Creating a Useful Folder
If a couple decide to get married in church this presents a wonderful opportunity. The Minister and, with careful thought, the people, can become fully involved in the planning and celebration of the great day. The couple may or may not be known to the congregation but this is always a time to reach out in love and welcome. Giving the couple resources to look at in advance – service sheets, ideas for readings, songs, hymns, music CDs, local catering and photography possibilities and so on – might be very helpful. As with baptisms and funerals and thanksgivings, the priest will have married many couples, but this couple will almost certainly be getting married for the first time! So here are some ideas to gather together and put in a folder.
Remember that this is a ‘living’ folder which will be added to and revised. Put several copies of each thing into plastic pockets so that the couple can take one out and keep it to look at.
There must be one reading from the Bible, but there can be other readings as well. See Bible Readings for Weddings and see Readings and Blessings for Weddings. A huge selection of readings can by found by typing ‘Readings for Weddings’ into the search engine on a computer. And there are poems and reflections, too, or short texts from favourite books. Put a selection in the folder – this is really useful for people who are not sure what they want.
Hymns, Songs and Music
Place a list of suitable songs and hymns in the folder. See Hymns and Songs for Weddings. The couple will probably know which favourite hymns they would like, usually ones they grew up with and which they know their friends will know and be able to sing. But there are others, particularly songs by contemporary composers, which have been written specifically for weddings. It is well worth discovering them. Recorded music might be needed if there is no choir, or if the organist does not want to play during the signing of the register. You might like to invest in one or two CDs to keep in the folder too.