Meeting with the minister...?

We are having the minister and his wife over for dinner to discuss our wedding. The minister is my fiance's cousin, but I have never met him. Neither myself nor my fiance are religious perse...we are holding the wedding at his family's church to honor his mother.

When it comes to discussing the ceremony...is there a polite way to say "no hellfire and brimstone"? It will be a southern Baptist wedding...my side of the family are Catholic (from the north)....kinda sounds like a sit-com.

any advice?

12 Answers

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  • 1 decade ago
    Best Answer

    Simply tell the minister you'd like the traditional wedding service. There's no hellfire/brimstone in it. There's mention of Jesus attending the wedding at Cana, and mention of Jesus as bridegroom and the church as his bride.

    You might have to specify leaving out the "obey" portion for the bride, if he's got an older version of this thing, but generally that went out of favor in the 70's so it might not matter. You can ask to see a written copy of it so you can skip what you don't approve of. I gather that Catholic services include a mass, but by and large, most protestant churches -- mainline and Baptist -- do not include a sermon from the minister.

    The only other piece of advice I have for you is to keep an open mind and assume goodwill all around. Most ministers like to meet a couple they're conducting the service for and make sure that their reasons for getting married are mature and realistic. If that's the case for you and your fiance', don't worry. Best wishes.

    Source(s): Grew up in a Baptist church!
  • 1 decade ago

    Ask him how he conducts a ceremony & let him explain.

    Also know what it is you do & don't want. Do you want God's blessing; a prayer, no prayers?

    If he belongs to a particular denomination, he may be under that church's rules & regulations so don't be too hostile towards him. And if he can't do your ceremony the way you envision it, then you need to discuss it with your fiance after they leave & then politely tell him you've decided to choose someone else.

    Some ministers feel obligated to preach a full sermon; some of us do not. All you can do is ask questions & listen. Make your decision from the information you get. Make sure you are comfortable with this minister, as well. No matter how many guests are attending, when it comes right down to it, the ceremony is between the 3 of you.

    Source(s): minister in cincinnati
  • 1 decade ago

    My fiancee and I are doing the same thing--a family friend in this case (not a cousin) is the minister but we are not particularly religious. First off, is the cousin close enough to know that already? If so it should be easy.

    But understand that to a devout Baptist preacher hellfire and brimstone is just part of the faith. The wrong thing to do is say hey Cuz, we don't want you to beat us with the Bible okay? Or, hey Cuz, I respect what you do but frankly we just don't agree with you. Bad. But that's easy to avoid. Let him know directly that you would like a general homily about marriage that doesn't dwell too heavily on the faith. Love is patient and kind, etc, comes right out of Romans and a nice little homily can be crafted around that without any explicit mention of God or Christ, and if Cuz is a good minister he'll be able to do that.

  • Pam H
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    Just explain there will be many people with different beliefs and then tell them how you want the ceremony to be. If the minister cannot accommodate your wishes have the wedding someplace else. It is nice you are thinking about doing it at the family's church to honor the mother, but it is your wedding and you should have a ceremony you will be happy with.

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  • SE
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    You should absolutely discuss your concerns with the minister. A wedding is a celebration; the ceremony should bring people together and not be divisive. Be forthcoming with your minister and let him know that you want the ceremony to be as neutral and inclusive as possible. It can be done. If he insists on preaching, find a new minister and location.

    My wedding was Saturday evening, and our officiant was a chaplain who agreed to do a non-religious ceremony for us. My family is Christian, my husband's family is Hindu, and we're both agnostic. We have friends who are Christian, Hindu, Muslim, Jewish, Buddhist, and atheist. It was extremely important for our wedding to make everyone feel comfortable and included. All we had to do was explain to the chaplain what we wanted. He gladly did the ceremony we asked for, and it was perfect!

  • 1 decade ago

    I would try coming to the meeting prepared with some scripture that you are both comfortable with - maybe 1st Corinthians 13? Something that very common in weddings for many denominations. Maybe if you have your own suggestions for how to incorporate some religion into the ceremony he will follow your lead without trying to interject his own sermon. I would just be honest about what you do and don't want. Good luck and have a wonderful wedding!

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Oh my dear, I feel your pain. What a marvelous idea, though, to have the minister over for dinner. Prior to assuming anything, why not let him explain to you what kind of ceremony he performs. I think through a mellow discussion during the course of prime ribs, mashed potatoes, and pineapple cheesecake, you might come to understand his plans for the ceremony, and have plenty of opportunity to input your desires and wishes.

  • 1 decade ago

    I would just let him know that you want to make sure that the ceremony is very bright and uplifting. Let him know that your family is Catholic and, while you understand that he has an obligation to his religion, you don't want to offend anyone. Then ask him if he can walk you through a typical cermony and what he says. He should be open to doing that, it is an honest curiosity on your part and he has nothing to hide.

    Source(s): BTB 8/21/08
  • 1 decade ago

    As a minister myself I love it when the bride and groom tell me exactly what they want from me. We as ministers are there to support the couple not condemn them. So just be straight forward and honest with him and I'm sure he will be happy you know what you do and do not want in the ceremony.

  • 1 decade ago

    just don't use the phrase... no hellfire and brimstone. HA!

    if he's family, your groom should have no problem being clear about what you want.

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