Features

Pregnancy test before wedding

VICTOR KALALANDA, Illinois, USA

MY EXPERIENCE living in Zambia has taught me one thing: churches do not seem to have as much a hard-line policy on funerals as they do on weddings or nuptials. As the son of a preacher myself, often ridiculed as preacher’s kid or PK, it was easy noticing this as our family often changed churches – whereby I developed keen interest in the goings-on of other religious organisations. I remember in Ndola when a famous businessman died, his family did not need a special permit to hold his funeral service at the local United Church of Zambia (UCZ). The assumption was that he was previously a member, or possibly an intermittent one lost and anonymous in the crowd of the congregation, until the day of his death. On closer inspection, this was a mere cosmetic exercise, since businessmen back in the days were largely framed as satanists, whether real or imagined, not as astute entrepreneurs in modern parlance. So the church service afforded the deceased a dignified send-off that served to silence rumours that he had lived in filthy lucre or blood money. But the point is that it has, more often than not, been easy to have funerals in church under such possible pretexts or false pretences. The same cannot be said about weddings. We see memorial services being held for government ministers, as a relatable example, who never even stepped foot in a church building. Like a joke. Weddings, on the other hand, lend themselves to a very intriguing case study. Anybody will tell you that for a marriage to be officially certified, it typically needs approval from three institutions, namely the church, the State and the family. Of course, we are not doing a legal debate about civil and customary marriages; but we are talking about marriage in terms of holy matrimony or as a Christian issue. So these are civil marriages that are subjected to religious ceremonies. The practice at my local church in Zambia was to first involve the family and conclude with the church and State. Around the time of my attendance, we suddenly had a lot of people getting married.
This was natural because we were not really a family church but most of our members were single young men and women. But the rate was nonetheless unusual, given popular reluctances about marriage, as a result of poor incomes or just childlike, silly phobia which plagues many of us. Sometimes we CLICK TO READ MORE

 




Facebook Feed

Ad1