By Prisca Aroko.
If you are married, did you pay your church pastor to officiate your wedding ceremony? The cost of paying the pastors to officiate church weddings has pushed most couple to head to the Attorney General’s office to do their wedding.
Picture this, for you to have a church wedding; you have to pay for the venue, but flowers and church decorations and to top it up the food and reception services.
At the attorney General’s office, the wedding takes 600 shillings for notice and 3,300 shillings for the certificate.
Recently Family Radio Jam 316’s morning show host James Okumu was in a wedding preparation meeting for his niece when he was perplexed to see that among the people and services to be paid for included the pastor who was to officiate the ceremony.
The pastor was to be paid Sh.20, 000 to officiate the couple’s wedding ceremony.
This discussion elicited a lot of reactions on Tuesday’s Family Radio’s Jam 316 morning show, with people divided on both sides.
Bernard Obute commented, “You want to pay for flowers, dowry, video cameras, and expensive venues. Food for fun, expensive cars etc then you feel your pastor is cheap and should stand there all those hours for free! The anointing you don’t honor can’t be a blessing to you! And that’s why marriages in this generation are cursed; even the government can’t give certificate papers for free.”
“I thought Pastors in organized assemblies earn salaries (through our tithes and offerings) to preach, marry, bury and attend to the needs of the congregation. It’s like requiring a client to pay me to attend a business meeting, yet I earn a salary from my employer to do all that appertains to my job (including attending meetings!).That said, I might consider paying the pastor if he / she doesn’t not earn a salary from their assembly. Also, if the couple wants to give the pastor a monetary gift — as a way to appreciate his / her service — then that’s their prerogative. But it shouldn’t be a fee for him / her to do their job!” Stella Kiguta Nganga said.
However most of the pastors who Family Radio reached out to for a comment, refrained from commenting for fear of victimization from their congregants.
Pastor Joan Wairimu says she does not charge couples when she is officiating wedding ceremonies for her congregants and further explains that it should not be obligation but can only be given out of consideration as an appreciation token to the pastor’s sacrifice.
Bishop Kababu strongly condemns the idea of paying a pastor to officiate a wedding unless the situation requires the person who is officiating the wedding to move from one city to another and will have to incur expenses.
So do you think a pastor ought to be paid to officiate a wedding ceremony?