Written by Paula Jones Last updated: September 13, 2006
Q. We will have to have pre‐marriage counselling. What does this involve?
A. This varies from church to church. In our Church we have a course of about six weeks. It’s basically a video and a workbook that we would get you to work through with a mature couple who belong to the church. Different Officers have different approaches, but I personally would insist on this process.
Q. Can we get married even though we already live together?
A. Again, this is subject pretty much to what local Salvation Army Officers think. I would, subject to a discussion with the couple, usually feel able to marry a couple in this circumstance.
Q. Do we have to pay the officer? Is there an extra charge for the church itself?
A. This is a local arrangement. I usually don’t make any charge for my services, but wouldn’t think it unreasonable for the happy couple to cover the expenses incurred in getting the building ready and pay for any ancillary staff who might be on duty.
Q. Do you have to use the vicar who comes with the church or can you bring your own?
A. The local vicar may agree to bringing your own priest if you can show him that it is important this person is present at your marriage as he has played such a significant part in your life and may even be related to him! It is not like a supermarket, however, in that you cannot pull a nice friendly vicar off the shelf because you don’t like the "brand" at the church at the moment.
Q. Do the readings and music all have to be religious?
A. We don’t insist on this, although I would insist on pretty heavy editorial control. I personally would want music that helped keep the ‘tone’ of the service out of the bedroom ‐ if you know what I mean… maybe if you’re not married, you don’t know what I mean… anyway…
Our various celebrants may offer very different answers to the same questions, not only because of the religious tradition they follow, but because they have their own personal views too ‐ religious questions don’t necessarily have a right or wrong answer!