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If Quakers want to proselytize

perhaps they should look into holding more weddings. Many of the responses Angelika and I got after our wedding last Saturday were from non-Quakers who thought that was a great way to have a wedding.

Weddings are a great time to bring in non-Quakers in a happy environment, and people can see - and fairly easily participate in - a rather active though still worshipful meeting. The reasoning behind everyone as minister shines brightly on these occasions, and perhaps the contrast with other services will make people think about services generally.

Some friends have posted pictures here and here.


Congratulations to you both! The photos are great.

And will Angelika find a new commenting name, now that she is no longer Presbyterian Girlfriend?

-- Chris M.


Maybe Quaker couples could get married multiple times...??

Yea and congratulations.

And you're right: weddings can be great outreach events. Only a few of the members in our extended family had ever been to a Quaker worship service before our wedding. I was a little nervous how it would play to the Catholic and Jewish relatives but they actually seemed to make more of a point to say how wonderful it was and my feeling is that they were speaking totally genuinely and had very much appreciated it.

Most traditional weddings celebrate the ceremony itself and a stranger coming in off the street would learn little about the couple. The Quaker wedding, at least ours, was about the couple and their standing in their communities. Some of my new wife's family still didn't know me all that well and I think they were reassured by hearing all these testimonials from long-standing friends.

I'm not sure if any of our non-Quaker attendees have gone back into a meetinghouse over the last five years but at least they have a better understanding of Quaker worship than they had before. Who knows what seeds might have been planted?

Congratulations again, hope to see photos of the other wedding too!

Well, you have a good point, and the same can be said for Quaker memorial services, which non-Friends even more consistently respond positively to.

But I also have a question. Some of the pictures look to have been taken during the meeting for worship for marriage itself. I'm accustomed to the introductory remarks stating that no photos are to be taken. Is this not the practice where you are?

My husband and I are proof of this. We attended the wedding of his brother 20 plus years ago. It was our first experience of Quakers. We were convinced by the experience.

May God bless your life together

It's been nearly 27 years since we were married in a Friends meeting for worship for marriage. I think that about half the people there, if not more, were not Quakers. You're right--it's wonderful outreach, real-life "embodied apologetics"! Warmest congratulations and many blessings.

Two thoughts- One, why wouldn't we want to share this wonderful way of experiencing God among us (Emmanuel)? Sub-question: 'proselytize' as a word makes it sound like such a nasty business, don't you think? I much prefer 'sharing', it's sounds so much, well, friendlier.

Two, we're pretty good at funerals, for the same reasons, though perhaps a bit more somber than weddings. What a wonderful way to gather and ponder deeply within our hearts how a departed loved one's life has made a permanent impact on our own, proof positive that there is love (life) after death.

Bill - I believe we overlooked any mention of photography in the opening remarks, and had invited a bold friend. I'm very happy with the photos, but yes, I think it's unusual.

(And sorry for the delay in posting comments - we're far from home.)

Congratulations and blessings on you both.

Not to throw a bucket of cold water, but it works the other way, too. I overheard one of my brothers once remark to someone else that, despite having had Quaker meeting held out to him as an example of deeper spiritual worship, our Quaker wedding seemed to him to be more like a series of after-dinner testimonials. I doubt he has any interest in attending again. (From my position on the facing bench, I think his judgment was unfair -- it was an ovewhelmingly spirit-filled meeting, if vocal -- but I can understand how someone from the outside may have seen it differently.)