We are pleased that you want to have your wedding at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church.
Marriage does not belong exclusively to the church. While marriage is ordained by God and celebrated by the church as a step in the baptismal journey, it is also a social contract, governed and regulated by the state for the purpose of protecting individuals and providing stability to the social order. But to the Christian it is more:
We believe God ordained marriage to enrich the lives of husband and wife, and to provide a sound basis for family life.
We believe God's intention for marriage is that it be a life-long relationship based on the commitment by the man to the woman and the woman to the man.
We believe God's self-giving love and faithfulness toward us is the foundation of a committed relationship between wife and husband. In the words of St Paul to the Ephesians Church, "Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving on another, as God in Christ forgave you." Ephesians 4:32
We believe God, along with the church, desires marriage to be a source of faith, joy, Love and fulfillment. Marriages rooted in God's steadfast love will be the most likely to experience these qualities.
Even though the pastor officiates at your wedding, representing both church and state, the pastor's primary concern is faithfulness to the church's teaching and tradition regarding marriage. Couple's must understand that the pastor will not be able to accomodate requests that are at odds with the pastor's understanding of the Church's teaching or the congregation's policies.
To be married in the church is, first and foremost, an acknowledgement that you bind yourselves to each other as husband and wife by your promises before God and in the presence of the gathered community. You make your promises in the presence of God, trusting that God will bless and support you as you work together to fulfill them. Thus, to be married in the church is to recognize God's intentions for marriage and to affirm them as your own. Being married in the church is a statement of faith and an act that shows commitment to living your life in faith and in the church. The stained glass windows, the childhood dreams about the long aisle, the "churchy" weddings of TV and movie fame may shape how we think about weddings, but are not sufficient reason to be married in the church. If a couple has no intention of a continuing relationship with the church, which will be the source and ground of the promises made in the service, then the couple may wish to seek a civil ceremony in a venue that is more suited to their expectations. If the marriage ceremony is a first step in a relationship between the married couple and the people of God, then let the church gather!
Please take a moment to read through the church wedding policies.