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Getting Married in a Church

Contributed by The Rev. Ross Downes on January 21 2022.

The content of this post may not necessarily reflect the policies, theologies or opinions of St Peter's Anglican Church, Palmerston North.

Getting Married in a Church

I recently had cause to observe a Wedding that was led by a Marriage Celebrant. I have no wish to critique the Celebrant’s service, but I did find myself thinking about Church Weddings.

I began my ordained ministry in 1981. It was still very popular to be married in a Church, but secular pressures were there, pushing us (the Church) to accept a myriad of ‘secular customs’(flower girls spreading flowers up the nave so that the bride could walk on them. Bride’s maids processing first, often one at a time and often slip-stepping their way in.)

Once in, the next wish, was that they (the Bridal Couple) be allowed to write their own wedding vows. Given that the agenda driving our response to couples was one of building a good relationship between the church and each couple, we tended to accommodate them.

I well remember in the early nineteen eighties at St Peter’s, that we could have up to four weddings each Saturday. Forty weddings a year was not unusual. Masterton, Hawera and Feilding also had large numbers of weddings.

What did happen, was that the constant intrusion of secular customs began to cause unease... Read more...

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