Worship at a wedding and funeral?

Last week was busy.  The first half of the week was revival services, and the last half had a wedding and funeral.  The wedding was on Friday evening and the funeral on Saturday.  In less than a day, I ministered in both of the significant situations that most preachers claim they were never taught about in seminary.  However, regardless of the extra consideration and planning that takes place in these ceremonial services, the minister should realize the excellent opportunity to lead people in worship before God.  Two essential streams of thought drive the concept of funerals and weddings as worship services.  First, God is always worthy of our praise.  And, Secondly, God has called you as a Christian minister.

We are reminded in Scripture to worship God in spirit and truth regardless of place and time (John 4:20-24).  However, the words of the Psalmist ring in our ears: “I will bless the Lord at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul shall make her boast in the Lord: the humble shall hear thereof, and be glad. O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together” (Psalm 34:1-3).  The Lord is undeniably good to us.  A life of gratitude would want to invite everyone in worship to God.

While some situations, like a funeral, make it challenging to have worship we are used too.  Here then, we must understand the importance of proclaiming God’s truth as an act of worship.  This is where the second stream is essential.  Worship is not always loud and vibrant, but always in Spirit and truth.  Again, worship of God is something for everyone eventually (whether willful or not).  Scripture says, Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:9-11).

In any arena of life, including the wedding and the funeral, the duty of the Christian minister is to proclaim God’s truth.  We are to call people to submit to the authority of God through the Scriptures.  By doing so, the minister directs people’s attention to God and opens up a space for worship.  We should seek to always point others to Jesus, and the funeral and wedding is an excellent opportunity.