your relationship and hinder its growth. Please heed my counsel here - do not wander from Yahweh's Law if it is happiness you are seeking.
The apostle Paul wrote: "For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, which I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ" (2 Cor.11:2). If you think that I am being possessive of you, you are right - I am. And as your minister I am jealous for you, because I am espousing you, as Yahweh's representative, not just to each other, but even more importantly, to Yah'shua (Jesus) as a new entity - an echad entity called Grant-Joan. This entity has never existed in the flesh before which makes it all the more important. It is my duty, and the duty of all my brethren in this covenant, to guard and protect your union from potential marauders and attacks of the enemy. And part of my pledge, and the pledge of others who have been called as witnesses, is to guard you jealously, as Yahweh jealously guards those whom He has redeemed from death through His Son.
Marriage customs have changed considerably over the millennia though not by Yahweh's design. I am sure you have both been witnesses to different kinds in different religious weddings. As New Covenant Christians, however, who are betrothed to Yahweh through Christ and have as our contract the Torah, I wish to let the Master inform us how betrothal is to be done. I want now to go through the Twelve Steps of Marriage with you as is recorded in His Word.
1. The Selection of the Bride
As you will know from the Bible, the bride was usually selected by the father of the bridegroom. The father would send out his agent to look for her. As a father of many children I constantly have one eye open for my sons' wives in the future. You will remember that Abraham (who is a type of Yahweh), when he wished to secure a bride for Isaac, sent his servant Eliezer (who is a type of the Ruach haQodesh/Holy Spirit) to do the task (Gen.24). It is the rôle of the Ruach (Spirit) to convict the world of sin and to lead them home to our Heavenly Father (Jn.16:7-8). Just as the bride was usually chosen by the father of the bridegroom, so the believers in the Messiah (Christ) are chosen by Yahweh (Jn.15:16). Yahweh knew beforehand - before we came to earth - who would be saved and who would not. He also knew which of us would be reunited with our soul-mates and which would not.
When Isaac first set eyes on Rebekah, he loved her, and she loved him. It was natural because it was Yahweh's choice. It was not an unhappy marriage. And in the same way that the heavenly Bridegroom, Yah'shua (Jesus), lavishes His love upon us, so the true bridegroom of an earthly marriage will lavish his love upon his new bride. We love Christ because He loved us first (1 Jn.4:19). The husband must be the initiator of love in the marriage relationship, leading as Christ leads in His love for us. Rebekah consented to marry Isaac even before she had met or seen Isaac - and they had no photographs in those days! In the same way we, as believers, consent to become the allegorical Bride of Christ even though we have never seen Him (1 Pet.1:8). We will see Him in heaven, but likely not before. This is the reason why Hebrew brides are always heavily veiled during the betrothal ceremony.
Unfortunately, not all of us have fathers who are believers to whom we can turn for guidance in the affairs of seeking out a bride. Where godly Ruach/Spirit-guided fathers are not available, we turn to the Church fathers - the patriarchs, pastors, elders and others of experience - for guidance. In the end the couple make the final choice, but throughout their long courtship Brother Grant has consulted with me many times for advice. All I can see is that I am delighted that we are where we are today - on the threshold of a lifelong and, hopefully, eternity-long union.
2. The Bridal Price
Once the prospective bride had been selected, a bridal price was negotiated, which consisted of various physical items of value, like money or jewellery, under the Old Covenant. Yah'shua (Jesus), being our Bridegroom, paid a very high price for us, His Bride. He paid the price with His life (1 Cor.6:20). Under the New Covenant, the bridegroom - in this case, Brother Grant, will pay his own price in terms of the life-offering he gives to both his new bride, Joan, and to those he has responsibility for as a father and a pastor. His price will be high and will largely be invisible to his bride, just as most of us have very little idea what Yah'shua (Jesus) actually did for us in terms of His suffering. It's a high price to pray, which is one reason why the husband is the head of the household.
3. The Betrothal
The third step towards marriage is betrothal, which is the object of this gathering today. It is the second of three steps in the marriage process which begins with Dedication (equivalent to our modern 'engagement' - see picture to right where the Presiding Patriartch is administering a blessing to the dedicated couple) which I was privileged to witness last November, and ends in full marriage. Betrothal - which is marriage without sexual consummation - legally binds the bride and bridegroom together in Yahweh's and the Church's eyes. Although they are 'married' they do not physically live together. In the same way, whenever we accept Yah'shua (Jesus) as our Lord and Saviour we become betrothed to Him but are not actually living with Him. That happens when He returns to earth to collect us.
4. The Contract
The fourth step involves the drawing up of a written document. It is a contract which states the bridal price, the promises of the groom, and the rights of the bride. The groom promises to work for her, to honour, support, and maintain her in the truth of Yahweh's Word, to provide food, clothing, and necessities, and to live together with her as husband and wife. The contract was always the unalienable right of the bride. It had to be executed and signed before the wedding ceremony. In the same way the Bible is our written contract and all the promises that Yahweh provided for the believers in Yah'shua (Jesus) are legally ours (2 Cor.1:20).
The statutes in the Bible that pertain to marriage is the contract between husband and wife today in the New Covenant. We do not sign documents but enter into solemn vows which we shall be doing presently. Yah'shua (Jesus) said that our 'yes' and our 'no', in the presence of witnesses, were binding. As Christians we are absolutely required to be true to our word. We are bound to it both on earth and in heaven. So great is this responsibility that we are even granted the power to forgive sin when we are wronged. Indeed, we are, as Christians, commanded to forgive the wrong doing of others to us, and if we don't, Yah'shua (Jesus) says He will not forgive us! If we do not forgive the sins of others done against us, those sins remain unforgiven. This is a deep doctrine, brethren and sisters, and not one I have spoken of before, but I felt it appropriate to mention it here. Forgiveness is the framework of the whole Christian life and must be the framework of marriage too, because you will hurt each other from time to time. Remember, then, that forgiveness is written into your betrothal contract, along with all the other statutes of marriage and of the Gospel life.
5. The Bridal Consent
Yahweh forces no-one to come to Him. Yah'shua forces no-one to accept the salvation of His blood. There is no force whatsoever in our relationship with Him. We are genuinely free to accept or reject Him. And it is the same in Christian marriage. No bride shall ever be forced to contract a marriage against her will. Rebekah, you will remember, agreed of her own free will to marry the man she had never laid eyes on. And she was not under any sort of pressure. This was not so with Leah, Jacob's first wife, and we all know the great unhappiness that stemmed from that.
When we, as believers, accept Yah'shua (Jesus) as our Lord and Saviour, we are saying, "I do", and all that that implies in a marriage arrangement - we covenant to be obedient to Him in all things, just as the bride covenants to be obedient to her husband in all things - not 'some' things, but 'all' things (Col.3:18; Eph.5:24). At the same time, the bridegroom covenants to be obedient to Yahweh 'in all things' and to honour his contract, which is Torah. Thus he cannot command his wife to become a prostitute because he would be in breach of the commandments. Thus a wife is to be obedient to her husband in everything that is not forbidden by Torah.
6. Gifts and the Cup
The sixth item consists of gifts given to the bride by the bridegroom and a cup called the cup of the covenant which is shared by both bride and bridegroom. During the ceremony Grant and Joan will drink out of a single cup containing unfermented red wine. It is their own personal communion cup that is a type of the Lord's Supper itself. I remember when Yah'shua (Jesus) appeared to me in a vision many years ago and presented me with a marriage communion table for such a purpose.
The rite of betrothal is completed when the bridegroom gives the bride something of value. It doesn't have to be a private jet or a $100,000 check/cheque! These days the gift is usually a ring. Please notice that the bride does not give a gift to the bridegroom. And the reason for this is because this is a purchase gift, which is the privilege of the patriarch only. This rite is known in Hebrew as kiddushin and literally means 'sanctification'. The gifts to the bride are symbols of love, commitment and loyalty, and should reflect that intent. The bridegroom sanctifies the bride, not the other way round. In many ways a ring is an appropriate symbol because it denotes slavery. And as you know, Paul says we are slaves of Christ - not in the imprisoning sense but in terms of liberation (Rom.6:22). Thus the ring given by the bridegroom to the bride, and her receiving of it, indicates her willingness to be obedient to him in all things as he seeks to be obedient to His Bridegroom in all things, the Lord Yah'shua (Jesus).
The gift that Yahweh gives to us who accept Yah'shua (Jesus) is the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit). When Yah'shua (Jesus) ascended to heaven, He gave us gifts, including righteousness, eternal life, grace, faith, and other spiritual gifts. And of course, He sealed the gift-giving in the bread and wine of the New Covenant, as Grant and Joan shall soon do. The Bride and Bridegroom drink from a common cup. The cup is first given to the bridegroom to sip, and then is given to the bride. This cup, which is known as the Cup of the Covenant, you should always remember especially later when you share the Lord's Supper together (Jer.31:31-33; Lk.22:20).
7. The Bridal Baptism
Every bride in Israel went through a ritual immersion or baptism before the ceremony of betrothal. Before this meeting Joan was baptised in water by full immersion to indicate a complete and total severance from her old way of life as a single woman. It indicates leaving an old life and entering into the new life of your husband. Yah'shua (Jesus) said that we must be born again to enter the Kingdom of Yahweh (Jn.3:1-7). Believers are likewise to be immersed in the Name of the Elohim (Father, Son and Ruach haQodesh/Holy Spirit). That immersion takes place symbolically in water as a baptism and invisibly spiritually when we are baptised by the Ruach (Spirit). Notice that the one being baptised and the One doing the baptism are both female, for it is an act of submission. The Ruach (Spirit) is the immerser (Lk.3.16; Ac.1:5; 11:15-16). Joan's betrothal-baptism was an act of submission to her husband-to-be and marked the beginning of an entirely new life by a complete washing away of the old - and I underline the word complete - all the old ways end and she subjects herself to Grant's way of life.
8. The Bridegroom Departs
Once the betrothal ceremony is over, the bridegroom leaves, returning to his father's house to prepare the bridal chamber. Note that the bride leaves her old home and moves into his, and not the other way round. This of course symbolises the complete severance by the bride from her former way of life both literally and symbolically.
Anciently, it was understood that the bridegroom left for his father's house to prepare the bridal chamber for his bride. It was understood to be the man's duty to go away to be with his father, build a house, and prepare for the eventual wedding. Before he leaves, he says to his bride: "I go to prepare a place for you; if I go, I will return unto you again". You will, of course, immediately recognise the words of Yah'shua (Jesus) here just before He ascended into heaven. He has gone to prepare a bridal room for us too in heaven.
9. Consecration of the Bride
The ninth step of marriage is called the 'consecration of the bride'. This 'setting apart' period is the time between betrothal and full marriage and is her opportunity to focus all her thoughts in preparing herself to be the wife her husband expects her to be. We read in the Book of Revelation:
"And I, John, saw the Holy City, the New Jerusalem, coming down from Elohim (God) out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband" (Rev.21:2).
Before the bridegroom could go to collect his bride, the groom's father had to be satisfied that the son had made every preparation. In the absence of a believing father, the responsibility should fall upon a mature elder in the local assembly like the pastor or other patriarch. We further read:
"But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only" (Mt.24:36).
Only then could the father give permission to the son to go and get the bride. In other words, while the bridegroom was working on the bridal chamber, it was the father who 'okayed' the final bridal chamber, pronouncing it fit for use.
10. The Bridegroom Does Not Know
We have now come to the tenth step, the ignorance of the bridegroom. Yah'shua (Jesus) does not know when He is supposed to return to earth to collect us as His Bride (Mk.13:32). We also do not know when He will return. However, we are commanded to be watchful and prepared always (vv.34-34). Yah'shua (Jesus) says:
"It is like a man going on a journey, when he leaves home and puts his servants in charge, each with his work, and commands the doorkeeper to be on the watch. Watch therefore -- for you do not know when the master of the house will come, in the evening, or at midnight, or at cockcrow, or in the morning -- lest he come suddenly and find you asleep. And what I say to you I say to all: Watch" (Mk.13:34-37).
What does this mean in practice? It means that no 'wedding date' is ever announced in this Church. After the betrothal, the bridegroom departs and makes preparations, and the betrothed wife is to wait in expectation until that day of the full wedding. He will not announce it beforehand but suddenly appear and expect her to be ready.
This way well be a very new concept for you, brethren and sisters, but I do assure you it is Yahweh's way. It sets the correct spiritual tone because it establishes the proper biblical order and the correct mental, emotional and spiritual expectations. So, Sister Joan, you have no idea when your betrothal is going to be consummated! That is up to Grant. So don't go off on vacation anywhere - be ready to receive him when he comes to collect you. And he will come when his father or guardian gives him permission to do so.
11. The Shout and the Trumpet
We have now arrived at the eleventh step. The Bridegroom returns with a great shout (Mt.25:6), saying: "Behold, the Bridegroom comes!" which is followed by the blowing of a ram's horn (1 Thess.4:16-17; Rev.4:1).
Traditionally, the return of the bridegroom was always at midnight and then the marriage ceremony would take place under the special wedding canopy, an ornate sheet supported by four poles. Since heaven is a kind of canopy too, we understand that when Yah'shua (Jesus) gives a shout for His Bride, accompanied by the blowing of a trumpet, that the marriage between Christ and His Bride takes place in heaven. The marriage ceremony will be a sacred procession. For this reason, the Bridegroom - Yah'shua (Jesus) - will be led to the canopy first. When the Bridegroom approaches the canopy, the cantor chants: "Blessed is He who comes". This expression literally means "welcome". Yah'shua (Jesus) said that He would not return for His Bride until these words were spoken. The Groom is greeted like a King under the canopy. During this time, Yah'shua (Jesus), the Bridegroom, will be crowned King on the earth under the canopy, which is heaven.
The Bride and Groom will go to the wedding chamber where the marriage will be consummated. They will stay in the wedding chamber for 7 days, a full week. At the end of the 7 days, the Bride and Groom will come out from the Wedding Chamber (Joel 2:16). The word 'week' in Hebrew is shavuah and means 'seven'. It can mean 7 days or 7 years (Dan.9:24,27). This seven day period has come to be called the 'honeymoon', a pagan term which we do not use. Instead, we simply called it Shavuah.
12. The Marriage Feast
And so we come to the end - the 12th step to marriage - which is the marriage supper for all the guests. When the bride and the bridegroom initially went into the bridal chamber, the friend of the bridegroom (which in our culture is called the 'best man') stood outside the door. All the assembled guests of the wedding gathered outside, waiting for the friend of the bridegroom to announce the consummation of the marriage, which was relayed to him by the groom. John the Baptist wrote:
"The bride belongs to the bridegroom. The friend who attends the bridegroom waits and listens for him, and is full of joy when he hears the bridegroom's voice. That joy is mine, and it is now complete" (Jn.3:29).
So at this signal, great rejoicing broke out. The marriage was consummated on the first night. The bloodstained linen from this night was preserved as proof of the bride's virginity (Dt.22:13-21). On the wedding day, the bridegroom is seen as a king and the bride as a queen. During the consummation of the marriage, the Bridegroom Yah'shua (Jesus) will be crowned King over all the earth and the Bride - the believers - will live with Him and rule with Him forever in the Millennium. It has been my privilege to see that place in vision and it is something I eagerly await.
And so, my friends, we have the picture of betrothal and marriage and its 12 steps. Brother Grant and Sister Joan are now about to enact the third to seventh steps in this wonderful process before Grant 'disappears' in the eighth.
The NCCG Bethrothal Ceremony
Minister: Christopher C. Warren (Presiding Patriarch)
Blowing of Shofar
Minister: "Baruch HaBa BaShem Yahweh - Blessed is he who cometh in the name of Yahweh".
Procession of the Groom (escorted by father or proxy)
Procession of the Bride (escorted by father or proxy)
Minister reads sermon ("The Day of Betrothal")
Minister: "Who gives this woman to be married?"
Father/Proxy: "I do"
Minister: "The Bride is required to circle her beloved seven times, as is recorded in the Book of Jeremiah (31:22b), "a woman shall compass (revolve around, surround) a man." Seven times is significant because of its scriptural reference of perfection and completion; in Hosea 2:19-21 is described Yahweh's seven-fold betrothal to His people, Israel; and in Revelation 4:5 is described the seven Ruachs of Yahweh or Spirits of God; This is also a reflection of the Bride's desire to be as the seven prophetesses of Israel: Sarah, Miriam, Deborah, Hannah, Abigail, Huldah, and Esther. Finally, this reflects the Seven Brides of the Perfect Man as described in Isaiah 4:1. The bride will now circle her beloved seven times and stand on his right-hand side."
Bride Encircles Groom seven times (clockwise)
Minister: "The position of the bride on the right side of the groom is based on Psalm 45:10 where it is written: "the queen stands on your right hand in fine gold of ophir". In Hebrew tradition the bride is a queen, and the groom a king."
Minister: "The bride and groom will now enter the Chuppah or Wedding Canopy. This is symbolic of the marriage coming under the holy covering of the Elohim. The covering represents protection, mercy, and grace."
Bride and Groom Enter the Chuppah, minister standing behind them with upraised hands for the Blessing of the Bride and Groom.
Minister: (optional Hebrew): "Mi Adir, Mi Adir al hakol. Mi baruch al hakol. Mi gadol al hakol. Hu y'vareykh et he'khatan v'et ha'kalah - He who is supremely mighty, He who is supremely blessed, He who is supremely sublime, May He bless the Groom and the Bride."
Minister lowers hands.
Minister: "After a man has proposed marriage the couple are dedicated during which time they covenant to know each other better as brother, sister and friends in Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ). After the dedication period is over he is betrothed to her by pouring a cup of unfermented red wine and drinking from the cup. If the woman accepts the cup when he offers it to her, and she drinks from it, it signifies her acceptance of his betrothal and she becomes his betrothed wife."
Groom pours out wine and presents it to the minister for blessing (the Kiddush).
Minister: (Hebrew optional) "Baruch ata Yahweh, Eloheynu Melech HaOlam, Borey Pree Hagafen - Blessed art Thou, O Yahweh-Elohim, King of the Universe who createth the fruit of the vine, the symbol of joy. Blessed are Thou, O Lord, who has hallowed thy people Israel by the blessing of the marriage canopy, the Chuppah and the sacred covenant of marriage."
The cup is returned to the groom who then drinks from it, offers the cup to the bride, and then the Bride Drinks from the cup.
The Seven Wedding Blessings:
Minister: "Blessed art thou, O Yahweh-Elohim, King of the Universe, Who hath created everything for His glory.
"Blessed art thou, O Yahweh-Elohim, King of the Universe, Who hath created man.
"Blessed art thou, O Yahweh-Elohim, King of the Universe, Who hath made man in thy image, in the image of thy likeness and prepared for him - from himself - a building for eternity. Blessed art Thou, O Yahweh, who fashioned the Man.
"Bring intense joy and exultation to the barren one through the ingathering of her children amidst her in gladness. Blessed art Thou, O Yahweh, Who maketh Zion joyful through her children. Gladded the beloved companions as You gladdened Your creature in the Garden of Eden. Blessed art Thou O Yahweh who maketh the bridegroom and the bride rejoice.
"Blessed art thou, O Yahweh-Elohim, King of the Universe, Who created joy and gladness, groom and bride, mirth, glad song, pleasure, delight, love, brotherhood, peace and companionship. O Yahweh-Elohim, let there soon be heard in the cities of Israel and the streets of Jerusalem the sound of joy and the sound of gladness, the voice of the groom and the voice of the bride, the sound of the groom's jubilance from their canopies and of youths from their song-filled feasts.
"Blessed art Thou, Who gladdeneth the groom with the bride.
"Blessed art Thou, O Yahweh-Elohim, King of the Universe, Who createth the fruit of the vine."
Exchanging of the Vows
Minister: "Brother Grant Robertson (Groom), will you have Sister Joan Urquardt (Bride) to be your wife? Will you love her, honour her, comfort and keep her, teach her the Torah, and remain true to her as long as you both shall live?"
Groom: "I will."
Minister: "Sister Joan Urquardt (Bride), will you have Brother Grant Robertson (Groom) to be your husband? Will you love him, honour him, comfort and keep him, obey and submit to Him, and forsaking all others remain true to him as long as you both shall live?
Bride: "I will."
Minister: "The Groom and Bride will now turn and face each other."
Couple face each other.
Minister: "Brother Grant (Groom), please repeat after me:
"I, Grant Robertson ...
take thee Joan Urquardt ...
To be my lawefully wedded wife, ...
And I do promise and covenant, ...
Before Yahweh and these witnesses, ...
in the Name of Yah'shua the Messiah, ...
To be thy loving and faithful husband, ...
In plenty and in want, ...
In joy and in sorrow, ...
In sickness and in health, ...
As long as we both shall live." ...
Minister: "Sister Joan, please repeat after me:
I, Joan Urquardt, ...
take thee Grant Robertson ...
To be my lawfully wedded husband, ...
And I do promise and covenant, ...
Before Yahweh and these witnesses, ...
and in the Name of Yah'shua the Messiah, ...
To be thy loving, obedient, submissive and faithful wife, ...
In plenty and in want, ...
In joy and in sorrow, ...
In sickness and in health, ...
As long as we both shall live." ...
The Ring Ceremony
Minister: "Do we have a ring for the Bride?"
Minister: "Brother Grant, repeat after me:
(Hebrew optional) "Harey at mekuddeshet li B'taba'at Zo K'dat Moshe v'Yisrael - Behold thou art consecrated unto me with this ring ...
according to the law of New Covenant Israel and Torah." ...
Groom places ring on bride's finger.
Minister: "I hereby certify before the Elohim and these witnesses present that on the 8th Day of March, in the year 2003, that the holy covenant of betrothal was entered into between the Bridegroom, Grant Robertson, and the Bride, Joan Urquardt, according to the commandments of Israel as laid town in New Covenant Torah.
"The Groom has made the following declarations to the Bride: that she will be his wife according to New Covenant Torah, that he will love, honour and cherish her in the same way that the Messiah Yah'shua (Christ Jesus) loves the Messianic Community or Church.
"The Bride has accepted his words and betrothed herself to him, and declared to him that she will respect, honour, cherish, obey and submit to him in the same manner as the Messianic Community or Church is to the Messiah (Christ)."
Minister: "Friends of the Bride and Groom, as witnesses to the covenant of betrothal according to the laws of New Covenant Israel, I hereby pronounce Grant Robertson and Joan Urquardt Robertson as husband and wife."
Minister turns to the Groom:
Minister: "You may kiss the bride".
With upraised hands over the couple:
Minister: "Yahweh bless you, and keep you; Yahweh make His face shine upon you, and be gracious unto you; Yahweh list His countenancde upon you, and give you Shalom. In Yah'shua haMashiach's Name. Amen".
Conclusion of meeting or departure for civil registration (as required).
This page was created on 7 March 2003
Last updated on 7 March 2003
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