We recognize marriage as a
way of life created, blessed, and sustained by God. Marriage
often becomes the foundation for larger family life, also.
The Lutheran understanding of marriage does not require
that a ceremony be performed by an ordained minister; marriage
is a gift of God which he has not limited to believers.
Therefore, when persons desire to be married in the church
sanctuary by the pastor of the church, the church assumes
that the couple shares its basic beliefs about God and about
marriage in the sight of God. Otherwise, a civil ceremony
would be the couple's appropriate choice.
The Christian tradition holds a high view
of marriage. This view originates in the Old Testament,
and comes to its greatest expression in Jesus' teaching
about marriage in the Gospels. In other parts of the New
Testament we find Jesus' teaching elaborated by the Apostles.
Faithfulness to Jesus' teaching is our goal in helping
couples enter marriage in the context of the Christian
faith and the Lutheran Church.
For this reason we normally require counseling
sessions between the couple and the church's pastor before
a wedding is scheduled. This provides a way for the pastor
to assist the couple as they move toward marriage, especially
as concerns the faith dimension of married life. The counseling
sessions also provide the pastor with the knowledge required
to determine whether to perform the wedding. This is not
meant to sound harsh or judgmental, but the reality is
that some persons desire to use the services of the church
without any real commitment to its beliefs and values.
Therefore, we must reserve the right to schedule weddings
only after the counseling sessions have resulted in the
pastor's consent to the wedding.
Inactive members and non-members are encouraged
to renew their commitment to the Lord and his church.
Otherwise the significance of marriage within the church
Weddings will ordinarily be held in the
church sanctuary. Non-members are asked to make a contribution
for the use of the church building in the amount of $200.
An additional $50 is the fee for our custodian who cleans
the church following weddings. The church organist has
a set fee as well. The pastor does not set a fee; you
may do as you wish. Normally, the church's organist and
pastor will conduct all weddings. Exceptions can be made,
bet they should be approved at the time of the counseling
sessions. When another minster is present who will actually
perform the wedding, that minister must be a member of,
Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ and the pastor
of St. Matthew will usually take part in the wedding,
also. We do welcome the participation of other Christian
clergy within the wedding ceremony, whether Lutheran or
not. we also encourage couples to involve their friends
and family members as attendants, readers, musicians,
ushers, flower girls, ring bearers, etc.
Couples who desire to be married at St.
Matthew Lutheran Church should first understand these
policies, and then proceed to arrange counseling with