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West Virginia Code 48-2-404

Ritual for ceremony of marriage by a judge or justice.

The ritual for the ceremony of marriages by a family court judge, a circuit judge or a justice of the Supreme Court of Appeals may be as follows: At the time appointed, the persons to be married, being qualified according to the law of the State of West Virginia, standing together facing the judge, the man at the judge's left hand and the woman at the right, the judge shall say: "We are gathered here, in the presence of these witnesses, to join together this man and this woman in matrimony. It is not to be entered into unadvisedly but discreetly, sincerely and in dedication of life." (Then shall the judge say to the man, using his christian name:) "N., wilt thou have this woman to be thy wedded wife, to live together in the bonds of matrimony? Wilt thou love her, comfort her, honor and keep her in sickness and in health?" (Then the man shall answer:) "I will." (Then the judge shall say to the woman, using her christian name:) "N., wilt thou have this man to be thy wedded husband, to live together in the bonds of matrimony? Wilt thou love him comfort him honor and keep him in sickness and health?" (The woman shall answer:) "I will." (Then may the judge say:) "Who giveth this woman to be married to this man?" (The father of the woman, or whoever giveth her in marriage, shall answer:) "I do." (Then the judge shall ask the man to say after him) "I, N., take thee, N., to be 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, as long as life shall last, and thereto I pledge thee my faith." (Then the judge shall ask the woman to repeat after him) "I, N., take thee, N., to be 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, as long as life shall last, and thereto I pledge thee my faith." (Then, if there be a ring, the judge shall say:) "The wedding ring is an outward and visible sign--signifying unto all, the uniting of this man and this woman in matrimony." (The judge then shall deliver the ring to the man to put on the third finger of the woman's left hand. The man shall say after the judge:) "In token and pledge of the vow between us made, with this ring, I thee wed." (Then, if there be a second ring, the judge shall deliver it to the woman to put upon the third finger of the man's left hand; and the woman shall say after the judge:) "In token and pledge of the vow between us made, with this ring, I thee wed." (Then shall the judge say:) "Forasmuch as N. and N. have consented together in wedlock, and have witnessed the same each to the other and before these witnesses and thereto have pledged their faith each to the other, and have declared the same by giving (and receiving) a ring, by virtue of the authority vested in me as judge of this court, I pronounce that they are husband and wife together."


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