Why don’t Christian Scientists have wedding ceremonies in their churches?
—A reader in the Philippines
A: The good news is that weddings can and do take place in Christian Science churches! Many people mistakenly believe that it’s not permissible to hold wedding ceremonies in our churches because we don’t have a clergy. In my teens I thought the reason we didn’t have weddings at the Christian Science church I attended was that the church didn’t have a center aisle! Fortunately, my understanding of the purpose of the wedding ceremony has deepened, and I have come to realize that place is not what is important, but that the ceremony represent the spiritual and legal elements of this union.
In her Church Manual, Mary Baker Eddy opens the door for wedding ceremonies in Christian Science churches and has only this to say on the subject: “If a Christian Scientist is to be married, the ceremony shall be performed by a clergyman who is legally authorized” (p. 49).