Christ Church – St. Michaels wishes your wedding to be a beautiful and memorable occasion; therefore, the following information will acquaint you with the customs and traditions of the Episcopal Church and assist you in planning the celebration of a marriage at Christ Church – St. Michaels.
The first thing to do is to call the church (410-745-9076) to make an appointment with the clergy of the parish. The earlier this appointment takes place, the better, and it should always precede placing deposits on reception venues, etc. This appointment should be attended by the couple planning to be married. No wedding date can be considered firm until that meeting takes place and the “Declaration of Intent” and the “Application for Marriage at Christ Church St. Michael’s Parish” are completed, and approved by the Clergy. Under no circumstances will the date of the wedding be less than 60 days following the date that the application is received and approved by the Rector.
Christ Church – St. Michael’s Parish is an Episcopal Church and it is therefore assumed that those wishing to be married here wish to have an identifiably Christian Service. The solemnization and blessing of a marriage is a worship service conducted according to the forms, canons, and customs of the Episcopal Church and this parish. Therefore, those wishing a secular service should not plan a church wedding – family and social expectations notwithstanding.
An ongoing relationship with Christ Church St. Michael’s Parish is desirable for someone to be married here. Weddings are normally done for those couples where at least one of the two is a member or has a historical or family relationship with Christ Church – St. Michael’s Parish or who are in the process of becoming members of the parish. Any exceptions are solely at the discretion of the Rector.
Requirements of Christ Church – St. Michaels and the Episcopal Church
At least one of the parties to be married has received Holy Baptism in any Christian denomination. Both parties must sign the Declaration of Intention near the beginning of the marriage preparation.
Those wishing to be married in the Episcopal Church are required to complete a process of premarital counseling before a wedding can be held. This includes a minimum of three sessions with the clergy or another minister or counselor approved by the clergy. The purpose of pre-marital counseling is to ensure the couple’s willingness and readiness to enter into the lifelong covenant of Christian Marriage.
Christ Church – St. Michael’s Parish’s policy on prior marriages ending in divorce is consistent with the policies of the Diocese of Easton and the Canons of the Episcopal Church. All Episcopal clergy are required to seek written permission from the Bishop to solemnize a wedding in the case of prior divorce(s). Such a request must be in writing, and should be received at least sixty days prior to the intended date of the wedding. Counseling with the clergy or some other mutually acceptable person is essential under these circumstances. Persons who have been divorced will need to bring a copy of their final divorce decree to a meeting with the Rector at the earliest opportunity. Furthermore, at least one full year must have elapsed between the final decree of the divorce and the date of the “Application for Marriage at Christ Church, St. Michael’s Parish.” Please note that the Bishop does not grant consent for third marriages except in highly unusual circumstances. If a person wishes to marry for their third or more time, additional consultation will therefore be required, and a favorable decision should not be taken for granted.
Setting a Date
Dates for weddings are reserved on a first-come, first-served basis. As noted above, the date must be established with the clergy before making any other arrangements.
Weddings at Christ Church – St. Michael’s Parish may take place throughout the year with the following exceptions:
- during the season of Lent or during Holy Week, or
- on Friday evenings, when another wedding has already been scheduled on Saturday, or
- within one week of a major holiday such as Christmas or Easter,
- regular church services and other major festivals also take precedence.
Weddings may be scheduled within the church until 5 p.m. Rehearsals generally take place the day before the wedding, and we ask that all taking part in the rehearsal arrive on time.
Active, contributing members of Christ Church-St. Michaels Parish, St. Michaels, MD: $1,000