Author Topic: s/o Wedding evangelizing - Forewarning of wedding service content?  (Read 10103 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Surianne

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 10836
    • Prince ShimmerShine Moondream's Blogging Adventure
The thread about evangelizing at a wedding made me think of this.  I hope because I'm not talking about specific religions or politics it will be okay  :)

I've been to a couple of weddings where I was very caught off guard by views expressed in the sermon delivered by the officiant.  It made me uncomfortable to sit there and not protest, as if I were agreeing with the officiant and supporting the views by my presence.

(In this case, it actually wasn't about homosexuality, but another matter.)

It's made me a little leery of attending weddings in churches in the future.  So I'm curious, has anyone thought of a good way to find out whether the content of the service will be controversial?  Is it ever appropriate to contact the church (or other organization) in advance and ask about the general content of the service?  Is there another way to do it?

I would *not* feel comfortable asking the bride/groom, because I wouldn't want to offend them by potentially judging their religion at a happy time.    But I would like to know in advance, if possible, whether or not I'd be offended by the service.  If I would, I'd prefer not to attend and simply send my congratulations and celebrate with the couple at another time.

Sharnita

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 21524
Re: s/o Wedding evangelizing - Forewarning of wedding service content?
« Reply #1 on: October 08, 2013, 10:03:05 PM »
I think you could find the general theology/doctrine of that denomination before hand. I would expect in general that any of their beliefs might be incorporated into the service.

TootsNYC

  • A Pillar of the Forum
  • *****
  • Posts: 30820
Re: s/o Wedding evangelizing - Forewarning of wedding service content?
« Reply #2 on: October 08, 2013, 10:03:33 PM »
I don't think any bride or groom marrying in a church would have any idea of what the minister will say in the sermon.

I think you can research the church itself a little bit to see if they have quite restrictive views of gender roles, or whatever other hot-button issues.

And that research can include asking any family members/bride&groom/whoever is not to difficult to be in touch with.

Another Sarah

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 330
Re: s/o Wedding evangelizing - Forewarning of wedding service content?
« Reply #3 on: October 08, 2013, 10:11:14 PM »
I think this is impossible to know just by looking at the denomination. The church down the road to the left from my mum's house has the vicar we refer to as the fire-and-brimstone one, whereas the one down the road to the right, same denomination, has the nicest vicar I've ever met. It's down to the officiant's personality more than anything else and unless its the HC's own personal priest they probably won't know either. You could sound out someone who goes to that church, be it the bride and groom or a family member discreetly though.

Surianne

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 10836
    • Prince ShimmerShine Moondream's Blogging Adventure
Re: s/o Wedding evangelizing - Forewarning of wedding service content?
« Reply #4 on: October 08, 2013, 10:14:53 PM »
Yes, researching the denomination beforehand makes a lot of sense.  That's a good starting point, I think.  Thank you!

I think what really caught me off guard the last time is I'd been to services by Religion Y before, and had no problem with it -- it was what I expected from most weddings I'd been to.  And I'd never heard the views expressed by my friends of Religion Y, either (but we're very good about not discussing hot-button religious issues, because we know that's how we stay friends!). 

So I'm guessing individual officiants have their own determination of how much of their beliefs they put into the service, and how controversial and pushy they're willing to get?

Would it ever be appropriate to afterward write a letter to the officiant protesting the content, and saying it made me uncomfortable, or would that just make my friends look bad?  (I wouldn't want to get them "in trouble", so to speak, with their church!)

The quote function is being wonky, so this is from Another Sarah who posted while I was replying:
Quote
I think this is impossible to know just by looking at the denomination. The church down the road to the left from my mum's house has the vicar we refer to as the fire-and-brimstone one, whereas the one down the road to the right, same denomination, has the nicest vicar I've ever met. It's down to the officiant's personality more than anything else and unless its the HC's own personal priest they probably won't know either. You could sound out someone who goes to that church, be it the bride and groom or a family member discreetly though.

Yes, that's totally why I've found it to be difficult.  I like the idea of discreetly speaking to a family member or friend who goes to the church. 

LifeOnPluto

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 6635
    • Blog
Re: s/o Wedding evangelizing - Forewarning of wedding service content?
« Reply #5 on: October 08, 2013, 10:16:43 PM »
It would make me very uncomfortable too, to sit there and listen to views that I personally find outdated and/or distateful. However, I think it would be rather difficult to find out beforehand what the sermon will include. Unfortunately, I think the only polite thing you can do if faced with an uncomfortable sermon is grit your teeth and say nothing. 


Yvaine

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 8929
Re: s/o Wedding evangelizing - Forewarning of wedding service content?
« Reply #6 on: October 08, 2013, 10:18:57 PM »
Would it ever be appropriate to afterward write a letter to the officiant protesting the content, and saying it made me uncomfortable, or would that just make my friends look bad?  (I wouldn't want to get them "in trouble", so to speak, with their church!)

I don't think you'd get anyone "in trouble," but I can't see much point in doing this if it's not your church.

Sharnita

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 21524
Re: s/o Wedding evangelizing - Forewarning of wedding service content?
« Reply #7 on: October 08, 2013, 10:21:24 PM »
No, I think that would be way out of line. If they gave the bride and groom the impression they would say  X and they say Y then the HC has a right to complain. You do not have any standing ti complain at all.

If you were part of the church and he contradicted what the denomination believes, thrn you vould complain.

Zizi-K

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 739
Re: s/o Wedding evangelizing - Forewarning of wedding service content?
« Reply #8 on: October 08, 2013, 10:24:21 PM »
If it makes you uncomfortable, imagine what it would be like to be the bride and groom and disagree with some sermon! I'll bet it happens all the time, unfortunately.

nuit93

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1162
Re: s/o Wedding evangelizing - Forewarning of wedding service content?
« Reply #9 on: October 08, 2013, 10:30:25 PM »
I just attended a wedding like this.

The pastor spent a good deal of the ceremony talking about the importance of the wife being submissive to the husband, and how this was the only sanctioned and happy type of marriage, and had the bride vow to do exactly that.  Now, the groom's family was part of a very conservative denomination where such sermons were expected and encouraged.  The bride's side (which I was on), not so much!  At one point my baby sister and I looked at each other with a raised eyebrow and the expression of "did he *really* just say that?".
 
However, neither the bride nor the groom personally believed in the whole "wife must be submissive" way of thinking, and had specifically requested that the pastor NOT include it in the ceremony.  The pastor either forgot or chose to ignore this request, figuring that neither of them would make a scene in the middle of it all (they didn't).

So, I don't think knowing the beliefs/expectations of a particular denomination would necessarily prepare an attendee for what to expect.


Zizi-K

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 739
Re: s/o Wedding evangelizing - Forewarning of wedding service content?
« Reply #10 on: October 08, 2013, 10:32:30 PM »
I just attended a wedding like this.

The pastor spent a good deal of the ceremony talking about the importance of the wife being submissive to the husband, and how this was the only sanctioned and happy type of marriage, and had the bride vow to do exactly that.  Now, the groom's family was part of a very conservative denomination where such sermons were expected and encouraged.  The bride's side (which I was on), not so much!  At one point my baby sister and I looked at each other with a raised eyebrow and the expression of "did he *really* just say that?".
 
However, neither the bride nor the groom personally believed in the whole "wife must be submissive" way of thinking, and had specifically requested that the pastor NOT include it in the ceremony.  The pastor either forgot or chose to ignore this request, figuring that neither of them would make a scene in the middle of it all (they didn't).

So, I don't think knowing the beliefs/expectations of a particular denomination would necessarily prepare an attendee for what to expect.

I might have "conveniently" forgotten to give him his honorarium for those kinds of hijinks.

Bluenomi

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3580
Re: s/o Wedding evangelizing - Forewarning of wedding service content?
« Reply #11 on: October 08, 2013, 10:35:33 PM »
I'm an atheist so I find pretty much all church weddings a bit uncomfortable. Thankfully sermons are pretty rare or very short and generic at most church weddings here so it's not too much to deal with, I generally tune out for that bit and admire the brides dress/stain glass/pretty building/whatever while it happens.

If I did find it offensive I wouldn't bother complaining. I figure it's their church, they can say what they want and it was my choice to be there. I wouldn't not attend a wedding just because I don't like the sermon, I'm there to support the bride and groom and if that was their choice of celebrant, then I'll just deal with it.

Twik

  • A Pillar of the Forum
  • *****
  • Posts: 28624
Re: s/o Wedding evangelizing - Forewarning of wedding service content?
« Reply #12 on: October 08, 2013, 10:38:27 PM »
I think it would be just like sitting through the reception afterwards and having one of the speakers make offensive toasts. Would you ask the HC beforehand if their best man is likely to make an off colour sexist speech? Or leave the reception if an uncle goes on a political tangent?

Part of the risks of going anywhere with public speaking is that we may not agree with what is said.
My cousin's memoir of love and loneliness while raising a child with multiple disabilities will be out on Amazon soon! Know the Night, by Maria Mutch, has been called "full of hope, light, and companionship for surviving the small hours of the night."

doodlemor

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2226
Re: s/o Wedding evangelizing - Forewarning of wedding service content?
« Reply #13 on: October 08, 2013, 10:39:30 PM »
It would make me very uncomfortable too, to sit there and listen to views that I personally find outdated and/or distateful. However, I think it would be rather difficult to find out beforehand what the sermon will include. Unfortunately, I think the only polite thing you can do if faced with an uncomfortable sermon is grit your teeth and say nothing.

............and find something interesting to daydream about.

Surianne

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 10836
    • Prince ShimmerShine Moondream's Blogging Adventure
Re: s/o Wedding evangelizing - Forewarning of wedding service content?
« Reply #14 on: October 08, 2013, 10:44:17 PM »
I just attended a wedding like this.

The pastor spent a good deal of the ceremony talking about the importance of the wife being submissive to the husband, and how this was the only sanctioned and happy type of marriage, and had the bride vow to do exactly that.  Now, the groom's family was part of a very conservative denomination where such sermons were expected and encouraged.  The bride's side (which I was on), not so much!  At one point my baby sister and I looked at each other with a raised eyebrow and the expression of "did he *really* just say that?".

This was totally one of the circumstances I was talking about!  You described it to a tee.  (The other occasion was a sermon about how divorce was evil...while I sat there next to a good friend who was going through a very rough divorce at the age of 25, because her husband cheated on her 1 month into the marriage.  So yeah, I wasn't too pleased.)
 
Quote
However, neither the bride nor the groom personally believed in the whole "wife must be submissive" way of thinking, and had specifically requested that the pastor NOT include it in the ceremony.  The pastor either forgot or chose to ignore this request, figuring that neither of them would make a scene in the middle of it all (they didn't).

So, I don't think knowing the beliefs/expectations of a particular denomination would necessarily prepare an attendee for what to expect.

My friends who were the couple in that wedding don't seem to subscribe to those notions either -- at least, they've always seemed very equal in all decision-making, and they've never treated each other like the man was the boss when I've been around them.  So that's why it was such a shock!

No, I think that would be way out of line. If they gave the bride and groom the impression they would say  X and they say Y then the HC has a right to complain. You do not have any standing ti complain at all.

If you were part of the church and he contradicted what the denomination believes, thrn you vould complain.

Hmm, I can understand if your argument were that it would do no good -- there's no reason for the officiant to care about my opinion if I'm not in his church.  But I'm not sure what you mean by "You do not have any standing to complain at all."  I was there, a captive audience member, and I heard something I was offended by.  Why not let him know he was upsetting people who were important to members of his church?  Perhaps if he received enough complaints, he would see that the world was changing and his message wasn`t supported.