Congratulations to you! You are about to enter a relationship that is one of God’s most beautiful gifts to humankind. Christian marriage is a life-long covenant between a man and a woman who are already in covenant with God through Jesus Christ.
Since Christian marriage is a commitment that is lived and experienced in the context of the Christian community, the pastor of St. Peter’s by the Sea Lutheran Church will normally witness a marriage only if one of the persons to be married is an active member of the congregation or a family member (parent, grandparent, child) is an active member. Lutherans who are members of other congregations may request to have their wedding at St. Peter’s by the Sea. Their pastor shall contact the pastor at St. Peter’s with this request. Special fees will apply when neither of the persons to be married is a member of St. Peter’s by the Sea Lutheran Church.
Under most circumstances, your wedding must be scheduled no later than six months in advance so that there is adequate time for marriage preparation. Before a date is finalized the couple must make an appointment with the pastor. At this meeting the pastor and couple will set the date and time of the wedding and rehearsal and discuss other preparations. The couple will also consult with the congregation’s organist regarding plans for music, as well as other instrumentalists and vocalists, as soon the date has been set.
The pastor will plan several (5-6) sessions with the couple. This counseling provides the couple with the occasion to prepare for marriage in the context of God’s Word and Christian theology. The pastor may also refer the couple to a professional marriage preparation program that will allow the couple to examine their relationship with the assistance of a trained and objective third party. Pastoral counseling will assist the couple in exploring issues that are important to life together in a Christian marriage.
THE MARRIAGE SERVICE
In the Lutheran church, a wedding is not a private ceremony; but rather, it is a service of worship for the congregation. It will be one of the happiest and holiest moments of your life. In it you will promise life-long commitment and fidelity to one another, to God and to God’s church. As you make this promise, you will receive the promise of God’s continual presence and abundant blessings, and the prayers and support of the pastor and congregation of St. Peter’s by the Sea. All plans for the marriage service should be approached from this point of view. The Order of Marriage (page 286 in Evangelical Lutheran Worship) is normally used. Other services and variations may be used if arranged in consultation with the pastor. It is most appropriate to include Holy Communion in a wedding celebration when both bride and groom and their families are Christian.
Under ordinary circumstances the rehearsal is held the evening before the wedding. All members of the bridal party need to be present. Any other persons tend to cause confusion and delay an effective rehearsal. Emphasize the importance of being punctual to the persons in the wedding party as rehearsals are limited to one hour by the pastor and organist.
Weddings may never be scheduled during Holy Week and only under unusual circumstances can a wedding be planned for the season of Lent.
THE WEDDING MUSIC
Music for the wedding will be planned in consultation with St. Peter’s organist, who should be contacted as soon as the couple and the pastor set the wedding date. While the final decisions regarding music in the Church are under the authority of the pastor, the St. Peter’s organist is a competent authority on Church music, has wide experience and a comprehensive repertoire from which to select appropriate music for the service. Only sacred texts in appropriate musical settings are allowed; no secular music may be used as part of the liturgy. The reception is a place for popular songs and secular music.
PHOTOGRAPHY AND VIDEOTAPING
Photos and tapes of your wedding will provide a meaningful memento of your wedding day that may be enjoyed and shared with others for years to come. Flash pictures are not permitted during the service. Videotaping is permitted using a camera from a fixed station. In general, the photographer and/or videographer are asked to accomplish their work without intruding in any way upon the sacred nature of the wedding service.
Changes to the physical structure or any of its parts shall not be made by anyone without the approval of the pastor. This includes attaching flowers, ribbons, candles or any other item to the walls, pews or furniture. Nothing may be placed on the altar or in the chancel at anytime. Items on the altar and/or furniture in the chancel and nave that pertain to the worship of the church shall not be moved, removed, covered or otherwise changed without the permission of the pastor. This rule also pertains to the times of the rehearsal and picture taking.
Assisting clergy are welcome at St. Peter’s by the Sea. Protocol requires that visiting clergy be invited by the pastor who will indicate the specific part of the service to be shared with the assisting minister.
Couples should apply for their license in adequate time. The pastor must have the license in hand before performing the marriage and it is requested that the license be brought to the church office the day before the wedding.
- The throwing of birdseed, rice or confetti is not permitted in or near the church.
- No alcohol, tobacco, or other mind-altering drugs may be used, consumed, or brought on the premises by anyone at any time.
- All items pertaining to the wedding must be removed at the end of ceremony.
|Wedding Bulletins (depends on # printed)|
|Fellowship Hall / Kitchen use||