marriage relationships religious ceremony wedding wedding ceremony wedding service

Modern Marriage and the Concept of Church Weddings

According to recent quarterly statistics, just over 80% of marriage ceremonies conducted in the US take place at a religious venue (most notably a church or a synagogue). This is an increase upon previous years, a trend which is reflected worldwide and has been since 2005. In the United Kingdom, for example, the annual average number of church wedding services dropped from 110,000 to just 54,000 between 1960 and 2005, but reports for the last 5 years have showed a gradual rise in their number. Realization and Solutions The beginning of this resurgence is in part due to a renewed effort from various religious bodies, who have strived to offer a more inviting environment for young couples looking to plan their wedding service. This drive has included a relaxation in attitude towards particular aspects of the ceremony and the guest’s behaviour, creating a more welcoming and open minded atmosphere to suit the occasion. This new ethos is prevalent amongst most religions, but is most notable with the Catholic Church and Catholic wedding ceremonies, with exuberant children and camera happy attendees no longer viewed as unwelcome irritants. The Catholic Church has also had particularly strict guidelines towards accepting couples for marriage at their venues and also in their attitude towards the ceremony. However, the implementations of gradual reforms have helped to increase the number of ceremonies they host, and also to improve the atmosphere and the mood created. Catholic Churches have recently begun to market themselves at wedding and trade shows, advertising their venues as economically viable options that provide a spiritual place for union. This brings a heightened awareness to the consumer of religious venues as suitable and affordable considerations for their big day. Maintaining the Churchs Integrity Such a compromise in the attitude of various religious bodies may well be influenced by finance. Money is an especially significant consideration in the current global economy, with churches and other religious venues increasingly reliant on donations and fees payable for wedding ceremonies and services in order to subsist. Though valuable pillars of a community that are built on values and integrity, these venues are having to adapt in order to maintain their social relevance and project a good image to modern, professional couples. The levels of compromise on behalf of religious bodies is a sign of flexibility and progression, however it does pose its own dangers. Churches, synagogues and alternative venues are still religious entities built upon the foundations of religious values and a fundamental belief in God. Those who undertake a religious wedding ceremony are not only supposed to follow a particular faith but also understand the values and meaning of such a service, and not simply wish to make their vows in a picturesque venue. In relaxing their ethos and continuing to adapt to satisfy the needs of a consumer market, the church and similar houses of God must endeavor to not lose sight of their purpose and standing as venues of religious magnitude. This is a delicate balance that must be maintained, and failure to do so could threaten either the existence of many religious venues in their current form or their integrity as religious and spiritual entities.

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Navaid I. Syed is the owner and CEO of / ExcitingAds! Inc. He is a medical doctor and was born in Mirpurkhas, Sind, Pakistan, on July 31, 1964. He graduated from Liaquat University of Medical and Health Sciences, Jamshoro, Sind, Pakistan, in 1990. He is Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates, Philadelphia, PA, USA, certified.

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