Quaker wedding vows

Quaker marriage ceremonies are much like their regular services.  After a process involving proving maturity and desire to marry, the couple attends a regular meeting during which family and friends may recite anything that may be in their hearts — spiritual or earthy advice.  The couple stands when they feel the spirit move them, recites their vows, and then sign the certificate.  Once the service ends, all those present sign as well.  Due to their beliefs, most did not exchange rings in the ceremony, but many did exchange such symbols after the ceremony

The most common vow is beautifully simple: “I promise to be onto thee with divine assistance a loving and faithful companion as long as I shall live.”  But I have found other vows in old books used by Quakers.  They are below.

I promise, in the presence of these witnesses, to be to you a kind, faithful, and true husband, to protect and cherish you in sickness, as well as in health; in adversity as well as in prosperity; to bear and forbear with your imperfections; and never to seek my own pleasure at the expense of yours. I love you, and I promise to regard you as my equal in every respect—never to claim anything from you as a legal right, and to seek from you only that which your love and a sense of duty induces you to freely give. With this declaration on my part, will you (naming the bride) accept me as your husband and life partner ?


Do you take this woman whom you hold by the hand to be your wife, the companion of your life, the partner of your joys and sorrows, and shall it be your chief desire to make her heart glad, and her pathway smooth all through your future career? (The man inclines his head and answers “yes.”)


I, by this ring, make known to the world that I hereby bind myself to Name as husband/wife, and pledge my love and fidelity for life.


Do you declare before these assembled witnesses that you have chosen the woman by your side from all others to be your life-companion; that you have promised to be to her a kind, faithful and considerate husband; to comfort, honor and support her in sickness and health—in adversity as well as prosperity—so long as you shall live?

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