Weddings and Marriage

Congratulations!

So you and your sweetheart are considering getting married! That is a big step in a relationship and one that needs to be undertaken with deliberation, fidelity and commitment. 
Folks regularly contact us as they begin searching for someone who might marry them. Whether the couple is particularly religious or not, they often desire for God’s blessing upon the covenant they seek to make together.
In the process they are often searching for an alternative to what they might find elsewhere-whether it be a church with rules that seem a bit too restrictive, or a church which prohibits a church wedding if one or both of the individuals have been divorced, or a church that refuses to fully recognize their relationship. We understand that we live in a broken and imperfect world and believe God is gracious and understanding. Thus we offer the sacrament of marriage without the normal restrictions that others may impose.
We believe that marriage is a sacred and holy adventure. We affirm that when a couple makes public vows, they are demonstrating outwardly an inward and spiritual reality of what is already transpiring between them. We affirm that a couple is acknowledging before God, and before their friends and family, their commitment to live together in fidelity as one. In the sacrament of marriage, we give thanks for the gift of what God is already doing in the couple’s life and we ask God to pour out blessings upon the couple, to strengthen them, to encourage them, and to focus their wills and intentions upon working through any trials that may come their way.
Marriage is not a magic bullet. It will not magically create a relationship that is not already there. It is the couple’s sacred vows that cause them to be married, not the words or innate specialness of the clergy. We entered into intentionally, the marriage ceremony can provide a social foundation that will help a couple find the strength they will need to weather future storms in life.
At All Souls, we welcome all. And our denomination believes that marriage is a sacrament that should be open to all. We do offer the sacrament of marriage to gay and lesbian couples.
For those seeking a clergy person to officiate at their wedding, please be aware that a couple is required to meet with the clergy at least five to seven times to discern whether they are truly prepared to be joined together in holy matrimony. If you are looking for someone who will simply preside at any wedding on a moment’s notice, please look elsewhere. The counseling sessions will take place over a period of months and will include serious conversations about the couple’s relationship and how each person understands marriage. We believe that if you are not willing to dedicate much energy and effort into preparing for your marriage, then perhaps you may not be ready to undertake such an important step together.
The costs of weddings are growing exponentially. And often couples spend way, way too much money when it is unnecessary. Banquet halls, dresses limousines and honeymoons can cost thousands of dollars. Yet, since marriage is a sacrament of the church, there is no charge to those couples who are members of our parish. For weddings in the church at 640 Centre Ave, we do ask that the couple pays a modest honorarium to cover the use of the building and the additional services of the person in charge of the building’s security. There is of course a separate charge for the organist and that cost must be negotiated with the organist directly.
It is our hope that couples finding us will check us out and will find that All Souls a place they can belong. Those however, wishing to be married outside the church and for valid reasons do not wish to become members of the parish, may discuss this with the Clergy. In this instance, there is a $250 charge to cover his personal time for pre-marriage counseling and for presiding as the officiant.
It is always appropriate to include the sacrament of Holy Communion in the context of a wedding. All Souls welcomes all Christians to receive the body and blood of Christ. You do not have to worry that your friends and family may be excluded because they are not part of a particular denomination.