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Ask a Pastor: Is Having a Wedding Ceremony on Sunday Wrong?

Question

Is having a wedding ceremony on Sunday wrong? I was asked by a friend to be a bridesmaid in her wedding and it was supposed to be on a Saturday but something happened with the venue so she had to change it to Sunday. I am confused in should I attend and be in the ceremony. I have already come to conclusion that I cannot and will not go to a reception on a Sunday because that is celebration but I’m not definite about a wedding ceremony after a Sunday service. I am not sure if that is wrong since it is a service and she explained that they are having it as God honouring as possible. Is it wrong to be married after a Sunday service?

Answer

In answering your question[s] it is helpful to assert that we should not think of the question as a matter of absolute right and wrong, but rather in terms of wisdom – Is it wise or unwise to do this?


The Lord’s Day is set aside by God for God-centered worship and rest and our services aim at His praise and the upbuilding of His church and kingdom. Anything that either takes away from or fails to promote that Christian focus and concentration is to be avoided by us. (It is helpful here for you to read the Bible-based Heidelberg QA 103 and the Westminster Larger Catechisms’ Q&As 115-121 related to the fourth commandment.) To change a wedding day to a Sunday on account of a venue issue and not for an emergency reason, such as a war for example, does not reflect well on upholding the specialness of the Lord’s Day. Nor does it reflect realizing sufficiently the distracted busyness of the day with wedding days as we presently know them. This is true not only for the wedding couple and bridal party but also for all the family and friends and officiants involved.


This is a matter of sanctified common sense, to avoid Sunday weddings, especially in view of the way weddings are generally done in our time, involving not only a simple service, but lots of attention with bridal participants, and a reception later. We all know this unavoidably puts a lot of emphasis on the wedding couple and the marriage celebrations of the day. It involves a lot of work with hairdressers, meal preparation, photographers, reception program participants, etc.


It can be said therefore as a matter of godly principle, under normal circumstances of life, a wedding service as God honouring as possible will mean, among other matters, not having such a service on the Lord’s Day.


Below is also a 7-point guide to assist us when we are not sure about something, whether it is wise to proceed or not? These are all based on Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians and taken from an article by Dr. Joel Beeke on this subject. (The seventh point is from myself, Pastor Hans Overduin.)


When hesitant over a course of action, ask yourself:


1. Does this glorify God? (I Corinthians 10:31)

2. Is this consistent with the Lordship of Christ? I Corinthians 7:23-24)

3. Is this consistent with biblical examples? (I Corinthians 11:1 & Hebrews 11)

4. Is this lawful and beneficial [helpful] for me—spiritually, mentally, & physically? (I Cor. 6:9-12)

5. Does this help others positively and not hurt others unnecessarily? (I Cor. 10:33; 8:13)

6. Does this bring me under any enslaving power? (I Corinthians 6:12)

7. Will this help in the Christian gospel witness I am called to give in all I think, say, & do? (I Cor. 9:19-26)

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