Immanuel’s Wedding Policy
I. The marriage policy of Immanuel Lutheran Church (ILC), a member congregation of The Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod (LCMS), is and always has been consistent with the Synod’s position on marriage. We believe that marriage is a sacred union of one man and one woman (Gen. 2:24-25), and that God gave marriage as a picture of the relationship between Christ and His bride the Church (Eph. 5:32). The official position of the LCMS, as set forth in 1998 Res. 3-21 (“To Affirm the Sanctity of Marriage and to Reject Same-Sex Unions”), is that homosexual unions come under categorical prohibition in the Old and New Testaments (Lev. 18:22, 24; 20:13; 1 Cor. 6:9-10; 1 Tim. 1:9-10) as contrary to the Creator’s design (Rom. 1:26-27). These positions and beliefs can be found on the LCMS website, along with other statements, papers, and reports on the subject of homosexuality and same-sex civil unions and “marriage.” Our pastors will not officiate over any marriage inconsistent with these beliefs, and our church property may not be used for any marriage ceremony, reception or other activity that would be inconsistent with our beliefs and this policy.
II. A wedding service is a liturgical service of worship, so the same established confessional policies of the LCMS apply. Clergy of churches/denominations with whom we are not in church fellowship may not officiate with (or in place of) the pastor(s) of ILC. No non-Christian ministers or otherwise may officiate.
III. Because a wedding (or blessing of civil marriage) ceremony is a confession of faith at our altar, our pastors will not officiate a wedding for persons who are not yet instructed, in doubt, or who hold a confession differing from that of this congregation and the LCMS. All weddings at ILC shall be conducted a) using services contained in The Lutheran Service Altar Book (CPH 2006), Lutheran Service Book Agenda, (CPH 2006), or The Lutheran Service Book Pastoral Care Companion (CPH 2007), or those services, without change, as contained in the Agendas, Pastoral Care Companions, and Altar Books printed by Concordia Publishing House for use with Lutheran Worship (CPH 1982) and The Lutheran Hymnal (CPH 1941), and; b) without a fee for services.
IV. The Minister of Music has first right of refusal for playing any weddings held at ILC; and only approved musicians may play the organ or piano. The wedding ceremony is a worship service. Therefore, the wedding music shall be in keeping with a worship service and must be approved in advance by the Minister of Music. Neither recorded music of any kind, nor equipment for providing recorded music, may be used. All vocal solos must have a text clearly centered on the person and work of Jesus Christ or on the Holy Scriptures. The Minister of Music will make the final determination as to the appropriateness of all music requested.