Occasional Offices

weddings and funerals in the United Reformed Church

In the United Reformed Church it is common for an Elder of the local church to preside at weddings and funerals, especiall if a Minister is unavailable, or if the Elder is known by the family.

Though the procedures are slightly less formal than those for the sacraments, an Elder in this role should obviously still be in good standing with their local church and be competent to represent the United Reformed Church. 

Weddings and Funerals
In Good Standing

in your local congregation

In the United Reformed Church the church meeting is central to the life of each local church. Who conducts weddings and funerals in the absence of a Minister is primarily a matter for them.

This person should be an elder of the church in ‘good standing’ with the congregation.

Weddings and Funerals
Ensuring Good Order

in the Church

As well as being in ‘good standing’ with their local church each person who leads public worship, especially at a wedding or funeral when many guests will be present, needs to be aware thay are also representing the whole United Reformed Church. For this reason our Synod provides support and training for those Elders wishing to conduct such services. 

Weddings and Funerals
In Good Relationships

with our ecumenical friends

Although the United Reformed Church does not regard weddings and funerals as Sacraments, we still should be sensitive to those ecumenical partners who do. The need for ‘good standing’ and ‘good order’ is also an ecumenical consideration, indicating to our partners and friends that our understanding of the ministry of the whole people of God is not simply ‘anyone can do what they want’.

Weddings and Funerals
Good Practice

and life-long learning

We also believe in life-long learning and that everyone in ministry should keep up-to-date with good practice and new and imaginative ways of leading worship. So all people wishing to lead weddings and funerals should attend our Synod courses.

Contact you Mentor for more details. 

The liturgy for a wedding service in the URC can be found in our worship book, simply click the image to the left to access the downloads.

If you would like to buy a hard copy of Worship: from the URC, you can order a copy from the URC Shop.

A selection of resources produced by the Synod along with Northern College are available to help you prepare for the role of leading a funeral service. Simply click the image to the left to be taken there.

If you would like to recieve a hard copy, please contact the Synod Office.

In the United Reformed Church there are a wide variety of views regarding the marriage of same sex couples, and therefore the General Assembly provided for each local church to decide if it wishes to offer such ceremonies on its premises.

The link here brings you to a page of resources exploring the issue, the legal regulations, sample services, and more.


During the continuing Corona Virus lockdown, many funeral services have had to take place either entirely, or partly online.

The URC Communications Team have produced a helpful guide with both technical knowhow and sensitive liturgy for these unuasual and difficult times. 

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