Pentecostal individuals get married at a church where they have regularly attended services and they are recognized as members of the church. Needless to say, it’s important to get in touch with the pastor, who will be heading the wedding rituals. This is to apprise him of the date and time of the wedding, discuss the details of the ceremony. The pastor is likely to provide the individual with a copy of the church's terms and regulations regarding the wedding ceremonies. A scanning through the church's policies will help us avoid last minute chaos in the wedding preparations.
In some Pentecostal churches, premarital counselling with partner is mandatory. Interestingly, the prayers and hymns used in a Pentecostal wedding must have a connection to love and marriage. The pastor or the person, who coordinates the wedding in the church, must be given the prayer, hymn and music selections in advance. We have to determine the order of the service after a discussion with the officiating pastor, which will help us make the final decisions on what each section of the ceremony will entail. In a Pentecostal wedding, the bride will appear clad in white attire, while the bridegroom puts on a tuxedo or suit.
Basic rules of Pentecostal marriage
A man and a woman, who are baptised in a Pentecostal church and leading a sacred divine life, can marry each other. If one of them is not baptised in a Pentecostal church and not leading a sacred divine life, he/she will not be eligible for Pentecostal marriage. Moreover, the couple must be from families that follow Pentecostal belief.
There will be an informal ceremony to fix the wedding after getting approval from the individuals, who are going to get hitched. Then a date will be finalised for the wedding. But finding auspicious time and conducting special ritual are not necessary for Pentecostal wedding. Divine prayer and speech service are the fundamental things of Pentecostal wedding ceremony.
The venue of wedding has nothing much importance in Pentecostal faith. It can be a church, house or auditorium or any other convenient place. Since the bride’s or groom’s church takes the initiative of conducting the wedding, the pastor of that congregation will officiate the ceremony. On wedding day, prayer, liturgical music and song service form the major wedding ceremony rituals.
The wedding intimation that had been announced in the parish for three weeks will be read out again in front of the invited guests on wedding day. It is to find out if there is a valid reason to nullify the marriage. If there is no objection from the assembled people, they will be asked to pray for the happy marriage life of the couple.
After the speech service, the newly-wed couple should recite together the wedding contract, which is also called ‘consensual agreement’. Then the pastor or bride’s father takes her hand and place it in the palm of the bridegroom and blesses the couple. Finally, the couple signs in the church register in the presence of four witnesses.