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Signing of the Declaration of Intention

Last week in the Bishop’s Note we began looking at the Pastoral Rites in the 2019 Book of Common Prayer and we examined the preparations for Holy Matrimony.  This week we conclude those preparations with the couple’s public announcement of their betrothal and the signing of the Declaration of Intention. 

This short liturgy is designed to take place in the Eucharist and has the dual purpose of the couple declaring their intention to live out a Christian Marriage and illiciting the support of their Christian family.  All too often our culture promotes the mistaken idea that marriage is simply an act between two people and doesn’t involve anyone else.  That is a false premise. Marriage is the very foundation of society.  The health and well-being of every marriage is of vital importance. 

With this simple service the couple declare their faith in Christ, their trust in the Word of God, and their desire to be faithful to Christ, his Word and his Church! This is the type of public witness that we should promote and celebrate. 

I bid you to prayerfully read through this liturgy and reflect on the sacrament of marriage. 

I pray you all God’s Grace, Protection, and Perfect Health! 

Bishop Menees


Eucharist after the Peace, or at any other public gathering. 

The Officiant says

Dearly beloved, two members of the Church have announced their desire to be married to one another in the sight of God and this Congregation. The pursuit of Holy Matrimony is a good and holy ambition, which requires thorough preparation and our prayerful support. 

Therefore, _______N. and ______N. have come before us to declare their intention to be married and to profess and subscribe to the Church’s Declaration of Intention, which reads: 

The Officiant reads the Declaration 
“We, ____N ____N, and ____N. ____N, desiring to receive the blessing of Holy Matrimony in the Church, do solemnly declare that we hold marriage to be a lifelong union of husband and wife as it is set forth in the Book of Common Prayer. We believe it is established by God for the procreation of children, and their nurture in the knowledge and love of the Lord: for mutual joy, 
And for the help and comfort given one another in prosperity and adversity; to maintain purity, so that husbands and wives, with all the household of God, might serve as holy and undefiled members of the Body of Christ; and for the upbuilding of Christ’s kingdom in family, church and society, to the praise of his holy Name.  We do engage ourselves, so far as in us lies, to make our utmost effort to establish this relationship and to seek God’s help thereto.” 

The Officiant then asks 
Is this your intention? 

The couple responds 
It is. 
The betrothed then sign the Declaration. 

The Officiant says 
Now that N. and N. have declared their intention for a Holy Marriage, and have begun the process of pre-marital preparation, let us pray for their relationship [and for their families].

Almighty God, we thank you for the love of N. and N., and we ask your blessing upon them [and their families] during this time of preparation. Open their minds and hearts to one another, enable them faithfully to receive your Word and Sacrament, and help us to support them, that they may rightly prepare for their marriage. And, we pray, give us wisdom to uphold and encourage all who have been united in Holy Matrimony; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

San Joaquin Anglican
April Diocesan Events canceled

April 27-29
**CANCELLED** Spring Clergy Retreat

May 21

May 31

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Anglican Diocese of San Joaquin · 1300 East Shaw Avenue #123 · Fresno, CA 93710 · USA

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