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Planning a Unitarian Wedding
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Unitarian wedding services include many of the aspects, vows and symbols, of more orthodox religions. What makes the Unitarian ceremony different is in why they believe people are married. Most religious denominations view marriage and marriage vows as a holy act that is significant to God. Unitarians consider that the rite of marriage has more to do with the desire of people to add a spiritual dimension to their freely chosen act, rather than an endorsement of a particular tradition's view of God. The couple, they prescribe, forms a union because it's what they want to do, rather than because they are commanded to do so in order to receive G-d's blessings.

This approach to marriage is what leads Unitarian ministers and ceremony officiators to meet with the couple before the ceremony so they may examine their own motives and create their own ways of making their wedding ceremony into a "holy act". Couples are encouraged to create their own language, choose their own readings, select their music and vows for the ceremony, so that the service is uniquely theirs.

If the couple chooses not to "design" their own ceremony, the minister may be asked to do so for them. Then the elements will be reviewed by the couple and then they either will give their approval, or make suggestions for revisions.

A Unitarian service may begin with a processional, followed by the singing of hymns, readings, which may be taken from the Bible, the Koran, poems, or any passages with which the couple "connects." The couple is then joined in matrimony according to the laws of the country or state in which they are being married. Where the law allows, the service may take place somewhere other than in a place of worship. A religious blessing of a civil marriage ceremony may take place anywhere. All component other than legal requirements, are flexible and optional.

Because Unitarians believe there is no "right way" to sanctify a union many couples who are from varying religious backgrounds and many who have been divorced, are drawn to the Unitarian church.

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