Wedding Service

Wedding Cross

Congratulations!

God instituted the estate of marriage in the perfect world for the blessing of all mankind. Marriage is a relationship where a man and a woman share their emotional and physical love for each other. Since the fall into sin, which brought strife into marriage, God loves us and the institution of marriage so much that He calls the Church “the Bride, the wife of the Lamb” (Re 21:9). In his letter to the Ephesians, St. Paul speaks of marriage as a picture of the Church’s relationship with Christ. Since God instituted marriage, so he wants to bless your marriage. Congratulations and Christ’s richest blessings on your marriage!

Pre-Marriage Sessions with the Pastor

We encourage the engaged couple to pre-marriage counseling sessions with our pastor. We will apply the Word of God to your lives as husband and wife, discuss your common interests and those you do not have in common, and the wedding ceremony itself.

It is assumed that Christians who desire to publicly declare their union as husband and wife in the house of God will wait until after the wedding ceremony to live together as husband and wife. Those who are living together now before the wedding need to – to give a clear confession that marriage is a gift from God – live apart or get legally married as soon as possible and then have the ceremony in the church later.

The Wedding Service

Since Jesus is the host and guest of your marriage and wedding ceremony, the service will reflect his teachings and the practice of his Church. The pastor will work with you on the wedding details. Here are some things to keep in mind:

  1. Our Savior’s is a liturgical church, so we use the rite for Holy Matrimony in our hymnal, Lutheran Service Book (p. 275). Because the marriage ceremony is not only a reverent act of worship, but also a legal contract establishing new rights and obligations for the couple, “home-made” personal wedding vows are better shared at the reception.
  2. We usually do not celebrate Holy Communion at our wedding ceremonies.
  3. The pastor will have final say on all music to be used at the wedding and any special service requests, since he is our called shepherd of public worship and liturgy. The general principle of appropriate music at a wedding is the same for any service in church, namely the focus should be on Jesus and what He does for us. That, after all, is why we have the service in a church. We’re asking God’s blessing on what He instituted in a perfect world and we ask His help, recognizing the first marriage got off to a bad start (eating the forbidden fruit, getting caught, then making excuses, blaming each other… etc.). Secular love songs would be better played at the reception. The organist can offer you suggestions of appropriate, beautiful wedding music. The Altar Guild can assist you with decorating ideas.

The Wedding Date, rehearsal, and final preparations

  1. Get the wedding date on the church calendar and schedule the rehearsal for the night before the wedding, if possible.
  2. You may place flowers in the chancel. The flowers should serve as emphasis for the altar and for the crucifix behind it. We would like to avoid oversized arrangements that obscure or compete. The top of the altar is reserved for the body and blood of Christ in Holy Communion. The credence table may be used for a unity candle rite. And please note: no nails, tacks, glue, florist adhesive anywhere in the church. Floral tape and bind wire are acceptable. We neither require nor expect that you leave wedding flowers for the church’s use. However, if you want to leave the flowers in the chancel for the Sunday service, we would be most happy to have them. We would acknowledge your generous donation in all services on Sunday.
  3. The liturgical color of the church year season will be the color of the paraments on the altar and ambo. Refrain from scheduling your wedding during the season of Lent.
  4. The congregation does not pay the organist and janitor for wedding services. It is customary to give the pastor an honorarium. The fees for the organist and janitor are:
    • Organist: $125; $25 extra to work with a soloist/ensemble
    • Janitor: $150
  5. There is much to do, but have fun doing it together! Christ and his holy angels rejoice in your love and marriage, as do your brothers and sisters in Christ at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church.

 

“Let us rejoice and exult and give him the glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his Bride has made herself ready.”
+ Revelation 19:7 +

 

Addendum: Policy on same-sex marriage

The marriage policy of Our Savior’s Lutheran Church, a member congregation of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, is and always has been consistent with the Synod’s beliefs on marriage. We believe that marriage is a sacred union of one man and one woman (Gen. 2:24-25), and that God gave marriage as a picture of the relationship between Christ and His bride the Church (Eph. 5:32). The official position of The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, as set forth in 1998 Res. 3-21 (“To Affirm the Sanctity of Marriage and to Reject Same-Sex Unions”), is that homosexual unions come under categorical prohibition in the Old and New Testaments (Lev. 18:22, 24; 20:13; 1 Cor. 6:9-10; 1 Tim. 1:9-10) as contrary to the Creator’s design (Rom. 1:26-27). These positions and beliefs can be found on the LCMS website, along with other statements, papers and reports on the subject of homosexuality and same-sex civil unions and “marriage.” Our pastors will not officiate over any marriages inconsistent with these beliefs, and our church property may not be used for any marriage ceremony, reception or other activity that would be inconsistent with our beliefs and this policy.