Can a couple get married in church if one is not a member?


Can a couple get married in a Reformed church when one of them is not a member of that church (or even a member of a different church)? Maybe that couple feels like needing God's blessing for their marriage. Or can't you ask for God's blessing when you, as a couple, are not on the same line in religion (even though you're both very understanding to each other)?


Dear Jane,

Each congregation may have their personal guidelines so I cannot speak for a specific situation.  Some congregations require both persons to be a full or confessional member of the congregation but in our congregation that is not the policy.

If one of the couple is a member and he or she marries with an non-member, then there would be a few issues to consider,

  1. is this non-member a committed Christian?
  2. is this non-member committed to become a member of the church?
  3. is the relationship between the two of such a quality that the leadership feels comfortable to officiate the marriage. 

This last aspect is applicable to any marriage and not limited to this scenario you asked about.

It is always good to seek the Lord's blessing on the marriage but you can only seek that blessing if you are walking in His revealed will.  In other words, it is impossible to ask the Lord's blessing on an 'unequal yoke' such as a relationship between a committed Christian and a non-believer.  In that case, a Christian church would do wrong in
officiating at a marriage ceremony.

I hope that this provides you with the guidance you were looking for.

Pastor Vergunst