Celebration & Blessing

of the

Holy Union


William C. Cruse


John R. Deuel


Saturday, the Fifth of December
Nineteen Hundred Ninety-eight
Two-thirty o’clock



Trinity Episcopal Church

Ossining, New York


The Rev. Canon Charles Pridemore, Rector

Sheldon F. Eldridge, Jr., Organist/Choirmaster


The Participants

The Rev. Canon Charles Pridemore


The Rev. Brian McHugh


The Rev. Bonnie Shullenberger

Assisting Priest

Kate Pendzuk


Donna Chadeayne


Zoe Parker

Boat Girl

William Shullenberger


Philip Nicholson, Hansheinrich Franzen


Karleen Astwood


Gloria Matthews, Carlos Matthews


Marialice Cruse, Peggy Deuel

Oblation Bearers

The Choir

Sheldon F. Eldridge, Jr., Organist & Choirmaster

Linda Barnes

Jean Boswell

Chris Caivano

Doug Cooper

Warren Dyckman

Denise Esposito

Andrew Gordon

Bethany Hodges

Charlotte Holton

John Hunt

Cleta McCormick

Carol Obligado

Dennis Parker

Bill Powers

Charles Rudesill

Art Sjögren

Alice Tosi

Carolyn Tosi

Beth Wagstrom

Mark Wagstrom

Jane Welsh


The Readers

First Lesson

KaLyn Davis


Douglas H. Cooper

The Prayers

The Rev. Susan Buchanan

The Ushers
Pat & Carl Gonsalves, Tamsen Hernández, Earnell Morris



Please join Bill and John for Champagne & Hors d’oeuvres in the Parish Hall immediately following the service.

The Prelude
Bethany Hodges, soprano
Sheldon F. Eldridge, Jr., organ

Allegretto Grazioso Frank Bridge (1879-1941)

I will sing new songs, Op. 99, No. 5 Antonín Dvorák (1841-1904)

I will sing new songs of gladness, I will sing Jehovah’s praises upon a ten-stringed psaltery.
Every day will I extol Thee and will bless Thy Holy Name, I will bless Thy Holy Name.
Great is God and great His mercy. Who shall tell of all His greatness? Who shall His power declare?
My song shall be of praise and honor, and of Thy glorious acts.
Thy works are wonderful, past our knowing.
Yea, men shall tell of Thy great kindness and of Thy wondrous might, and my voice shall proclaim aloud Thy glory.

Set me as a seal David Gooding (b. 1937)

Set me as a seal upon thy heart, as a seal upon thy arm, for love is strong as death. Many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it.
Song of Songs, VIII, 6,7

Solemn Melody H. Walford Davies (1869-1941)

Fanfare Francis Jackson (b.1917)





Ask the child why it is born; ask the flower why it blossoms, ask the sun why it shines. I love you because I must love you.

-George Upton (1834-1919)


Celebration & Blessing of a Holy Union

Psalm 121 Levavi oculos Anglican Chant, H. Walford Davies

      1. I WILL lift up mine eyes unto the hills; * from whence cometh my help?
      2. My help cometh even from the Lord, * who hath made heaven and earth.
      3. He will not suffer thy foot to be moved; * and he that keepeth thee will not sleep.
      4. Behold, he that keepeth Israel *shall neither slumber nor sleep.
      5. The Lord himself is thy keeper; * the Lord is thy defense upon they right hand;
      6. So that the sun shall not burn thee by day, * neither the moon by night.
      7. The Lord shall preserve thee from all evil; * yea, it is even he that shall keep thy soul.
      8. The Lord shall preserve thy going out, and thy coming in, * from this time forth for evermore.

All who are able shall stand for the entrance of the Procession.

Processional Hymn 401 (Red Hymnal) Leoni (Yigdahl)

Then the Celebrant, facing the people and the persons to be blessed, with the older person to the right and the younger to the left, addresses the congregation and says

Dearly beloved: We have come together in the presence of God to witness and bless the holy union of John and William.

The union of two people in heart, body, and mind is intended by God for their mutual joy; for the help and comfort given one another in prosperity and adversity. It signifieth unto us the mystery of the union betwixt Christ and his Church. Therefore holy union is not to be entered into unadvisedly or lightly, but reverently and deliberately.

In this holy union John Deuel and William Cruse now come to be blessed.

Petitions for Holy Union

Let us pray for John and William.

William and John place their right hands on the Gospel and are censed while the Celebrant says

In peace we beseech thee, O Lord.
For heavenly peace and for the salvation of our souls, we beseech thee, O Lord.
That these thy servants, John and William, be blessed with thy spiritual benediction, we beseech thee, O Lord.
That their love abide without offense or scandal all the days of their lives, we beseech thee, O Lord.
That they be granted all things needed for salvation and enjoyment of life everlasting, we beseech thee, O Lord.
That the Lord God grant unto them unashamed faithfulness, and sincere love, we beseech thee, O Lord.
That they be saved from all affliction, we beseech thee, O Lord.
Help, save, have mercy on and protect them.
For all glory is thine.

O Lord, Our God, grant their prayers for salvation, thou who gavest the commandment to thy holy apostles to love one another and forgive one another’s faults. O Lord, author of life and friend of mankind, these thy servants, loving each other in a spirit of love from thee, are now come into thy holy church longing for thy benediction. Grant them unabashed faithfulness and true love, as thou didst give to thy disciples and apostles thy peace and holy love. Grant unto them every prayer for salvation and life everlasting. For thou only art God, and to thee do we give glory, Father, Son and Holy Spirit Amen.

Declaration of Consent

The Celebrant says to John

John, you come to affirm your covenant of love and fidelity with William and your intention to live together in a committed relationship. Will you love him, comfort him, honor him and keep him in sickness and in health; and, forsaking all others, be faithful to him as long as you both shall live?

John answers

I will.

The Celebrant says to William

William, you come to affirm your covenant of love and fidelity with John and your intention to live together in a committed relationship. Will you love him, comfort him, honor him and keep him in sickness and in health; and, forsaking all others, be faithful to him as long as you both shall live?

William answers

I will.

The Celebrant then addresses the congregation, saying

Will all of you witnessing these promises do all in your power to uphold these two persons in their life together?

People We will.

Hymn 408 (Blue Hymnal) Hollingside

The Ministry of the Word

The celebrant then says to the people

The Lord be with you.
And with thy spirit.

The Collect

Priest Let us pray.
All who are able shall kneel.
O gracious and everliving God, who has created us in thine image: Bless the love which thy people offer one to another in thy name. Bless our hearts in their journeys toward other hearts. Bless this gathering of thy people. Bless John and William as they offer their lives in true fidelity and steadfast love to thee as thanksgiving for the gift of life. All this we ask through Jesus Christ our Savior, who liveth and reigneth with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

The people sit.

First Lesson I Samuel 18:1-4

And it came to pass, when he had made an end of speaking unto Saul, that the soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul. 2And Saul took him that day, and would let him go no more home to his father's house. 3Then Jonathan and David made a covenant, because he loved him as his own soul. 4And Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that was upon him, and gave it to David, and his garments, even to his sword, and to his bow, and to his girdle.

The word of the Lord.
People Thanks be to God.

Psalm 126 In covertendolo Anglican Chant, G.M. Garrett (1834-1897)

      1. WHEN the Lord turned again the captivity of Zion, * then were we like unto them that dream.
      2. Then was our mouth filled with laughter, * and our tongue with joy.
      3. Then said they among the heathen, * The Lord hath done great things for them.
      4. Yea, the Lord hath done great things for us already: * whereof we rejoice.
      5. Turn our captivity, O Lord, * as the rivers in the south.
      6. They that sow in tears * shall reap in joy.
      7. He that now goeth on his way weeping, and beareth forth good seed, * shall doubtless come again with joy, and bring his sheaves with him.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, * and to the Holy Spirit.

As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be; * world without end. Amen.


Epistle 1 John 4:7-16

7Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. 8He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. 9In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. 10Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son [to be] the propitiation for our sins. 11Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another. 12No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us. 13Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit. 14And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son [to be] the Saviour of the world. 15Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God. 16And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.

The word of the Lord.
People Thanks be to God.

All who are able shall stand for the Gospel hymn and the reading of the Holy Gospel.

Gospel Hymn 345 (Blue Hymnal) verses 1-3 St. Columba

Priest The Holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, according to John.
Glory be to thee, O Lord.

The Holy Gospel John 15:9-12

9As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love. 10If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love. 11These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full. 12This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.

The Gospel of the Lord.
Praise be to thee, O Christ.

Gospel Hymn verses 4-6

Homily The Rev. Canon Charles Pridemore

The Solemn Vows

William and John face each other, join their right hands, and state in turn

With God’s help, I N., joined my life with yours, to share my joys and sorrows, to comfort and succor in sickness and in health, to strengthen and guide, to walk on a spiritual journey in this life until we meet again in the heavenly kingdom. Today I reaffirm that solemn vow and pledge my life to our union.

They loose their hands.

The Celebrant takes the rings, saying

Bless, O Lord, these rings to be signs of the vows by which these two persons have bound themselves to each other; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The giver places the ring on the ring-finger of the other’s hand and says

N., I give thee this ring as a symbol of my vow, and with all that I am, and all that I have, I honor thee, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.

Then the Celebrant joins their right hands and says

The priest binds the joined hands of the couple with his/her stole.

Now that John and William have given themselves to each other by solemn vows, with the joining of hands and the giving and receiving of rings, I proclaim that they are united to one another in a holy union in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Those whom God hath joined together let no one put asunder.

People Amen.

The priest removes the stole. John & William remain standing and face the altar.

The Prayers

The Deacon or other person appointed reads the following prayers.

Let us pray.

All who are able shall kneel.

J & W kneel at the open communion rail, getting the cushions by themselves.

O Lord our God, who made humankind in thine image and likeness and who hast approved thy saints and apostles Philip and Bartholomew becoming partners, not bound together by nature, but in the unity of their souls and in the mode of faith, thou who didst consider thy saints and martyrs Serge and Bacchus worthy to be united, bless thy servants, John and William.

Grant them to love each other and to remain unhated and without scandal all the days of their lives, with the help of the Holy Mother of God and ever virgin Mary.

Guide them in thy holy fear, grant them joy, that they may become united more in the spirit than in the body. Because it is thou who dost bless and sanctify those who trust in thee and thine is the everlasting glory.

Grant to them the love and peace of thy holy apostles, which thou hast bestowed on them, saying, "My peace I give you and I leave you my peace."

Make their life together a sign of thy love unto this sinful and broken world, that unity may overcome estrangement, forgiveness heal guilt, and joy conquer despair.

Thou hast said, Lord, "Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you." We, therefore, kind Lord, mindful of the holy commands of thine awesome and glorious covenant, knock on earth: open to us in heaven. Vouchsafe unto us a share of faith and love with all thy holy angels. Send to us, for us, that angel who guided Abraham, who was Isaac’s captain, Jacob’s companion, the waker of Lazarus. For where there is love hatred does not rule, demons have no power, there is not sin. For there are these three things — faith, hope, and the greatest of all, love. Turn thy holy ear to the prayer we raise to thee, for thou art the provider of all good things and the savior of our souls, and to thee is endless glory, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

The Blessing of the Union

The people stand. The couple remains kneeling as the priest prays this prayer

O Almighty God, look down from the heavens upon thy church and all thy whole people and all thy little flock and save us all, thine unworthy servants, the children of thy company. Look especially upon these two persons seeking thy blessing. Grant unto them thy peace and love and thy help, and send down upon them the gift of thy Holy Spirit, that with pure heart and good conscience they may greet each other with an holy kiss, not in deceit or hypocrisy, not with the hearts of enmity, but in perfectness and blamelessness, one in spirit, one in the bond of peace and love, one in body and spirit, one in faith, as we were called in one hope thereunto, that we may all come to godly and boundless affection, in Christ Jesus our Lord, with whom thou art magnified, with thy most holy, good and life-giving Spirit, now and forever and ever. Amen.

God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit, bless, preserve, and keep you; the Lord mercifully with his favor look upon you, and 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 Peace

All stand. The Celebrant says to the people

The peace of the Lord be always with you.
People And with thy Spirit.

The couple exchange a sign of peace, after which greetings may be exchanged throughout the congregation.

The Holy Communion

Offertory sentence

Walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself for us, an offering and sacrifice to God.

The congregation is seated.
All persons who are baptized Christians are welcome at the Lord’s table.


Offertory Anthem Greater Love Hath No Man John Ireland (1879-1962)

Many waters cannot quench Love, neither can the floods drown it. Love is strong as death. Greater Love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Who His own Self bare our sins in His own Body on the tree, that we being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness. Ye are washed, ye are sanctified, ye are justified, in the Name of the Lord Jesus; Ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation. That ye should shew forth the praises of Him Who hath called you out of darkness, into His marvelous light. I beseech you, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies, a living sacrifice, holy acceptable unto God, which is your service.
The words selected from the Scriptures.

All who are able shall stand for

Offertory Hymn 477 (Red Hymnal) Engleberg


The Great Thanksgiving

Then, facing the Holy Table, the Celebrant proceeds

It is very meet, right and our bounden duty, that we should at all times, and in all places, give thanks unto thee, O Lord, holy Father, almighty, everlasting God.

Here a Proper Preface is sung or said

Therefore with Angels and Archangels, and with all the company of heaven, we laud and magnify thy glorious Name; evermore praising thee, and saying,

Sanctus & Benedictus from "The Mass of the Quiet Hour" George Oldroyd (1886-1951)
Sung by the choir

Holy, holy, holy, Lord God of hosts, heaven and earth are full of thy glory. Glory be to thee, O Lord most High. Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord: Hosanna in the highest.

The people kneel or stand. Then the Celebrant continues

All glory be to thee, Almighty God, our heavenly Father, for that thou, of thy tender mercy, didst give thine only Son Jesus Christ to suffer death upon the cross for our redemption; who made there, by his one oblation of himself once offered, a full, perfect, and sufficient sacrifice, oblation, and satisfaction, for the sins of the whole world; and did institute, and in his holy Gospel command us to continue, a perpetual memory of that his precious death and sacrifice, until his coming again.

For in the night in which he was betrayed, he took bread; and when he had given thanks, he brake it, and gave it to his disciples, saying, "Take, eat, this is my Body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me."

Likewise after supper, he took the cup; and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them saying, "Drink ye all of this; for this is my Blood of the New Testament, which is shed for you, and for many, for the remission of sins. Do this, as oft as ye shall drink it, in remembrance of me."

Wherefore, O Lord and heavenly Father, according to the institution of thy dearly beloved Son our Savior Jesus Christ, we, thy humble servants, do celebrate and make here before thy divine Majesty, with these thy holy gifts, which we now offer unto thee, the memorial thy Son hath commanded us to make; having in remembrance his blessed passion and precious death, his mighty resurrection and glorious ascension; rendering unto thee most hearty thanks for the innumerable benefits procured unto us by the same.

And we most humbly beseech thee, O merciful Father , to hear us; and, of thy almighty goodness, vouchsafe to bless and sanctify, with thy Word and Holy Spirit, these thy gifts and creatures of bread and wine; that we, receiving them according to thy Son our Savior Jesus Christ’s holy institution, in remembrance of his death and passion, may be partakers of his most blessed Body and Blood.

And we earnestly desire thy fatherly goodness mercifully to accept this our sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving; most humbly beseeching thee to grant that, by the merits and death of thy Son Jesus Christ, and through faith in his blood, we, and all thy whole Church, may obtain remission of our sins, and all other benefits of his passion.

And here we offer and present unto thee, O Lord, our selves, our souls and bodies, to be a reasonable, holy, and living sacrifice unto thee; humbly beseeching thee that we, and all others who shall be partakers of this Holy communion, may worthily receive the most precious Body and Blood of thy Son Jesus Christ, be filled with thy grace and heavenly benediction, and made one body with him, that he may dwell in us, and we in him.

And although we are unworthy, through our manifold sins, to offer unto thee any sacrifice, yet we beseech thee to accept this our bounden duty and service, not weighing our merits, but pardoning our offences, through Jesus Christ our Lord;

By whom, and with whom, and in the unity of the Holy Ghost all honor and glory be unto thee, O Father Almighty, world without end. AMEN.


And now, as our Savior Christ hath taught us, we are bold to say,

The Breaking of the Bread

The Celebrant breaks the consecrated Bread. A period of silence is kept.

Then may be said

Priest [Alleluia.] Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us;
People Therefore let us keep the feast. [Alleluia.]

Agnus Dei George Oldroyd

O Lamb of God, that takest away the sins of the world, have mercy upon us. O Lamb of God, that takest away the sins of the world, have mercy upon us. O Lamb of God, that takest away the sins of the world, grant us thy peace.

Then may be said

Priest The Gifts of God for the People of God. Take them in remembrance that Christ died for you, and feed on him in your hearts by faith, with thanksgiving.

People Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldst come under my roof, but speak the word only and my soul shall be healed.

All who wish to receive the Sacrament may come forward when invited by the ushers. The Cup may be received either by intincting or by directly partaking. Those not wishing to receive the Sacrament may come forward for a Blessing, indicating this by crossing their arms over their chests while at the rail.

Communion Motet I sat down under his shadow Edward Bairstow (1874-1976)

I sat down under his shadow, with great delight, and his fruit was sweet to my taste. He brought me to the banqueting house, and his banner over me was love.
Song of Solomon II, vv.3,4

Communion Hymn Living God

After Communion, the Celebrant says
Let us pray

All who are able shall kneel. The people may join in saying this prayer

Almighty and everliving God, we most heartily thank thee for that thou dost feed us, in these holy mysteries, with the spiritual food of thy Son our Savior Jesus Christ; and dost assure us thereby of thy favor and goodness towards us; and that we are very members incorporate in the mystical body of thy Son, the blessed company of all faithful people; and are also heirs, through hope, of thy everlasting kingdom. And we humbly beseech thee, O heavenly Father, so to assist us with thy grace, that we may continue in that holy fellowship, and do all such good works as thou hast prepared for us to walk in; through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom with thee and the Holy Ghost, be all honor and glory, world without end. Amen.

Concluding Hymn Hymn to Joy


The Blessing and Dismissal

The Celebrant says

The peace of God, which passeth all understanding, keep your hearts and minds in the knowledge and love of God, and of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord; and the blessing of God Almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, be amongst you, and remain with you always. Amen.

Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.
People Thanks be to God.

Retiring Voluntary Toccata in F Dietrich Buxtehude (1637-1707)

The ushers shall first invite the families to leave the nave during the Retiring Voluntary and join John & Bill in welcoming their guests in the parish hall.


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