Monday, September 17, 2007

Wedding Anniversary

Well I am back folks, arrived safe and sound tonight, too tired to write much but here is the service I wrote for my parents:
50th Wedding Anniversary Service for Neil and Norma
Marshall 9-15-07

Friends and Family, We have gathered together today
under the care of God. We gather to celebrate love and
all love inspires commitment, dedication, joy, courage
and faith. All these virtues make our relationships to
God and one another fulfilling and purposeful.

We gather here to celebrate the 50-year anniversary of
the Marriage between Norma and Neil, a journey that
started right here in this sanctuary. Marriage is a
commitment to be faithful to another person for
better, for worse, for times in sickness and health.
This is not an easy promise and many challenges can
threaten the bond between the two partners.
So it is with great joy we celebrate the love of Neil
and Norma, a love that has weathered the storms and
grew deeper still. Their faith in God to protect and
guide them has grown stronger and their witness to
others of their love and faith has stood the test of

Today we stand as witnesses to Neil and Norma’s love
and faith and give thanks to God for this milestone in
their life together: Let us pray:

Dear loving Creator, You know us even before we were
formed in the womb. Your Spirit spills into our souls
even as our physical form takes shape, and as we take
the first steps into life, you guide us and offer your
unconditional love. Your love inspires us to love one
another as you love us and so we find friendship and
soul mates in the journey of life.

You have taught us to be faithful to one another in
friendship, in partnership, in marriage, give us
courage to keep our promises and strengthen our
commitment to be faithful. Be with us now as we
celebrate Neil and Norma’s marriage, give us joyful
hearts, and renew your love in each of us. We pray in
the name of Jesus the Christ, Amen.

The marriage of Neil and Norma unites them and their
families. We would invite all those family members who
were present 50 years ago to rise. (People rise). We
thank you for your blessing and the care you have
given to Neil and Norma all these years. You represent
all those family members who have gone to be with the
Lord, especially Walter and Gertrude Marshall, Neil’s
parents, and Clifford and Elizabeth Whittier, Norma’s
parents. Who in their lifetime nurtured Neil and Norma
into adulthood and whose love they still cherish.
(Please be seated).

No marriage can survive without the caring of friends,
so all those friends who were present 50 years ago
please rise. We thank you and all those who are absent
now for the blessing and care given to Neil and Norma
all these years. New friends also are present, we
celebrate your presence today, and so would you now
stand. We thank you for your faithful presence in all
the moments of Neil and Norma’s life. (Please be

Marriage often produces new members of the family,
Neil and Norma raised three children: Steve, Janice
and Gary (please stand). Neil and Norma have spent
many hours of their lives lovingly giving of their
time, energy and resources to raise their children. As
with any household there has been times of joy and
celebration, times of trial and tribulation. Yet,
through it all the family has found a way to persevere
and to love. The family has also grown so would all
the family members now rise; this includes all the
family who were not present 50 years ago, all the
in-laws, nieces and nephews, grandnieces and
grandnephews, grandchildren cousins. Neil and Norma
have continued to give and receive support from all
these family members, who has made their marriage
(Please be seated)

To all of you family and friends thank you all for
your presence, which is the greatest, present anyone
can give to one another.

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but
have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.
And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all
mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith,
so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am
nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver
my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain
nothing. Love is patient and kind; love is not jealous
or boastful; it is not arrogant or rude. Love does not
insist on its own way; it is not irritable or
resentful; it does not rejoice at wrong, but rejoices
in the right. Love bears all things, believes all
things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love
never ends; as for prophecies, they will pass away; as
for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it
will pass away.
For our knowledge is imperfect and our prophecy is
but when the perfect comes, the imperfect will pass
When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought
like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became a
man, I gave up childish ways.
For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to
face. Now I know in part; then I shall understand
fully, even as I have been fully understood.
So faith, hope, love abide, these three; but the
greatest of these is love.

Words by the Pastor

Closing Prayer

Let us pray

Dear loving God, You have continued to bless Neil and
Norma in their Marriage. We ask now for your continued
blessing and guidance over them as they start the next
50 years! May your presence in their lives, inspire
them to continued in deepening of their faith in you
and one another. May they be blessed with the
continued presence of friends and family in the giving
and receiving of love. May we be inspired by this
milestone of love and commitment and practice
faithfulness in all our relationships. We pray this in
the name of Jesus Christ who taught us to pray....Our

You are invited to participate in the reception
downstairs in the fellowship hall with food prepared
by Orange United Methodist Woman.

Rev. Steve Poteete-Marshall
Walnut United Methodist Church
20601 La Puente Drive
Walnut, California 91789


rockinghorsenab said...

Glad to hear you are all home safe and sound. Your service sounds very poignant, I'm sure everyone enjoyed it. Please tell Susy hi, looking forward to seeing you all at the retreat.

Anonymous said...

I usually don’t post in Blogs but your blog forced me to, amazing work.. beautiful …

Unknown said...

It was great to read your message and I was touched. especially calling out the people who attended their wedding and appreciating them. Encouraging their children and grand children. sermon of love 1cor 13 was appropriate. thank you Pastor.

John Ebinezar said...

Tks Pastor for the input. I use some points for my parents-in-law 60th wedding anniversary today. God bless you.