First Presbyterian Church of Merrillville
Monday, December 11, 2017
Go and Make Disciples!

 

Wedding Policy of
The First Presbyterian Church of Merrillville
Statement on the Gift of Marriage
God created us male and female, and gave us marriage so that husband and wife may help and comfort each other, living faithfully together in plenty and in want, in joy and in sorrow, in sickness and in health, throughout all their days.
God gave us marriage for the full express of the love between a man and a woman. In marriage a woman and a man belong to each other, and with affection and tenderness freely give themselves to each other.
God gave us marriage for the well-being of human society, for the ordering of family life, and for the birth and nurture of children.
God gave us marriage as a holy mystery in which a man and a woman are joined together, and become one, just as Christ is one with the church.
In marriage, husband and wife are called to a new way of life, created, ordered and blessed by God. It is to be lived prayerfully, and in joyful obedience to Christ. We rejoice that marriage is given by God, blessed by our Lord Jesus Christ, and sustained by the Holy Spirit.
                        Therefore, let marriage be held in honor by all.
 
 
Scheduling
Arrangements for a wedding begin by calling the church office at (219)736-0707. Wedding Coordinator, Carolyn Meinbresse, will schedule an appointment with Rev. Paul Anderson. Date and time of your wedding is set after the meeting with the pastor, wedding information sheets have been completed and a deposit has been made to hold the date.
 
Please note that all discussions on arrangements need to be made with Carolyn who is Wedding Coordinator for the church. Telephone calls to the Pastor are not acceptable.
 
All wedding ceremonies are presided over by Rev. Paul R. Anderson, Pastor.  There are no exceptions to this rule.  At the discretion of Rev. Anderson, other Pastors may participate in the wedding ceremony.
 
Meeting with the Minister
The couple will visit with Rev. Paul Anderson to discuss readings for marriage, the marriage service, and all other necessary arrangements.
The Christian marriage ceremony is a service of worship before God, usually conducted in our sanctuary. Joy and reverence are expected on the part of all present, and the service shall be under the sole direction of the minister. The minister reserves the right of final decision as to any service elements and guest clergy.
Although weddings are normally conducted in the sanctuary, arrangements can be made to have a wedding in a garden, at home, or other suitable locale. (Note: Additional compensation for mileage and time must be agreed on by Rev. Anderson.)
The Marriage Service
It is important to note that the marriage ceremony serves not only the couple in their marriage, but also others who are present. The service provides opportunities for all to remember promises they had made and to recommit themselves to those promises. The statements about marriage, the lessons from Scripture, and the prayers remind the congregation of their mission to all families and challenge the people to exercise their responsibilities for mutual support and care.
Congregational singing is encouraged.
Music
The minister will assist the couple in obtaining an organist. The music chosen must be appropriate for use in worship; hymns for congregational participation and a soloist(s) are an option. Secular music is not suitable for use with the wedding service, but it may be used prior to the service as guests are being seated.
Decorating & Accessories
Flowers for decorating the sanctuary do not need to be elaborate. It is best to work with your florist for your desired decorations. A unity candle does not have specific religious significance, and is optional. If you desire a unity candle, you must provide it. If you wish to have an aisle runner, your florist will provide one. The aisle is 75’ long. If you desire additional decorations, please check with the church office.
Photography
Since the wedding ceremony is a worship service, flash photography IS NOT PERMITTED. The official photographer may take photographs as the wedding party is coming into and leaving the sanctuary – all other flash photography should be taken prior to or after the ceremony. It is acceptable for the photographer to take non-flash pictures from the back of the sanctuary.
Videotaping
There will be no more than two video cameras used to tape the wedding. The preferred placement of cameras is one on a tripod in the rear of the sanctuary and one held by an operator seated about halfway up the aisle at the end of a pew. THE VIDEOGRAPHER IS NOT TO MOVE AROUND THE SANCTUARY DURING THE CEREMONY.
 
Rehearsal
The rehearsal is the time for everyone in the wedding party to practice his/her part and to know exactly what s/he will do during the ceremony. The rehearsal is usually held the evening preceding the wedding. It is most important that everyone involved in the wedding party, including parents, be present. Ring bearers and flower girls must be at least five years of age. It is very important that everyone arrive on time.
The marriage license should be given to the minister prior to the rehearsal. All fees should be paid at the time of the rehearsal.
Receiving Lines
It is customary for receiving lines to take place at the reception due to picture-taking and time constraints. If you wish to have a receiving line at the church, please consult with the minister.
 
Handicap Accessibility
An elevator is available for guests needing assistance to the sanctuary. Please make sure the minister is aware of your needs
Receptions at the Church
Arrangements for your reception can be made at the same time you reserve the church for your wedding. The Fellowship Hall is available for receptions for 100 guests or less. An additional fee is required, and you must provide your own catering. Alcoholic beverages are not permitted on the church premises and the church is a smoke-free environment.
Wedding Fees
            Sanctuary - Rehearsal                         $150.00 
            Wedding                                             $450.00
            Rev. Paul R. Anderson                         $350.00
            Organist                                             $200.00
            Sexton (cleaning)                                $200.00
            Fellowship Hall                                   $300-$500*
 
*dependent upon size of function
           
A deposit of $300.00 is needed to reserve the day and time of the wedding.  This deposit will be refunded after the wedding date depending on the condition and use of the facility. 
 
 
 
 
First Presbyterian Church of Merrillville
Wedding Date Form
 
Wedding: Date__________ Time________     Rehearsal: Date__________     Time________
 
Bride’s FULL Name___________________________________________________________
 
            Address_______________________________________________________________
            Phone No. ___________________________
 
Groom’s FULL Name__________________________________________________________
 
            Address_______________________________________________________________
            Phone No. ___________________________
 
Brides’s Parents Names:                                             Groom’s Parents Names:
Father_________________________________        ____________________________________
Mother________________________________        ____________________________________
Her Attendants & relationship to couple (such as “Sister of Bride), (Maid of Honor First)
1.      ________________________________________________________________________
      2.   ________________________________________________________________________
      3.   ________________________________________________________________________
      4.   ________________________________________________________________________
His Attendants  (Best Man First)
1.      ________________________________________________________________________
      2.   ________________________________________________________________________
      3.   ________________________________________________________________________
      4.   ________________________________________________________________________
Sentences of Scripture
The minister calls the people to worship, either before or after the entrance, using one of the following, or
another appropriate verse from scripture.
 
1 John 4:16
God is love, and those who abide in love, abide in God, and God abides in them.
 
                                                                                                Psalm 118:24
This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.
 
Psalm 106:1
O give thanks, for the Lord is good. God's love endures forever.
 
Statement on the Gift of Marriage
We gather in the presence of God
to give thanks for the gift of marriage,
to witness the joining together of N. and N.,
to surround them with our prayers,
and to ask God's blessing upon them,
so that they may be strengthened for their life together
and nurtured in their love for God.
 
God created us male and female,
and gave us marriage
so that husband and wife may help and comfort each other,
living faithfully together in plenty and in want,
in joy and in sorrow,
in sickness and in health,
throughout all their days.
 
God gave us marriage
for the full expression of the love between a man and a woman.
In marriage a woman and a man belong to each other,
and with affection and tenderness
freely give themselves to each other.
 
 
God gave us marriage
for the well-being of human society,
for the ordering of family life,
and for the birth and nurture of children.
 
God gave us marriage as a holy mystery
in which a man and a woman are joined together,
and become one,
just as Christ is one with the church.
In marriage, husband and wife are called to a new way of life,
created, ordered, and blessed by God.
 
This way of life must not be entered into carelessly,
or from selfish motives,
but responsibly, and prayerfully.
We rejoice that marriage is given by God,
blessed by our Lord Jesus Christ,
and sustained by the Holy Spirit.
Therefore, let marriage be held in honor by all.
 
Prayer
 
Let us pray:
Gracious God,
you are always faithful in your love for us.
Look mercifully upon N. and N.,
who have come seeking your blessing.
Let your Holy Spirit rest upon them
so that with steadfast love
they may honor the promises they make this day,
through Jesus Christ our Savior. Amen.
 
 
Declarations of Intent
The minister addresses the bride and groom individually, using either A or B:
A
N., understanding that God has created, ordered, and blessed the covenant of marriage,
do you affirm your desire and intention to enter this covenant?
Answer:
I do.
B
If both are baptized, the following may be used:
N., in your baptism you have been called to union with Christ and the church.
Do you intend to honor this calling
through the covenant of marriage?
Answer:
I do.
 
 
Affirmations of the Families
The minister may address the families of the bride and groom:
N., N. [Names of family members],
do you give your blessing to N. and N.,
and promise to do everything in your power to uphold them in their marriage?
The families of the bride and groom answer:
1
We (I) give our (my) blessing
and promise our (my) loving support.
Or
2
We (I) do.
The families of the bride and groom may be seated.
 
Affirmation of the Congregation
The minister may address the congregation, saying:
Will all of you witnessing these vows
do everything in your power
to uphold N. and N. in their marriage?
Answer:
We will.
A psalm, hymn, spiritual, or anthem may be sung.
Reading from Scripture
God of mercy,
your faithfulness to your covenant frees us to live together
in the security of your powerful love.
Amid all the changing words of our generation, speak your eternal Word that does not change.
Then may we respond to your gracious promises by living in faith and obedience;
through our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
 
 
Sermon
 
Vows
 
N. and N.,
since it is your intention to marry,
join your right hands,
and with your promises
bind yourselves to each other as husband and wife.
I, N., take you, N., to be my wife;
and I promise,
before God and these witnesses,
to be your loving and faithful husband;
in plenty and in want;
in joy and in sorrow;
in sickness and in health;
as long as we both shall live.
 
 
I, N., take you, N., to be my husband;
and I promise,
before God and these witnesses,
to be your loving and faithful wife;
in plenty and in want;
in joy and in sorrow;
in sickness and in health;
as long as we both shall live.
 
B
 
Before God and these witnesses,
I, N., take you, N., to be my wife,
and I promise to love you,
and to be faithful to you,
as long as we both shall live.
 
Before God and these witnesses
I, N., take you, N., to be my husband,
and I promise to love you,
and to be faithful to you,
as long as we both shall live.
 
Exchange of Rings (or Other Symbols)
 
What do you bring as the sign of your promise?
When the rings are presented, the minister may say the following prayer.
By your blessing, O God,
may these rings be to N. and N.
symbols of unending love and faithfulness,
reminding them of the covenant they have made this day,
through Jesus Christ our Lord. [793]
Amen.
 
 
 
 
 
This ring I give you,
as a sign of our constant faith
and abiding love,
in the name of the Father,
and of the Son,
and of the Holy Spirit.
 
Prayer
Let us pray:
1
Eternal God,
Creator and preserver of all life, author of salvation, and giver of all grace:
look with favor upon the world you have made and redeemed,
and especially upon N. and N.
 
Give them wisdom and devotion in their common life,
that each may be to the other a strength in need, a counselor in perplexity,
a comfort in sorrow, and a companion in joy.
 
Grant that their wills may be so knit together in your will,
and their spirits in your Spirit, that they may grow in love and peace
with you and each other all the days of their life.
 
Give them the grace,
when they hurt each other, to recognize and confess their fault,
and to seek each other's forgiveness and yours.
 
 
Make their life together a sign of Christ's love
to this sinful and broken world, that unity may overcome estrangement,
forgiveness heal guilt, and joy conquer despair.
 
Give them such fulfillment of their mutual love
that they may reach out in concern for others.
 
[Give to them, if it is your will, the gift of children,
and the wisdom to bring them up to know you, to love you, and to serve you.]
 
Grant that all who have witnessed these vows today may find their lives strengthened,
and that all who are married may depart with their own promises renewed.
 
Enrich with your grace all husbands and wives, parents and children,
that, loving and supporting one another, they may serve those in need
and be a sign of your kingdom.
 
Grant that the bonds by which all your children are united to one another
may be so transformed by your Spirit that your peace and justice may fill the earth,
through Jesus Christ our Lord.   Amen.
 
2
Eternal God,
without your grace no promise is sure.
Strengthen N. and N.
with patience, kindness, gentleness,
and all other gifts of your Spirit,
so that they may fulfill the vows they have made.
Keep them faithful to each other and to you.
Fill them with such love and joy
that they may build a home of peace and welcome.
Guide them by your Word
to serve you all their days.
Help us all, O God,
to do your will in each of our homes and lives.
Enrich us with your grace
so that, supporting one another,
we may serve those in need
and hasten the coming of peace, love, and justice on earth,
through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.
 
Lord's Prayer
Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name,
thy kingdom come,
thy will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread;
and forgive us our debts,
as we forgive our debtors;
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
and the power, and the glory,
forever. Amen.
 
Announcement of Marriage
 
Before God
and in the presence of this congregation,
N. and N. have made their solemn vows to each other.
They have confirmed their promises by the joining of hands
[and by the giving and receiving of rings].
Therefore, I proclaim that they are now husband and wife.
Blessed be the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit now and forever.
 
 
Those whom God has joined together
let no one separate.
 
Charge and Blessing
 
1
See Col. 3:12-14
As God's own,
clothe yourselves with compassion,
kindness, and patience,
forgiving each other
as the Lord has forgiven you,
and crown all these things with love,
which binds everything together in perfect harmony.
2
Col. 3:17
Whatever you do, in word or deed,
do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus,
giving thanks to God through him.
 
Blessing
1
See Num. 6:24-26
The Lord bless you and keep you.
The Lord be kind and gracious to you.
The Lord look upon you with favor
and give you peace.
Amen.
2
The grace of Christ attend you,
the love of God surround you,
the Holy Spirit keep you,
that you may live in faith,
abound in hope,
and grow in love,
both now and forevermore.
Amen.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Hear is a place to begin. 
            At the opening we could have your Father present you.
                        Who gives this women in marriage?
                                    Her family does.
 
            Note: Prayers look longer when seen written.
 
Affirmations of Families and Congregation are optional but it is there with the clear understanding that a marriage needs to be help in honor by all.
 
 
The Scripture is your choice…the list is just suggestive, traditionally there are at least 3 lessons: Old Testament, Epistle and Gospel.
 
 
Note: A wedding is the public celebration and statement that the two of you have vowed to each other in a loving embrace.
 
Take a look nothing is set in stone. It is your wedding, blessing on your life together.
 
 
 
 
 
List of Suggested Readings
Old Testament
Gen. 1:26-31               Humankind created in the image of God
Gen. 2:18-25               Bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh
Song of Sol. 8:6-7       Set me as a seal upon your heart
Prov. 3:3-6                  Trust the Lord with all your heart
Isa. 54:5-8                   Your Maker is your husband
Jer. 31:31-34               The Lord will make a new covenant
 
Psalms
Ps. 8                            Mortals crowned with glory and honor
Ps. 67                          May God be gracious to us
Ps. 95:1-7                    O come, let us sing to the Lord
Ps. 100                        Make a joyful noise to the Lord
Ps. 103:1-5, 15-18       Bless the Lord, O my soul
Ps. 117                        Great is God's steadfast love
Ps. 121                        Lift up my eyes to the hills
Ps. 128                        Happy is everyone who fears the Lord
Ps. 136:1-9, 26            O give thanks, for God is good
Ps. 145                        I will exalt you, O God my King
Ps. 148                        Praise the Lord
Ps. 150                        Everything that breathes praise the Lord
 
Epistles
Rom. 12:1-2, 9-18       A living sacrifice . . . let love be genuine
1 Cor. 13:1-13             Faith, hope, love . . . greatest is love
Col. 3:12-17                Clothe yourselves with love
1 John 4:7-12              Let us love one another . . . God is love
Rev. 19:1, 5-9                         Rejoicing at the marriage of the Lamb
 
Gospels
Matt. 5:1-10                The Beatitudes
Matt. 5:13-16              Salt of the earth . . . light of the world
Matt. 19:3-6                No longer two, but one flesh
Matt. 22:35-40            Love the Lord with all your heart, soul, mind
Mark 10:6-9                What God has joined, let no one separate
John 2:1-11                 The wedding at Cana
John 15:1-17               Jesus, the true vine
 
 
Traditional Vows from the Book of Common Prayer Canada (1962)
 
I N. take thee N.                                                                                                                      to be my wedded wife,                                                                                                          to have and to hold from this day forward,                                                                          for better for worse, for richer for poorer,                                                                               in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish,                                                                   till death do us part, according to God's holy ordinance;                                                        and thereto I give thee my troth.
I N. take thee N. to be my wedded husband,                                                                                  to have and to hold from this day forward,                                                                                for better for worse, for richer for poorer,                                                                                  in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish,                                                                   till death do us part, according to God's holy ordinance;                                                       and thereto I give thee my troth.
Traditional Exchange of Rings
SANCTIFY, O Lord, this ring                                                                                          that it may be to these thy servants                                                                                              a token of their solemn vows and a pledge of pure and endless love;                         through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
WITH this ring I thee wed,                                                                                             with my body I thee honour, and all my worldly goods with thee I share:                       In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.