ORDER OF SERVICE

for the marriage of Johan Friso Bernhard Christiaan David van Oranje-Nassau van Amsberg and Mabel Martine Wisse Smit in the Oude Kerk, Delft on Saturday 24 April 2004

Officiating Clergyman: C.A. ter Linden, Minister Emeritus of the Kloosterkerk, The Hague
Elder on duty: A.C. Valkenburg
Organist: Bas de Vroome, Organist of the Oude Kerk
Choir: Laurenscantorij Rotterdam
Orchestra: Laurens Bachorkest
Soprano: Nienke Oostenrijk
Soli in the William Walton motet and the hymn by Huub Oosterhuis and Antoine Oomen:
  • Leonore Engelbrecht, soprano
  • Arco Mandemaker, tenor
    Conductor: Barend Schuurman
    Lessons read by:
  • Rev. George Regas, Minister Emeritus of the Episcopal Church, Pasadena, Ca. USA, friend of the bridegroom
    Willemijn Verloop, witness for the bride

    Organ voluntary
    Fantasia in G Major BWV 572
    Schafe können sicher weiden BWV 208
    Kommst du nun, Jesu, vom Himmel herunter BWV 650
    Liebster Jesu, wir sind hier BWV 706
    From Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)

    At the entrance of the close family of the bride and groom
    Processional (fragment) of William Mathias (b. 1934)

    Entrance of the bride and groom
    Opening chorus of Cantata no. 137 "Lobe den Herren, den mächtigen König der Ehren" (Praise to the Lord, the Almighty, the King of creation) BWV 137, Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)

    Praise to the Lord, the Almighty, the King of creation!
    O my soul praise him for he is thy health and salvation!
    All ye who hear,
    Now to his temple draw near;
    Praise him in glad adoration.

    Welcome
    Welcome, Friso and Mabel, to this beautiful church, only four miles from the village of Pijnacker where you, Mabel, were born, and attended the primary school with the prophetic name, the Johan Willem Friso School, and less than a hundred yards from the house where you, Friso, lived when you were a student. That is why you chose Delft, and this church, for your wedding. It is not far from Delft’s other church, where Friso’s grandmother was laid to rest less than a month ago, a church that has acquired a new significance for us all over the last year and a half, as a place of mourning.

    And so this town welcomes you again, together with your families and friends. But this time on a happy occasion, your wedding.

    Some twenty years ago, Friso, we met every week with ten of your schoolfriends over a period of some three or four years to talk about the bible. So it gave me great joy when, six months ago, we picked up where we left off, but now with Mabel at your side, to prepare for this wedding service, the start of your lives together. A service that means so much to both of you because, as you said, it is about the things that really matter.

    I should like to extend a special welcome to your friends who have come here from all over the world. You have each received a translation of the service and the hymns. I invite you to join in the singing of the first and the final hymn. The first hymn will be sung in Dutch, but I would like to invite you to sing in English, the language in which it was originally written.

    Our help is in the name of the Lord
    Who made heaven and earth
    Who keeps faith for ever and ever
    And does not forsake the work of his hands. Amen

    Hymn
    Hymn 460: 1, 3 and 5: Loof de Koning, heel mijn wezen. Praise my soul, the King of heaven, music by John Goss (1800-1880), words by Henry Francis Lyte (1793-1847). Translation of W. Barnard (1920)

    Choir:
    Praise my soul, the King of heaven
    To his feet thy tribute bring
    Ransom’d, heal’d, restored, forgiven
    Evermore his praises sing
    Alleluia! Alleluia!
    Praise the everlasting King

    Congregation:
    Father-like, he tends and spares us,
    Well our feeble frame he knows;
    In his hands he gently bears us,
    Rescues us from all our foes;
    Alleluia! Alleluia!
    Widely yet his mercy flows.

    Angels in the height, adore him
    Ye behold him face to face;
    Saints triumphant, bow before him,
    Gather’d in from every race;
    Alleluia! Alleluia!
    Praise with us the God of grace

    Prayer
    Let us pray.

    O God,
    We come before You
    in awe and gratitude
    for all we receive:
    the love of another
    who wants to share his, her, life with us,
    who wants to remain with us for all time.

    But marriage,
    any union of two people,
    is like an unknown country.
    Who can imagine
    Loving each other a whole life long?
    Who can know what that means?

    Deep inside we know:
    this does not come from us.
    Marriage is as a house
    to which You hold the key.
    It is one of Your secrets.
    It was there long before us,
    for we too were born there.

    Teach us Your secret,
    that we may dwell in this house
    as good tenants;
    that our love may ripen and bear fruit.

    We thank You for the house from which we came;
    for the love and care we found there.

    We remember in your presence those who are no longer with us
    But with whom we are joined in spirit today:
    Friso’s father, Friso’s grandmother;
    Mabel’s father, and the man who became a loving father
    to Mabel and her sisters.

    And our thoughts are also with Mabel’s grandmother,
    for whom a day like this would be too taxing,
    but who is with us in her thoughts and her love.

    We thank You for all the friends we have made in our lives,
    who helped us grow
    and who are here with us today.

    Lord, be with us at this time, in word and spirit
    Be in our lives the first
    and the last.
    Amen

    Lessons
    Exodus 3: 1-14; By George Regas

    Now Moses kept the flock of Jethro his father in law, the priest of Midian: and he led the flock to the backside of the desert, and came to the mountain of God, even to Horeb. And the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush: and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed. And Moses said, I will now turn aside, and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt. And when the Lord saw that he turned aside to see, God called unto him out of the midst of the bush, and said, Moses, Moses. And he said, Here am I.

    And he said, Draw not nigh hither: put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground. Moreover he said, I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. And Moses hid his face; for he was afraid to look upon God. And the Lord said, I have surely seen the affliction of my people which are in Egypt, and have heard their cry by reason of their taskmasters; for I know their sorrows; and I am come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land unto a good land and a large, unto a land flowing with milk and honey; unto the place of the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites. Now therefore, behold, the cry of the children of Israel is come unto me: and I have also seen the oppression wherewith the Egyptians oppress them. Come now therefore, and I will send thee unto Pharaoh, that thou mayest bring forth my people the children of Israel out of Egypt.

    And Moses said unto God, Who am I, that I should go unto Pharaoh, and that I should bring forth the children of Israel out of Egypt? And he said, Certainly I will be with thee; and Moses said unto God, Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his name? what shall I say unto them? And God said unto Moses, I WILL BE THERE AS I WILL BE THERE: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I WILL BE THERE hath sent me unto you.

    1 Corinthians 1-13; By Willemijn Verloop

    Though I speak with the tongues
    of men and of angels,
    and have not charity,
    I am become as sounding brass,
    or a tinkling cymbal.

    And though I have the gift of prophecy,
    and understand all mysteries,
    and all knowledge;
    and though I have all faith,
    so that I could remove mountains,
    and have not charity,
    I am nothing.

    And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor,
    and though I give my body to be burned,
    and have not charity,
    it profiteth me nothing.

    Charity suffereth long,
    and is kind;
    charity envieth not;
    charity vaunteth not itself,
    is not puffed up,
    doth not behave itself unseemly,
    seeketh not her own,
    is not easily provoked,

    thinketh no evil;
    rejoiceth not in iniquity,
    but rejoiceth in the truth;
    beareth all things,
    believeth all things,
    hopeth all things,
    endureth all things.

    Charity never faileth:
    but whether there be prophecies,
    they shall fail;
    whether there be tongues,
    they shall cease;
    whether there be knowledge,
    it shall vanish away.

    For we know in part,
    and we prophesy in part.
    But when that which is perfect is come,
    then that which is in part shall be done away.

    When I was a child,
    I spake as a child,
    I understood as a child,
    I thought as a child:
    but when I became an adult,
    I put away childish things.

    For now we see through a glass,
    darkly;
    but then face to face:
    now I know in part;
    but then shall I know even as also I am known.

    And now abideth faith, hope, charity,
    these three;
    but the greatest of these is charity.

    Organ:
    Chorale, an adaptation of hymn 92 from the Hymnal of the Reformed Churches, Al kon ik alle talen spreken of Jan Wit (1914-1980), Music by Willem Retze Talsma (1927), arrangement by Bas de Vroomen (b. 1962)

    Al kon ik alle talen spreken
    Van hemel en aarde.
    Wanneer de liefde zou ontbreken.
    Wat had het voor waarde?
    Mijn woord was niets dan loos gerucht.
    Luid schallende metalen.
    Schel klinkende cymbalen.
    Beroering in de lucht.

    Sermon
    Imagine a pavement café on a large square in Amsterdam. A woman sits reading the morning paper, sipping a cup of coffee. She turns to a friend and says, ‘Where is this all heading…?’

    Sitting behind these two friends we see Professor Van der Leeuw, a theologian and one of our first prime ministers after the war. He cannot resist answering the question with another question. ‘Excuse me, but who told you that it should be heading anywhere?’

    There is a well-known Dutch hymn that goes ‘Whither leads the path that we must follow?’ Where did we get the idea that the world should be heading somewhere? That we should be following a path in our lives? Clearly, it is something we sense deep within ourselves. And it seems that the whole meaning of our existence rests on the answer we give to this question.

    Prior to our discussions to prepare for this special day, Friso and Mabel committed to paper their thoughts on their future together. They let me draw on these letters today. Friso described life as a journey, as a flight. Not surprising for someone who has studied aeronautical engineering and holds a pilot’s licence.

    ‘In times of peace and predictability,’ writes Friso, ‘you move forward in full flight. You think you know where you are heading. Sometimes you encounter some turbulence, but you don’t usually need to give what you are doing much thought. Things are going well. You are above the clouds, everything looks fine, clear and sunny.

    Now and again you have to make a landing, sometimes scheduled, sometimes not. Landings can represent major turning points in life. Such as a change of career or course of study, accidents or setbacks, or the death of a loved one. These are also the moments when you can think about your next destination and about the passengers or copilot you want to come with you.’

    Those who know her - and here, Friso, I would like to put your letter aside for a moment - are aware that you have found a lovely and able copilot. As you got to know each other, you gradually became aware - after a few ups and downs, as is to be expected when two people with differing temperaments and backgrounds fall in love - how close you were becoming. There was a kind of electricity between you, or ‘flames’, to use the words of the Song of Songs, that jewel in the bible. Flames ‘of the Lord’, the poet ventures to say, because he is unable to explain otherwise how two people fall in love and cannot contemplate the idea of being without each other. Flames of the Lord, he says, and - as we will soon hear from the choir - ‘many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it’.

    And indeed, many turbulent waters have coursed over your love. Some people found it difficult to understand you in the events that gave rise to this turbulence. Yet others say that they did understand. But if there is one thing that has been made plain to us all, it is the strength of your love. It proved capable of withstanding what befell you and, if anything, it has become even stronger.

    It is apparent to all of us that people have not always done you justice. And maybe it wasn’t easy to know you properly, with both of you living abroad. People tend to resort to conjecture, and their guesswork is often wide of the mark. It was therefore good that you had the courage to offer us greater insight into your lives and your expectations of life by taking part in a television interview. It was also clear to us, Mabel, how warmly and fully your husband’s family had taken you into their midst.

    Let me now return to Friso’s letter. You both wanted to get married in church, so I asked you how you saw God. ‘God,’ you said, ‘fulfils the same role in my life as the navigation equipment in an aeroplane. As a pilot, you don’t know exactly how it works, but then you don’t need to, as long as you know what you can do with it. Using this equipment, you can fly further, with greater certainty and fewer worries than would otherwise be possible. Its most important quality is that you can always rely on it; you know that it points you in the right direction. If your attention lapses and you stray momentarily from the right path, you know that He is there for you’ - you write ‘He’ here with a capital ‘H’ - ‘that He is there to set you back on course. He does this without making a judgment on how or why you have strayed. If you are lost in cloud or mist, if you no longer know where you are or what you should do, you can always count on His help to get you out of difficulty. If you have to make a landing, He makes sure you can find the airfield and touch down safely. And, as you continue your journey, He shows you the way to go. Marriage’ - you go on to say - ‘is just such a landing for me. Mabel and I have had an interesting, turbulent, but pleasant flight. I am sure that we will arrive safely, and will take off again safely too. This is why I think it is important that we get married in church and ask for God’s blessing on our future journeys together.’

    There are moments in our life when our wings seem to be broken, when we seem to be numbed. I have in mind what both Friso and Mabel have been through in their lives in terms of illness and worries. Not only do we sorely miss Friso’s father today; Mabel too has lost a father, on two occasions, her second father having meant no less to her than her first. But at the same time, said Mabel, my faith in God is so deep that it always overcomes every setback and disappointment.

    Your mother, Mabel, recalled how, at nursery school, you lapped up the Bible stories. And that from the age of about ten you knew you wanted to become a missionary. You have in fact become one, although your concern now is not to tell people in other countries about the Bible, but, together with others, to provide advice and financial support for people in eastern Europe who are making the transition from dictatorship to an open and responsible society. And to work in this way to achieve more justice and humanity in this world. Because, as you put it, that is what faith in God demands of us and also stands for.

    I enjoyed reading in the newspaper about your appearance together with other former pupils at the anniversary celebrations of your old school in Hilversum. Your enthusiasm in talking about your work was so infectious that one pupil decided there and then to do a degree in political science instead of medicine, so that later she might be able to work for a human rights organisation. So you see, Mabel, you have become a kind missionary.

    It seems to me that you have always been in a bit of a hurry. That is to say, time has always been precious. As a student in Amsterdam, if you had to wait quarter of an hour for the tram, you would unfailingly do so with a course book on your knee. Perhaps this trait was reinforced by the loss of your father when you were nine. ‘It made me realise,’ you said, ‘that life is not endless. Life,’ you went on, ‘is a wonderful, unique gift, its only insurmountable limitation is time. It is not only a shame but also shameful to do nothing with your life.’ You both experience life as a unique gift and - I hesitate to say this - as a calling.

    Which brings me back to the story we have just read, in which Moses is called by God to lead his people, the Israelites, out of slavery in Egypt. ‘I have surely seen,’ said God, ‘the affliction of my people which are in Egypt, and have heard their cry by reason of their taskmasters. And I am come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land unto a good land and a large.’ But Moses was unsure whether he could trust this voice, and answered, ‘Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his name? What shall I say unto them?’ And God said: I WILL BE THERE. Tell the children of Israel that I WILL BE THERE has sent you.

    It was of unprecedented significance for the whole of human history that the people of Israel were the first people to give the name ‘I WILL BE THERE’ to that mystery we refer to by the word ‘God’. By this they meant: we can have faith in this world and this life. There is a sustaining force - Israel saw this sustaining force, entirely in the spirit of the time, as a person, an image that people cannot really do without and which I think we should hold onto - there is a sustaining force, which we do not invoke in vain, and which manifests itself repeatedly in human history. A force that is not the sole privilege of the ancient people of Israel, but of all people. A force to which all the injustice in the world, all tyranny must yield again and again; a driving force that ultimately brings people together and reconciles them, as surely as its name is I WILL BE THERE. A force, a God who does not remain idle as people are humiliated and crushed, a God who calls people towards a world of justice and peace, the world he envisaged when he began. A God who continually mobilises people to speak for him and do his work on earth. There operates on high, in Friso’s words, a celestial navigation system, which we would do well to use, at least if we wish to get anywhere with this world.

    I WILL BE THERE. This is four letters in the Hebrew. They are depicted high in a window of this church, a window dedicated to Prince William of Orange, who was born in Dillenburg in 1533. On 24 April, this very day. The man who led the resistance against Spanish domination in these parts and who ultimately only found the courage to fight the Spaniards because God was his ‘shield and his trust’.

    But if these four words form the essence of God, this has major consequences for us. Because if we believe in a God who says I WILL BE THERE, we can hardly fail to respond and not ‘be there’ ourselves when it really matters and someone calls on our help. We have to be there. After all, what can God do without people, without us? The Bible teaches us that not only do we need God to know where we should go in life, but that God also needs us. After all, as the Old Testament says, man was made in the image and after the likeness of God. That is his calling. And if this origin can no longer be seen in him, his life is a sorry affair.

    If you want to know, says the Good Book, who God is, then look at those people in history who have embodied him like no other. Look at Moses, and the prophet Isaiah. And Jesus of Nazareth who, it seems, understood and mirrored God like no other. His words, said the people, were the words of God. God spoke through this man. In this man, God came down to earth to set an example, as it were, for mankind. Yet, he came back with holes bored through his hands.

    And what is happening today in this church is this: two people are becoming joined together with this God, as we have come to know him most profoundly in the man from Nazareth, so that their lives, like his, shall be meaningful. Seeking that love to which God holds the secret.

    Paul tried to describe God’s love, as we have just heard in that sublime passage. Love, he says, and you could also say true love, ‘suffereth long, and is kind; […] believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things’.

    Needless to say, Paul is describing here not what he sees every day, but what he does not see every day. He describes the love to which God holds the secret. He is actually describing God himself. He cannot do so in a single word, and sometimes he is better able to express what love is not, rather than what it is. Love ‘seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil’.

    It is in this spirit that these two people, whom today we support with our friendship and love, will strive to live their lives together. They will endeavour to be as God to each other. To be there - in his spirit - for each other.

    And now Mabel can set off with Friso on their shared future; now she can find the courage to do so, because Friso will tell her, echoing God’s words to Moses when he asked his name, ‘Trust me Mabel, I will be there’.

    And Mabel will say the same to Friso, in his commitment to her and in all they will encounter in their lives together, ‘Trust me Friso, I will be there’.

    Choir:
    Selection from the Song of Solomon (8:6 and 7) in an arrangement by William Walton (1902-1983)

    Set me as a seal upon thine heart,
    As a seal upon thine arm:
    For love is strong as death
    Many waters cannot quench love
    Neither can floods drown it.

    Introduction to the solemnisation of the marriage
    The time has now come to solemnise your marriage. But first let us hear what our faith teaches us about it.

    It is one of life’s great mysteries that God created people to love each other, to transform our solitary existence, to experience the joys of union of body and soul, to have a helpmate as our partner and to provide for the continuation of the generations.

    And so we accept marriage with reverence and gratitude as a gift from God. He asks us to love each other, to live in wisdom with each other, to honour each other, to serve each other, to support each other, to give each other space, to tolerate each other. He asks us to trust each other, not to become embittered, and always to forgive each other.

    Accept then, with great reverence, and in an awareness of your responsibilities, the gift and the challenge of marriage as a blessing, so that your life together will also be a blessing, for yourselves, and for those who will be entrusted to you in your life together, or whom God places in your path.

    I would now ask the bride and groom to stand, and the witnesses to take their places at either side of them.

    Questions to the witnesses
    Do you share the trust that Friso and Mabel have already expressed in each other this morning, and are about to reaffirm in the sight of God, and will you continue to follow and support them in their life together, in friendship and loyalty?

    What is your answer?

    May you be granted the strength to keep this promise.

    While the witnesses return to their places, I would ask the bride and groom to step forward.

    Marriage vows
    Please join your right hands and answer the questions I shall now ask:

    Friso, do you receive and accept Mabel Martine Wisse Smit into your life as your wife, and do you promise to love her and be faithful to her, to honour and support her, for better and for worse, for richer and for poorer, in sickness and in health, in all life’s seasons, in the spirit of the word of God, until death do you part. What is your answer?

    Friso: Yes.

    And you, Mabel, do you receive and accept Johan Friso Bernhard Christiaan David van Oranje-Nassau van Amsberg, into your life as your husband, and do you promise to love him and be faithful to him, to honour and support him, for better and for worse, for richer and for poorer, in sickness and in health, in all life’s seasons, in the spirit of the word of God, until death do you part. What is your answer?

    Mabel: Yes.

    Your marriage is now affirmed in the sight of God and his congregation. Please kneel to receive the blessing on your marriage.

    Blessing of the marriage
    The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you. The Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.

    A Psalm, a marriage song.
    Hymn written and composed for Friso and Mabel. Words by Huub Oosterhuis (b. 1933), music by Antoine Oomen (b. 1945)

    On this patch of earth, this ground we’ve been given
    hoping for blessing, the blessing of love
    two people here, two from the millions.

    Born and bred for love, for blessing
    stepping into life, confirmed by love
    growing into the warmth of others.

    You set out, searching for freedom
    found some things, lost others
    you sought and were found.

    Blessed this day of all days
    and blessed the nights that will come
    time full of life, glimpses of love.

    In this distorted world
    hoping for blessing, longing for love
    numberless as the stars of heaven we are.

    Blessed, each one for the other
    blessed your heart and your mind
    awaiting a world in peace

    in the Name of the god
    who begs you to protect
    the stranger-your-neighbour
    poorest of the poor,
    for justice and mercy

    who has placed his word
    in the palms of people,
    blessed all those
    who try to accomplish
    to fulfil, to complete.

    Blessed two from the millions
    joined here before us
    united with all of us;
    and new life is dawning.

    Here on this earth, so richly glorious,
    hoping for blessing, the blessing of love
    we come together; let come what will

    Exchange of rings
    Friso, do you give this ring to Mabel as a sign of your love and fidelity?

    Mabel, do you give this ring to Friso as a sign of your love and fidelity?

    Presentation of the Bible
    Mabel and Friso,
    It is an honour to welcome you here in the Oude Kerk in Delft. On this special day, your wedding day, you traditionally receive a special present, a wedding bible. However, we will not be giving you just one bible, but two. During the preparations for this service, we looked at various editions of the bible. The one that appealed to you most was illustrated by Marc Chagall. It is remarkable that a Jewish artist should have been so inspired by stories not just from the Old Testament, but also from the New. But in addition to this illustrated Bible we would like to give you a copy of the new edition of the Delft Bible, as a special memento of this day. Shortly after the printing press was introduced into this country, the first book to be printed in the Dutch language using moveable type was printed in Delft in 1477. This edition of the Old Testament has come to be known as the Delft Bible, and a commemorative edition appeared in 1977.

    Why is this bible such a special gift?
    God who, as we have heard, manifested himself to Moses, still seeks to manifest Himself today. To you, to me, to everyone gathered here. That is why he gave us His Word, the bible. The apostle, John, one of the four evangelists, referred to Jesus as the Word of God. That is a very telling image. In that belief, reading the bible is a wonderful way of getting to know God and His Son.

    Chagall’s illustrations are beautiful. And the Delft Bible has its own wonderful history. But those are mere externals. The real gift is the text between the covers.

    One bible for the bridegroom, one for the bride. And I shall give you just one word of advice. Read the bible, and live its lessons. On behalf of the Reformed Church of Delft and the parish of central Delft and Vrijenban, I should like to present you with these bibles. Congratulations to you and your families. Please accept my very best wishes for the future!

    Soprano and organ:
    Magna res est amor, words by Thomas à Kempis (1380-1471), music by Hendrik Andriessen (1892-1981)

    Magna res est amor,
    Magnum omnino bonum:
    Quod solum leve facit omne onerosum
    Et fert aequaliter omne inaequale.
    Nihil dulcius est amore,
    nihil fortius, nihil altius,
    nihil latius, nihil jucundius,
    nihil plenius nec melius
    In coelo et in terra.
    Quia amor ex Deo natus est,
    Nec potest, nisi in Deo,
    Super omnia creata quiescere.

    Love is an excellent thing, a very great blessing,
    It makes every difficulty easy,
    And bears all wrongs with equanimity.

    Nothing is sweeter than love, nothing stronger,
    Nothing is higher or wider; nothing is more pleasant,
    Nothing is fuller and nothing is better in heaven or on earth.

    For love is born of God and cannot
    Rest except in God, Who is above all created things.

    Love is an excellent thing, a very great blessing,
    It makes every difficulty easy
    And bears all wrongs with equanimity.

    Prayers
    Let us pray

    O God,
    You Who said: I shall be with you,
    take into your care
    those who today have entrusted themselves to You and to each other.
    Make them willing to give themselves to each other,
    to listen to each other
    to accept each other as they are
    and to grow together towards a richer, fuller humanity,
    a humanity to which You hold the secret.

    We pray You
    that they may develop the talents they have been given.
    That their work may serve humankind,
    Wherever they each shall work.

    That they may serve human knowledge and skills
    and in doing so serve humankind;
    That they may help people and peoples in need
    And support them
    in their progress towards a responsible society.

    Help them to find a balance in their lives
    between the time available to them for their work,
    for those close to them
    and for each other.

    Be close to them in the special opportunities
    their birth and marriage gave to them.
    May people grant them the space they, like us, need
    And may they preserve their inner freedom and open-mindedness.
    May they not be too sorely tried.
    May no one on this earth come between them.

    Brighten their future home and fill it with warmth.
    Make them a blessing
    to each other and to all those You put on their path.
    Hear us, our thoughts, and our prayers
    in the silence of this hour.

    Silent prayer

    Choir:
    The Lord’s Prayer, setting by Michael Praetorius (1571-1621) - in German

    Our father who art in heaven
    Hallowed be Thy name.
    Thy Kingdom come.
    Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven.
    Give us this day our daily bread
    And forgive us our trespasses
    As we forgive them that trespass against us.
    Lead us not into temptation,
    But deliver us from evil.
    For Thine is the Kingdom,
    and the power and the glory for ever.
    Amen

    Announcement of the collection to be held at the door.

    Final hymn:
    À toi la gloire from Judas Maccabeus, by George Frederick Handel (1685-1759) - in French. All rise

    À toi la gloire,
    Ô Ressuscité,
    À toi la victoire
    Pour l’ éternité!
    Brillant de lumière,
    L’ange est descendu,
    Il roule la pierre
    Du tombeau vaincu.

    À toi la gloire
    Ô Ressuscité,
    À toi la victoire
    Pour l’ éternité!

    Vois-le paraître:
    C’est lui, c’est Jésus,
    Ton sauveur, ton maître,
    Oh, ne doute plus.
    Sois dans l’allégresse
    Peuple du seigneur,
    et redis sans cesse
    Que Christ est vainqueur!

    À toi la gloire
    Ô Ressuscité,
    À toi la victoire
    Pour l’ éternité!

    Benediction
    Opening chorus from the cantata "O ewiges Feuer, o Ursprung der Liebe" (O eternal fire, O fount of Love) BWV 34a (music BWV 34) by Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) - in English

    O eternal fire, o fount of love
    Kindle the sacred altar of these hearts,
    Anoint this pair with your heavenly flame
    Shower them with sparks of the noblest impulse

    Organ voluntary
    Sonata in B flat opus 65 no. 4, by Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy (1809-1847)

    Allegro con brio
    Andante religioso
    Allegretto
    Allegro maestroso e vivace