Christian marriage is a solemn and public covenant between a man and a woman in the presence of God. In the Episcopal Church it is required that one, at least, of the parties be a baptized Christian; that the ceremony be attested by at least two witnesses, and that the marriage conform to the laws of the State and the canons of this Church. Book of Common Prayer p. 422
Date of Ceremony: The date is chosen in consultation with the Clergy. No weddings are solemnized during Lent.
Flowers and Decorations: A member of St. James’ Altar Guild will supervise or be in charge of flowers and decorations used. Normally, altar flowers are permitted. Tape, tacks, artificial flowers or greenery are not allowed. Depending upon the time of year, there may be church decorations on the altar highlighting the liturgical season. Please do not move or remove these. No candles other than those on the altar are permitted. Special pews may be designated. Neither birdseed nor rice is permitted.
Photography and Video: Flash photography is not permitted at any time. A professional photographer may take pictures during the ceremony, using existing light and may not go beyond the first pew. Video camera location will be decided in consultation with the Clergy and may not be moved once it is in position. After the ceremony, approximately twenty minutes may be devoted to taking specially arranged photographs of the wedding party and families.
Rehearsal: Time for the rehearsal is scheduled after consultation with the clergy. The clergy is responsible for directing the rehearsal and is assisted in this activity by the parish Wedding Consultant.
Wedding Consultant: The parish Wedding Consultant serves as the liaison between the bride and the Clergy. You will be contacted to review your ceremony details and answer any questions you may have. The consultant acquaints the bride with the facilities available for use during rehearsal and on the wedding day and will be a source of information in planning the wedding liturgy and guidance for the bride and the wedding party. Neither the florist nor professional wedding consultant may participate in the activities at the Church.
License: You must obtain a Marriage License. The license is obtained in the county of residence of either one of the parties. The license must be presented at the time of the rehearsal; failure to do so may result in the cancellation of the wedding. St. James’ Episcopal Church reserves the right to cancel any wedding if the legal requirements under the State or Church law are not met.
Music: A church wedding is a sacramental rite, and it follows that any music used in connection with it should be suitable for a church service, as distinguished from a social gathering. As in all other services of the Church, it should be an aid to worship.
Secular music, which does not fit the serious nature of the ceremony, is more appropriately used at the wedding reception. Usage (often wrongly called tradition) is not a fitting criterion for the employment in the wedding service of love songs or operatic extracts.
Responsibility for the kind of music to be played or sung is guided by the rector of the parish. The rector may delegate to the organist/choirmaster authority to select the music and approve or reject the selections of other persons. St. James’ has a rich, talented and diverse music ministry. Our musicians and cantors are able to meet the needs of most wedding ceremonies. The use of any outside musicians must be approved by choirmaster. The bride and groom are likely to have the best possible music if they rely upon the experience and judgment of the rector and the organist/choirmaster.
Service Bulletins: If desired, the parish staff may assist the bride in assembling the program material but does not assume responsibility for the printing. In any event, the order of service must be approved in advance by the officiant.
Bride’s Room: We have a Bride’s Room for preparing the bride and bridesmaids an hour before your ceremony. Please ask a friend or family member to remove all personal belongings before the start of the ceremony.
Costs: Parishioners are entitled to rites without charge. Any approved extras will be charged. Ceremony fees include building use, sexton, security, musicians, audio/visual technicians, and wedding consultant. It is customary to give an honorarium to the priest. Fees and payment schedule will be covered in your meeting with the Wedding Consultant.
Congratulations! We at St. James’ Episcopal Church wish you every blessing as you begin your marriage preparation.
POLICIES FOR USE OF CHURCH BUILDING FACILITIES:
All property is under the jurisdiction of the Episcopal Diocese of Texas.
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