What is Holy Matrimony? It is Christian marriage, in which the woman and man enter into a life-long union, make their vows before God and the Church, and receive the grace and blessing of God to help them fulfill their vows.” -The Book of Common Prayer, p. 861
We thank God for your inquiry and we invite you to use the following prayer as you are preparing to commit yourselves to one another in Holy Matrimony.
“O gracious and everliving God, you have created us male and female in your image: Look mercifully upon this man and this woman who come to you seeking your blessing, and assist them with your grace, that with true fidelity and steadfast love they may honor and keep the promises and vows they make, through Jesus Christ our Savior. Amen.” -The Book of Common Prayer, page 425
Marriage in the Episcopal Church
The Book of Common Prayer and the Canon Laws of the Episcopal Church provide the following directions for the Celebration and Blessing of a Marriage.
Marriage in The Episcopal Church of St. James the Fisherman
The Celebration and Blessing of a Marriage is, above all, a service of worship offered to the Glory of God, according to the tradition of the Episcopal Church. Except in extraordinary circumstances, weddings are celebrated in the church. All weddings at St. James the Fisherman are scheduled through the office of the Rector. With the permission of the Rector, clergy of another Episcopal parish or another Christian church may assist in a wedding at St. James the Fisherman.
It is recommended that couples contact a member of the clergy a minimum of six months before the proposed date of the wedding.
The date and time of the wedding must be confirmed with the Rector before any arrangements are made for receptions, invitations, or other announcements. Any subsequent changes in the dates or times of the wedding and/or rehearsal should be confirmed with the Rector.
By Church tradition, weddings are not celebrated during the season of Lent.
The liturgy for the Celebration and Blessing of a Marriage is found in The Book of Common Prayer (pages 423-432). A wedding may include the Celebration of the Holy Eucharist. Weddings at St. James the Fisherman must conform to the Prayer Book and its directions.
When a wedding is scheduled, it is the responsibility of the couple to contact the Organist to arrange an appointment with her and the organist. All music for weddings at St. James the Fisherman is under the direction of the Organist.
The couple must also contact the Altar Guild Chair well in advance of the wedding date to discuss parish policy and procedures governing floral arrangements. The flowers will be left in the church to be used for Sunday services.
A rehearsal will be scheduled on the afternoon before the wedding. The bride, groom, family, and wedding party should arrive promptly so as not to delay the clergy, organist, and altar guild volunteers.
A license must be obtained from the office of the County Clerk. Please bring all fees and the State License to the rehearsal.
Photography is permitted in the church during weddings with the prior permission of the clergy, but flash photography is not allowed..
Family members and guests as well as professional photographers should be advised of this policy.
With permission of the clergy, videotaping may be allowed during the service, provided that the camera remains stationary (in a location designated by the clergy) and that there be no additional lighting. A runner for the aisle, if desired, should be furnished by the florist.
Please contact the Rector for an appointment to begin a discussion about your wedding.