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The Royal Wedding of HRH Prince William and Kate Middleton
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Complete wedding ceremony with transcription: His Royal Highness Prince William, son of the Prince of Wales and grandson of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, has wedded Miss Kate Middleton in Westminster Abbey on April 29, 2011.

All the best for them and may they be more lucky than his parents.


(you can also see the balcony appearance with 2 kiss moments here)

[The Dean of the Cathedral welcomes the couple:]

Dearly beloved, we are gathered here in the sight of God, and in the face of this congregation, to join together this man and this woman in Holy Matrimony:  which is an honourable estate, instituted of God himself signifying unto us the mystical union that is betwixt Christ and his Church.  Which holy estate Christ adorned and beautified with his presence and first miracle that he wrought, in Cana of Galilee and is commended in Holy Writ to be honourable among all men. And therefore it's not by any to be enterprised nor taken in hand unadvisedly, lightly or wantonly, but reverently, discretely, soberly, and in the fear of God; duly considering the causes for which Matrimony was ordained.

First, it was ordained for the increase of mankind according to the will of God and that children might be brought up in the fear and nurture of the Lord and to the praise of his holy name. Secondly, it was ordained in order that the natural instincts and affections implanted by God should be hallowed and directed right that those who are called of God to this holy estate should continue therein in pureness of living. Thirdly, it was ordained for the mutual society, help and comfort that the one ought to have of the other, both in prosperity and adversity.

Into which holy estate these two persons present come now to be joined.  Therefore if any man can show any just cause why they may not lawfully be joined together, let him now speak, or else hereafter for ever hold his peace...

I require and charge you both, as ye will answer at the dreadful day of judgement when the secrets of all hearts shall be disclosed, that if either of you know any impediment, why ye may not be lawfully joined together in Matrimony, ye do now confess it. For be ye well assured, that so many as are coupled together otherwise than God's Word doth allow are not joined together by God; neither is their Matrimony lawful.

[The Archbishop of Canterbury marries the couple]

William Arthur Philip Louis wilt thou have this woman to thy wedded wife, to live together according to God's law in the holy estate of Matrimony? Wilt thou love her, comfort her, honour and keep her in sickness and in health and forsaking all other, keep thee only unto her, so long as ye both shall live?

I will.

Catherine Elizabeth, wilt thou have this man to thy wedded husband, to live together according to God's law in the holy estate of Matrimony? Wilt thou love him, comfort him, honour and keep him in sickness and in health and forsaking all other, keep thee only unto him, so long as ye both shall live?

I will.

Who giveth this woman to be married to this man?

- I, William Arthur Philip Louis (repeat)
- ... take thee, Catherine Elizabeth, to my wedded wife...
- ... to have and to hold from this day forward...
-... for better, for worse,
-... for richer, for poorer,
-... in sickness and in health,
-... to love and to cherish
-... till death us do part.
-... according to God's holy law
-... and thereto I give thee my troth.

- I, Catherine Elizabeth (repeat)
- ... take thee, William Arthur Philip Louis...
-... to my wedded husband...
- ... to have and to hold from this day forward...
-... for better, for worse,
-... for richer, for poorer,
-... in sickness and in health,
-... to love and to cherish
-... till death us do part.
-... according to God's holy law
-... and thereto I give thee my troth.

Bless the lord, this ring, and grant that he who gives it and she who shall wear it may remain faithful to each other and abide in thy peace and favour and live together in love until their lives end, through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

- With this ring, I thee wed. (repeat)
- With my body, I thee honour.
- And all my worldly goods with thee I share.
- In the name of the Father
- and of the Son,
- and of the Holy Ghost.
- Amen.

Let us pray.
Oh, eternal God, Creator and Preserver of all mankind, Giver of all spiritual grace, the Author of everlasting life; send thy blessing upon these thy servants, this man and this woman, whom we bless in thy Name; that living faithfully together, they may surely perform and keep the vow and covenant betwixt them made, (whereof this ring given and received is a token and pledge) and may ever remain in perfect love and peace together, and live according to thy laws; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Those whom God hath joined together let no man put asunder.

Forasmuch as William and Catherine have consented together in holy wedlock, and have witnessed the same before God and this company, and thereto have given and pledged their troth, each to the other, and have declared the same by giving and receiving of a ring, and by joining of hands; I pronounce that they are Man and Wife, In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.

God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Ghost, bless, preserve, and keep you; the Lord mercifully with his favour look upon you, and so fill you with all spiritual benediction and grace; that ye may so live together in this life, that in the world to come ye may have life everlasting. Amen.

[the whole congregation sings a hymn:]

Love divine, all loves excelling,
Joy of heaven to earth come down;
Fix in us thy humble dwelling;
All thy faithful mercies crown!
Jesus, Thou art all compassion,
Pure unbounded love Thou art;
Visit us with Thy salvation;
Enter every trembling heart.
Come, Almighty to deliver,
Let us all Thy life receive;
Suddenly return and never,
Never more Thy temples leave.
Thee we would be always blessing,
Serve Thee as Thy hosts above,
Pray and praise Thee without ceasing,
Glory in Thy perfect love.
Finish, then, Thy new creation;
Pure and spotless let us be.
Let us see Thy great salvation
Perfectly restored in Thee;
Changed from glory into glory,
Till in heaven we take our place,
Till we cast our crowns before Thee,
Lost in wonder, love, and praise.

[Catherine's brother reads from the Bible (in modern English):]

I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God — what is good and acceptable and perfect. Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good; love one another with mutual affection; outdo one another in showing honour. Do not lag in zeal, be ardent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints; extend hospitality to strangers. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another; do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly; do not claim to be wiser than you are. Do not repay anyone evil for evil, but take thought for what is noble in the sight of all. If it is possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. [Rom. 12:1-2]

[anthem based on psalms from the Bible:]

This is the day which the Lord hath made: we will rejoice and be glad in it.
O praise the Lord of heav’n: praise him in the height.
Praise him, all ye angels of his: praise him, all his host.
Praise him, sun and moon: praise him, all ye stars and light.
Let them praise the name of the Lord.
For he shall give his angels charge over thee: to keep thee in all thy ways.
The Lord himself is thy keeper: the Lord is thy defence upon thy right hand; so that the sun shall not burn thee by day: neither the moon by night.
The Lord shall preserve thee from all evil: yea, it is even he that shall keep thy soul.
The Lord shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in: from this time forth for evermore.
He shall defend thee under his wings.
Be strong, and he shall comfort thine heart, and put thou thy trust in the Lord.

[The Bishop of London:]

"Be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire." So said St Catherine of Siena whose festival day it is today. Marriage is intended to be a way in which man and woman help each other to become what God meant each one to be, their deepest and truest selves.

Many people are fearful of the future of the prospects of our world but the message of the celebrations in this country and far beyond its shores is the right one – this is a joyful day! It is good that people in every continent are able to share in these celebrations because this is, as every wedding day should be, a day of hope.  In a sense, every wedding is a royal wedding with the bride and the groom as king and queen of creation, making a new life together so that life can flow through them into the future.

William and Catherine, you have chosen to be married in the sight of a generous God who so loved the world that he gave himself to us in the person of Jesus Christ. And in the Spirit of this generous God, husband and wife are to give themselves to each another. A spiritual life grows as love finds its centre beyond ourselves. Faithful and committed relationships offer a door into the mystery of spiritual life in which we discover this; the more we give of self, the richer we become in soul; the more we go beyond ourselves in love, the more we become our true selves and our spiritual beauty is more fully revealed. In marriage we are seeking to bring one another into fuller life.

It is of course very hard to wean ourselves away from self-centredness. And people can dream of doing such a thing but the hope should be fulfilled it is necessary a solemn decision that, whatever the difficulties, we are committed to the way of generous love. You have both made your decision today – “I will” – and by making this new relationship, you've aligned yourselves with what we believe is the way in which life is spiritually evolving, and which will lead to a creative future for the human race.

We stand looking forward to a century which is full of promise and full of peril. Human beings are confronting the question of how to use wisely the power that has been given to us through the discoveries of the last century. We shall not be converted to the promise of the future by more knowledge, but rather by an increase of loving wisdom and reverence, for life, for the earth and for one another.

Marriage should transform, as husband and wife make one another their work of art. It is possible to transform as long as we do not harbour ambitions to reform our partner. There must be no coercion if the Spirit is to flow; each must give the other space and freedom. Chaucer, the London poet, sums it up in a pithy phrase:
"Whan maistrie [mastery] cometh, the God of Love anon,
Beteth his wynges, and farewell, he is gon."

As the reality of God has faded from so many lives in the West, there has been a corresponding inflation of expectations that personal relations alone will supply meaning and happiness in life. This is to load our partner with too great a burden. We are all incomplete: we all need the love which is secure, rather than oppressive, we need mutual forgiveness in order to thrive. But as we move towards our partner in love, following the example of Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit is quickened within us and can increasingly fill our lives with light. And this leads on to a family life which offers the best conditions in which the next generation can practise and exchange those gifts which can overcome fear and division and incubate the coming world of the Spirit, whose fruits are love and joy and peace.

I pray that all of us present and the many millions watching this ceremony and sharing in your joy today, will do everything in our power to support and uphold you in your new life. And I pray that God will bless you in the way of life that you have chosen, that way which is expressed in the prayer that you have composed together in preparation for this day:

"God our Father, we thank you for our families; for the love that we share and for the joy of our marriage.
In the busyness of each day keep our eyes fixed on what is real and important in life and help us to be generous with our time and love and energy.
Strengthened by our union help us to serve and comfort those who suffer. We ask this in the Spirit of Jesus Christ, and we all say: Amen."

[Latin anthem (I offer English translation) after 1 John 4]

Ubi caritas et amor, Deus ibi est. (Where charity and love are, God is there.)
Congregavit nos in unum Christi amor. (Christ's love has gathered us into one.)
Exultemus, et in ipso jucundemur. (Let us rejoice and be pleased in Him.)
Timeamus, et amemus Deum vivum. (Let us fear, and let us love the living God.)
Et ex corde diligamus nos sincero. (And may we love each other with a sincere heart.)
Ubi caritas et amor, Deus ibi est. (Where charity and love are, God is there.)
      [.... sorry, I can't understand these lines...]
Ubi caritas et amor. Amen (Where charity and love are. Amen.)
Ubi caritas et amor. Amen (Where charity and love are. Amen.)

[The Reverend Michael Macey:]

Let us pray.


[This is the missing part: Our Lord's prayer:
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.
And lead us not into temptation;
but deliver us from evil. Amen.

O Lord, save thy servant and thy handmaid;
- who put their trust in thee.
O Lord, send them help from thy holy place;
- and evermore defend them.
Be unto them a tower of strength;
- from the face of their enemy.
O Lord, hear our prayer;
- and let our cry come unto thee.

[The Dean and the Archbishop:]

O God of our fathers, bless these thy servants, and sow the seed of eternal life in their hearts; that whatsoever in thy holy word they shall profitably learn, they may in deed fulfil the same; that so, obeying thy will, and always being in safety under thy protection, they may abide in thy love unto their lives' end; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

O merciful Lord and heavenly Father, by whose gracious gift mankind is increased; bestow, we beseech thee, upon these two persons the heritage and gift of children; and grant that they may see their children christianly and virtuously brought up, to thy praise and honour; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

O God, who hast taught us that it should never be lawful to put asunder those whom thou by matrimony hadst made one, and hast consecrated the state of matrimony to such an excellent mystery, that in it is signified and represented the spiritual marriage and unity betwixt Christ and his Church: look mercifully upon these thy servants, that both this man may love his wife, according to thy word as Christ did love his spouse the Church, who gave himself for it, loving and cherishing it even as his own flesh, and also that this woman may be loving and amiable, and faithful to her husband, and in all quietness, sobriety, and peace, be a follower of holy and godly matrons.

O Lord, bless them both, and grant them to inherit thy everlasting kingdom; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Almighty God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, pour upon you the riches of his grace, sanctify and bless you, that ye may please him both in body and soul, and live together in holy love unto your lives' end. Amen.

[the congregation sings a hymn: (a poem by William Blake based on a legend that says Jesus went to England with his uncle to trade for tin when he was a youth (see the video with explanations here)]

And did those feet in ancient time
walk upon England's mountains green?
And was the holy Lamb of God
on England's pleasant pastures seen?
And did the countenance divine
shine forth upon our clouded hills?
And was Jerusalem builded here
among those dark satanic mills?
Bring me my bow of burning gold!
Bring me my arrows of desire!
Bring me my spear! O clouds, unfold!
Bring me my chariot of fire!
I will not cease from mental fight,
nor shall my sword sleep in my hand,
till we have built Jerusalem
in England's green and pleasant land.

[The Dean pronounces the blessing:]

Let us pray.
O Almighty Lord, and everlasting God, vouchsafe, we beseech thee, to direct, sanctify, and govern both our hearts and bodies in the ways of thy laws and in the works of thy commandments; that through thy most mighty protection, both here and ever, we may be preserved in body and soul; through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

The blessing of God almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, be amongst you and remain with you always.

[everybody sings the national anthem:]

God save our gracious Queen.
Long live our noble Queen.
God save The Queen.
Send her victorious,
happy and glorious,
long to reign over us:
God save The Queen.

[the bride and bridegroom leave to sign the marriage registers. The choir sings:]

Blest pair of Sirens, pledges of heaven's joy,
sphere-born harmonious sisters, Voice and Verse,
wed your divine sounds, and mixed power employ
dead things with inbreathed sense able to pierce;
and to our high-raised fantasy present
that undisturbed song of pure consent,
aye sung before the sapphire-coloured throne
to him that sits thereon,
with saintly shout,
and solemn jubilee,
where the bright Seraphim in burning row
their loud uplifted angel-trumpets blow,
and the cherubic host in thousand quires
touch their immortal harps of golden wires,
with those just spirits that wear victorious palms,
hymns devout and holy psalms singing everlastingly:
That we on earth with undiscording voice
may rightly answer that melodious noise;
as once we did, till disproportioned sin
jarred against nature's chime,
and with harsh din broke the fair music
that all creatures made to their great Lord,
whose love their motion swayed in perfect diapason,
whilst they stood in first obedience, and their state of good.

O may we soon again renew that song,
and keep in tune with heaven,
till God ere long to his celestial concert us unite,
to live with him, and sing in endless morn of light.

Most of the readings and singing are in old-fashioned English to make the ceremony more solemn. Here are a few things about old English forms you should know:

In old English (in Shakespeare’s times) the second person singular of the verbs was not YOU, but THOU aʊ/ (rhyming with MOUTH). Today, this form is only used in poetry, in some British dialects and by the Amish community in the USA (mostly in Ohio, Pennsylvania and Indiana). We also use it in the Bible and in prayers. The verb forms used with "thou" end in -ST

You are= thou art
You were= thou wert
I will give you= I shall give THEE
This is your house= this is THY house
That house is yours= that house is THINE (rhyming with MINE)
You will= Thou wilt
- *Wilt thou have this woman to thy wedded wife? - I will

*Note: The normal modern-English expression used today in weddings is:
- William, do you take Catherine to be your lawfully wedded wife?
- I do.

The old forms of the second person pronoun were:
---- singular ----
Subject- Thou /ðaʊ/ (=you) e.g. thou art my foe = you are my enemy.
Object- Thee /ði:/ (=you) e.g. Ic love thee, thou lovest me = I love you, you love me.
Possessive adj/pron- Thy /ðaɪ/(before consonant) / Thine (before vowel)  (= your) e.g. Thy name is Peter = your name is Peter / I love thine eyes = I love your eyes.
---- plural ----
Subject- Ye /ji:/ (=you) e.g. Ye come for to helpen me = you come to help me.
Object- You /ju:/ (=you) e.g. She loveth you = She loves you guys.
Possessive- Youre /jʊər/ (=your) e.g. Hit is youre hus = It's your house.

The third person singular of the present tense doesn't end in -S but in -ETH:

- he comes= he cometh /kʌmɪθ/
- he liveth in London and hath five children, hast thou met him yet?= he lives in London and has five children, have you met him yet?

You can also find here, of course, archaisms in vocabulary (old words not in use anymore). For example:

- Betwixt= between
- Amongst= among
- Builded= built
- Unto= to
- Upon= on
- Aye /aɪ/= yes
- Morn= morning

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