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CHAPTER 4 THE REDEEMED CHRISTIAN CHURCH OF GOD ORDER OF MARRIAGE SERVICES –ROLE OF USHERS
This order of marriage service guideline is prepared in accordance with the marriage service order of the mission and is aimed at ensuring uniformity of the function in all the parishes of The Redeemed Christian Church of God. May God continue to guide the ushers as we continue to train and retrain ourselves.

PRE-SERVICE PREPARATION
The area/zonal/Province (as applicable) head usher should ensure that there is marriage register at the parish. Also the marriage certificates (both government and mission) are already with the Area Pastor or host parish (Usually collected by concerned parties from the province headquarters). Note that a marriage ceremony is usually an area program and it usually holds at the Area headquarters but could hold at any parish at the discretion of the Area Pastor and Parties involved.

In all cases ushers in the areas/ zone are to be in attendance and not just ushers of the host parish.

Courtship procedures/counseling are not part of the ushering function, but handled by the marriage counselor / parish/area pastor.
The register should be filled with the relevant details e.g. name of groom, bride, (Maiden names) groom’s parents, bride’s parents, area pastor, parish pastor, see example format. Names of officiating ministers should be entered in the register as the services starts as you may not know
Beforehand those who will be in attendance.

The Head usher should familiarize himself/ herself with the layout of the marriage certificate to identify where each party should sign on both government and mission certificates, (see Appendix)
The ushers are to put on their uniform during a marriage ceremony (as much as possible except otherwise instructed by the relevant authorities) they should comport themselves in the best traditions of the ministry as a substantial number of those present will be first timers and guests. The usher is responsible for keeping away unaccredited photographers from the church auditorium.

SEATING
Before the service starts ensure the sitting arrangement is properly done.
Two seats in the forefront for the bride and groom, bride to be seated on the left of the groom

Row behind the couple to seat the bride’s father or his representative to the bride’s left for easy movement when he is called upon to come forward to give the bride away.

Please ensure as much as possible, the mother of the bride is seated beside her husband (What God has joined together, let no child’s wedding put asunder). The groom’s parents can also sit on the front row if identified before the service starts.

SERMON
Congregation and couple should be seated.

SIGNING OF THE MARRIAGE REGISTER
An officiating minister will announce it is time to go for signing of the register, 2 (two) representatives from the bride’s side and groom’s side to follow the couple whilst choir renderings the couple is led to the vestry by an usher. The bridal trains are not to follow the couple to the registry.

It is the responsibility of the usher to find out the names of the two representatives from the Bride and the Groom’s family for the signing of the register.

AT THE CHURCH OFFICE
- Groom signs register, then marriage certificates (s)
- Bride signs register, then marriage certificate (s)
- Groom’s parents, sign register then marriage certificate (s)
- Bride’s parents, sign register then marriage certificates (s)

THE PARENTS CAN NOW BE ASKED TO GO BACK TO THE AUDITORIUM

- The officiating pastor signs the register and marriage certificate (if applicable).

- Other officiating ministers may also sign the register.
It is the responsibility of an usher to direct the signing procedures and this should not be for record purpose only. (The couple could also take photographs with officiating ministers.
The officiating ministers can take photographs with the couple before leaving the vestry.
Thereafter the couples dance back to the auditorium and kneel down in front of the altar (their chairs would have been moved aside. Congregation willcontinue to dance as they dance back into the hall.

Whilst the congregation is standing, the couple will kneel down for the pastor’s prayer and blessing. After the prayers, the couple standing (With the congregation standing also) will then be introduced to the congregation.

The recessional hymn will be announced.

Proper direction- the couple and the bridal train will first file out, then the usher may follow the couple to ensure that no other member of the congregation is coming behind them.
Everyone will remain in church until the closing prayer is said after the recessional hymn. If the church hall has doors the usher coming at the end of the line could close the doors and turn back facing the church, no one is to leave through that entrance until after the service.

Ushers should please note that during marriage ceremonies there are points where the officiating minister will not be able to hold Microphone either because he is reading (with both hands on the couple) or he is blessing them, an usher should assist by holding the microphone to his mouth except where another minister is already performing that function.

The usher’s official role ends at the marriage service.

The couple could request for service of the ushers at the reception if desired.

 

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