Our first wedding theme issue, ten years ago (RW 16; June 1990), has remained one of our most popular, even though we ran out of back issues long ago. We still get requests to reprint it from pastors who continue to use their worn copy for wedding planning sessions with couples. And we’ve also heard many requests to do a new wedding theme issue. So we decided to do . . . both! (See p. 47 for information on getting RW 16 on the Web.)
Articles in this issue:
Baker’s Wedding Handbook: Resources for Pastors. Paul E. Engle, ed. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Books, 1994. 183 pp. $16.99. 1-616-957-3110; email@example.com
Sample services from a variety of denominations, all taken from official sources of those denominations. Also some alternative services (a “brief” service, a contemporary service, remarriage, renewal of vows, and so on.) Also includes some resources for wedding rituals (unity candle), alternative vows, Scriptures, prayers, and homilies.
Heavenly Father, our Creator and Redeemer, we bless you and praise your name.
From the very beginning you made male and female, and longed for men and women to find love and to create new life together in marriage. Marriage, at its best, wonderfully helps us see your love for us and our faithful love for each other.
You have blessed the relationship of your children [name] and [name], and have so joined them together that they might mirror the union of Christ with his Church.
I should have known better. It was, granted, quite a strange request. Almost bizarre. But I thought I could work with it. I thought that perhaps it could be made into something meaningful; something, in fact, faithful to God’s Word. Besides, it was a garden wedding—an informal setting compared to a sanctuary. Perhaps in that context it just might communicate.
Ten years ago, Joe Galema prepared an extensive list of organ and vocal music for our wedding theme issue (RW 16, June 1990). Here he provides several new pieces with very complete and helpful information, including publisher, suggested use, key, timing, and level of difficulty.
Rather than repeat the entire original list (of five very full pages), we present here his additions. However, the entire updated list is available for downloading from our website: http://www.reformedworship.org.
“Household of Faith” by Brent Lamb and John Rosasco. Solo version in The Greatest Love (Sparrow; cassette available); duet version (low, medium/high voice) in Wedding Music (Word) and Enter In—101 Solos and Duets (Lillenas); moderate.
A couple’s commitment to build their marriage and family on a Christian foundation. For the conclusion of a marriage ceremony or during the unity candle ceremony.
Some weddings are primarily a dialogue between the wedding couple and the presiding minister, but it needn’t be so. Inviting the gathered wedding guests to sing “psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs” provides a corporate opportunity to express musical praise for God’s love to us, to offer sung prayers for the wedding couple, and to encourage everyone to practice the Christian virtues of faith, hope, and love.
Each denomination has one or more wedding forms that are good starting places for planning a wedding service. Many other creative resources are also available. Several samples are included here from sources briefly reviewed on p. 45.
Affirmation by Families and Congregation
Do you, the families of [name] and [name],
give your love and blessing to this new family?
We (I) give our (my) blessing and promise our (my) loving support.
With a month to go before the day to end all days; with little left to plan but some finishing touches on the gourmet lunch Crissy had finally decided on (after rejecting her mother’s advice to keep it simple); with what seemed an entire year of intensive research and development on weddings behind both of them; with Crissy’s crumpled Kleenex still sitting on the table, wet with tears shed voluminously about whether she’d picked the perfect colors—Anne Blanchard, mother of the bride-to-be, grabbed a bottle of wine from the cupboard abo