Sunday Wedding

I know, I know, I should have asked for help on this a while back. But, anyway, liturgical freak that I am, I will be doing a wedding in the midst of my regular Sunday service this Sunday. The couple finds such help and community amongst their fellow parishioners, they asked if they could just do this on a Sunday morning, so here we are.
It’s a weird deal. The Priest Handbook (or maybe one of the other handy dandy guides) doesn’t offer much help other than “you should know what you are doing”! So I am winging it.
Here’s what’s in my head. We will do the Opening stuff – “Dearly beloved…..” the charge, the consent, from the rear of the church. This is to emulate the ancient custom of doing the marriage on the porch steps before the Sunday service. We wont do it on the steps because we will either be in the midst of Tropical Storm Arlene, or enjoying our usual 98 degrees and 95% humidty. Anyway, then we will process in to a hymn, bride and groom in the procession.
The service will continue through the sermon and Creed (decided, since it’s the principle Sunday service, to keep the Creed in), after which we will do vows, peace, Eucharist.
They will process out behind the cross and reception follows. I wanted it to be similar to a baptism – with specific changes in the service for the sacrament to happen, but maintaining enough Sunday “integrity” for those who came to church NOT expecting a wedding.
I will let you know how it goes – and any tips or advice are appreciated if you read this before Sunday morning.

3 thoughts on “Sunday Wedding”

  1. David:

    One of our young couples had their wedding service during the Sunday morning Divine Liturgy. It made our regular two-hour service longer–and some of the Protestant and unchurched guests clearly did not like that–but it was an incredible celebration. First I’d ever seen.

    Can’t wait to hear how it goes with you’uns.

  2. I like the idea. We had a wedding during Sunday worship at our last parish, several years ago. The couple chose to celebrate then for much the same reason.

    As I recall, the bridal party (bride and groom, and one attendant each) were included in the normal opening procession: after the choir, and before the clergy. Then Randy (the rector) began the marriage rite, rather than using the Opening Acclamation from the Eucharist service, at the front of the church. Other than that, it sounds as though he used much the same structure as you propose here.

    I think I might like your idea of starting from the back, and I’m curious to see how that will seem from the congregation’s perspective. On one hand, does it become difficult for everyone to stand turned around for that time? Then again, this will allow the folks at both ends of the nave (front and back) to see some of the wedding up close, which is cool.

    I’m looking forward to hearing how that works.

    (Oh, and welcome back to the blogiverse!)

  3. David,

    This sounds so wonderful. There really is something to be said for incorporating as many of the Sacraments as possible into the regular life of the parish, and if that means doing it on Sunday morning, more the better. Hopefully those that came not expecting a wedding will come back just to see what you and God do next! I hope all went well!

    -R

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