[A young engaged woman is upset that her fundie pastor won't let her sing at her own wedding ceremony and won't let her pick her own songs to sing afterwards. She asked J. Budziszewski, a/k/a "Professor Theophilus", for advice. Unfortunately for her, he's at TrueU.org, one of Focus on the Family's many websites.]
Even after reading your letter several times, I'm not quite sure what you mean.
You say, "He told me that I am not allowed to sing in my wedding ceremony." Do you mean that he won't let you join in any congregational singing? Surely not. You say, "I have to wait until the singing is over and I walk up the aisle when the ceremony begins." Do you mean that the congregation is going to sing a hymn while you are in the back waiting to process in, and your pastor thinks it might be distracting for your voice to come booming out from the vestibule? But it would be distracting, wouldn't it?
I suspect that you don't mean any of those things. Could it be that you want to sing a solo
, up at the front of the church, all decked out in your wedding gown? Would you then race to the back of the church in order to enter all over again, processing up the aisle. If that's what your pastor opposes, I'm with him. A wedding isn't an episode of American Idol
, where the bride gets to make a spectacle of herself. It is a sacred rite uniting a man and a woman in marriage. If you want to hear a solo, let another lady sing it, and let her do it to glorify Christ, not you, giving thanks for His matrimonial grace. Do everything you can not
to be a prima donna. The qualities that make a good marriage are mutual modesty and humility, not vanity and pride.
"Not only this," you say, "I am not allowed to choose my own songs (except for one) because he wants to choose the right songs — inspired by God. I was so upset when I was talking to him, I couldn't believe what I was hearing." Do you mean that your pastor is a control freak who says things like "The Spirit is telling me that we should use Wagner's wedding march instead of Mendelson's"? Yes, that would raise questions, I agree.
Again, though, I suspect a somewhat different story. Could it be that the control freak is you, and that when your pastor told you that all but one of your choices were unsuitable for a Christian wedding, you were bent out of shape? If so, then again I'm with him. There have to be standards for hymns. You see, they aren't "your" songs, they are the Church's songs. What if the bride insisted on Let's Spend the Night Together, What's Love Got to Do With It, and the theme from The Price is Right?
I'm afraid I've never heard of a "Jesus wedding." All Christian weddings are about Jesus. And I don't quite know what to make of your comment "I can't find anything on the internet about not being able to sing." I've heard of the motto sola scriptura, but sola interneto is a new one.
J. Budziszewski, TrueU.org, "Ask Theophilus" 56 Comments
[11/9/2008 9:44:59 PM]
Fundie Index: 6
Submitted By: GreenEyedLilo