At Silver Spring United Methodist Church we believe that marriage is a ministry of the church. Just as our worship and sacraments are open to all, so too is the covenant of marriage open to any two persons who wish to commit their lives in faithful covenant to one another before God and the faith community. The specific guidelines below primarily relate to the marriage ceremony itself. However, SSUMC’s commitment to marriage as a ministry extends beyond the marriage ceremony. We seek to nourish the marriage relationships of those in our congregation by addressing healthy marriage relationships in retreat opportunities, counseling, small group study, and other programming.
Christian marriage is an extension of baptism and demonstrates that our lives are holy and sacramental. The language, symbols, and ritual of Christian marriage embody this concept. Those gathered as the congregation are not just passive witnesses, but part of a worship service.
The Christian wedding ceremony is a religious celebration in which two persons, before God and the faith community:
- Ask for God’s blessing
- Declare and affirm their faith, love, and commitment
- Commit their common journey into the hands of God
- Reconcile themselves with God and with each other, and
- Join their lives to the fullest of their capacity
A Christian wedding ceremony can be performed in our sanctuary or officiated off-site by one of our pastors. Interfaith weddings are welcome and the Ministry of Marriage is available to both members and non-members. Couples seeking to be married will meet with one of our pastors. Together they will:
- Examine the guidelines surrounding Christian marriage
- Determine the timing of the wedding and availability of one of our pastors to officiate
- Establish the couple’s willingness to participate in pre-marital counseling
- Discuss services available to the wedding ceremony (music, reception space, etc.)
- Review the restrictions on use of the church facility (or related to off-site ceremonies)
We are currently updating our wedding policy document. For the most up-to-date information or to begin scheduling your wedding at Silver Spring UMC, please contact the church office by email or by phone at (301) 587-1215.