In a conversation yesterday I was told that weddings and funerals are not conducted in a certain megachurch in the Atlanta area. If this is true- and I do not know that it is- how can they call themselves "Church"?
Although the many wedding ceremonies that I have been involved in took many Friday nights (for rehearsal) and Saturdays, I cannot imiagine a pastor and congregation not being a part of such a significant moment. Likewise, for a congregation not to have a service to celebrate the life and mourn the death of a loved one is unthinkable.
There are many things about serving as pastor of a local church that are difficult and I have not been involved in them for a few years. But part of what I miss is the opportunity afforded the pastor to be a part of person's lives in their most significant moments. Being present at the birth of a baby and then to have the honor of baptizing that child in the context of congregational worship is a high and holy privilege. The same is true for pastor and parishioners at times when persons are joined in holy matrimony and when we proclaim as the community of faith that although the earthly life of our loved one has ended "death is swallowed up in victory."
The relarional aspect of "church" is essential. And to eliminate weddings and funerals from congregational life is unimaginable.