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
First Things FirstIt is essential to speak to the Rector well in advance of choosing a date or making any other arrangements. To make an initial inquiry, please contact Peggy Heijmen, our Parish Administrator, at (516) 922-6377 or by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Preparation for MarriageTo lay a proper foundation for your marriage, meetings for formal preparation are required by Church law, providing a time to reflect on the meaning of marriage and on the nature of your relationship as it develops. This usually means three or four meetings with the Rector prior to the service. 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 at least one of the two persons to be married must be baptized. Where a marriage involves persons of differing religious backgrounds, it is often possible for a representative of the other denomination 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 a week before the wedding, at the latest. Marriage ceremonies are not generally celebrated during the church's penitential season 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. The proper place for a Christian marriage is the Church; the Rector does not perform marriages in homes, gardens or reception halls.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 Rector. Where there are minor children of that marriage, documents pertaining to custody and financial support should also be presented. Sixty days before the proposed service date, the permission of the Bishop must be sought, and can only be sought in cases where at least one party to the marriage is a member of the parish. The petition to the Bishop cannot be filed until a portion of the pre-marital counseling has taken place. 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 Liturgy of the Episcopal Church. The marriage rite will be discussed during the pre-marital sessions. While some marriages are solemnized in the context of the Holy Eucharist (mass), there are circumstances where this may not be appropriate and this will be discussed with the Rector as part of your marriage preparation. MusicMusic at all weddings is the responsibility of the Rector 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. 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 may be arranged with the Music Director (at additional cost).Decoration for the Church BuildingFlowers may adorn the altar and the area outside the communion rail. The use of other than freshly cut or growing flowers is not encouraged. It is required that you inform the Parish Office of the time the florist will be arriving prior to the wedding to insure the building is accessible. Bows may be placed on the pews, hanging freely and not attached by wire or tape. Runners are not used because of safety concerns related to the style of flooring material. 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 VideographyIn 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 (no flash) and with a silent shutter. Video taping during the service must likewise be from a fixed location in the back of the church with available light. This is a strict rule and there are no exceptions. Any audio recording equipment used must be frequency compatible with the permanent system installed in the church building and is allowed only with the prior permission of the Music Director. 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 Rector. Only then may a wedding be scheduled.
Rehearsal On the evening before the wedding there is normally a rehearsal for the ceremony in the church. This is an opportunity for the wedding party to feel as comfortable as possible during the service itself. It lasts approximately an hour, and involves the entire wedding party "walking through" the wedding service (without music). The presence of readers is very important at the rehearsal. 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 completed and filed, namely a Declaration of Intention, a Wedding Information Sheet, and of course, the marriage license, along with the fee payment. Fees
*Additional fees may apply if your wedding is held on a holiday.*Additional fee of $50.00 applies for rehearsal with soloist.The marriage license and all above fees must be in the Office at least one week before the wedding. 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: email@example.com.
61 East Main St | Oyster Bay, NY 11771 | (516) 922-6377