Chapter 16 » 16.52

The Quaker marriage


When the meeting for worship is gathered, the couple at a convenient time shall stand, if able, and, taking each other by the hand, declare in an audible and solemn manner, the one after the other in either order, each saying:

Friends, I take this my friend . . . . . . . . . . . [full name] to be my spouse, promising, through divine assistance, to be unto him/her/[commonly used name] a loving and faithful spouse, so long as we both on earth shall live.

The declaration may be prefaced by ‘In the presence of God’ or ‘In the fear of the Lord and in the presence of this assembly’. The word ‘spouse’ may be replaced by ‘wife’ or ‘husband’ as appropriate or by ‘partner in marriage’. The phrase ‘through divine assistance’ may be replaced by the words ‘with God’s help’. The phrase ‘so long as we both on earth shall live’ may be replaced by the words ‘until it shall please the Lord by death to separate us’. No other changes to the wording may be made. The choice of alternatives shall be agreed in advance by the couple and the registering officer. In any case, both must make their declarations in identical terms (or corresponding terms in the case of ‘husband’ and ‘wife’); their promises must be equal and reciprocal.

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