This part of the service comes after the vows have been exchanged and the minister pronounces the couple to be man and wife.
Clergy: Often marriage is viewed as the union of two individuals. In reality, however, marriage is much broader. As we give thanks to God for the love which brings (bride’s name) and (groom’s name) together, so too, we recognize the merging of families taking place and the additional love and responsibility family and friends bring to this relationship.
We are all, in fact, members of a larger family, the family of God. This relationship is emphasized in Scripture.
Today, we recognize (child’s name) and the significant role he/she/they play(s) in the marriage that we celebrate today.
(Child steps forward or may be brought forward by grandparents. Presented to the child is something symbolic of the occasion. It may be a special medallion, locket, bracelet, something personal that marks the day and the significance of the ceremony. This is presented to each of the children by the stepparent.)
Stepparent to Stepchild: This (symbol) represents the new special relationship between you and me. By my marrying your (Mom/Dad), we have become a new family.
By my giving you this (symbol), I pledge to you that I will care for you and support you and do what I can to help you grow to be who you want to be. I am not your (Dad/Mom) because you already have a (Dad/Mom) who loves you. But I hope to be a special person in your life. I promise to always be honest with you and to have your best interest at heart in all my dealings with you. I promise to love your (Mom/Dad) as my (wife/husband) and help (him/her) to be the best parent to you that he/she can be.
(This or variations of it should reflect the nature of the relationship and the age of the child.)
Clergy: (To children) Will you, (state each child’s name), be open to accepting (stepparent’s name) and the special role he/she will have in your life?
Children: I will.
Clergy: (To congregation) And will you, as the family and friends of this new family, commit yourselves to supporting this marriage and the new family that has been established today? Will you pray for them, uphold them in their struggles and affirm their commitment in the years ahead?
Congregation: We will
(At this time, depending on tradition, communion may be served.)
Clergy: Let us pray. (Couple and children join hands as well as the congregation. Clergy offers a prayer of thanksgiving and blessing for the new family.)
(Couple may kiss and embrace the children.)
Clergy: Go together by the love of God. Go with hope, joy and a heart full of dreams knowing God is always with you. Amen.
(Clergy then presents the new family to the congregation.)
Clergy: It is my pleasure to present to you, (Mr. and Mrs. ----) as husband and wife and (children’s names) as the new family.
Since these declarations have been made, _________ will continue to be a friend to your dad and to you. But from that moment on she will possess and deserve to have rights and privileges no one else can have. Those rights and privileges must be given to her and must not be violated. She should be respected and honored as your dad’s wife and the lady of this house.
She will take into his home her natural beauty, her feminine charm and her graces…Her warm personality, her womanly intuition, her friendship, and her maturity. All these qualities are needed to give your dad’s home balance and stability, and through these qualities, ______ and your dad will grow to new levels of maturity in Jesus Christ.
But she is only human. She wants to bring you and your dad joy, happiness, and love, but this will not always be bliss. She will make mistakes, not on purpose, but this will happen. There will be times where she may misunderstand you, or disagree with your dad, but through Jesus, these things can be resolved and worked through as you all walk in the forgiveness that is possible in Christ. There may be times when you will misunderstand __________. But remember during these times, you must be able to talk these things through. Make every effort to help ______ to better understand you as you grow in your relationship with her. Above all, determine to continue to be her friend.
I want to ask you a couple of questions:
Child’s name, Will you take _______ to be your father’s wedded wife, in sickness and in health, through joys and blessings, in mistakes and misunderstandings, to love and respect her as long as you both shall live? If so, would you answer I will?
Bride’s name, Will you take children’s names to be your special children and to become stepmother to them? Will you give them your understanding, love, and friendship? Will you be firm but fair at all times in your dealings with family problems and at the same time let all decisions and choices be tempered in love, so long as you shall live? If so, will you answer I will?