“I’m full of joy, redeemed, set free” is the slogan being used by the Evangelical Church in the Rhineland for the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation in 2017. It is taken from the opening lines of a psalm-poem by the Rhineland cabaret artist and writer Hanns Dieter Hüsch (1925-2005).

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At their wedding the couple receive God’s blessing: God wants to accompany the couple in their marriage. At their wedding the couple receive God’s blessing: God wants to accompany the couple in their marriage.

Wedding

A union of two people with God’s blessing

At a wedding the union of husband and wife or of same-sex partners is brought under the auspices of the Word of God and given God’s blessing. The love between two people is a gift from God who created humankind. This concept defines the Protestant understanding of a wedding.

At their wedding the couple receive God’s blessing: God wants to accompany the couple in their marriage. For it is far from being taken for granted that two people, each with their own dreams and desires, their plans for the future and their past history, their own capabilities and their blind spots, will be willing and able to establish a firm and life-long relationship.

A Protestant wedding service is where the occasion of the marriage between a man and woman or a registered partnership between same-sex couples is celebrated, with prayer, singing, Bible readings, sermon and blessing. Due to the deadlines laid down for a church wedding ceremony following the civil marriage or registration of a civil partnership, it is advisable to make contact with the church minister well in advance.

The responsibility for church weddings lies with the parish office in which one of the partners or their parents live, or into whose area the couple wish to move after the wedding. A condition for church weddings is that one of the partners is a member of the Protestant Church. Divorcees can of course also have a church wedding when embarking on a new marriage.

When different denominations are involved

Couples of different denominations can also celebrate a church wedding service, including if desired the participation of a minister of a different Christian denomination (ecumenical wedding).  In the case of the Roman Catholic Church, if a matrimonial dispensation has been received from their church office, then the Protestant wedding service is also recognised by the Catholic Church as a contract of marriage.

A church wedding taken by the local minister in the home parish of one of the partners is normally free of charge.  Additional charges may however be made if the service is designed in a special format or takes place elsewhere from the usual place of worship used by the local congregation. 

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ekir.de / photo: Anna Siggelkow / 17.11.2016



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