Okay so next weekend we will be meeting with the Pastor. This is a HUGE deal for me because if you don't have someone to perform the ceremony then you don't have a wedding... And having my FH Pastor perform the ceremony is very important to him and his family.
We have a long way before our wedding, but we wanted to start meeting with him early because I am not a member of the church and I wanted to make sure that I like the church, the people, and the Pastor before I join the church. Plus we wanted to make sure that we are taking all of the right pre-marriage steps that we need to be taking!
Anyhow, point of the post is.... I am a little worried about the whole situation, because I don't really know what to expect from this meeting. Can anyone explain to me how these meetings work, and are there any questions that I NEED to be asking the Pastor?
Waiting2be... FH and i just had our first counseling session with my pastor this past sunday. He is a family friend and has known me since I was little. He requires that we do Pre-marriage counseling. Since this is your first meeting and you do not know him well this should be where you let him know what you guys expect for your ceremony and kind of feel out how he performs his ceremonies. Also you should ask him any questions you have related to the wedding or counseling (if you're required.) You should both be deciding whehter or not he is a good fit for the two of you while you are meeting with him...
What part of Va are you in... I live in Va too so I was curious :)
One of the thing they teach people in Pastor School is how to put people at their ease. Relax.
The Pastor has done this kind of thing many times in the past, and pretty much knows the drill. Essentially, he (or she in the case of my own church) will ask you about your spiritual history. That means what churches have you attended in the past and what were you feelings about those places.
He will ask what kinds of conversations you and FH have had about the "tough", non-romantic, topics such as expectations of children, finances, jobs, and things like that. If either of you have been married in the past, and/or if either have children, he'll want to know how the marriage was ended and how the children are being supported both financially and emotionally. He most likely will spell out any requirements he has for a wedding in his church, such as any costs associated wtih the wedding, pre-marital counseling, waiting time, etc. You, then, will need to decide if you are prepared to meet these requirements.
The vicar of my church requires tangible evidence of the ending of a previous marriage. She must actually see, and make copies of, the death certificate or final divorce decree. If the children are minors, she might actually phone the other parent of the children and ask if child support is being paid regularly and if the non-custodial parent regularly sees and interacts with the children. The vicar will not proceed with pre-marital counseling until a previous marriage is fully ended. No planning a wedding while the divorce is pending, in other words.
If either you or FH has been married before, you might bring along the death cert or divorce decree to the first meeting just to get that step out of the way.