Baptist weddings

Baptist-choirBaptists are Christians who believe in the baptism of believing adults by immersion instead of baptism of infants.

Baptist believers are widely considered to be Protestants, and Baptist beliefs are based on "the whole New Testament, and nothing but the New Testament". The Baptist movement in American dates back to the early 17th century. There are over 100 million members worldwide and over 33 million in North America.

Before marriage

Premarital counseling for the bride and groom is an important part of a Baptist marriage. Couples should have been baptized by immersion and must show that they are committed to God’s plan for marriage. Both sets of parents must favor the marriage as parents are the closest human authorities over their children. Through Baptist premarital counseling, the man will prepare for his role as the head of the family, and the woman prepares to be in subjection to him.

A Baptist wedding ceremony

The Baptist church sets the rules regarding the specifics of a marriage ceremony. A Baptist wedding ceremony has much in common with weddings of other Protestant denominations.

The marriage ceremony is very solemn and rich in ceremony. It begins with the entrance of the officiating minister and the bride’s parents, who are an important part of the ceremony. The bride is serenaded, and a white carpet is unrolled along the aisle, which is symbolic of walking on holy ground.

The flower girl enters, followed by the bride, who is walked down the aisle and given away by her father.

baptist_weddingThere is a scripture reading, the ministry of the Word, and wedding message. This is followed by the exhortation with a wedding hymn, the exchange of vows and rings, the lighting of the unity candle, and the signing of the wedding contract.

A tribute is made to the couple’s parents, and an affirmation is made of the marriage bond. The final stage of the ceremony is the sending forth with the benediction and a kiss, after which the couple is formally presented to the congregation.

Click here for suggested readings, hymns, and prayers for Christian weddings.

Baptist wedding vows and exchange of rings

“Will you, ______ have ______ to be your wife/husband? Will you love her/him, comfort and keep her/him, and forsaking all others remain true to her/him, as long as you both shall live?" (Response:“I will”)

"I, ______, take thee, ______, to be my wife/husband, and before God and these witnesses I promise to be a faithful and true husband/wife."

(Rings) "With this ring I thee wed, and all my worldly goods I thee endow. In sickness and in health, in poverty or in wealth, 'til death do us part."

cake_punchAfter the ceremonyfeeding_cake

Many Baptist couples hold their wedding reception at the church hall itself, and most will not permit the consumption of alcohol. Dancing is also often prohibited, although music is permitted.

Popular alternatives to serving a full meal are an ice cream bar, dessert buffet, or a cake and punch reception for late morning or early afternoon receptions.

Baptist couples feed cake to one another at their wedding reception, as it is believed to represent their body, that when eaten, becomes part of the other spouse.

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