Wedding as Worship
For people of faith, a wedding is not just a personal or even a family rite of passage.
The Christian church views a marriage ceremony celebrated in a church and/or presided over by an ordained minister as a service of worship in which God’s promises and grace in Jesus Christ are the primary focus.
However small or large, simple or elaborate, those who are gathered are greeted in God’s name. The promises of marriage are made before God and the Christian assembly. As God promises, God is present. The language of prayer and blessing, the choice of Bible readings and music, the words of the sermon and of the vows make clear that a wedding is a worship service-giving praise for God’s unfailing love, celebrating the gift of marriage, and asking God’s blessing.
Those gathered represent the whole people of God and at the same time include people who bring a variety of religious beliefs and spiritual practices. Those to be married are the primary ministers of the wedding; ordained clergy serve as official witnesses and preside during the liturgical celebration.
There is a given structure or order to the service of Christian marriage that is the beginning point for planning the wedding ceremony. See below.
General Wedding Service Order
Declaration of Intent
Exchange of Vows
Exchange of Rings
Unity Candle (optional)
Holy Communion (optional)