Virtual Voices

The Church of You: Weddings

Religion

The Church of You, as I explained in my last post, isn't tied down by traditions and rules. After all, how can you achieve true fulfillment if you're going along with the crowd? One of the places the Church of You excels is in the area of marriage ceremonies. In this we are simply accepting the reality that the traditional wedding is a dead end. I can't think of how to express the modern wedding ethos better than the way the good folks at Non-Religious Weddings do: "What you choose to include in your wedding ceremony should always truly come from your heart and not from habit, obligation, or fear of what someone else might think or pass judgment on you about. It's always best to live in the truth . . . your own truth."

Live in your own truth-that's what we're all about here at the Church of You. It used to be the case that a wedding was a ceremony in which the Church affirmed the union of a man and a woman before God, with members of the community as witnesses. It was a solemn occasion, with sacred responsibilities laid upon the shoulders of the bride and groom. The fact that they were a couple was not the important fact-the fact that they were bonding themselves according to the strictures of Christian dogma was.

I know, bummer, right? Nowadays most of us recognize-even in fussy religious churches-that a wedding is all about the bride and groom. Writing your own vows, having friends sing your favorite songs from the radio, showing a slideshow of the beautiful couple right there in the sanctuary-even some of the dullest churches are waking up to the plain common sense of the Church of You. The anti-church crowd is way ahead of the curve, of course. Check out this wisdom from Non-Religious Weddings' "secular humanist minister and wedding officiant": "I often tell couples that producing a wedding isn't much different than producing a stage play or a movie. The bride and groom are the stars of the show, and the guests are the audience. Other members of the wedding party and officiant are the supporting cast."

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Who can compete with that enlightened view? Let's wake up, church people. If we don't keep up with the modern way of doing it, pretty soon nobody will be having a church wedding anymore. That's one reason the Church of You opts for ceremonies to suit the tastes of our precious engaged couples. Whether you want a Hawaii-themed wedding or an airport wedding or even a California Country Club wedding, who's to say you should stick to the way weddings have always been done? "After all," note the people at WeddingVendors.com, "it is your day so why shouldn't you have it all your own way?" Indeed.

We've come a long way from the days when people who wanted to get married either had to submit to the authority of a church or get a second-class marriage before a civil servant. Nowadays, humanists and other bands of spirit-minded agnostics are considered organized religions, and hence are authorized by most states to perform marriage ceremonies that have the look and feel of a religious ritual, but without all that blather about God and sacred responsibility. Further, even the requirement that a wedding officiant be remotely "religious" is under attack. Witness the efforts of an atheist threatening to sue the state of Nevada unless he is allowed to conduct weddings without any religious affiliation whatsoever. This guy feels aggrieved because he can't play preacher, and by golly, he's not going to take it any more. That's the Church of You spirit!

So for a wedding that takes all the ritual of churches and bends them toward the celebration of the wonder of You, come on down to the place that has its priorities in order. After all, shouldn't everything be about you on your special day?

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