First Presbyterian Church, Tallahassee, Florida
-- Book of Order W-4.9001
As a service of Christian marriage is more than a social convention. It is an ordinance of the Church and a witness to the world of the gospel of Jesus Christ. The session of First Presbyterian Church has adopted this policy in order:
B. Who may be considered for marriage at First Presbyterian Church?
Couples who are willing to approach their wedding with the understanding that marriage is an act of Christian discipleship and to undergo a discernment process with the pastor or other counselor may apply for marriage at First Presbyterian Church. Both members and non-members of First Presbyterian Church may apply.
C. Discernment Process
The discernment process may begin as early as one year, but no later than four months, prior to a proposed marriage date.
D. The Marriage: A Service of Worship
Christian marriage should be celebrated in the place where the community gathers for worship. As a service of Christian worship, the marriage service is under the direction of the pastor. With the approval of the session, the Lord’s Supper may be celebrated during the marriage service, and the invitation to the Table will be given to all present. With the approval of the session, the marriage service may take place during the Service for the Lord’s Day.
Book of Order-4.0994 (amended)
E. Ministerial Leadership
Ordinarily the pastor or one of the teaching elders (ministers) affiliated with First Presbyterian Church will have the privilege of conducting weddings in its sanctuary. The invitation for another minister to take part in the service must come from the pastor of First Presbyterian Church. Couples should not invite other clergy to take part in the service before consulting the pastor.
F. Order of Service
The pastor must approve the order of service. All parts of the ceremony should be appropriate to Christian worship and acceptable offerings to God. The amended liturgy of the Book of Common Worship (1993) is preferred.
G. Extraneous Elements
Because it distracts from the central symbols of the joining of hands and exchanging of rings, the so-called "unity candle" will not be employed.
Such music as accompanies the service should direct attention to God, who sanctifies marriage, and special care should be taken to assure that it is suitable and reverent. The singing of hymns by the congregation is encouraged. Secular love songs and music inappropriate for worship will not be permitted. All music must be approved by the pastor or the organist of First Presbyterian Church.
Like the pastor, the organist of First Presbyterian Church has the privilege and responsibility of leading worship at weddings, and shall ordinarily play for all weddings. Another organist or other musicians may be invited to take part in weddings at the discretion of the organist of First Presbyterian Church. Instrumentalists and vocal soloists shall be under the direction of the organist of First Presbyterian Church.
J. Symbols and Decorations
The baptismal font, Communion Table, Bible, paschal candle, and pulpit are symbols of the faith. They may not be moved from the plain view of the congregation or obscured by flowers, candles, or other decorations. Flowers may not be placed on the Communion Table. The placement of flowers, candles, or other decorations must be approved by the pastor.
Decoration of the sanctuary will be at the expense of the wedding party. In keeping with the simplicity of this place of worship and to avoid conspicuous displays, decorations should not be elaborate. The following stipulations apply:
K. Photographs and Video Recording
If a rehearsal is held, the pastor shall be the director. Rehearsals for Saturday weddings will take place on Friday at 5:30 p.m. "Wedding consultants" or other persons playing a supportive role shall be under the direction of the pastor.
M. Children in the Wedding Party
The use of children under the age of six years as ring bearers or flower girls is discouraged.
No one, including the bride and groom, under the influence of alcohol or any other intoxicant shall be allowed to take part in the rehearsal or the marriage service. The minister has the prerogative of canceling both rehearsal and wedding if this restriction is not observed.
O. Approved Florists and Photographers
Only those florists and photographers who have filed with First Presbyterian Church their written agreement to abide by the church's policies may provide service to weddings at First Presbyterian Church.
P. Use of Westminster Room for Reception
If available, the Westminster Room and the kitchen may be used for receptions. This includes the use of punch bowls, dishes, etc. No alcoholic beverages may be served on church property.
Q. Custodial Services
A member of the custodial staff must be present during rehearsals weddings, and receptions.
The custodial fee is included in the fee for the use of the sanctuary.
It is the responsibility of the wedding party to provide servers for the reception. The custodial staff of the church is not responsible for serving food, washing dishes, or other catering tasks.
R. Dressing Rooms
Church School rooms may be used for dressing by the bridal party, but they must be reserved through the church office.
A limited number of spaces in the church parking lot is available for use by the wedding party.
Weddings shall not be scheduled on the Saturday of Springtime Tallahassee, the Festival of Lights, or during the season of Advent. Downtown parades and events at various times during the year also block convenient access to the church. The couple should contact the City of Tallahassee regarding these events, which are beyond the control of the church, and can be scheduled at short notice.
If requested by the wedding party, the sexton will lock dressing rooms during the service. Overnight storage on church premises of any property, including food and serving dishes, is discouraged. First Presbyterian Church is not responsible for lost, damaged, or stolen property.
V. Fees and Honoraria
SUMMARY OF FEES AND HONORARIA
March 29, 2017
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