Congratulations on your engagement and your upcoming marriage! We are glad you are considering Plymouth Church UCC as a place to establish your sacred covenant with God and each other. Below you will find a description of the services provided by this church and its staff to help you prepare for and celebrate your marriage. Our prayers are with you as you embark on this journey together. As a first step in the process of planning a wedding at Plymouth, please contact Crystal Stinemates in the church office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A Christian wedding is a religious celebration in which the couple, together with their family and friends, gather in the church to worship God, to thank God, to think again of the meaning of Christian marriage, and to promise God and each other to give their lives to one another in a sacred spiritual union.
Any couple who believes in the Christian meaning of marriage and wishes to make their promise to God and to receive God’s blessing upon those promises may be married. They need not be members of Plymouth Church. We celebrate the marriages of same-sex couples. There is no rule against marriages where one or both partners have been previously married and divorced. The minister has the final say about whether or not he/she will marry a couple.
Marriage does not belong exclusively to the church. While marriage is ordained by God and supported by the church, it is a social contract, governed and regulated by the state. The purpose is to protect individuals and provide stability to the social order. But to the Christian, it is more…
We believe God ordained marriage to enrich the lives of the couple.
We believe God’s intention for marriage is that it be a lifelong relationship based on the commitment by the partners to each other.
We believe God’s self-giving love and faithfulness toward us is the foundation of a committed relationship between the two partners.
We believe God, along with the church, desires marriage to be a source of faith, joy, love, and fulfillment. Marriages rooted in God’s steadfast love will be the most likely to experience these qualities.
The Pastor who presides at your wedding represents the church and the state. You make promises before God and in the presence of the gathered community. You trust that God will bless and support you as you work together to fulfill your vows. Thus, to be married in the church is to recognize God’s intentions for marriage and to affirm them as your own.
The essence of marriage is a covenanted commitment that has its foundation in the faithfulness of God’s love. The marriage ceremony is the glad occasion on which two people unite in the mutual exchange of covenant promises. The Pastor acts as an official representative of the church and gives the marriage the church’s blessing. The congregation joins in affirming the marriage and in offering support and thanksgiving for the new family.
It is the responsibility of the Pastor to meet with the couple prior to the marriage ceremony in order to counsel them concerning the Christian understanding of this relationship.
Congregational participation, ethnic traditions, and local customs may be taken into consideration when planning the Order for Marriage. Hymns and other music of joy, praise, and thanksgiving may be included in the service in keeping with a sense of the appropriateness of their use in a religious service. Psalms may be sung or said responsively, and other readings or statements may be used.
The Pastor may invite the couple to share in the writing and planning of their service. A Christian marriage ceremony is a service of worship offered to God. Family and friends of the couple may be invited to share the leadership of the service by reading scripture or by offering prayers or in other ways.