What is marriage in the Episcopal Church?
Marriage is the sacramental rite of the church in which two persons "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" (BCP, p. 861).
At the Declaration of Consent, both persons promise to love, comfort, honor, and keep their spouse, in sickness and in health, and, forsaking all others, to be faithful to their spouse as long as they both live (BCP, p. 424).
The congregation witnesses the couple's promises, and the members of the congregation promise to do all in their power to uphold the couple in their marriage. At the Marriage, the couple may pledge their lives to each other by the giving and receiving of rings as symbols of their vows. When desired, other appropriate symbols of their vows may be used instead of rings. In the Episcopal Church it is required that at least one of the parties be a baptized Christian, that the ceremony be attested by at least two witnesses, and that the marriage conform to the laws of the state and the canons of the church.
Can I get married at St. Paul's?
At St. Paul’s we do funerals, memorial services and baptisms for everyone, but we only marry members of the church. Members are asked to call the parish office (724-3535) at least 6 months prior to the wedding to reserve the church and set up an appointment with The Rev. Bill Van Oss (Rector) to discuss marriage counseling.
How do I become a member?
- Transfer from another parish (paperwork).
- Begin attending Sunday worship here (at least 2x per month) with the intention of making St. Paul’s your church home.
This membership policy does not apply to weddings conducted“off site” (like at Gooseberry Falls or the Rose Garden). Those requests are handled on a case-by-case basis.
What if one or both of us has been divorced?
In the Episcopal Church, being previously married does not exclude you from the possibility of being married again. It is required by church and civil law that divorce paperwork is final.
What if we are a same-sex couple?
In the Episcopal Church, we will happily marry you! You will be treated as any other couple seeking God’s blessing on their lifelong commitment. We are proud to support equal marriage!
What will our service be like?
The Episcopal Church is blessed with a beautiful marriage service in our Book of Common Prayer. To craft a service that is meaningful for you, you will meet with the Rev. Van Oss. You will be given some ‘homework’ to help him get to know you better and to help clarify your thinking about what marriage means to you.
The Episcopal Church and St. Paul's Church is proud to support equal marriage!