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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Bringing God into it

Congregations called to encourage worshipful weddings and support marriages

Just picture it: the wedding day — yours, or perhaps one you helped plan (pay for) or attended. It may have lived up to the hype as "the happiest day" of the couple's life or pressure to make it so might have made it "the most stressful day" ever. And amid all the hoopla was a person who sincerely wanted to offer Christian worship: the pastor.

"Nearly every pastor I've met has said he or she would rather do a funeral than a wedding any day," says Karen Bockelman, assistant to the bishop of the Northeastern Minnesota Synod and author of Marriage: A Worship Handbook (Augsburg Fortress, 2001). "The pastoral role is clear at the funeral. But at a wedding the pastor is a combination of an agent of the state and a wedding planner ... and the cultural expectations are dumped on the pastor."


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