Why I Won’t Marry Randoms

I’m not really a pastor. The Free Methodists aren’t into the idea of giving me the title of ‘ordained minister’ due to a few theological differences as of right now. But being part of a church has made me subject to the onslaught of requests to perform wedding ceremonies. This has actually given me a beautiful excuse to just say no to most people that ask, since it wouldn’t be a serious pain to go and get a license, I just end up saying no to most people.

All this time of theological limbo has given me time to think. I’m not really interested in marrying randoms. If marriage is what we say it is as the church, then I’m thinking it’s probably the ultimate disservice to the church to actually continue on marrying folks that aren’t part of our communities. Marriage is supposed to be this beautiful communion between two people, their community and God. To reduce it to a ceremony in which I get paid a couple hundred bucks and I can whip them off without even slightly knowing the couple is a slap in the face to the beauty that it’s supposed to invoke.

I still perform ceremonies occasionally for family and friends only, if they’ve already been married by the state and they are part of my community in which I can actually participate in fulfilling my duty as part of the community. I’m not interested in being a provider of services to the rest of the world. I don’t really think that’s the churches job. It’s the role of the church to create communities in where the vows make sense and can be fulfilled with everyone involved, not to provide an empty ceremony for folks who just need a spiritual aspect to their day to stick to tradition.

5 Comments

  • Joe just cancelled. Can you help out?

  • Sorry, can’t make it official. I’ll just stand next to you.

  • that’s quite a judgment on the Unitarian church in Canada. We were the first denomination to offer “non-traditional” marriage ceremonies as an alternative to ceremonies in churches or at City Hall as there were few options available prior to 1970’s. “Non-traditional” includes ceremonies that may contain some religious content or none at all (the majority). Our philosophy is to meet the needs of the couple to provide a ceremony that will be most meaningful to them. I work with the couple to compose the best ceremony that will reflect their values, hopes and beliefs and to officiate the ceremony in their location of choice. We do not “judge” couples based on their degree of religiosity,sexual orientation, or membership in a church and I am proud of what I do!

  • Hey Allan, I am certainly not judging the unitarians or yourself, I’m really glad there is organizations that serve folks the way you do, its why I said “i” and am referring to the Christian church. Folks have the right to be married the way they want, I’m just not interested in that kind of role for me or our church.

  • What about marrying people who are not necessarily part of your church community, but are part of the parish your church community serves? Could marrying them be an entry to relationship? Serving and getting to know them on the journey towards marrying them?

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