The couples and witnesses (uncle from each side) gather in front of the altar along with other relatives and friends. The priest addresses them in the following or similar words.

CEL: Betrothal is a Jewish tradition, as we see with Joseph and Mary, who were betrothed and not married when Angel Gabriel appeared to Mary with the announcement of the selection of Mary as the mother of the Messiah. The Eastern Catholics, including our Syro-Malabar church, follow this tradition. Hence, though not a covenant, this promise is a sacred ceremony to express the free will of the couples before the church to enter marriage. One paternal uncle from each side stands as witness to this. They shake hands before the holy altar as a symbol of their agreement for the marriage, representing the families of the groom and bride. They assure they will work together for the wedding with mutual understanding. This is also the beginning of a new relation between the two families.
As we gather here to witness the mutual agreement of the couple and their families, let us pray that God, who has invited them to a married life for mutual love and to take part in His creation, helps them keep their promise. Let us start this service with the Knanaya traditional prayer song, remembering the founder of our church, St. Thomas the Apostle.

(All sing together the Marthomman song)

മാർത്തോമ്മാൻ നന്മയാലൊന്നു തുടങ്ങുന്നു
നന്നായ് വരേണമേയിന്ന്
ഉത്തമനായ മിശിഹാ തിരുവുള്ളം
ഉണ്മൈയെഴുന്നൾക വേണം

കാരണമായവരെല്ലാരും കൂടീട്ട്
ആലാഹാനായനും അൻപൻ മിശിഹായും
കൂടെ തുണയ്ക്ക ഇവർക്ക്.

maarththommaan nanmayaalonnu thuTangngunnu
nannaay vareenaameeyinn
uththamanaaya miSihaa thiruvuLLam
uNmaiyezhunnaLka veeNam

kaaraNamaayavarellaarum kooTeeTT
aalaahaanaayanum anpan miSihaayum
kooTe thuNaykka ivarkk.

CEL: Glory to God in the highest.

ALL: Amen.

CEL: Peace and hope to people on earth, always and forever.

ALL: Amen.

CEL: Our Father in heaven

ALL: Hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth / as it is in heaven. Give us this day the bread we need / and forgive us our debts and sins / as we have forgiven those who offended us. Do not let us fall into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. For, Yours is the kingdom, the power and the glory, forever and ever. Amen.

Our Father in heaven, heaven and earth are full of Your glory. Angels and people sing out Your Glory; Holy, holy, holy are You.

SER: Let us pray. Peace be with us.

CEL: Lord our God, we praise you, who in the beginning created humans, male and female, and joined them together for the union of love and the survival of the human race.

Lord, who blessed the forefather Isaac, and Rebekah, who was chosen to be his spouse, bless these servants … and … (names) who have approached your holy presence to make the promise of their marriage with a free will and complete joy. Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, Lord, forever.

ALL: Amen.

Psalm 34:9-16

CEL: Taste and see that the LORD is good.
(Canon) Lord, who paved the way for Isaac to find a wife, bless these servants who have arrived for the promise of marriage.

CON: Fear the LORD, you his holy ones;
nothing is lacking to those who fear him.

CEL: The rich grow poor and go hungry,
but those who seek the LORD lack no good thing.

CON: Come, children, listen to me;
I will teach you fear of the LORD.

CEL: Who is the man who delights in life,
who loves to see the good days?

CON: Keep your tongue from evil,
your lips from speaking lies.

CEL: Turn from evil and do good;
seek peace and pursue it.

CON: The eyes of the LORD are directed toward the righteous
and his ears toward their cry.

CEL: Glory be to the Father, and to the Son,
and to the Holy Spirit.

CON: From eternity and forever, Amen.

CEL: (Canon) Lord, who paved the way for Isaac to find a wife, bless these servants who have arrived for the promise of marriage.

SER: Let us pray. Peace be with us.

CEL: Lord our God for all the helps and blessings You have bestowed on us and for which we can never be grateful enough we offer You never-ending praise and glory in the Church crowned like a spouse with every goodness and grace. You are the creator and Lord of all. The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, forever.

CON: Amen.


ALL: Lord of all, we bow and praise you.
Jesus Christ, we glorify You
For You give man glorious resurrection
And You are the one who saves his soul.

Glory be to the Father, to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit From eternity and forever. Amen.

Lord of all we bow …

SER: Let us pray. Peace be with us.

(Or Malayalam Song)

സർവ്വാധിപനാം കർത്താവേ
നിൻ സ്തുതി ഞങ്ങൾ പാടുന്നു
ഈശോനാഥാ വിനയമൊടെ
നിന്നെ നമിച്ചു പുകഴ്ത്തുന്നു.

മർത്ത്യനു നിത്യ മഹോന്നതമാം
ഉത്ഥാനം നീയരുളുന്നു.

ശുശ്രൂഷി: നമുക്കു പ്രാര്‍ത്ഥിക്കാം സമാധാനം നമ്മോടുകൂടെ.

CEL: My Lord, You are truly the one who raises our bodies. You are the savior of our souls and the preserver of our lives. We are bound always to thank, adore, and glorify You, the Lord of all, forever.

ALL: Amen.


SER: Brothers and sisters, raise your voices and glorify the living God.

ALL: Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One, Have mercy on us.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
ALL: Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One, Have mercy on us.

From eternity and forever, Amen.
ALL: Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One, Have mercy on us.

SER: Let us pray. Peace be with us.

(Or Malayalam Song)

ശബ്ദമുയർത്തി പാടിടുവിൻ
സർവ്വരുമൊന്നായി പാടിടുവിൻ
എന്നെന്നും ജീവിക്കും
സർവ്വേശ്വരനെ വാഴ്ത്തിടുവിൻ

സമൂഹം: പരിപാവനനാം സർവ്വേശാ
പരിപാവനനാം ബലവാനേ
പരിപാവനനാം അമർത്യനേ
കാരുണ്യം നീ ചൊരിയണമേ

ശുശ്രൂഷി: നമുക്കു പ്രാർത്ഥിക്കാം, സമാധാനം നമ്മോടുകൂടെ.

CEL: Lord our God, illumine our hearts and minds to hear and understand the sweet voice of Your life-giving and divine commandments. In Your mercy and grace grant that they bear in us the fruits of love, hope, and salvation beneficial to our body and soul and that we may constantly praise You. The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, the Lord of all, forever.

ALL: Amen.

READER: Brothers and sisters, be seated and listen attentively.
A reading from the book of Tobith. (4: 12-13) / Hebrews 8:7-10

READER: (Bowing to the celebrant) Bless me, my Lord.

CEL: May God + bless you.

READER: Be on your guard, son, against every kind of fornication, and above all, marry a woman of your own ancestral family. Do not marry a foreign woman, one who is not of your father’s tribe, because we are descendants of the prophets, who were the first to speak the truth. Noah prophesied first, then Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, our ancestors from the beginning of time. Son, remember that all of them took wives from among their own kindred and were blessed in their children, and that their posterity would inherit the land.

Therefore, son, love your kindred. Do not act arrogantly toward any of them, the sons and daughters of your people, by refusing to take a wife for yourself from among them. For in arrogance there is ruin and great instability. In idleness there is loss and dire poverty, for idleness is the mother of famine.

ALL: Praise be to the Lord, our God.


Alleluia, sing Alleluia, Alleluia Alleluia
My heart is stirred by a noble theme

As I sing my ode to the king,
My tongue is the pen of a nimble scribe.

Glory be to the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
As it was in the beginning / Let it be forever, Amen.

Alleluia, sing Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia.

(Or Malayalam Song)
ഹല്ലേലൂയ്യാ ഗീതം

ഹല്ലേലൂയ്യ പാടീടുന്നേൻ
ഹല്ലേലൂയ്യാ ഹല്ലേലൂയ്യാ

നല്ലൊരാശയമെൻ മനതാരിൽ
വന്നു നിറഞ്ഞു തുളുമ്പീടുന്നു.

രാജാവിൻ തിരുമുൻപിൽ കീർത്തന
മധുവായി ഞാനതൊഴുക്കീടട്ടെ

ഏറ്റമനുഗ്രഹ പൂരിതനാം കവി
തൻ തൂലികപോലെൻ നാവിപ്പോൾ.

താതനുമതുപോൽ സുതനും
പരിശുദ്ധാത്മാവിന്നും സ്തുതിയുയരട്ടെ.

ആദി മുതൽക്കേയിന്നും നിത്യവു-
മായി ഭവിച്ചീടട്ടെ, ആമ്മേൻ.

ഹല്ലേലൂയ്യ പാടീടുന്നേൻ
ഹല്ലേലൂയ്യാ ഹല്ലേലൂയ്യാ.

(The celebrant takes the Gospel and goes to the Bema in procession, accompanied by two bearers of candles and incense).

SER: (At the end of the pre-gospel hymn) Let us stand and listen attentively to the Holy Gospel.

Two servers hold lit candles on both sides.

CEL: Peace (+) be with you. (+ Blesses using the Bible).

ALL: With you and with your spirit.

CEL: The Holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, proclaimed by St. …. (John 15:9-12 / Mathew 6:25-33)

ALL: Glory to You Christ, Our Lord.

(John 15:9-12) As the Father loves me, so I also love you. Remain in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and remain in his love. “I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and your joy may be complete. This is my commandment: love one another as I love you.”


(Mathew 6:25-33) “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat [or drink], or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds in the sky; they do not sow or reap, they gather nothing into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are not you more important than they? Can any of you by worrying add a single moment to your lifespan? Why are you anxious about clothes? Learn from the way the wildflowers grow. They do not work or spin. But I tell you that not even Solomon, in all his splendor, was clothed like one of them. If God so clothes the grass of the field, which grows today and is thrown into the oven tomorrow, will he not much more provide for you, O you of little faith? So do not worry and say, ‘What are we to eat?’ or ‘What are we to drink?’ or ‘What are we to wear?’ All these things the pagans seek. Your heavenly Father knows you need them all. But seek first the kingdom [of God] and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you besides.

(At the end of the reading)
ALL: Glory to You Christ, our Lord.



SER: Let us all pray with joy and devotion, for mercy upon these servants who are ready for their marriage promise.

ALL: Lord, have mercy on these servants.

SER: We pray you will bless these servants who are making the promise of marriage and give them the grace to marry according to their promise.

ALL: Lord, have mercy on these servants.

SER: We pray they will be equipped to lead a married life based on Christian faith and purity of heart.

ALL: Lord, have mercy on these servants.

SER: We pray these servants will be blessed to understand the duties of Christian family life as enter marriage.

ALL: Lord, have mercy on these servants.

SER: We pray that these servants be prepared to accept the sacrament of marriage as a covenant between the couple and with God and as a relationship that lasts until death.

ALL: Lord, have mercy on these servants.

SER: Let us commend one another and ourselves to the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

ALL: Lord, Our God, we commend ourselves to You.

CEL: Our Lord God, have mercy on these servants of yours who have prostrated themselves before you to make the wedding promise. Give them the blessings they need to fulfill their promise and lead a life pleasing to You. Keep them and their families in love and unity. The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, forever.
ALL: Amen

CEL: (To the couple) You have understood that engagement should be made only with proper knowledge, free will, and full consent. The Church is giving you the opportunity to publicly announce your betrothal.


CEL: (To the bridegroom) …. (Name) do you promise to accept (Name) as your wife according to the law of Christ and the custom of the holy Church?

Bridegroom: Yes, I promise.

CEL: (To the bride) ….. ((Name) do you promise to accept (Name) as your husband according to the law of Christ and the custom of the holy Church?

Bride: Yes, I promise.

CEL: (To the witnesses) Are you witness to this marriage promise?

Witnesses: Yes, we are.


CEL: O Lord, Our God, bless + this ring, which this couple exchange as a symbol of their mutual promise for a married life in love and fidelity. In the name of the Father and of the Son (+), and of the Holy Spirit.

CON: Amen.

(Exchange of ring)

CEL: May Christ bless you who have made the promise of marriage and help you fulfill this promise. (Sprinkles with holy water).

ALL: Amen.

CEL: (To the uncles) As a symbol of this marriage promise, hold your right hands mutually.

(While they do so, the celebrant blesses them).

CEL: God who makes contract with his people, who keeps his covenant, and who helps to keep it, please confirm the promise that your servants have made here. Bless your servants ….. (names), the uncles and their families to fulfill the marriage promise just made. Christ the Lord, who received the church as a chaste bride, extend your right hand of mercy upon these betrothed servants. May the prayers of our mother, the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mar Joseph, the head of the Holy Family, and our father, Mar Thomas the Apostle, help the couple fulfill their promise. May the intercession of the Saints, especially the saints and blessed of our Church, protect and help them. Lord of all forever.

ALL: Amen, Lord bless us.

May the Lord strengthen this promise of marriage that you have made in God’s providence with his word, sustain it with the commandment of love and complete it with mercy. May the God who united Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebecca, Jacob and Rachel, seal your promise in faith, truth, love, and unity of mind. May God strengthen you to approach the sacrament of marriage with fervent prayer and spiritual preparation. May God abundantly bless you, your parents who raised you in love, your family members, and all who participated in this ceremony. Now and always + forever. (The celebrant blesses the couple and sprinkles holy water over them).

ALL: Amen.

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