WEDDING POLICY Our Savior Lutheran Church Escanaba MI
“For this reason, a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” (Genesis 2:24)
Our Savior Lutheran Church establishes this wedding policy.
The Christian wedding is a worship service, which recognizes marriage as a God-pleasing union of a Christian man and woman as husband and wife. The Church offers a Christian wedding service based on the following guidelines:
1. THOSE TO BE MARRIED ARE BAPTIZED CHRISTIANS who confess Jesus as their Lord and Savior and who recognize His role in their lives and their marriage.
2. THOSE TO BE MARRIED ARE MEMBERS , or at least one of those to be married is a member (In good standing) of a congregation within the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod (LCMS).
For those who are not members of our congregation or another LCMS congregation, we eagerly encourage you to consider becoming a member here at Our Savior. Please talk to the pastor for more information on the process of joining.
3. THOSE TO BE MARRIED ARE NOT PRESENTLY COHABITING OR ENGAGING IN A SEXUALY ACTIVE RELATIONSHIP WHILE LIVING IN SEPARATE RESIDENCES. Cohabitating is defined as: living together and having a sexual relationship without being married.
While these practices have become commonplace in our society and are carried out for various reasons (care of children, financial benefits, convenience… etc.) they nevertheless do not align with the Christian faith as outlined in the canonical Scriptures (See Genesis 39:9; Exodus 20:14; Hebrews 13:4; 1 Corinthians 5:9-13; 6:12-20; Ephesians 5:3). The church cannot perform a wedding for a couple presently engaged in cohabitation or sexually active relationships without directly or indirectly condoning such relationships outside of marriage (see Ephesians 5:3-14).
Any couple presently engaged in these types of relationships are encouraged to speak to the pastor for a fuller explanation and support in finding a solution to this problem. The goal is always repentance and forgiveness, followed by a life change that honors our gracious Savior. Such a life change would include abstaining from cohabitation and sexual relations until the marriage date. The pastor will be able to help find resources to aid couples in this change and provide approved options for couples to pursue that would enable them to still be married at Our Savior Lutheran Church.
4. THE COUPLE TO BE MARRIED CONSISTS OF A MAN AND A WOMAN. In accordance with the beliefs, teachings, and policies of the LCMS, only weddings between one man and one woman shall be performed.
The marriage policy of Our Savior Lutheran Church, 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.
5. THE WEDDING SERVICE WILL BE A WITNESS TO THE GOSPEL; it will be based on the Word of God. Therefore, all music and/or alterations to the wedding service as outlined in the Lutheran Service Book Agenda must be approved by the Pastor.
The Pastor will work with the couple and/or the wedding planner/organizer to give the couple the wedding they desire. However, the pastor (In consultation with the board of elders) as the called public officiant of the church and its services has the final say concerning the wedding ceremony.
6. ALL WEDDINGS WILL BE PERFORMED BY A PASTOR OF OUR SAVIOR LUTHERAN CHURCH, exception being made in those instances when the participation of another LCMS pastor is approved by the pastor(s) and elders of Our Savior.
7. THOSE TO BE MARRIED AGREE TO, AND ULTIMATELY COMPLETE, PREMARITAL COUNSELING AS OUTLINED BY THE PASTOR OF OUR SAVIOR LUTHERAN CHURCH. The couple should contact the pastor to arrange for premarital counseling and wedding planning prior to other arrangements being made.
8. IN ADDITION TO THE ABOVE GUIDELINES/REQUIREMENTS, WEDDINGS AND/OR THE USE OF THE CHURCH PROPERTY FOR A WEDDING, MUST BE APPROVED BY THE PASTOR AND BOARD OF ELDERS.