St. Matthew Lutheran Church, Galena Illinois
We recognize marriage as a way of life created, blessed, and sustained by God. The Christian tradition holds a high view of marriage. This view originates in the Old Testament, and comes to its greatest expression in Jesus' teaching about marriage in the Gospels. In other parts of the New Testament, we find Jesus' teaching elaborated by the Apostles. Faithfulness to Jesus' teaching is our goal in helping couples enter marriage in the context of the Christian faith and the Lutheran tradition. Marriage often becomes the foundation for larger family life, also.
Our understanding of marriage does not require that a ceremony be performed by an ordained minister; marriage is a gift of God which he has not limited to believers. Therefore, when persons desire to be married in the church sanctuary by the pastor of St. Matthew, the church assumes that the couple shares its basic beliefs about God and about marriage in the sight of God. We consider the wedding ceremony a worship service and treat it as such in order to protect the sanctity of the marriage covenant. Otherwise, a civil ceremony would be the couple's appropriate choice.