Hi everyone!!! I've just register to this forum. I want you to discuss about JW weddings... I mean... why there is no OFICIAL CEREMONY, as for example baptisms? Here, in Spain where I live, the elder only give a speech about marriage&family BUT ALWAYS THEY SAY THAT THE MARRIAGE HAVE BEEN ALREADY MADE AT THE COUNCIL-HOUSE (it's correct this word?). If they have autority to do baptisms... WHY THE DO NOT HAVE AUTHORITY TO MADE WEDDINGS? Is there any evidence about how weddings where made at the first century between christians? Hope to read your answers as soon as possible. Thank you!!!
Just off the top of my head..at least here in Canada anyone who performs a marrage has to be approved by the government.
Maybe in Spain the JW don't have that approval. Not only that but going to the "council house" or whatever the local term is in your country is just the legal formality. If memory serves there is a verse which talks about paying Ceasers things to Ceaser and I believe JW's offically believe in obeying the law unless it conflicts with what the believe to be God's law.
I would think based solely on my impressions that a JW couple would view the ceremony at the Kingdom Hall as by far the most important one and whatever they have to do before the oppointed officials is just what they have to do to satisfy the letter of the law. Which is why when a JW couple split and get a divorce that it's not recognized by the religion untill one mate has sexual relations with another person. :-)
First of all: Welcome testigay.
I'm fascinated with your choice of alias; although maybe it's none of my business. Anyhow, I'm not quite sure what you are asking. Are you asking why the JWs do not follow the marriage ceremonies as conducted by the first century Christians, or why JWs conduct ceremonies a certain way in Spain?
The only input that I can offer is that a JW ceremony must adhere to whatever laws govern a particular municipality. Here in the United States, the person conducting the ceremony must be a minister recognized by the individual state in which they are being married. These criteria can differ from state to state.
You asked something as to why JW marriages are not done with an established ceremony like baptisms. It was my understanding that the two persons exchanging marital vows in front of witnesses constitutes an "established ceremony". But, maybe I misunderstood your question.
Here in England ministers of religion can be authorised by the state to register marriages. In my old congregation we had two who could do so. The ceremony would be held and vows said. Then the couple would go into a side room to sign the register of marriages.
I seem to recall that in some European countries a civil ceremony has to held separate from the religious ceremony.
I am surely just repeating what has been said:
If JWs cannot perform weddings it is not because the Watchtower Society (Jehovah's Witnesses) does not allow it. It is because the secular laws of the local or national government does not allow it.
The WTS does prefer that elders (men) give the wedding talks but exceptions can be made for other men in the congregation to give talks after getting permission from the local elders in their congregation. Women are not allowed to give wedding talks ever. But still these men have to follow the laws of the country they are in regarding performing marriages.
JWs are not allowed to write their own wedding vows. There is a talk outline that JW men giving wedding talks have to use.
HONORABLE MARRIAGE IN GOD'S SIGHT
MARRIAGE-PROVIDED BY GOD FOR LASTING LOVE AND HAPPINESS (4 min.)
Wedlock is one of Jehovah's provisions for the lasting benefit and happiness of his earthly children (Gen. 1:26)
Perfect human Adam had need for helper and complement to fulfill God's commission to `fill earth and subdue it' (Gen. 1:28; 2:18)
God brought first couple together, marrying them (Read Genesis 2:21, 22 )
Provision was to be permanent union (Read Genesis 2:24 )
Since Jehovah is a "God of love" and a "happy God," honorable marriage reflects these qualities (2 Cor. 13:11; 1 Tim. 1:11)
HOW CAN YOU MAKE MARRIAGE LAST-IN LOVE AND HAPPINESS? (4 min.)
For Christian marriage to last, God must be put first in life and his advice followed by both mates (Matt. 22:36-40; Rom. 13:8-10)
Marriage is like a twofold cord-with both mates united and mutually supportive-but love for God can strengthen the marriage, as if he were party to it (Eccl. 4:9-12)
Can trust God's advice, for he knows our physical and emotional makeup better than any human marriage counselor (Ps. 103:14)
Studying Bible, praying, and worshiping together will draw you closer to each other and to JehovahA HUSBAND WHO GAINS DEEP RESPECT (fy pp. 31-4) (7 min.)
Man appointed by God as loving head of family (1 Cor. 11:3)
Headship involves using sound judgment based on Bible, taking lead in loving, kind way
Includes supplying material, spiritual, emotional, and recreational needs of family
Taking lead in worship is overlooked by many in world but is vital in balancing Christian family lifeChristian headship does not permit a man to be a tyrant
Husband is to follow Christ's example (Read Ephesians 5:25, 28, 29)
Jesus willing to give his life for congregation, or bride
He unselfishly put others first (Rom. 15:1-3)
Was mild-tempered and source of refreshment (Matt. 11:29)
Christian husband to love his wife as his own body
No sane man hates or is brutal to own body but fills its needs
Husband not to be violently angry with wife in word or action; should not downgrade her (Col. 3:19)A WIFE WHO IS DEARLY LOVED (fy pp. 34-5) (6 min.)
Bible shows wife's role in marriage is an honorable, dignified one
Christian husband told to assign her "honor" (1 Pet. 3:7)
As "complement," wife is not a slave or inferior as a personHer recognition of headship principle promotes marital success and happiness (Read Ephesians 5:22-24) Relative subjection is divine commandment, so is for human good
Without leadership, the result is discord, confusion, and unhappinessWife's "deep respect" for husband shown by cooperation with him, not competition (Read Ephesians 5:33) When he errs, she will not belittle him but be understanding
Christian wife is "helper," to work with husband (Prov. 31:10-31)
She can contribute much to make home pleasant and happy
Looks to husband for decisions and works to make them succeed
S-41 8/98 Printed in U.S.A.CULTIVATE DEEP LOVE IN YOUR MARRIAGE (fy pp. 27-31, 35-8) (4 min.)
Both mates should clothe themselves with love (Col. 3:12-14)
As clothing protects the body, so love safeguards marital unity
Clothing can also enhance the beauty of the wearer, even as love can add luster to God's marvelous provision of marriage
Look for ways to show love for your mate every day
Set aside time daily to talk together
Really listen to each otherMake it a habit to show kindness in little things, such as by tender words and acts of affection
Doing so will strengthen marriage, for "love never fails" (1 Cor. 13:4-8)OPTIONAL: WEDDING PROCEDURE BEFORE VOWS (w52 p. 363) (2 min.)
Bride, bridegroom, and the legal witnesses stand before minister
Groom is asked: "Do you, - - , in the presence of Jehovah God and these witnesses, take - - to be your wedded wife, to love and to cherish, in accordance with the divine law as outlined in. the Holy Scriptures for Christian husbands, for as long as you both may live?" (Man then answers: "I do.")
Bride is asked: "Do you, - - , in the presence of Jehovah God and these witnesses, take - - to be your wedded husband, to love and to cherish and deeply respect, in accordance with the divine law as outlined in the Holy Scriptures for Christian wives for as long as you both may live?" (Woman then answers: "I do.")
[If arrangement is for woman to be given in marriage, minister will say: "Who gives this woman to be married to this man?" The father or other person says: "I do." If there are no arrangements to give woman in marriage, this can be dispensed with]MARRIAGE VOWS (w84 4/15 p. 14) (3 min.)
[Usually administered by one legally authorized as marrying agent]
Groom is to repeat:"I - - take you - - to be my wedded wife, to love and to cherish in accordance with the divine law as set forth in the Holy Scriptures for Christian husbands, for as long as we both shall live together on earth according to God's marital arrangement."
Bride is to repeat:"I - - take you - - to be my wedded husband, to love and to cherish and deeply respect, in accordance with the divine law as set forth in the Holy Scriptures for Christian wives, for as long as we both shall live together on earth according to God's marital arrangement."
[If rings are to be exchanged, at this point groom may be invited to place a ring on bride's finger, and then she on his. If he desires, the minister may remark: "This ring (or rings) is an outward and visible sign signifying unto all the uniting of this man and this woman in the bonds of matrimony."]
Minister may then say:"Forasmuch as [man's name] and [woman's name] have covenanted before Jehovah God and these witnesses to accept each other in wedlock, I, as an ordained minister and by the authority conferred upon me by the Holy Scriptures and the State (Province) of - - pronounce that they are husband and wife together. What God has yoked together, let no man put apart."
Followed by prayer of blessing upon the newly married couple
Then the speaker may say:"It is my happy pleasure to introduce to this marriage gathering Brother and Sister - - - - ." [Note: The above is a suggested outline for a marriage talk. In some countries adjustments may be necessary to meet local legal requirements.]
Thank you for your answers and specially Blondie for that outlines. But I think that you've misunderstood me (or maybe I haven't explain myself correctly). Here in Spain the weding (civil one) is made at the council house. Then, the JW's return to the Kingdom Hall where they have a speech and in some cases (not always) the JW take the vows blondie have just written. This is the first time I've heard about the elder MAKING 2 QUESTIONS, just as the council officer does!! But still my answer is... if the WT have authority to make baptisms... why doesn't have the autority to make weddings??? I mean... the first couple where married in front of God, and the WT is the channel between God and the rest of the JW's, why is not necesery to have the blessing of the org about this matter as in other things???. Maybe here in Spain they don't have the right to make weddings, but is still curious that they don't try to have that right at least inside the Kingdom Hall. Is not the first time they do something like this (for example when they were considered a cultural organization in Mexico when everyone understand that was half-truth). In Spain, during the meeting at the KH they SPECIALLY ENPHASIZE THAT WHAT IS TAKING IS NOT A WEDING, THE WEDDING WAS HELD AT THE COUNCIL HOUSE. So... that's my question, why the Society doesn't recognize his own autorithy (dispate what the Cesaer's law says) to make weddings??? I hope that I've explain much better this time. Thank you again!!! P.S. My nickname is a mixture between the words TESTIGO (witness in spanish) and GAY. I'm an active witness but I'm also gay, I don't believe in the WT, I hope to flip off soon, but I'm afraid of my family.
Welcome, testigay, and what an inventive user name! lol
If you read the book "Crisis of Conscience", you will see that the watchtower society has changed their rules to keep the peace with the governments of many countries. I guess that may be what is happening in Spain. I wonder if the Spanish government does not recognize the jws as a real religion or one that has the authority to perform marriages.
I spent some of my time in college in Barcelona. Wish I could go back!!
In Spain JW's are a religion, there are no restrictions in that sense. However, the do not performe the wedding as Blondie has just outlined before. The only do (sometimes, not always) the vows. Nothing else. They always say that the wedding have took in the council. Just one thing: mormons believe in eternal marriage, and the do their ceremonies and they consider holy that ceremony. Also they register in the council the marriage, but they know that the marriage WHICH IS MORE VALUABLE is the one of the religion. That's the point of my question. Why the do not consider that kind of holy the marriage on a KH? There are some wedings made by JW (maybe with no believers) that are still considered as weddings without passing through the KH.
Some governments make performing weddings a function only of the government. A marriage does not have to be performed by a JW man to be valid per the WTS. In the case of JWs that perform weddings, they have to go to the government and pay for a license authorizing them to perform weddings even here in the US. So the authority to perform a wedding still comes from the government not the WTS. But some JWs feel that the must have a religious ceremony to have God's blessing so have an additional event at the KH.
I would check and see what the requirements are for people performing marriages in Spain. Are only Catholic priests allowed to do so? Are other religions allowed to do so? Is the WTS/JWs considered a religion allowed to perform marriages with the government's permission.