Sunday Gazette-Mail from Charleston, West Virginia on July 27, 1975 · Page 67
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Sunday Gazette-Mail from Charleston, West Virginia · Page 67

Charleston, West Virginia
Issue Date:
Sunday, July 27, 1975
Page 67
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July 27,1975 ««wf«v ^i!*-Wat/ C«*f*-sK* »*» W?*» Couples Writing Ceremonies Which Express Their Feelings RV AVV muvvmK ii*it couples choose the more traditkaal proce- innovative cereaaofcies. but nothing too -You usually dos't see the word 'body' "A lot of musk now selected is not trad- Weddings outside the cl (M^SvwXsSf dlire "wavout." mesuoned at'weddings, but I think it's« it's okay as k«g as it's in good grater freedom in music ui .ar uuii. i«u «*u Ow-cWoor weddiags are aot allowed in Mr. Johnson had a couple who wrote good that the couple affirmed their sexual- iaste -". commented Mr. Johnson. Dr. Ha- wrdmg to Mr. Aooerseo. :^,._ _... ;J^ »u« ...~.~jn ~r »w» ««,. ?*-» riiTM*ci^a K\- t«^ p^rK^u** kic.w^n 3 ^ unwM»^i r« ·}·«»*; n rr£i vi-iu-o ir* \i-ni^* rnQvr\rrnr\_ :».. *~~~*.i.~_ '· »*- ?~) . ..~i.j A .j pan aid hf* married a pounk 1 who wrotf* Cann said he Dermits 'ah Marriage--put into the words of the couple involved--is approved, and encouraged, by area clergy. Representatives of major denominations said most couples today ask to select readings and prayers for their wedding ceremony and some even write their own. "I encourage couples to help plan their ceremony, if it's kept in the context of a Christian marriage, because a wedding ceremony is the personal commitment of the couple--one to the other. The service should grow out of then: feelings, not sterile words written in the 17th century," commented Dr. Percy Hagan, associate pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of Charleston. The Rev. James Lewis, rector of St. John's Episcopal Church, said he has noticed more couples "not wanting to say words just because they're the ones writ- j ten in the book." ! He said he gives much leeway to couples planning their wedding but that most Episcopal clergy stay close to the traditional service prescribed by the church. "I think freedom to choose what you want is good, but I don't participate in anything of which I can't approve," Mr. Lewis emphasized. The Rev. Dan Johnson, associate pastor of St. Marks United Methodist Church, said he gives couples the option of constructing their own service. Often they work out their own vows and use a traditional service. "I have a good modern-language version of the traditional service, which is popular." he explained. Mr. Johnson said he supplies resource material for couples who want to plan the complete service but he makes sure three parts are included: a public affirmation of the couple's intent to live together, or the vows; a declaration by the minister that they are. indeed, married, and prayers. "I always want it kept in mind that a wedding is a worship service. I feel strongly that the Lord's Prayer--the universal prayer--should be said by all the congregation at a wedding," Mr. Johnson said. Baptist Temple associate pastor David Andersen officiated at one of the earliest "modern" weddings performed in the Kanawha Valley. It was in Kanawha State Forest and the service included Biblical passages, I Corinthians 13; selections from the Prophet Kahlil Gibran and Ross Snyder's Inscape. The vows were: "I draw you into my very being to share with you life's sorrows and joys. I promise to respect you and be respected by you, to forgive you and be forgiven by you, to instill hope in you and be given hope by you. "I promise to accept the mystery of our unique selfness and to love you as Thou. "Through these acts of living, we grow toward each other." Mr. Andersen said couples' active involvement in the planning of their wedding is almost common now, but he has had few requests for other outdoor weddings. Dr. Hagan said he has been encouraging the personalization of weddings for half of his 20-year ministry. Most of the couples he has married have written their own service. Parts of The Prophet and Shakespeare also have been used. "We work out the service together. It's a three-way thing, but I have veto privilege," explained Dr. Hagan. He described his role as that of a midwife, helping in the birth of a new life. The Rev. Hilarion Cann, pastor of Blessed Sacrament Church in South Charleston, said there is a "great amount of leeway" given couples by the church for wedding ceremonies. "We give booklets with a wide variety of scripture readings from which they can choose, and other readings possibly.can be used if they're appropriate,'' Father Cann reported. He said most of the couples he meets are "really straight" and opt for a traditional service. "We're not in an area where people exercise a lot of initiative or creativity, but it's been getting better the last three or four years," he remarked. Father Cann said he likes a Church-approved procedure where the priest, bridesmaids, ushers, bride and her parents and groom and his parents are included in the processional down the aisle. But, most couples choose the more traditioaal procedure. Out-of-door weddiDgs are not allowed in 4is diocese by the Catholic bishop, according to Father Cann. The other ministers said they have occasional requests for innovative cereaaoties. but nothing too "way out. Mr. Johnson had a couple who wrote ju-e marriage vows in which they promised to adore one another with "their niLics 2.nd their bodies." You usually doc't see the word 'body' meBtioned at weddings, but I think it's good that the couple affirmed their sexuality together." Mr. Johnson added. Music is another area where the bridal couple may exercise their tastes. "A lot of musk now selected is not traditional, bu*. it's okay as long as it's in good iaste," commented Mr. Johnson. Dr. Hagan said he married a couple who wrote their own music and another who used an Hawaiian song. Weddings outside the church permit greater freedom in musk selection, according to Mr. Aodersec. while Father Cann said he permits "about aaythicg" before the wedding but only appropriate selections during the wedding Mass. Keepsake matching engagement and wedding rings. Flawless diamonds, set in 14 karat gold, guaranteed and protected against loss. LILLYS' ERS "For gifts jos'l f (»e with pride . . . ' BUMS ^|WM;FtlfflOT.WIW f and THomos knows jutl what you nwo* «4«fl you soy yew wo«t yo«f wadding o b« YOU... A WEODIN^ilCfE^^ '''"''^"·' A '^'^ rJrw^arxJ^rywiw^A^wlottm.^f^-^ lcmworttira«,*$p«dolyH^ or aHtr¥*on»oowit You con d»P»id*n Stone's. · · · mt $$i mt m% rtgistry and select your Sttffmg.-ChiftO ; ~'. ^*^^*'^ r * l l^ Vo nke way to let your fortftW and '·'*'*.***.·'-' ' · ' · · · ' ' . ·"?·' '·" » ' -. ·;·'.'. · · · ' . . . 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