Post # 1
I need help hive. My fiance and I were engaged the day after Christmas, and two days after that we attended the wedding of one of his family friends. Not only was it a beautiful wedding, it was wonderful timing for us. I got to see the preacher from my fiance’s church in action.
I should provide some background info before I ask my question. I have always believed in God and Jesus, and if asked to categorize beliefs, I would probably associate most closely with Christianity. That being said, my family is not religious and we never went to church. Since I’ve been on my own, I have not regularly attended church. My fiance, though he regularly attended the abovementioned church before he moved out, does not regularly attend church. I have a pretty live-and-let-live outlook when it comes to religious beliefs or lack thereof. Many of my and my fiance’s closest friends are athiests, and we all know we believe different things, and if the subject comes up we discuss it respectfully and always end up agreeing to disagree.
So, that being said, the preacher, in the ceremony, asked members of the congregation to accept Jesus as their savior, with the reminder of what will happen to their souls if they don’t accept Jesus. All religious beliefs aside here, I’m worried my athiest friends will be offended. And personally, I don’t care for talk of the souls of my friends going to Hell during my wedding.
How can I, politely and respectfully, ask the preacher to remove that portion of from the ceremony? I’ve seen this in enough other weddings to know it’s somewhat standard. Another hiccup to consider: the preacher and his family are very close with my fiance and his family. (They take vacations together.) Bearing all this in mind, how can I make sure the ceremony is what I want without offending the preacher (aka my in-laws’ close friend)?
Post # 3
Hmm… that’s tough.
I was at a wedding where something similar happened. I grew up in a religious environement, although I am not now, so it didn’t really throw me. But I know my date was offended, and from the look of some of the crowd, I don’t think he was the only one. (I should say that the bride and groom are deeply rooted in their faith, and the vast majority of the guests were members of the church).
I’m not really sure how to handle it though. First, I’d mention it to your Fiance and make sure he’s on board with you. It would be extremely awkward if you mentioned it to the preacher and your Fiance didn’t immediately back you up. I would bring it up during your discussions about the text of the ceremony, perhaps mention that you’d like the service to be "inclusive of the beliefs of all your guests, so that they may feel comfortable." You never know – he may only do it upon request, or he may be frequently asked by brides and groom to leave it out.
Post # 4
I know that my pastor has a couple versions of his wedding sermon for reasons such as this. I think if your Fiance is also on board and if you approach it respectfully, the pastor will understand. I would tell him that while you believe in Jesus, some of your guests do not, and while you have discussed faith with these individuals in the past and do not have a problem doing so generally, that you do not want to make them uncomfortable at your wedding. I personally would add something about a fear doing so would be more likely to turn them off of religion than to result in a sincere conversion.
Post # 5
he asked people to accept Christ during the wedding ceremony? as a churchgoing Christian (who is very active in the leadership of my church), i think it is absolutely out of place to do that. a wedding is a beautiful time for the couple to speak of their own commitment to God, and to each other during a wedding. the guests are there for the couple, and should not be singled out or made uncomfortable – they’re guests.
i think you should just explain to the preacher that you would rather the focus be on you and your fiance and your own commitment and union to each other, not each any every person there’s commitment (or lack of) to God.
Post # 6
@ peacypear, MrsCPT and melodicsighs1 — Thanks for making me feel like I’m not out in left field on this. My Fiance is on board with talking to the preacher about it, so at least I don’t have THAT akwardness to worry about.
I should also mention that these close friends who are athiests won’t just be attending the wedding, they will all most likely be in the wedding as groomsmen/bridesmaids.
Post # 7
- Wedding: October 2007 - a beautiful church and hotel reception
Hmm that is a toughie! Although it does sound like good intentions, and although Christianity IS offensive in general— your wedding should be done at your comfort level. What your preacher says should reflect on the beliefs of you and your Fiance. And totally agree that your Fiance should be on board with this! I hope you guys are able to work it out!