This post takes us straight to what we will expect on the wedding service proper. For those who always attend wedding invitation at the reception hall, read this carefully, these are the things you must see in your own turn.
THE WEDDING SERVICE
The wedding procedures are almost the same mostly among the Pentecostal. The orthodox and Evangelicals may have a very little difference.
Here is the format:
· Secret counseling conducted between the couple alone with the appointed ministers.
· Marching in of the couple to the altar in their procession with entourage
· Introduction of those in attendance
· Bible reading by the appointed minister
· Open counseling by the appointed minister. This counseling is aimed at both the newly couple and those whose marriages have soured.
Officiating of the wedding:
Question will be asked to the public to ascertain the validity of the wedding.
· Does anybody have any knowledge why we should not lawfully join this man with this woman?
· Have you people (i.e the couple) any knowledge why this wedding will be unlawful?”
Question will be asked to the parents of both bride and groom to ascertain their support in the wedding ceremony.
After the verification, the couple will be directed to exchange vows and promises on how they will marry.
They will stamp their vows with the strong affirmative statement “I will”.
After the exchanging of vows: the couple will be demanded to seal up their marriage vows with “a token or a symbol”. The bridegroom will bring rings. They will exchange the rings to each other with statements of affirmation to their vows. Then, the congregation will echo – Amen. Immediately after the exchanging of rings, the officiating minister will call for prayer. The minister will pronounce God’s blessings on them as a prayer. He will join the couple’s hand in that prayer as symbol of divine mathematics of one plus one which results to “One”.
After the prayer of blessings on them, the officiating minister will officially confirm them as married. He will add, “Whatever God has joined together, let no man put asunder”. The congregation will echo Amen.
QUESTIONS ASKED IN THE SECRET COUNELING SESSION:
It seems proper to be aware of some of the questions you will expect from the official ministers who will interview and counsel you. This interview is done prior to your processional march to the altar. If you know these things before hand, it will help you to respond to them with boldness.
· What is your name?
· How many years are you?
· How do you know that this is God’s will for you?
· Are you still a virgin? (The girl is asked in the f her intended.
· Are you still chaste? (The man is asked before his intended).
The audience will keep quiet. He will ask the couple if they knew anything that will hinder the pronouncement of their wedding as “a Holy one”. They have no knowledge of any reason why their wedding will not be pronounced holy; the minister will have no other option than to join them.
At this juncture, knowledge might be hiding as the couple smartly deceived the minister. The fetus will not be seen rising up its hand by the pastor. The fetus’ hands will come down until the full maturity when the secret of pregnancy will be revealed at birth.
Could you believe that some sisters who denied having any knowledge sexually, actually have knowledge of some unfaithfulness?
Some of them put to bed after 5, 6 or 7 months of their wedding.
The minister will call out the parents of the couple to the altar to ascertain their backing. They will asked whether they have received their cultural demands. They will be allowed to confirm before the audience.
Mind you, the church culture supersedes any custom. The parents of the bride will be demanded to hand over their daughter to the officiating minister who will in turn hand her over to the rightful man with the cooperation of the bride’s parents, the girl is accepted as wife and daughter in-law.
OFFICIAL ADDRESS TO THE COUPLE
FIRST THE YOUNG MAN
The minister will now address the groom saying, you are about to take a pure and solemn vow incurring grave and lasting responsibility. The woman close to you will today become your wife, the heir of your possessions, me queen of your home. She has shown her great love by leaving her parents to cleave to you. She will from now share your joys and sorrows, ups and downs as you both shall live”.
SECOND THE YOUNG LADY
The minister will address the woman likewise saying, “you are about to take up a grave responsibility. The man you are about to wed sees you as “a comfort in trials. Your bright face, smiles, sweet voice, hard work, carefulness in home management and prayer will sustain your marriage and this man to abide in his love to you as long as you both shall live”.
BACK TO THE GROOM
The minister will then say to the groom, having understood the privileges and obligations of Christian marriage, will you take this woman to be your wedded wife, to live together; in the holy matrimony, to love an to cherish as long as you both shall live”? The man will respond “Yes I will”.
Brother, you are expected to answer “I will” yet you need to think twice.
“I will” here means “obligation”, “mandatory”, or “compulsory” to all those hard but important responsibilities. If you cannot do them all, why not respond “I will, but…” So that the public will bear witness and have it in mind that you will exempt yourself from some of the said “responsibilities”.
BACK TO THE YOUNG LADY
The woman will likewise be asked,
“Having understood the privileges and obligations of “Having understood the privileges and obligations of Christian marriage” will you take this man to be your wedded husband, to live together in holy matrimony, to love and to cherish, as long as you both shall live? I will is the expected answer.
But remember, it is binding on you. Every demand of the man whether favorable or not is binding on you. Be reasonable!
EXCHANGE OF MARRIAGE VOWS:
This is like swearing in “of a leader to a responsible office”. It is “an oath to an important duty”. Such an oath of office must be ministered by a superior officer. (Though the church avoids the word “oath” or “oat swearing”, but that does not remove its nature and characteristics).
Brother, sister, you are taking an oath. You are before God and the congregations as you respond to those vows. The vows are binding on you until death do you apart.
The wedding binds the couple with what is known as “vow”. The vows are promises made to each other publicly. God honors the vows. The vows last and remain as a reminder to the couple that marriage is a lifetime venture. Every vow made on/or after the wedding day must be kept (Judges 11: 35; Eccl. 5: 1-7; James 5:12; Matt.5:37; II Cor. 1:17-19).
VOWS BY THE MAN
· Will you have this woman standing beside you (Gen. 2:21-25)?
· To be your wedded wife (Prov. 31:28-29)?
· To live together (Eccl.9:9; Eph. 4: 31 – 32)?
· After God’s holy ordinances (Eph. 5:22 – 33; I Cor. 7:1 -5)?
· In the estate of matrimony (Heb. 13:4)?
· Will you love her? (Col. 3:19)?
· Comfort her (Col. 3: 12-15)?
· Honor and keep her (Rom. 12:10; 13:7; I Pet. 3:7-9)?
· Forsaken all other woman and keep unto her? (I Cor. 7: 1-5; 5:1 1-13; 0:15-29; Prov 7:1-27; 6:23-35)?
· As long as you shall live (Mail. 19:1-11), immediately all these ten points are read as a question. The man (since he wants everything to speed up) will quickly answer “I will”.
That “l will” chains you. You cannot escape from these vows until death, do you path. If you cannot keep to your marriage vows, do not say “I will”. Avoid it entirely.
VOWS BY THE WOMAN
· Will you have this man standing beside you? (Gen. 3:16; Eph. 5:22-23).
· To be your wedded husband (Gen. 3:16)
· Will you obey him? (Rom. 13:1-8)
· Serve him? (I Peter 3: 1-6)
· Love and honor him? (I Peter 3:1-6)
· Keep him in sickness and in health? (Prov. 21:19; 24:24)
· As long as you both shall live? (Titus 2:3-6).
The woman will say “I will” without considerations. She wants to be in her home for the first time. Had it been that she remembered what she meant by that, I will she would had said, “I will, but.” She would have told the public some of her exceptions to that big responsibility.