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How To Perform A Christian Wedding

How To Be Able To Officiate A Wedding

Licensed Christian Wedding Officiant Program

To be able to officiate a wedding, a person would have to get deputized for it. Another word for this is ordained. Depending on the type of religion or ministry the couple is under, it might be required to sign a form, code of ethics or statement of beliefs. Some people can also get ordained off the internet. This is usually possible after a short search on the internet. It is, however, important to read all of the steps in some states, you would have to register with the city clerk to complete the ordination.

Either way, it is not an exhaustive process, so nothing to get bent out of shape from. The journey to completing this aspect of the wedding rituals is not a daunting one.

Discuss What You Should Wear

All eyes will be on the coupleand also on the officiant who will be standing with them. “Plan on discussing what youll wear so there are no surprises or complaints. Even if the couple says, ‘dress any way you want,’ you need to think about your attire in the context of the role you are playing as the wedding ceremony officiantnot just a wedding guest,” Anakotta says. While you don’t want to clash with the wedding party, you also don’t want to appear overdressed , compared to the rest of the people in the ceremony photos. For all these reasons, make sure to have a frank discussion with the couple about the dress code.

What Does The Pastor Do At A Wedding

On the wedding day, the wedding priest usually leads the wedding guests in any prayers that the couple has chosen for their ceremony. He or she then officiates during the couple’s wedding vows exchange. The preacher declares the couple married at the end of the ceremony. In some churches, the pastor may have more authority over certain aspects of the wedding , but generally he or she is there to provide spiritual guidance and encourage everyone involved with the wedding party.

The pastor may also have a role in the marriage preparation process by leading group discussions or providing one-on-one counseling sessions with couples.

Finally, the pastor can celebrate with his/her congregation when it happens in your church’s tradition. Often, the pastor will make an appearance during the reception to share blessings with the newlyweds and congratulate them.

These are just some of the many roles that pastors play at weddings. What other roles does the pastor play at your wedding? Feel free to share stories from your wedding day in the comments section below.

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Dressing Of The Bride & Groom

Although this ritual isnt known by many it is followed by all Christians. In a Christian wedding, the bride and groom, get ready in their respective homes. There, the brides friends and family help her get ready for the occasion and the same goes for the groom. This part of the day involves a lot of chaos but is full of love because everyone is thrilled for the new beginning.

Walking Down The Aisle

Christian Wedding Rituals, Traditions

This is an extremely emotional ritual, especially for the brides side because here the brides parents have to walk her down the aisle and give her away to her to-be husband. The procession of the walk begins with the flower girls, then the bridesmaids with the groomsmen, and then the parents with the bride.

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Lighting Of The Unity Candle

_________ and ____________ , your parents have lighted a separate candle for each of you. They did so to symbolize your individual lives and the families from which you come. Your individual lives have been a blessing to your parents who have received immeasurable joy in seeing you grow and mature over the years. Your individual lives have been a blessing to those who have known and loved you. Your individual lives have been a blessing to God whom you have faithfully served. As you lift your individual candles from their holders, be reminded that marriage does not eliminate your separate identities. You are made in the image of your heavenly Father nevertheless, you are each unique. God has created you as such for His purpose and His glory. You will not extinguish your individual candles, as God still has much to do in and through your individual lives. Together you will light the unity candle to symbolize your union in marriage. Together you assume a new identity – as one with each other and the Lord. Today, God has created anew in you a union that will enable you to fulfill His creation mandate to serve Him in the world and to establish a family.

Complete Outline And Planning Guide For Your Christian Wedding Ceremony

  • General Biblical Studies, Interdenominational Christian Training Center

This outline covers each of the traditional elements of a Christian wedding ceremony. It is designed to be a comprehensive guide for planning and understanding each aspect of your ceremony.

Not every element listed here has to be incorporated into your service. You may choose to change the order and add your own personal expressions that will give special meaning to your service.

Your Christian wedding ceremony can be individually tailored, but ought to include expressions of worship, reflections of joy, celebration, community, respect, dignity, and love. The Bible gives no specific pattern or order to define exactly what should be included, so there’s room for your creative touches. The primary goal should be to give each guest a clear impression that you, as a couple, are making a solemn, eternal covenant with each other before God. Your wedding ceremony should be a testimony of your lives before God, demonstrating your Christian witness.

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Wedding Ceremonies From Around The World

Commonly, wedding ceremonies around the world share rituals that are influenced by various cultural traditions. Among the many rituals practiced during wedding ceremonies, the most essential and constant element is the symbolic expression of the unification between the man and woman. The union can be signified by exchanging rings, joining of hands, tying together the garments owned by the bride and groom, or other gestures that could be a representation of the union between the couple. Likewise, many rituals that are incorporated within the ceremony are done in order to emphasize the wedding as a passage for the foundation of the family. For example, in Hindu wedding ceremonies, the couple circles a sacred fire in order to promote the fertility of their union .

B Presentation Of The Groom

How to Have a Great Christian Wedding Ceremony

In this section the minister introduces the Groom. This is a good place to have the minister speak about what the Bible says about the role of the husband. Reference to Ephesians 5:25-32 is recommended. The minister can also explain the symbolic relationship of the husband and wife and how that relates to the relationship of Christ and the Church.

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Seating Of The Parents

Having the support and involvement of parents and grandparents in the ceremony brings a special blessing to the couple and also expresses honor to the previous generations of marriage unions.

The processional music begins with the seating of the honored guests:

  • Seating of the Groom’s grandmother
  • Seating of the Bride’s grandmother
  • Seating of the Groom’s parents
  • Seating of the Bride’s mother

Meet With The Bride And Groom Before The Wedding Ceremony

Before agreeing to perform the wedding ceremony, schedule an introductory meeting with the bride and groom.

Here are some things you should cover in your first meeting.

1. Ask about their relationship.

Begin with some basic questions about their relationship to get to know them better.

How did you meet? What do you like doing together?

How did you propose? What are you doing for your honeymoon?

What do you value most in your relationship? What do you appreciate the most about him/her?

2. Lock in the date.

What will be the date, time and location of the wedding?

When will the rehearsal be?

Check your calendar to make sure it all works with your schedule write it down somewhere so you wont forget.

3. Lay out the order of the wedding ceremony.

Its helpful to have a Wedding Planning Sheet for yourself and a copy to hand out to the couple, so they get a clear understanding of their options.

You can get my Wedding Planning Sheet here if you want.

Simply walk them through each element and have them select what they want or dont want. See an example with more details in the next section.

4. Talk about the reception.

If I have a great relationship with the couple, Ill try to stay for the reception.

However, if you know that you have a busy weekend, politely let the couple know that you wont be able to stay for the reception or that youll only be there for a little while.

Set this expectation up front, so they dont expect you to stay if you cant.

Schedule it all upfront.

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True To Tradition: Welcoming The Bride

As specified, in a Christian marriage it is not the groom but the bride who is welcomed at the altar at the marriage, unlike some other cultures. The father of the bride is the one to give her away as she walks hand in hand with him up to the altar.

Before the formals rituals when shes on her way to church it is worth noting again here that tradition has the groom send a car to pick up the bride, and upon reaching she is received with a kiss from the best man and a bouquet of flowers.

Determine If You Need To Register With The Court

Formal Central Christian Church Wedding in Austin, Texas

Once you’ve been ordained, the next step in the process is to make sure all the paperwork and other legal checkboxes, if any, are checked off. Some regions require that the officiant file credentials with the local court and others do not. For example, in California, it is not necessary to register, but in New York City, not only do officiants have to register, they have to appear in person at the City Clerk’s office to do so.

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Finalize The Ceremony With The Couple

Even if you write the ceremony, it’s up to the couple to finalize the plan. Though some couples want to be somewhat surprised during the ceremony, it’s always a good idea to have them take a look at your introduction and any statements you might make about the meaning of marriage and their relationship. If they don’t care about being surprised, have them read the whole thing. Be receptive and accommodate any changes they request .

Notes To The Marriage Service

1 Preparation

It is the custom and practice of the Church of England to offer preparation for marriage for couples who are soon to be married, as well as to be available for support and counselling in the years that follow.

2 The Banns

The banns are to be published in the church on three Sundays at the time of Divine Service by the officiant in the form set out in The Book of Common Prayer or in the following form:

I publish the banns of marriage between NN of and NN of This is the first / second / third time of asking. If any of you know any reason in law why they may not marry each other you are to declare it.

We pray for these couples as they prepare for their wedding.

A suitable prayer may be said .

3 Hymns and Canticles

These may be used at suitable points during the service.

4 Entry

The bride may enter the church escorted by her father or a representative of the family, or the bride and groom may enter church together.

5 Readings and Sermon

At least one reading from the Bible must be used. Suggested readings are printed here. If occasion demands, either the Sermon or the Readings and Sermon may come after the Blessing of the Marriage. Chairs may be provided for the bride and bridegroom.

6 Giving Away

This traditional ceremony is optional. Immediately before the couple exchange vows , the minister may ask:

Who brings this woman to be married to this man?

N and N have declared their intention towards each other.

As their parents,

Both sets of parents respond:

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Becoming A Legal Officiant

  • 1Look up marriage laws in your area. The laws about who can conduct a marriage ceremony vary from one place to another. Do an internet search on local marriage laws in your area, or visit your local clerk, registrar, or other marriage authority for detailed information.
  • For example, in many states in the US, you may need to be a judge, magistrate, or ordained minister in order to become an officiant.
  • In other states, such as Pennsylvania, no officiant is required at all, and the couple can marry themselves as long as there are at least two witnesses present.XResearch source
  • 2Get ordained, if you need to. If you are not already qualified to conduct a wedding ceremony, one of the easiest ways to become qualified is to get ordained as a minister. This may seem daunting, but its easier than it sounds. Organizations like the Universal Life Church, Open Ministry, or American Marriage Ministers can ordain you online, free of charge or for a very low price, even if you have no religious affiliation.XResearch source
  • Some types of ordination are only valid for a limited period of time. Before trying to conduct a wedding ceremony, make sure your ordination is still valid, and renew it if necessary.XResearch source
  • In some areas, you may be required to present credentials, such as a certificate of ordination or a Letter of Good Standing from your ministry.
  • How Do Weddings Usually Go

    Do You Have to Prove Yourself in Marriage (Virginity Certificate Debate) | Christian Marriage Advice

    Processional The processional begins with bridesmaids and groomsmen, who are usually paired together, walking down the aisle. After all of the bridesmaids and groomsmen have made their way down the aisle, the maid of honor and best man walk down. The rings will then be carried to the altar by the ring bearer, who will be followed by the flower girl. A violinist or organist may play during this part of the ceremony.

    Recessional The recessional is when the wedding party returns home from the church. This is usually done as a group photo after the bride and groom cut the cake.

    Cake To end the wedding ceremony, the couple will cut the cake. They may also choose to serve food at a reception following the wedding ceremony.

    Reception A reception is when the couple has a meal after the wedding ceremony. This is usually a time for friends and family to meet each other and celebrate the marriage. Entertainment at receptions include musicians, dancers, magicians, etc.

    Dinner parties are common at weddings because it’s a chance for families to get together and celebrate the couple’s marriage. The host will usually send out an invitation saying that dinner will begin at 7pm. Guests should arrive no later than 6:30pm so they have time to sit down and eat before the wedding ceremony starts at 7pm.

    The bride and groom will often share a first kiss as a symbol of their love and bond as husband and wife.

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