St. George’s Anglican Church

51 Church St., Moncton, NB E1C 4Z3

Church Office: 506-855-5209              Fax: 506-388-4866

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The Reverend Chris VanBuskirk

The Rev. Dr. Dan Goodwin

The Rev. Deacon Norm Dupuis


Getting Married in the Church


A Guide for Couples Seeking the Sacrament of Christian Marriage at St. George’s Anglican Church in the Parish of Moncton


What do we to do be married in the Church?

A number of commitments are necessary to fulfill the civil and spiritual (both parish and diocesan) requirements for Christian marriage.  At first sight, these may seem to be burdensome; however, at St. George’s we believe that since marriage is a lifelong commitment, it is worthy of a major investment of body and soul.


The following pages are meant to outline the various aspects of your commitment.  Any details not covered in this little booklet remain at the discretion of the Rector and Parish Corporation.  Please feel free to raise any questions you might have with the Rector.


After reading through these requirements, it will, of course, be your decision whether or not you commit to them.  If you decide to proceed, you will be asked to put your commitment in writing.


If, however, you choose not to continue with your wedding plans at St. George’s, we extend to you our best wishes and prayers.


B.   Marriage Preparation

      According to diocesan requirements, a couple (committed and involved in a Church or Parish) must notify the Rector of the Parish at least sixty days prior to their wedding date so that Marriage Preparation sessions can be arranged with him.  Usually, these involve four meetings of approximately one hour each.


      The topics of these meetings will include the nature of Christian Marriage; the meaning of vows; the demands marriage makes of us; and a model for conflict resolution.


      Also during these sessions, time will be given to determining you present marital status and your blood relationship to one another (if any).  There will also be opportunity to discuss the details of the Service, the Banns Process, the sacrament of Holy Baptism and the necessary civil requirements.


C.   What is the “Banns Process”?

      The people of St. George’s have expressed a desire to be able to welcome and prayerfully support all of the couples who come to be married in this Church.  It is the Congregation’s hope that all couples will join in the life of the Parish, and in the worship and service of God: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.


      To this end, the Banns Process is required to be completed by all couples being married at St. George’s.  Since the year 1200 AD the Church has published the Banns as a way of publicly announcing a forthcoming marriage.  What is involved?


      Each couple will be required to participate regularly in the life of St. George’s for no less than six months as the first step in the banns process.  During this six month period, the Rector will meet with the couple to set a date for their wedding.  Then as the couple continues to come regularly to Church, the necessary Marriage Preparation appointments will be scheduled, and three dates for the reading of the Banns set.


      During this whole process the couple will be asked to sign their Banns paper along with the Rector and one of the Church Wardens as a means of recording their attendance. In all, a minimum of 18 signing dates must be completed, along with two shifts as a volunteer for the Parish Community Dinner, in order for the wedding to proceed at St. George’s Church.  If all twenty signing dates have not been completed, the Rector and the Parish will be released from their responsibilities to the couple and their wedding.


      Finally, all couples married at St. George’s will be invited to come to the Parish monthly pot-luck dinner on a Sunday morning after their wedding so that they may be congratulated by the Congregation.  It is our hope that this process will assist the couple and the Congregation in getting acquainted.  We sincerely pray that each couple will see this process as the beginning of a life-long relationship with Christ and His Church.


      This Banns Process is not meant to deter you from getting married at St. George’s; rather it is meant to encourage you to see the essence of Christian marriage involves a relationship with Christ and His Church.  The Church is far more than a beautiful place where marriage ceremonies are solemnized, the Church is the family of God and the Body of Christ.


D.   But we don’t live in Moncton – Can we get married at St. George’s anyway?

      Yes, if you are prepared to fulfill the requirements of the Banns Process and the rest of the things requested of you by the Parish and the Rector.  For those living away from Moncton, but wishing to be married here at St. George’s, arrangements can be made for the completion of your Marriage Preparation sessions and your Banns Process with the priest of an Anglican Church in your area.  Your first call should still be to discuss the matter with the Rector of St. George’s, and with the extra people involved this should be done well in advance of your wedding date.


E.   Do we need to be baptized?

      Yes.  As we just said, Christian marriage involves a relationship with Christ and His Church.  The beginning of this relationship is Holy Baptism wherein God adopts us as His own children and makes us members of His family.  If you are not already baptized, arrangements can be made for this before your wedding date.


F.   What are the civil requirements?

      Every couple must obtain a valid Marriage License, and they must complete a Marriage Registration form with the Rector.  It cannot be overly stressed that there can be no wedding without a Marriage License.


      Both people coming to be married must be eighteen years of age or else a legal document of their parent’s/guardian’s permission must be obtained.  Witnesses to a marriage must be at least nineteen years of age.


G.   How long will the Service take?

      We’re both very shy and “shorter would be better”!

      The length of the service depending on the amount of music inserted, and whether or not the Holy Eucharist is celebrated, will vary.  But again, you are encouraged to understand that even at a wedding, we are gathering to worship Almighty God.  Besides, with all of the preparations that are made for this big day, why rush it?


      The form of the Service is found in the Book of Common Prayer, beginning on page 563.  It is basically the same form that the Church of England has used to marry Kings and Queens, Princes and Princesses, paupers and peasants for over 450 years.  Since the Service involves divine worship, all music must be approved by the Rector – selections by Led Zepplin and Alice Cooper are therefore discouraged!


      At your wedding, there can be as many as four Bible readings or as few as one, and you are welcome to involve your friends and family members as readers.  Opportunity will be given for them to practice at the rehearsal.


      Readings and Psalms Suitable for Marriage Liturgies

      Old Testament & Apocrypha Readings

      Genesis 1:27-28, 31a (God created man in his own image; in the image of God he created him; mal and female he created them)

      Tobit 8:5b-8 (Not … because of lust, but with sincerity)

      The Song of Solomon, chapter 2 or chapter 4

      Epistle Readings

      Romans 12:1-2, 9-13 (Let love be genuine, hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good)

      1 Corinthians 13 (So faith, hope, love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love)

      Ephesians 3:14-19 (To comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ.)

      Colossians 3:12-17 (Put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony)

      1 John 4:7-12 (If we love one another, God abides in us)


      Gospel Readings

      Matthew 5:1-10 (Blessed are those that hunger and thirst for righteousness for they shall be satisfied)

      Matthew 22:35-40 (You shall love the Lord your God… You should love your neighbour as yourself)

      Mark 10:6-9 (The two shall become one flesh)

      John 2:1-11 (On the third day there was a marriage at Cana in Galilee)

      John 15:9-12 (This is my commandment, that you love one another)

      St. Matthew 19:4-6


H.   What about the other Service details?

      Hopefully the following checklist will help you with some of the other details:


      *Flowers and the Service bulletin (if you choose to have either) are your responsibility.  However, the Parish could have Sunday Alter flowers in place for Saturday, or you may choose to leave your flowers for Sunday.  Please advise the Rector in advance.

      *All decorations must be approved by the Rector well in advance of the rehearsal.

      *Pew markers must be attached by ‘sticky tack’ and not tacks or tape.

      *Photographs are not permitted during the Service except during the procession and recession, and during the signing of the register.  However, you are welcome to take pictures in the Church after the Service.

      *Confetti, rice, etc. are not to be thrown in the Church.

      *Video-taping of the Service is permitted under certain conditions – arrangements for this must be made well in advance with the Rector.

      *Music, as has been already stated, must be approved by the Rector.

      *The positioning or choreography of the wedding party in the Service will be directed by the Rector.


I.    Can we use the Church organ?

      The answer is ‘Yes’ but you must make arrangements with the Church organist.  Obviously, you would not let just anyone drive your car, and the same idea applies to Church organs.  If you do not want St. George’s organist to play for you, he must approve your choice of organist.  To this end, arrangements need to be made with him well in advance of your wedding date.


J.    When we come to Church, should we go up to the front like everybody else?

      Yes, you are welcome to come up with everyone else; and if you are Confirmed, or if you are baptized and normally receive the Holy Communion in your own Church, then please come and receive the Body and Blood of Christ with us.  If you are not Confirmed, please come to the Altar anyway and place your hands across your chest – the priest will then know to pronounce God’s blessing upon you.


K.   How much will all this cost?

      There is no cost to use St. George’s Church, and there is no fee for the Priest.  There is, however, a $100. custodial fee which covers both the rehearsal and the wedding itself.  Also, there is a fee for the organist, which must be arranged with him, if you ask him to play at your wedding.  The custodial fee and your marriage license should be brought to the office two weeks prior to the wedding.


      It was mentioned earlier that you will be given offering envelopes to use when you come to worship at St. George’s.  This is not a ploy to get your money; rather, it is a common way of making an offering to God.  With these envelopes, the offerings of the rich and poor are indistinguishable from one another.  Ultimately, it is up to you whether you use the envelopes or not, or whether you place them on the offering plate empty, or with a loonie in them, or with something more.  God has blessed us with all that we have, therefore we offer back to Him whatever we can afford.


L.   One of us has been married before – does all of this apply?

      In cases of remarriage, there are some differences in the process including:


      *Application to remarry must be made with the Rector.  This will involve some paperwork and discussions about the causes that led to the disintegration of the former marriage(s) as well as your reasons for being optimistic about your upcoming marriage.


      *The banns are not read in cases of remarriage.


         Marriage Form