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To think that this is another stupid example of how religion has a crazy amount of influence in everyone's eyes?

(140 Posts)
Thistledew Fri 05-Apr-13 15:34:06

DP and I are atheist. We are having a civil wedding ceremony. The rules of a civil ceremony are that we are not allowed to have any religious references as part of the ceremony.

One of my favourite pieces of music of all time, by my favourite composer Handel is a piece that he wrote for the Coronation of King George I Zadok the Priest .

I have just had a call from our Registry Office to say that just because this piece of music mentions the words 'priest' 'god' 'amen' and 'hallelujah' I am not allowed to have it played at my wedding ceremony.

AIBU to think that if it were not for the stupid influence that religion has in our society, this piece of music would be judged solely on its artistic merit and the lyrics would have no more significance than Ba Ba Blacksheep?

FYI the lyrics in full are:

Zadok the priest,
And Nathan the Prophet,
Anointed Soloman, King.

And all the people

And all the people (Alleluia)
Rejoiced, and said
God save the King!
Long Live the King!
God Save the King
May the king live forever,
Alleluia, Alleluia, Amen.
Amen, Amen, Amen, Alleluia Amen.

God save the king,
long live the king,
may the king live forever,
amen amen alleluia alleluia amen,
Amen, May the king live,
may the king live,
forever, forever forever,
Alleluia Amen, Amen.
Alleluia Alleluia Amen.
Amen Amen, Amen Amen,
Alleluia Amen.

Long live the king,
God save the king,
long live the king,
may the king live,
may the kinge live,
forever, forever, alleluia alleluia amen,
amen, amen, amen alleluia amen,

Alleluia, alle amen, alleluia!

LaurieFairyCake Fri 05-Apr-13 15:37:45

Can't you have the music without the lyrics?

I'm not sure I entirely understand what you mean - the composer mentions God as god was a part of his life surely? confused

Is that any different than telling Wand Erection to not write about heartbreak or girls ? grin

eagerbeagle Fri 05-Apr-13 15:41:09

YANBU it's bonkers

LeeCoakley Fri 05-Apr-13 15:42:29

Even if it was a church service it seems the wrong occasion for this piece. I know it's your favourite but just seems out of place to me.

Thistledew Fri 05-Apr-13 15:45:13

Unfortunately, the lyrics are an integral part of the music. I would dispute that it is a religious piece of music at all - it is an imagining of the Coronation of King Soloman, and of course people said "God save the King!" at that time.

I am probably quite disproportionately angry about this TBH.

thermalsinapril Fri 05-Apr-13 15:45:30

YABU. I don't agree that religion has a "stupid influence". It was responsible for one of your favourite pieces of music, after all wink Why not pick a different piece by Handel?

LaurieFairyCake Fri 05-Apr-13 15:49:04

I don't want to wind you up but every word pretty much is about God - alleluia is there dozens of times and literally means 'praise God'

Thistledew Fri 05-Apr-13 15:50:46

thermalsinapril - I don't deny that religion has a historical influence. I do stand by my statement that its current interference in the lives of people who do not follow any religion is stupid.

seeminglyso Fri 05-Apr-13 15:52:31

Good on them I say! About time we tried to rid ourselves of the madness and delusion that is place in a public building at all. I am sure the daily mail would love to hear all about that though.. {shock}

Thistledew Fri 05-Apr-13 15:52:48

"Santa Claus Is Coming to Town" references a mythical being that I don't believe in either, but that doesn't stop me enjoying belting it out at the Christmas Party.

MissAnnersley Fri 05-Apr-13 15:53:00


It is religious.

Birdsgottafly Fri 05-Apr-13 15:53:03

YABU, if it wasn't for the influence of religion on everyday life we wouldn't have this piece of music, religion has inspired artists of all genres, throughout time, you cannot pick and choose when it suits you, what should and should not exist.

PlasticLentilWeaver Fri 05-Apr-13 15:54:51

I think the registry office are entirely correct not to allow this at a civil ceremony. The words are entirely religious.

FWIW, I entirely agree re religion having unnecessary influence in society. But, that's why it's not allowed in civil ceremonies.

Thistledew Fri 05-Apr-13 15:54:57

The point is that by banning any reference to God, it actually gives religion power.

MrsTerryPratchett Fri 05-Apr-13 15:55:19

I couldn't have Amazing Grace at my wedding for the same reasons. My DF, atheist to the core, arranged a bagpiper outside the building. Amazing Grace on the pipes is pretty amazing!

CloudsAndTrees Fri 05-Apr-13 15:55:24


The music is clearly religious. Either you want religion or you don't, you can't have it both ways.

quoteunquote Fri 05-Apr-13 15:56:10


No one should dictate what anyone has as a part of their ceremony it should be entirely personal.

I hate the way religion dictates. it's fucking boring.

Pootles2010 Fri 05-Apr-13 15:57:20

It is really quite a religious piece tbh. My friend wasn't allowed a poem that mentioned having 'faith' in the other person hmm

I think the law was introduced so that people could get married without religious interference.

Suzieismyname Fri 05-Apr-13 15:58:02

yanbu to think that religion has a crazy influence (should play no part in any part of society as far as I'm concerned) but yabu if you think that piece is not religious!

MissAnnersley Fri 05-Apr-13 15:59:39

The actual texts for Zadok the Priest were taken from the Bible.

Trills Fri 05-Apr-13 16:00:09

YANBU to think that it is a silly rule.

Birdsgottafly Fri 05-Apr-13 16:00:29

I am Buddhist, but I welcome some of the speeches given at conferences by religious leaders, tbh, which hopefully does influence everyday life. Not so much the God based aspect, but peace and respect for all(as well as a lot of other stuff). I wouldn't want to live in a world run by scientists, alone. I can remember Mother Theresa's speeches and she spoke perfect sense, even if I didn't agree with her source of beliefs. . I would of thought that you would welcome the banning of God references if you do not want religious interference to continue.

flatmum Fri 05-Apr-13 16:01:26

So as an atheist I can't enjoy amazing grace or any hymns purely as a moving piece of music? That's ridiculous.

Thistledew Fri 05-Apr-13 16:04:36

The Marriage Act 1949 Section 45A states:

(4) No religious service shall be used at any marriage solemnized in the presence of a superintendent registrar.

How is this piece of music a "religious service"?

MissAnnersley Fri 05-Apr-13 16:05:22

Enjoy what you want. Why would anyone stop you?

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