The Church’s Understanding of Marriage
Marriage is a gift of God, intended for the joy and mutual strength of those who enter it and for the well-being of the whole human family. God created us male and female and blessed humankind with the gifts of companionship, the capacity to love, and the care and nurture of children. Jesus affirmed the covenant of marriage and revealed God’s own self-giving love on the cross. The Holy Spirit helps those who are united in marriage to be living signs of God’s grace, love, and faithfulness.
Marriage is also a human estate, with vows publicly witnessed. The church in worship surrounds these promises with the gathering of God’s people, the witness of the word of God, and prayers of blessing and intercession.
Guidelines for Weddings at the Church
The marriage ceremony is a worship service of the church. Therefore, the called pastor (permanent or interim) of Zion officiates at all weddings which are held at the church. Guest pastors may be invited by Zion’s pastor to participate in part of the service, at the discretion of Zion’s pastor.
Weddings at the church are for members only (where the bride or groom is a member). Nonmembers considering joining, nonmembers who are relatives of members, and other requests may be taken under consideration by the called pastor of Zion.
Nonmember weddings, if permitted in accordance with the previous guideline, are asked to donate $500.00 for the use of the building for the rehearsal and the ceremony. Additionally, there is a fee of $150.00 for a wedding coordinator to help facilitate the multitude of requests/questions that can arise by those not familiar with the church.
Zion’s Minister of Music has the first right of refusal for all weddings. The Minister of Music must approve guest musicians requested by the family. Guest musicians must demonstrate a proficient use/knowledge of the organ before the instrument may be used.
The Marriage Service is a service of worship, and the music therefore must be carefully and discriminatingly chosen. It should embody high standards of quality and the texts should reflect the praise of God, the steadfast love of Christ for his church as the foundation and model for love and fidelity in marriage, the invocation of God’s presence and blessing.
Propers and Hymns
The paraments follow the color of the liturgical season. For example, a wedding during the summer months will use the green paraments for the Pentecost Season.
Scripture readings are an integral part of a worship service. The following readings and psalms are recommended for use.
|Genesis 1:26-28||Woman and man created in God’s image|
|Genesis 2:18-24||Companionship rather than loneliness|
|Proverbs 3:3-6||Loyalty and faithfulness written on the heart|
|Song of Solomon 2:10-13||The voice of the beloved|
|Song of Solomon 8:6-7||Many waters cannot quench love|
|Isaiah 63:7-9||God’s steadfast love lifts up the people|
|Jeremiah 31:31-34||The new covenant of the people of God|
|Psalm 67||May God be merciful to us and bless us|
|Psalm 100||We are God’s people|
|Psalm 117||The steadfast love of the Lord|
|Psalm 121||The Lord keeps watch over you|
|Psalm 127||Unless the Lord builds the house|
|Psalm 128||Happy are they who follow in God’s ways|
|Psalm 150||Let everything that has breath praise the Lord|
|Romans 8:31-35, 37-39||If God is for us, who is against us?|
|Romans 12:1-2, 9-18||A living sacrifice and genuine love|
|1 Corinthians 12:31—13:13||The greatest gift is love|
|Ephesians 3:14-19||The greatness of Christ’s love|
|Ephesians 5:1-2||Live in love, as Christ loved us|
|Philippians 4:4-9||Rejoice in the Lord always|
|Colossians 3:12-17||Clothed in gifts of God|
|1 John 3:18-24||Let us love in truth and action|
|1 John 4:7-16||Let us love one another, for love is of God|
|Matthew 5:1-10||The Beatitudes|
|Matthew 5:14-16||You are the light, let your light shine|
|Matthew 7:24-27||Build on the rock|
|Matthew 19:3-6||What God has united must not be divided|
|Matthew 22:35-40||Love, the greatest commandment|
|Mark 10:6-9||They are no longer two but one|
|John 2:1-11||The wedding at Cana|
|John 15:9-17||Love one another as I have loved you|
Hymns enrich the worship experience and reflect the themes of joy, love and new life through song. The following hymns from Evangelical Lutheran Worship (ELW) are recommended.
|308||O Morning Star, How Fair and Bright!|
|312||Jesus, Come! For We Invite You|
|436||Wake, Awake, for Night Is Flying|
|460||Now the Silence|
|488, 489||Soul, Adorn Yourself with Gladness|
|585||Hear Us Now, Our God and Father|
|586||This Is a Day, Lord, Gladly Awaited|
|631||Love Divine, All Loves Excelling|
|642||Ubi caritas et amor|
|644||Although I Speak with Angel’s Tongue|
|648||Beloved, God’s Chosen|
|816||Come, My Way, My Truth, My Life|
|836||Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee|
|839, 840||Now Thank We All Our God|
|879||For the Beauty of the Earth|
|881||Let All Things Now Living|
A few things to keep in mind while planning your wedding…
An aisle runner is optional, but Zion does not provide one.
There is to be no pre-recorded music used for the preludes or during the ceremony.
No alcohol or drugs are permitted on the church premises prior to, or during the rehearsal or the ceremony. If alcohol or drugs are present and/or being consumed/used, the wedding will be cancelled.
Any flowers that are to be scattered down the aisle are to be artificial.
Light refreshments such as bottled water, simple snacks, or finger sandwiches may be provided by the wedding party on the day of the wedding for their consumption. Please do not bring anything messy or anything that would stain clothing.
Please communicate these guidelines to your photographer.
The wedding party may arrive at the church up to two hours prior to the start of the wedding.
Please take as many pictures before the wedding ceremony as possible to help shorten the amount of time needed after the ceremony.
There is to be no flash photography during the wedding ceremony. There is also no stopping of the wedding for picture taking. You may not stop the attendants or bride while walking down the aisle. All photographs that need special lighting or staged type shots must be reenacted after the wedding.
All videotaping must be done from the back or sides of the sanctuary. Nothing can be placed behind or beside the altar.
It is expected that all photography is to be completed within 1 hour after the ceremony has ended.
Following these guidelines will insure a smooth-running ceremony.
We appreciate your cooperation.