Moray is a church pastor by calling and as such has a firm belief in marriage - and the commitment the couple make to one another in the wedding ceremony - as one of the foundations of society. Whether a couple are making that marriage commitment in a Christian context or prefer a non-religious ceremony, there is no difficulty in tailoring the content to their wishes.
In a Christian ceremony references are made to the couple’s faith in God, readings may be taken from the Bible and prayers are offered. Whereas the nature of the promises and the commitment the couple make to one another have the same basis, in a non-religious ceremony the faith elements may be omitted or perhaps replaced by other relevant content. In practice, most non-religious wedding ceremonies are very similar in content to Christian ones.
Part of our role in the church over the past years has been in leading marriage preparation courses and marriage enrichment courses – using the material developed by Holy Trinity Church, Brompton in London http://www.themarriagecourses.org/
Whilst such courses are based on Christian principles, they are open to those of all faiths or none. Numerous couples with no church connection join the courses and benefit enormously from them. The object is not to promote Christianity, but rather to encourage and help build strong, healthy marriages. When Moray is asked to conduct a wedding blessing ceremony, the same logic applies. His role is to lead a ceremony that fulfils the couple’s wishes and also, insofar as is possible, to accompany them through the preparatory stages: the choice of vows/promises they will make to each other, the content of the order of service (readings, music etc) and the practicalities of timing, entrances, positioning etc. During the months and weeks leading up to the wedding he is available to discuss and advise about any aspect of the ceremony. When a rehearsal/walk-through is planned he is able to attend and help ensure that the main participants (the couple, the bridesmaids, the groomsmen and ushers etc) are as ready and as relaxed as possible, ready for the day itself.