Getting Married at St. John's Church

The Nature of Marriage
The Book of Common Prayer instructs us as follows: Christian marriage is a solemn and public covenant between two people in the presence of God. (Page 422)

In the liturgy of the wedding service itself we hear the following: The union of two people in heart, body, and mind is intended by God for their mutual joy; for the help and comfort given one another in prosperity and adversity; and, when it is God's will, for the procreation of children and their nurture in the knowledge and love of the Lord. (Page 423)

In addition, church canon laws require that all persons being married in the Episcopal Church sign the following statement before the wedding: We, [Name] and [Name], desiring to receive the blessing of Holy Matrimony in the Church, do solemnly declare that we hold marriage to be a lifelong union as it is set forth in the liturgical forms of this Church.

We believe it is for the purpose of mutual fellowship, encouragement and understanding, for the procreation (if it may be) of children and their physical and spiritual nurture and for the safeguarding and benefit of society.

And we do engage ourselves, so far as in us lies, to make our utmost effort to establish this relationship and to seek God's help thereto.

Requirements for Marriage
Under most circumstances, SJC offers the sacrament of Christian marriage to members of the Episcopal Church. At least one party must be a baptized Christian. If neither Bride nor Groom is a member of the Episcopal Church, we hope that you will consider becoming active members of our parish. Parish membership entails regular attendance at worship services, contributing financially to the support of the church, and becoming actively involved in the life of the parish family.

Applying for Marriage and Scheduling a Date
Call our office to discuss arrangements as soon as possible after you know that a marriage will take place. You will need to set up an appointment with our wedding coordinator to discuss available dates and times for the wedding ceremony and rehearsal. However, no plans may be made definite until after the first interview with a member the clergy at SJC, after which the dates may be confirmed with the parish office. A deposit of $500 is required to hold the date for all non-members.

Normally, weddings are not conducted during the seasons of Advent (late November/December) and Lent (February/March), as they are penitential seasons of solemn preparation for Christmas and Easter. Because of the 5 p.m. Holy Eucharist Service held on Saturdays, weddings may not be scheduled later than 3pm. or after 6 pm. Rehearsals are usually held in the late afternoon or evening of the day before.

Pre-Marriage Counseling

Clergy in the Episcopal Church are required to instruct couples in the meaning of Christian marriage, to assess their readiness for such a relationship, and to prepare them for the wedding ceremony. Our practice is that there should be at least three meetings of an hour or more each. Non-members will be charged a counseling of fee of $150 per session.