Worship | WeddingsWeddings
"The bond and covenant of marriage was established by God in creation, and our Lord Jesus Christ adorned this manner of life by his presence and first miracle at a wedding in Cana of Galilee. It signifies to us the mystery of the union between Christ and his Church, and Holy Scripture commends it to be honored among all people. "The Book of Common Prayer
Marriage in Christ Church, Oyster BayMany events have taken place within the walls of this sacred space, and weddings are among the most joyous. They bring with them the opportunity for great celebration, and the chance to glimpse the love God has for each of us. In that spirit, we are glad to know that you are interested in having your wedding here at Christ Church. The following information is designed to answer many of the questions that arise when considering a marriage in Christ Church. Your marriage is a sacred and beautiful celebration, and we will do all we can to make the process as easy and joyful as possible
Preparation for MarriageThe first concern of the Church for your wedding is a proper foundation for your happy marriage. A period of pre-marital counseling is required by Church law and provides for a time to reflect on the meaning of marriage and on the quality of your relationship as it develops. This usually means three to six hours of pre-marital counseling with one of the clergy. Our understanding is that Christian marriage takes place in the context of a community of faith. Regular church attendance is expected of those intending to be married in the parish church. Additionally, the Canons of the Episcopal Church require that a thirty day period of notice be given to the Clergy prior to the marriage date, and that at least one of the two persons to be married must be baptized. Where a marriage involves persons of differing religious backgrounds, a representative of the other denomination is always welcome to participate in the wedding service.New York State requires a marriage license. Marriage licenses may be obtained from any clerk (village, town, city, etc.). Marriage licenses are valid for sixty days but are not valid for the first twenty-four hours after they are issued. The marriage license must be deposited with the Parish Office not later than the Monday preceding the wedding.Marriage ceremonies are not generally celebrated during the church's penitential seasons of Lent. Depending on circumstances that vary from year to year, weddings immediately surrounding Christmas may not be possible. Weddings are possible at most hours but not Saturday evenings. Weddings normally occur in the church proper; ceremonies in homes, gardens or reception halls are seldom allowed.For those who have been married previouslyThe Episcopal Church permits the marriage of persons whose previous marriage has ended in divorce although no remarriage should be contemplated until a full year has elapsed from the termination of the previous marriage. A copy of the final divorce decree must be presented to the Minister conducting the marriage or performing the pre-marital counseling. Where there are minor children of that marriage, any documents pertaining to custody and financial support must also be presented. The permission of the Bishop must be sought, and can only be sought in cases where one or both parties to the marriage is/ are member(s) of the parish. The petition to the Bishop cannot be filed until a portion of the pre-marital counseling has been accomplished. The Bishop is allowed a period of time in which to respond, which period of time is currently thirty days.The Wedding CeremonyA marriage service in the church is first and foremost a service of Christian worship. It holds to the same standards and requirements applied to all public worship. These standards apply to liturgy, music, decoration and conduct of the service in the same manner as they apply to the Sunday Eucharist.All services are conducted in accordance with the forms set out in the Book of Common Prayer, 1979. Couples will be given a copy of the Prayer Book and the marriage rite will be discussed during the pre-marital sessions. While many marriages are solemnized in the context of the holy Eucharist (nuptial mass), there are circumstances where this may not be appropriate and this should be discussed with the person doing the pre-marital counseling.MusicMusic at all weddings is the responsibility of the Minister and the Music Director (who plays for all weddings if able to do so). Generally speaking, musical selections come under the same standards as for all church services. In practice this means that instrumental music is drawn from the repertoire of music written by classical composers for use in the church. Vocal music is not required but when used draws its music from the same sources and its texts from the Bible, the Book of Common Prayer, and the Hymnal 1982. The Prayer Book indicates points in the service where "hymns, psalms or anthems" may be sung. Popular secular music without a religious theme is discouraged (including "Here comes the Bride", which is actually from Wagner's opera Lohengrin). There is an array of alternatives to choose from, and the organist should be able to kindle your interest in one of these.You should contact the Music Director (extension 13) well in advance of the wedding date, to discuss the music. Extra musicians (voice or instrumental) should be discussed and arranged with the Music Director (at additional cost).To learn more about music at Christ Church, click here. Decoration for the Church BuildingFlowers may adorn the altar and the area around the steps near the communion rail (where much of the service takes place). The use of other than freshly cut or growing flowers is not encouraged. Bows may be placed on the pews, hanging freely and not attached by wire or tape. Runners are not used because of the style of flooring material and the placement of the baptismal font. While we are happy to have birdseed thrown out-of-doors, no small containers thereof may be brought into the building. When used, they must be distributed out-of-doors, after the service. Confetti and rice are not permitted.Photography and VideographyThe Vestry (the governing body) of Christ Church has expressed its concern over the conduct of photographers and videographers at wedding services. In order to maintain a suitable atmosphere for Christian worship, photographs are not permitted during the service except from the rear of the building, with available light and with a silent shutter. Video taping during the service must be from a fixed location in the back of the church or in the transept with available light. No wheeled dollies are permitted in the church building. Any audio recording equipment used must be frequency compatible with the permanent system installed in the church building. It is the responsibility of the bride and groom to make these rules known.After reading the preceding information and agreeing that a Christian marriage is the desire of both parties, the next step is to phone the Parish Office at (516) 922-6377, to make an appointment to meet with the Minister. Only then may a wedding be scheduled.Meeting with the MinisterAt that meeting, the Minister and you will get to know each other, and the Minister will discuss the nature of Christian marriage, the preparation tools available, and hopefully, schedule the required premarital counseling. At this time, you will also review the particular details involved in the wedding, such as rehearsal time, flowers, readings, etc.). You should also make known any other details relating to the conduct of the service.
At this meeting, or following meetings, you will be asked to choose:
Rehearsal Generally, on the night before the wedding there is a rehearsal for the ceremony in the church. This is an opportunity for the wedding party to review the mechanics involved in the service itself. It lasts not longer than an hour, and involves the entire wedding party "walking through" the wedding service (without music).Bulletins with Order of Service If bulletins containing the order of service are desired, the wording and content is subject to approval by the officiating Minister in advance of printing.Unless otherwise arranged, the bulletin is the responsibility of the persons being married, although the parish administrator may have some examples of previous bulletins.Required FormsPrior to the wedding, a number of forms must be filed with the Parish Office, namely a Declaration of Intention, a Wedding Information Sheet, and of course, the marriage license along with the fee payment. The Declaration of Intention is read and signed at your first meeting with the Clergy. A copy remains at Christ Church.The Wedding Information Sheet contains information such as your full names, mailing address and contact phone numbers, names and phone numbers of your florist, photographer and / or videographer, and limousine service. It is required that you inform the Parish Office of the time the florist will be arriving prior to the wedding, to insure that the building is accessible. FeesIf finances are an issue and your wedding, reception and honeymoon are frugal in every way, please feel free to confer with the rector for a modification of fees.
*Additional fees may apply if your wedding is held on a holiday.*Additional fee of $50.00 applies for rehearsal with soloist.We ask that the Marriage license and all above fees be in the Office at least one week prior to the rehearsal. Timeline
Click here to download the information sheet to be completed for your wedding. ContactFor more information on weddings for yourself, please call our Parish Administrator, Peggy Heijmen at (516) 922-6377 or contact the parish office: firstname.lastname@example.org.
61 East Main St | Oyster Bay, NY 11771 | (516) 922-6377