My friends are getting married next week, and I am going to the wedding. The only thing is that they are religious and I'm agnostic. I considered not going to the ceremony because I know there will be praying at the service, and I don't believe in that. What should I do when they ask people to pray? Marcus, Kirkland, WA
First, a wedding isn't something you attend in protest. This is a ceremony designed for them and what they believe. They have asked you to be a guest because they would like their friend to witness an important moment in their lives. By going to the ceremony and being in the presence of prayer, you are not being asked, in any way, to change your beliefs. Simply put, it's not about you. If the service involves communion, you are not required to participate. Remain, respectfully, in your seat. At some ceremonies, there may be responsive readings that ask you to rise. You don't need to read out loud, but it is most polite to rise with others. You should not kneel, but rather remain seated in the pew if there is a kneeling prayer. In other words, go along with what is reasonable and respectful, but abstain from what is not in your beliefs.
The same goes, by the way, for the reverse. Weddings are not a place for guests to make statements or assertions about politics or religions. If you are religious and attend a wedding ceremony which has vows or aspects that are counter to your beliefs, remain quiet. And passing out religious tracts to the sinners at the reception is, most certainly, a don't.