Weddings


Congratulations! What a joy and a privilege to find love. Take a moment to celebrate the love you have. In a culture so often divided and so quick to loose the bonds that connect us, the sacred act of marriage is a courageous step. Being in a relationship--romantic and platonic--is hard work. It takes patience, kindness, respect, trust and forgiveness.

Through a public witness and the exchange of vows we ask God to seal that love forever; and we ask our family and friends to help us protect that love through good and bad times. No couple remains in love forever. Marriage is the recognition that it takes work to sustain a healthy, loving relationship over a long period of time.

Counseling

Every couple owes it to themselves to have a frank, honest discussion -- without examination or judgment -- with a third party. It can be a pastor, a social worker or a therapist, but not a friend or family member. Someone who can insist on a thorough, thoughtful engagement with some potentially awkward and difficult topics. Consider this the first insurance policy you take out against divorce.

Homework
Prior to our first conversation, separately and without discussion:
Write down the story of when you first realized that this was the person you wanted to spend the rest of your life with.

And for couples looking for extra credit: Separately and without discussion, write down the story of when you first met. What did you honestly think of them and what has surprised you sing then?

Conversation Questions
During our first conversation couples share their answers. Following, we explore the following Pre-Marital Conversation Questions.

Marriage Equality

On May 17, 2004, Massachusetts became the first state to recognize same-gender marriage. It has been a privilege and honor to preside at the wedding ceremonies of straight and queer weddings. On July 4, 2005, the United Church of Christ became the first mainline Christian denomination to support full Marriage Equality. I am proud to have voted to make that happen. (Read the New York Times Article.)
 

On June 26, 2013, the Defense of Marriage Act was ruled unconstitutional, opening the door to full recognition - federally and locally - to couples who love each other and wish to bind themselves together through the sacred act of love. Each day, closer. Amen!

Resources

There is a lot of information and resources you can find online. Everyone has an opinion on how best to create a meaningful service. The truth is: no one can tell you what matters but you. Each wedding is as unique as the two lives that come to it.

There's nothing that has to happen in a Protestant/non-denominational wedding service. It is not a formal sacrament with prescriptive, mandatory language. Therefore, the wedding should incorporate all the quirks and idiosyncrasies that make the couple smile. Choose a reading from scripture, if you want. Or select your favorite poem. As long as the liturgy you create honors and celebrates the unique love you have and the vows you are making.