Here are some simple guidelines regarding weddings here at Christ Church. We want to make sure, insofar as is possible, that you are well prepared for the new life that you are about to begin, in which the two shall become one.”—Mark 10:7-9
Regular Attendance at Worship
Couples who come seeking Christian marriage should be members of Christ Church for at least 6 months. Membership is defined by our by-laws as regularly attending Sunday worship and making a financial commitment to the church in the form of an annual Stewardship Pledge. Once a couple has fulfilled the membership requirements (as described above) they may contact Father Patrick at least six months prior to their desired wedding date. A preliminary meeting will be scheduled with the couple and Father Patrick to go over logistics, pre-marital requirements and other wedding details. Please note that all communication must be between the Bride/Groom and Father Patrick. Neither family members, nor wedding planners, will be in communication with Father Patrick.
Pre-marital counseling will consist of at least five sessions. There will be a materials fee. Father Patrick will use his time during pre-marital counseling to provide communication skills and tips, as well as, assess the couple to determine if he can, in good faith, perform the marriage.
Marriage after Divorce
If either Bride or Groom is divorced they must apply for, and receive, permission from the Diocesan Bishop to be remarried in the Episcopal Church. Such permission is granted on a case by case basis. Couples should talk to Father Patrick about this at the first meeting. If he feels that the couple can be remarried without impediment, he will describe the process at that time. The necessary paperwork must be completed and sent to the Bishop of the Diocese of Massachusetts at least ninety days prior to the wedding.
Father Patrick will discuss music guidelines at pre-marital counseling. All inquiries about the music for your wedding should be made to John Russell, the Organist-Choirmaster. According to the Canons of the Episcopal Church, the music of the Church should be “an offering for the glory of God and as a help to the people in their worship.” (Title II, Canon 6, Sec. 1). This holds true for weddings as well. The music for your ceremony should reflect the solemn, but joyful reverence of the occasion; therefore, all choices of music, whether instrumentals or hymns, should be discussed with the Organist-Choirmaster.
The Organist’s fee is $250.00, whether using Christ Church’s organist or not, and does not include the rehearsal.
The Bride and Groom must arrange for their own flowers if desired. Recommendations for florists can be provided upon request. Flowers are never placed on the altar, nor are they arranged in such a way that obscures the altar or the cross. If the Church or Chapel has been decorated for Christmas, those decorations may not be removed for the wedding. Reserved pews may be marked by ribbon or flower arrangements, attached with floral wire only (no tape, please). All flowers must be removed from the Church or Chapel after the wedding.
Photography and Videography
Due to the religious and solemn nature of the occasion, no flash pictures may be taken by the wedding guests or by the official photographer during the wedding. The bridal party may return to the Church or Chapel following the service to pose for pictures. During the ceremony, the photographer may take pictures from the rear of the Church or Chapel (or from the “balcony” in the epistle transept) using natural light, as long as he or she is discreet and in no way becomes a distraction. Prior to the wedding date the photographer must speak to Father Patrick to review rules and vantage points, etc.
Videographers are subject to the same rules as photographers. They may use natural light only, and they should set up their camera in a stationary place (i.e., either at the rear of the Church or Chapel or in the “balcony”) so as not to become a source of distraction.
A Sexton must be on duty for the rehearsal and wedding. The Sexton’s fee is $300.00.
- Weddings are not held during Lent or Holy Week, (approx. mid-February to mid-April).
- A wedding rehearsal is required and typically begins around 5:00-6:00 p.m. the evening before the wedding.
- Wedding consultants are not permitted to be present at the wedding rehearsal.
- The Church seats 325-350 people comfortably.
- The Chapel seats 100 people comfortably.
- There is no air conditioning in the Church or Chapel.