When Did the Church Get Into the Wedding Business?
Traditions make up much of the wedding service: cake, flowers, rings, vows. These traditions came from somewhere, and we'll look at where and when. We will study the historic changes that have swept through wedding services, and see how the government, the church, and ministers got involved. Long ago none of these were involved. Weddings today are changing dramatically. Read on and see how. More
The intent of this book is to explore just what the title suggests: the How, Why, and When the church got involved in weddings. We’ll also take a look at why government got involved. We will have to take a look at different cultures as they have impacted our own Western culture. First we will look at the history and traditions of weddings and marriage. The traditions are fun. At one time brides and grooms were almost "dared" to fall into their cake. From there we will look at more serious issues and then these questions:
1. Did the early church perform or get involved in weddings?
2. Did God tell the church to perform weddings, or to get involved with weddings?
3. How Biblical is all that we do in regard to weddings?
4. How obligated is the church and clergy to perform weddings?
These questions are particularly pertinent in this age in which many ministers may stop doing weddings altogether, for reasons we will explore. Marriage is a different matter—pastors want to help people have solid, satisfying, God-honoring marriages. But the wedding itself? Ah, that’s the question. The wedding is all about tradition, self-expression, and is in one very real sense, a “show.” The guests and family members come to see the formality of the beginning of the marriage in this wedding ceremony.
While that isn't wrong, does it require a minister? Could ministers be called upon to officiate at weddings with which they disagree? This book will look at why the government got involved, why churches got involved, and why minsters are involved in weddings. It may all change during the next few years, but this is how it came about and this is how it is now.
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