Weddings at Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church
Your wedding day is one of the most important dates in your life, and your church and we are pleased to share this happy occasion with you. In order that you might remember all of the events involving your wedding, we wish to do everything possible to make it a most pleasant and memorable experience.
We know that you will look upon your wedding as a worship service conducted in the church, and that you will want to avoid the many wedding customs which have resulted from the infiltration of secular thinking into the wedding ceremony. In our Lutheran church, we have attempted to combat this trend by avoiding the sensational and sentimental, by emphasizing the Christ-centered characteristic of the wedding ceremony. When discussing details of your wedding with the pastor in charge, please be aware that the church speaks with clarity and finality in order that the proper Christ-centered emphasis may be maintained. To help assure that all things are done "decently and in good order" as you plan for your wedding, the following guidelines have been drawn up for your convenience and assistance.
Every service conducted in God's house is to be considered a worship service. This includes your wedding service. Every part of the service is to honor and praise God. A church wedding is NOT a celebration of a couple’s love for one another. Rather it is where Gods love for us in proclaimed in Christ. The celebration happens after the service. As you plan your wedding, we ask that you keep this in mind.
Who may be married at Zion: Both Bride (one woman) and Groom (one man) must be professing, baptized Christians and at least one a member in good standing of Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church. Non-Lutherans are required to receive instructions in the Christian faith from the LCMS perspective, prior to or in conjunction with premarital counseling.
Marriage between one man and one woman for life uniquely reflects Christ’s relationship with His Church. (Eph. 5:21- 33.) Zion Lutheran Church believes that God gave marriage as a picture of the relationship between Christ and His bride the Church (Eph. 5:32) and believes that, “on the basis of Scripture, marriage [is] the lifelong union of one man and one woman” (Gen. 2:2-24; Matt. 19:5-6)
If you are living together: God's Word clearly states that living together or having sexual relations without being married is a clear violation of God's Law. It is a sin. While a lifelong commitment to one another may already be made, it nevertheless falls short of God's divine plan for man and woman to live together and have sexual relations only within the context of a publicly affirmed wedding.
Therefore, your options are:
A. Obtain a marriage license, thereby publicly affirming your commitment to one another. A consecration of your marriage may then be appropriately performed in the church.
B. Agree to abstain from sexual relations, in order to give public repentance of a public sin. The couple must then meet with the Pastor of the congregation affirming the fact that they have repented of this sin. Then in the eyes of God and his church your sin no longer exists and you are welcomed to be married in the church
Regarding the service: A church wedding is first and foremost a Christian service of worship. It will follow the wedding service in the Lutheran Agenda (service book), including the vows. Only a called, licensed and ordained minister of the L.C.M.S. may do the vows or participate in the service. This includes readings, prayers, etc. The wedding service is very brief. Even the longest service does not exceed 45 minutes, and the service is more generally about 30 minutes in length. That brief time, out of the months of preparation ought to be dedicated to God, to His Word and His blessing.
Premarital counseling: is required. These sessions will focus specifically with what God's Word says regarding marriage. In addition, regular church attendance is expected.
Regarding music: Only Christ-centered hymns and sacred music are to be used. All music must be reviewed and approved by the officiating Pastor and the churches Cantor.
The wedding date is to be set in consultation with the Pastor and church office. Wedding fees are to be paid before the rehearsal in accordance with terms set forth on the fee schedule provided.
Flash photography of any kind during the wedding service is forbidden. Please inform your family and friends that there is a church policy which forbids the taking of photographs during the service. Pictures may be taken prior to the service if the coordinator and pastor are informed. Photographs of the processional and recessional are permitted by the official photographer only. A photo session after the service is limited to 45 minutes. Please inform the pastor if any photos are to include him and have all photos with him taken first. Excessive informality during the photo session is to be avoided.
Guests are not allowed in the Sanctuary (chancel or altar area). Please keep children from playing on or around it. Members of the wedding party may be in the chancel (altar area) if they are involved in a photo.
If you have an additional question please feel free to contact the church office.