Getting Ready for Marriage?
Congratulations on your choice to be married in the Church to celebrate your Christian faith and your deep love for each other! What a great witness to your friends and family that your wedding day, and your whole marriage, will be nurtured and centered in Christ!
Planning a wedding can be both an exciting and hectic time of life. At St. Paul we are encouraged by the opportunity of making your wedding, and more importantly, your marriage, a wonderful blessing. In order to make that happen we are providing you with this Marriage Manual. Please read through it carefully.
Before you can reserve a date for your wedding, and make an appointment with our pastor, you must read the Marriage Manual.
The purpose of this marriage manual is twofold. First, it is intended to help you more fully understand and appreciate the nature and purpose of Christian marriage and what a Christian wedding ceremony is all about. Secondly, it is intended to help you in the planning and preparation of your wedding.
Please Note: We expect couples to contact the church a minimum of six months in advance of the wedding. This is to have enough opportunity to meet with you and properly plan and prepare for both the marriage and your wedding day.
WHAT IS THE PROCESS FOR SCHEDULING A WEDDING AT ST. PAUL?
1. Read through a copy of St. Paul’s Marriage Manual.
2. After reviewing the Marriage Manual and determining that you desire a Christian wedding through St. Paul church, please contact the church office and make an appointment with our pastor. At this appointment a determination will be made whether or not to schedule the wedding at St. Paul. During this first conversation you are welcome to discuss any issues or ask any questions you may have regarding having your wedding at St. Paul. Similarly, the pastor may wish to discuss with you important matters of faith and life.
3. Bring the completed Wedding Application to your first pre-marital counseling appointment.
WHO MAY BE MARRIED AT ST. PAUL?
- MEMBERS as a couple (man and woman) who are active in worship and in the life of the church.
- NON-MEMBERS who are worshiping at St. Paul and/or who are interested in joining St. Paul before their wedding date, wanting to learn more about the Christian faith. There may be situations where the couple belongs to another church and should discuss this with the pastor.
- INACTIVE MEMBERS (those who are not worshiping on a regular basis) may have their wedding at St. Paul but it should not be assumed. Inactive members need to think seriously about what their membership at St. Paul means and if they are prepared to return to regular worship. Having a wedding at St. Paul is not a right; it is a privilege that comes with spiritual responsibility.
All couples who are married at St. Paul need to participate in pre-marriage preparation. We consider this an important part of our caring ministry to couples and families at St. Paul. We know that preparation for the marriage is more important than preparation for the wedding.
Yes, planning a wedding is an exciting and hectic time of life. There is a great deal to think about and to consider. The order of service for Holy Marriage says, “therefore, marriage is not to be entered into unadvisedly or lightly, but reverently, deliberately and with the purposes for which it was instituted by God.”
Our goal is to do all we can to help and assist couples not only to have a beautiful wedding day, but more importantly, to have a meaningful life together as husband and wife bonded in Christian love.
To that end we want to encourage you to:
- Invest in your spiritual life and take it seriously.
- Take your time getting to know one another. Don’t rush into marriage. Love takes time to develop and deepen.
- Resist the urge to be sexually active or to live together before marriage. It’s important to build your relationship on a spiritual and emotional level rather than a physical one.
- Prepare for the marriage lifetime and not just the wedding day by getting involved in regular worship and meaningful premarriage preparation.
God’s Blessings to you as we plan and prepare for your life together as husband and wife!
Note: MARRIAGE POLICY
The marriage policy of St. Paul Lutheran Church of Northville, MI, a member congregation of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, is and always has been consistent with the Synod’s beliefs on marriage. We believe that marriage is a sacred union of one man and one woman (Gen. 2:24-25), and that God gave marriage as a picture of the relationship between Christ and His bride the Church (Eph. 5:32). The official position of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, as set forth in 1998 Res. 3-21 (“To Affirm the Sanctity of Marriage and to Reject Same-Sex Unions”), is that homosexual unions come under categorical prohibition in the Old and New Testaments (Lev. 18:22, 24; 20:13; 1 Cor. 6:9-10; 1 Tim. 1:9-10) as contrary to the Creator’s design (Rom. 1:26-27). These positions and beliefs can be found on the LCMS website, along with other statements, papers and reports on the subject of homosexuality and same-sex civil unions and “marriage.” Our pastors will not officiate over any marriages inconsistent with these beliefs, and our church property may not be used for any marriage ceremony, reception or other activity that would be inconsistent with our beliefs and this policy.
For an An Affirmation of Marriage with explanation of our beliefs above, click here.