A wedding is not only a joyous occasion for the couple and their families, but also for the Christian parish community, and for the clergy called to preside. Saint Peter’s is happy and privileged to be involved in this, one of life’s most important turning points.
Today, weddings take place in a variety of settings and under many different circumstances. Christian marriage, however, as understood in the Episcopal Church, is an extension of one’s commitment to the mission and ministry of the Church as promised in our baptismal covenant.
Therefore, more is involved in choosing to be married in church than opting for an alternative setting, for you will be choosing to be married under the auspices and guidelines of the Church. As an aid to making your choice and planning your wedding, such guidelines are outlined below.
- The Date of a Wedding may not be scheduled without the consultation and approval of the Rector. It is best to check with the church before making any plans. The clergy may decline to solemnize any marriage.
- At least one of the parties must be baptized.
- Both parties shall participate in a series of pre-marriage instruction sessions with the clergy, or with other persons approved by the clergy.
- Regular attendance at church is an expected part of the pre-marriage instruction.
- The bishop must grant permission for the clergy to officiate the remarriage of divorced persons.
A certified divorce decree is required. Those who have been divorced more than once will be asked to meet with a professional counselor prior to the pre-marriage instruction with the clergy. No marriage of divorced persons will take place until one year has passed from the date of divorce.
- You will be asked to sign a “Declaration of Intention” to the effect that you subscribe to the teachings of the Church on marriage, and that marriage is a lifelong relationship. This includes the understanding that if marital unity is imperiled for any cause, it shall be the duty of both parties to lay that matter before the clergy of this church before contemplating legal action.
- It is customary and expected that the wedding take place in the celebration of the Holy Eucharist as a reminder that marriage signifies to us the union between Christ and his church. Guests will be welcome to receive communion.
- In planning your wedding you must be willing to be governed by the canons and customs governing any formal worship as set forth in the Book of Common Prayer, or as otherwise set forth in our Weddings at St. Peter’s document.
- The rehearsal is generally the night before the wedding and is under the direction of the clergy.
- Saint Peter’s seats approximately 125 people.
St. Peter’s, in keeping with the guidelines of the Episcopal Church and the Diocese of Maryland, joyfully welcomes all couples, regardless of gender, to explore a wedding at St. Peter’s. See the Presiding Bishop’s statement on Marriage Equality.
Please be advised that weddings at St. Peter’s are normally reserved for members and family of members. If you are not a current member of St. Peter’s, please consult with the Rector to see if a St. Peter’s wedding is available.
Be sure to review the guidelines in our Wedding Information document (Weddings at St. Peter’s) before you decide if a St. Peter’s wedding is right for you. Please contact our Rector, Father Tom Slawson, at 410-465-2273 or firstname.lastname@example.org with questions or to schedule your service.