June 2000

RW 56
THEME: Weddings
Reformed Worship issue cover

Articles in this issue:

  • 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 do.
    or
    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

  • Sermons on praise in the narrow sense (Ps. 95) and on worship in all of life (Rom. 12) are immensely important to preach. But suppose that you want to preach about the worship service, the liturgy, the event of gathering in Jesus’ name (for more on these three meanings of the term worship see p. 46). Perhaps worship has become a source of conflict in your congregation. Perhaps you want to deepen the congregation’s experience of common worship. To preach about worship, what text would you preach? Where in Scripture would you look?

  • Q. In our congregation, we’re spending a lot of time and money on the worship service. But don’t we worship in all of life? Why do we put so much energy into the worship service?

    Q. If we show up on Sunday morning to “worship,” why is there so much opposition to singing worship songs? Isn’t that the whole point?

  • Weddings are a lot of work! One aspect of my own wedding that was the biggest shock to me—and probably to anyone who has helped plan a wedding—is how much time and energy are focused on an occasion that is over after a few short hours. All that effort sometimes feels like a waste of time and talent! So what follows is a banner design that—though constructed specifically for a wedding—can be used throughout the year to illustrate the theme of Christ-centered relationships.

  • Notes

    RW 16 WEDDING RESOURCES AVAILABLE ON THE WEB

    Here’s a first for Reformed Worship: we’ve made all the wedding articles and resources from past issues of Reformed Worship available on our website: www.reformedworship.org. Most of the resources come from RW 16, our first wedding theme issue. We’ve also included one resource from RW 47:40. You’ll find resources on wedding customs, a wedding checklist, music suggestions, and much more.

  • Other Symbols
    • In Sri Lanka, the couple is asked to join hands. The pastor thenpours warm water over all four of their clasped-together hands,collecting it in a basin he holds just beneath their hands. He asks,“Can anyone separate the water in this basin, sorting out which watertouched the hands of the groom and which water touched the hands of thebride?” He then states emphatically, “So also you are no longer two butone, and from this day forward, all that passes through your handsbelongs neither to the one, nor to the other.

  • 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.)

  • 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; retail@bakerbooks.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.