NEWFOUNDLAND, Pa. — Crown-wearing worshippers holding AR-15 rifles and other weapons drank holy wine and exchanged or renewed wedding vows in a commitment ceremony at a Pennsylvania church Wednesday, prompting a nearby school to cancel classes.

With state police and protesters standing watch outside the church, brides and grooms brought dozens of unloaded AR-15s into World Peace and Unification Sanctuary for a religious event that doubled as an advertisement for the Second Amendment.

The church, which has a worldwide following, believes the AR-15 symbolizes the “rod of iron” in the book of Revelation, and urged couples to bring the weapons. An AR-15 was used in the Florida high school massacre on Feb. 14.

The Rev. Sean Moon, who leads the church, prayed for “a kingdom of peace police and peace militia where the citizens, through the right given to them by almighty God to keep and bear arms, will be able to protect one another and protect human flourishing.”

Moon is the son of the late Rev. Sun Myung Moon, a self-proclaimed messiah who founded the Unification Church, which critics regard as a cult. The younger Moon’s congregation is a breakaway faction of the Unification Church, which had distanced itself from Wednesday’s event.

An attendant checked each weapon at the door to make sure it was unloaded and secured with a zip tie, and the elaborate commitment ceremony went off without a hitch. Some worshippers wore crowns made out of bullets.