I was making a little survey on policies adopted by different denominations in relation to marriage celebrants.
As expected, they all make the underlying assumption that a celebrant was to be a minister.
It really is the coherent, logical and dare I say theologically consistent thing to do. A marriage is a union of 2 persons, and it is in many ways, a spiritual union other than a physical one.
If we were to recognise God as the centre of such a union why would we allow a role created by the secular world that wants the form of a wedding ceremony but denies the authority of God by discarding the institutional form that represents him, to perform this function in place of one recognised as the representative authority?
I must be missing something here…
It was a weekend without a whole lot of time to do our usual things. There was a Sat morning teaching session on in church. We were late for that as there were the usual errand which had to be done in the morning. We ended up showing up just after 9.30 and the thing didn’t finish till just after 1pm.
Tress and I went to lunch after that then we had to pick up some stuff from Knox. I had my suit slightly torn on a sleeve and it costs too much for an “invisible repair” and I didn’t have too many suits to go around so we had gone to Knox on Thursday night to pick something out. Some alteration was required so we had it done and we had to go pick it up on Sat afternoon. We got home just after 4, and I took the little black jedi out for a longish walk. He missed and deserved it, after a few days of walks in the dark and pretty missed a couple of days too.
Yesterday after church we went to a wedding at the Glen Waverley police academy. The chapel was a beautiful place but the acoustics were very challenging and it was hard to make out what the celebrant and minister were saying. Coupled with my attempt to reconcile in my mind the idea of a lay celebrant officiating the wedding who is a member of the same church the couple are from, and the minister is also a minister of the same church but wasn’t officiating the wedding… it was a wedding unlike most I have attended.
Most of the weddings I have been to had the minister officiating. Some weddings I attended were those of non-Christians so a marriage celebrant officiated at those weddings. It was a bit weird to be at a Christian wedding where the couple and a large proportion of guests were from the same church, as were almost all of the people playing any sort of roles, but a lay person who was a licensed celebrant (he was licensed when the church did not have a minister) officiated whereas the minister merely gave a short message. There’re theological and practical issues emanating from this apparent laissez faire approach to solemnize a marriage but I guess it is just another side of the Aussie influence on the church – let’s just do what pleases us and what everyone’s happy with.
It was, that faux pas (to me) aside, great to see two young people who obviously love each other, are committed to each other and enjoy each other’s company, getting married. The dinner reception was very nice, with some very touching and beautiful speeches.
We got home just a touch after 10.30pm and shortly after that Tress and I got on the Skype with Kiddo and we chatted for a bit before deciding we absolutely had to go to bed. It was not the ideal way to spend Sunday night but it was great to have celebrated with friends and fellow believers and then chatting with Kiddo to finish up the weekend.