It’s that time of the year. With 81% of our church being single, you can imagine that we have our share of weddings – particularly during the beautiful summers of Seattle.
It’s a great privilege for me but at times, it’s pretty overwhelming on my schedule which is why I tell couples from the outset that I can’t attend the wedding rehearsals. Eventually, I know that the other pastors will be asked to officiate [and have been asked] as congregrants form more intimate relationships with other pastors. In addition, there’s a very good chance that my family and I will be taking a three month sabbatical next summer. But I digress…
About 10 days ago [7.07.2007], I officiated a wedding for Mike and Grace at Sunset Hill Park – overlooking an incredible view of the Puget Sound [incredible photos courtesy of HageCreative Photography]. The picture below pretty much sums up how perfect the day was…
Well, it’s now time for another wedding. I am now writing this from Sunriver, Oregon to officiate Karl Peter and Rachel E.’s wedding. Remind me next time to figure out exactly where these locations are before I commit. This was a seven hour drive! Imagine that with three young children. But, we’re now here, excited and privileged to celebrate their wedding later today.
As a pastor, my encouragement to couples as they plan their wedding is to realize that the ultimate goal of the wedding is to not put on a good show. It pains me to see couples or families spend an exorbitant amount of money [and some that actually decide to go into debt] to put on some fancy wedding. You don’t need to impress anyone. Take a shower; Show up; honor your parents and families; get some decent food; get some good wine and cheap beer is OK too, and enjoy and rejoice with your guests. Finally, if you’re a Christian, the wedding is foremost, a worship service and celebration. When it’s all said and done: a couple gathers together with family and friends to come into the presence of the Triune God to gather, to be encouraged [and to exchange their vows] and to be sent forth with purpose.
More couples are now requesting communion to be served at their weddings which I am VERY happy and privileged to administer. To my recollection, while no one has requested communion as a ‘Hey, can I check that box on the wedding menu because that would be a cool thing to do,’ most choose to have communion privately as a couple and thus, to have a “closed communion.” While uncomfortable, I’ve basically acquiesced in the past – but no more. After wrestling with this off and on over the years, conversations and reading other pastors’ thought on the issue and praying through it, I’m convicted that Communion was never intended to be served for only a few or a couple even on their special Wedding Day – all while the invitation is not open to others.
So, yes, it would be a great joy to administer Communion at your wedding. But no, I will not only serve you – no matter how great you guys look. If communion is to be administered, the Table and Invitation must be made open and available to all. Congratulations and blessings to those who are getting married in the coming months.