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Weddings

Should you / Can you get married in an Episcopal Church?

Celebration and Blessing of a Marriage is an expression of Christian community in which a couple makes their vows before God and the Church, and the priest blesses the marriage on behalf of the Church. Marriage in church is, therefore, much more than a matter of mere form.

Churches are not marriage factories, and those who are not active members of an Episcopal parish should not assume that they will be able to marry in it. If you are from outside a parish in which you wish to get married, it is, therefore, very important that you do not announce a date for your marriage in one of our Churches until you and your future spouse have met with the priest and the suitability of the celebration of your marriage in our Church has been determined.

Place and Ministers of Marriage

Normally, the clergy of the parish preside at the celebration of marriages in that parish. If you want another cleric to preside at your marriage, you must obtain the consent of the ecclesiastical authority of the parish--the rector, interim priest in charge, or churchwardens.

Our Church discourages weddings outside of the physical church building because having a wedding in a church asserts the importance of the Christian community in the marriage, while having it outside tends to diminish the role of the Church and to dilute its rules and traditions.

If you do get married outside the church building, you need to bear in mind that Canon law requires that your marriage be celebrated with the consent of the ecclesiastical authority of the parish (i.e. its rector, vicar, or priest-in-charge) within the boundaries of which it takes place, and recorded in that parish’s register.

Seasons for Marriages

Marriages are not traditionally celebrated in Advent and in Lent because these are penitential seasons during which times festal liturgies, such as weddings, are not appropriate. Diocesan policy is that weddings during Advent or Lent should only happen in the case of serious, pressing, compelling pastoral need.

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