Celebrating marriage in church


Let’s try to answer this question from a follower since I got many of them inbox. I suspect a wrong teaching is going on somewhere. The question says:

“Fr, why is Christian wedding done in the church since it is purely a family affair? Even in the Bible, the first place wedding was mentioned was not in the church.”

I have answered a question like this in the past, but I guess we should say it again.

You are right when you said that the first place wedding was mentioned in the bible was not in the church.

Bear in mind also that,

the first place healing was mentioned and done in the bible was not in the church.

The first place salvation was preached, was not in the church.

The first place the holy spirit came on the disciples and made them speak in tongues was not in the church.

The most popular sermon of Jesus called Sermon on the Mount, was not delivered in the church.

Even the institution of the Eucharist was not done in the church.

We can go on and on.

So, if we are to follow your line of argument, the church is useless.

But this is the key point you miss, the point whomever you are listening to also missed or won’t tell you…

All the above-mentioned were done WITH THE CHURCH and FOR THE CHURCH. In other words, you must first understand the word “church” as THE PEOPLE OF GOD, before you move on to understand it as a building.

The building becomes important because of the people, and because the people are important to God, wherever they gather, God sanctifies the place with his presence, thus making the ordinary church building HOLY.

The first wedding that was mentioned in the Bible, by this I will suppose it was the wedding in Cana, it is important you know that though it was NOT done in the church, it was done BY THE CHURCH (remove “by the church” and replace it with “by the people of God”).

In fact, the very fact that the Apostles were invited; Mary, the mother of Jesus, was also invited. . says something theologically deep.

The Apostles alongside Mary are the church. They are our foundation. And Jesus who is God (Messiah) was invited as well.

What the couple did at the wedding in Cana was to invite the church and also to invite God into their wedding. And then the first Miracle happened. The miracle is also a sign which says, if you invite me, I will make up for all the places you are lacking and not put you to shame before the people of the world.

How best can we invite Jesus and the apostles to our weddings today? Do we need any specific passage in the Bible to tell us that it is important to involve the church and God in very important moments of our lives like marriage?

So if you are a Christian and about to wed, who will be your guests? Won’t they be the same Christians you have been having fellowship with? If yes, is that not the church you have invited?

Again, If you regard the church building as a holy place where God dwells, what is wrong with coming before God in the presence of God’s people as they witness how you make the bold step of leaving everything and clinging to your wife?

I have taught that Christian marriages can be done anywhere, it must not be in a church building. But you must understand the church as a people of God and the centrality of the church building for Christians. I am against people who are not balanced in biblical analysis.

Fr. Kelvin Ugwu
Fr. Kelvin Ugwu
Fr Kelvin Ugwu MSP is an influential Nigerian Catholic priest on a mission in The Gambia.

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