I have been recently ordained as a pastor and I am to officiate an engagement ceremony shortly. I would ask you to share with me some advices and experience regarding how to conduct and officiate such events. Thank you!
I am glad you have asked for advice and that you desire to do all things to their highest standard. Thus teaches us God and we should do all things this way. I will gladly share with you the way I officiate an engagement ceremony hoping it will be of use.
The engagement ceremony takes place only after the man proposed the lady to marry him and the lady accepted the proposal and then asked the ladies’ parrents for marriage approval. The wedding engagement is one of the step of marriage initiation and ceremony preparation process.
If the couple are from different churches
Communicate with the other pastor of the church about your responsibilities at the engagement ceremony.
Get acquainted with the audience
Shake hands with the man and the lady to be engaged, with their parrents and meet the relatives invited to the ceremony.
Pray before the meal
Usually the discussions take place around a meal. It is recommended that the pastor reads one of the passages from Genessis 2:18-25 or Ephesians 5:31-32 and explains the divine origin of marriage and the engagement importance. It is useful to bring up Bible texts that talk about wedding engagement. If you read from Deutoronomy 22:23-29 mention that the engagement is set up at the same level with the marriage and if you read 2 Corinithians 11:2-3 point out that the engagement is the relationship image between Christ and His church. We, as christians have to keep well this image. Those who break the engagement distort this image in the eyes of the people and make them think wrong about the relationship between Christ and the church. The couple, their parrents and the present relatives have to understand that the engagement is a holy agreement, a commitment to fulfill the marriage act. After addressing this important message, pray for God’s blessing upon further discussions and for the meal.
Ask the young couple how they met and why they decided to marry
The parents and those present at the ceremony would be interessted in hearing the love story of the couple. Ask the man and the lady to tell thier story of love. If someone is shy and talks little, you could address some questions. Be very careful to their retelling and assure yourself that their relationship is sane and that there is nothing that comes against their marriage. There could be enough cases when parrents arrange the relationship or one of the partner has a different interest. Being attentive to their words you will be able to understand how is their relationship and if there is something unclear, ask questions to make things clear.
Ask the parents
Ask the parents what do they think about the couple intention to marry, if they are not aggainst it and whether they arranged it aggainst the youth willing. Ask the parrents if they are willing to bless their children in this marriage and make sure you have received a clear answer.
Ask the relatives