My daughter will get married next year and would like to have an engagement ceremony in the church. How do we go about doing this? Thank you.
It is good that you are thinking about the engagement and how it should be performed in the church. In some denominations, there is no longer a custom to invite the priest or pastor to this very important event laying the groundwork for the upcoming marriage covenant. I am a Baptist pastor and in our denomination it is customary for the pastor to be invited to officiate the engagement ceremony.
After the young man asks a girl to marry him, and after he has spoken with her parents, they are all to meet together and decide on the future marriage. Once the parents and young couple reach an agreement, they will then organize a meeting with the couple’s pastor or pastors if they are from different churches and celebrate the official engagement ceremony.
Usually the ceremony is led man’s pastor or priest, but there can be a mutual agreement for her pastor to lead the ceremony. The procedure may vary among the different denominations, but there is no need to worry because the pastor knows what is to be done. Ask what preparations you need to make in order for things to run smoothly during the ceremony.
The engagement usually takes place at the girl’s home, but there is nothing wrong if it is done at the boy’s home or at a neutral location decided upon in advance.
As for whom to invite, it is sufficient to invite members of both families (parents, siblings, grandparents and anyone else who lives with you) along with the pastors and their families. If there is a more talkative family member then you should speak to that person in advance to allow the pastors, parents, and young couple to be allowed to do most of the talking, especially since they have many, many questions to ask and answer.
Some denominations have set prices to pay pastors and priests for officiating certain ceremonies in the church. Others do not charge for their services and leave it up to the individuals to make donations. It is nice to honor your pastor (priest) in a manner worthy of the saints, for it is written:
6 The one who is taught the message must share all his good things with the teacher. (Galatians 6)
I invite you to read the following articles which address the subject of engagement and marriage.
- What is engagement?
- Is an engagement ceremony obligatory?
- Can you still get engaged and have a religious wedding ceremony if you have already had premarital sex?
- Is it okay to kiss if you are engaged?
God bless you and help you prepare a great wedding ceremony for your girl and her future husband so that they can be truly happy and reflect the beautiful relationship between Christ and His bride, the church.
and then be happy in their marriage, reflecting the beautiful relationship that is between Christ and His Church, for this is the main purpose of marriage.
I invite the readers to write the things that they consider important to know before getting engaged and preparing for a wedding or other things that must be done so that the experience will be good for all.
Translation by: Erik Brewer