Our view of Marriage
Christian marriage, as recognised by St Francis United Church, is the affirmation before God, and the community, of a committed relationship between a man and a woman who join together in love and seek mutual growth and unity in that love.
The Marriage Service
The marriage service is where the couple takes vows to commit themselves to a lifelong relationship. The service normally takes place in the church in the presence of family members and friends. The service includes a statement of Christian marriage, readings from scripture, and sometimes a sermon, after which follow the wedding vows and prayers. The service concludes with the blessing of the marriage (or, if requested, may continue with Holy Communion).
Family members often take part in the service by reading scripture or leading the prayers of intercession.
The service includes the public signing of the church and civil marriage registers by the couple, two witnesses, and the Marriage Officer.
Selection of music and readings and any desired changes to the service are made in consultation with the officiating minister.
There are legal requirements which must be met for both South African citizens and foreign nationals and these must be adhered to.
At least one of the couple is required to have been baptized in a Christian church. Certain denominations require permission from the bishop for an unbaptised person to be married
Both individuals need to be willing to undertake a marriage preparation course as determined between them and the minister who will officiate at the wedding.
Do we have to be Members of the Church?
Because of the nature of St Francis Bay, the area is a popular venue for weddings, particularly at holiday periods. Christian couples may rent the facilities of St Francis United Church providing their marriage is to be conducted by an ordained minister from a recognised Christian denomination. The request to use the church must be made in writing together with an official letter from the minister who will conduct the service.
In cases where the spouse of a previous marriage is deceased, a certified copy of the death certificate must be produced.
Although the church views marriage as a lifelong commitment, it recognizes that sometimes marriages break down and result in divorce. In such cases it is expected that the minister of the denomination concerned will conduct an interview with the couple to ensure their readiness for remarriage. A certified copy of the final decree of divorce will be required.
Arranging a Marriage Service
The first step in moving toward marriage is to contact Beryl at the church office – 042 294 1943 or firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange for an interview with our minister. It is best to arrange this meeting at least three months in advance of the desired date of the wedding service.