Congratulations on your plans for marriage and a life together in a union blessed by God. Whether you end up celebrating your covenant commitment with us or make other plans, we wish you joy and happiness.
At First Congregational Church, United Church of Christ, we view marriage as a covenant established between two equal and independent individuals who are seeking to commit their lives to one another and are seeking both the blessing of God and that of the church.
The marriage ceremony is a religious service. We are a Protestant/Christian denomination. We are a progressive congregation. The base ceremony is that of the United Church of Christ. This service allows for variation and flexibility. I am frequently asked about “length” – about 20-25 minutes.
Naturally, the larger the wedding party (bridesmaid, ring bearers, flower girls, etc) and the more “special” pieces that get added (unity candle, special music, presentations, readings) the longer it will become. By and large, most weddings do not exceed 30 minutes.
Wedding rehearsal: Very simple weddings do not require a rehearsal. The majority of weddings do require a rehearsal if you want all to go smoothly at the time of the ceremony. Rehearsals are generally done the evening before the wedding date.
You are not required to be a member of FCCUCC in order to be married in this church.
We have an application form. It will list fees as established by the congregation as well as communicate some “ground rules”. A date does not get “reserved” until we have received the application form and deposit. We would be happy to mail you a form when you call us.
All weddings in this church are presided over by the pastor of this congregation. Due to conflicts of schedule; the pastor, in consultation with the couple, may make arrangements for another individual to preside.
When organ music is desired, the Music Director of FCCUCC is the musician. Like with the pastor, periodic conflicts to develop, and there is a procedure in place if this should be the case with your desired date.
As the Pastor, I like to meet with couples at least twice. Approximately half the time is spent specifically talking about and planning your celebration.
A marriage ceremony in church is one that includes God. Presumed is an ongoing relationship with “the Holy”. We give this a “nudge” and ask couples to attend worship four times. Naturally, we love it when couples choose to continue to worship with us. More important than the “where” is “developing”. You are welcome to use this as an opportunity to develop a relationship with a congregation that is “close” to you, or as an opportunity to “seek”.
In marriage, we are reminded that no couple is perfect, there are personality differences, and there will be future stressors. I encourage all couples to identify a “professional counselor” and have a couple sessions with him/her and then receive a professional “marriage assessment” of strengths and challenges.