Each sacrament of the church has a minister. Priests celebrate Eucharist. Bishops ordain priests. And so on and so forth. Many are surprised to find that the ministers of the sacrament of marriage are actually not the priest but are, instead, the two people coming to get married. You “effect” the sacrament, while the priest officiates at the liturgy and pronounces the church’s blessing upon your union.
Thus, it’s important for weddings to be reflective of your union. For some people, that means a largely secular service outside of the church. For others, that means a deeply religious service in a church. And some would like a mix of the two.
As an Episcopal parish, weddings at St. John’s will conform to the rubrics and expectations of the Book of Common Prayer. That is, they will be Christian liturgies with Christian readings and music. Secular parts of your union may be important, but they will generally be more appropriate at the reception.
As our nation now has marriage equality, we want to be particularly clear about welcoming same-sex couples to be a part of this sacrament. They have the option two Trial Gender-Neutral liturgies—one a gender-neutral version of the BCP liturgy for a marriage and the other a newly written blessing liturgy. Indeed, opposite-sex couples should also look at these draft liturgies as they may more accurately reflect that couple’s wishes for their wedding day.
If you’d like more information on getting married at St. John’s, please download the packets below:
To Consider before Your First Meeting with the Rector – Two articles about church weddings that will help orient you to the conversation you will have when you first meet with Father Cramer. Please read this before you meet with him.
St. John’s Wedding Guidelines & Forms This packet contains all the guidelines for marriage at St. John’s. It also contains the various forms that must be filled out and received by the Parish Office. Los formularios están disponibles en español en linea aquí.
Marriage Liturgy Our church’s liturgy in the prayer book for the blessing of an opposite-sex relationship. Note that there is also a gender-neutral version of this liturgy for same-sex couples, see “Trial Gender-Neutral Liturgies” below.
Trial Gender-Neutral Liturgies These liturgies were approved by General Convention in 2018 for what is called “Trial Use”—our use of them is thus in preparation for future revision of the prayer book itself. They include:
- The Celebration and Blessing of a Marriage 2 – A non-gendered version of the BCP Marriage liturgy that could be used by either same-sex or opposite-sex couples (pages 7–13).
- The Witnessing and Blessing of a Marriage – This is a “Blessing Liturgy” which has different wording to the prayers and a slightly different shape. It is also gender-neutral and may be used either by same-sex or opposite-sex couples (pages 14–24).
- The Blessing of a Civil Marriage 2 – A non-gendered version of the liturgy for blessing a Civil Marriage (page 25).
- An Order for Marriage 2 – The required order when neither of the above liturgies seems appropriate and the couple wants to design a particular liturgy with the priest. Note: this is very rarely allowed and requires extensive consultation with the priest along with increased fees due to the work of creating the liturgy (page 26).
- The Proper Preface for a Wedding – The non-gendered form of the Proper Preface that may be used when Holy Eucharist is included in a wedding (page 27).
Non-Parish Wedding (Building Rental Form) If you are just wanting to rent our space for your wedding, that is possible with the approval of the Rector. You would then fill out this form—please note that you can choose whether or not to use our parish musician or your own musicians. You will want to be familiar with the wedding policies above, but if it is not an Episcopal liturgy then only policies with regard to the space will be enforced. A parish Verger will serve so as to ensure that religious customs related to out worship space are followed and also to help you and your ministers know where everything is. Note: If you have your own minister, then the priest’s honorarium on this form would not apply and you would instead make that determination with your own minister.