A Sacrament of Importance
So you and your sweetheart are considering getting married! That is a big step in a relationship and one that needs to be undertaken with deliberation, fidelity and commitment.
Folks regularly contact us as they begin searching for someone who might marry them. Whether the couple is particularly religious or not, they often desire for God’s blessing upon the covenant they seek to make together. In the process they are often searching for an alternative to what they might find elsewhere-whether it be a church with rules that seem a bit too restrictive, or a church which prohibits a church wedding if one or both of the individuals have been divorced, or a church that refuses to fully recognize their relationship. We understand that we live in a broken and imperfect world and believe God is gracious and understanding. Thus we offer the sacrament of marriage without the normal restrictions that others may impose.
We believe that marriage is a sacred and holy adventure. We affirm that when a couple makes public vows, they are demonstrating outwardly an inward and spiritual reality of what is already transpiring between them. We affirm that a couple is acknowledging before God, and before their friends and family, their commitment to live together in fidelity as one. In the sacrament of marriage, we give thanks for the gift of what God is already doing in the couple’s life and we ask God to pour out blessings upon the couple, to strengthen them, to encourage them, and to focus their wills and intentions upon working through any trials that may come their way.
Marriage is not magic. It will not create a relationship that is not already there. It is the couple’s sacred vows that cause them to be married, not the words or innate specialness of the clergy. When entered into intentionally, the marriage ceremony can provide a social foundation that will help a couple find the strength they will need to weather future storms in life. We also believe that marriage should draw a couple closer to God rather than pull them away from God. So those seeking marriage in the church should be seeking to invite God into their lives together.
At The Parish Church of St. Jerome we welcome all. And our denomination believes that marriage is a sacrament that should be open to all. So we gladly offer the sacrament of marriage to gay and lesbian couples just as we do with straight couples.
It is always appropriate to include the sacrament of Holy Communion in the context of a wedding. The Parish Church of St. Jerome welcomes all Christians to receive the body and blood of Christ. You do not have to worry that your friends and family may be excluded because they are not part of a particular denomination.
What is Required?
For those seeking a clergy person to officiate at their wedding, please be aware that a couple is required to meet with Fr. Dewayne at least five or more times to discern whether they are truly prepared to be joined together in holy matrimony. The counseling sessions include conversations about the couple’s relationship – its strengths and weaknesses – and how each person understands marriage. Marriage is an important step, so one should be willing to dedicate some time and effort in preparing for undertaking such an important step together.
Far too often couples spend way, way too much money when it is unnecessary. Banquet halls, dresses limousines and honeymoons can cost thousands of dollars. Since marriage is a sacrament of the church, there is no charge for Fr. Dewayne to officiate the marriage of those couples who are members of our parish. For those who are not members, or who do not intend to become members, there are modest fees to cover Fr. Dewayne's time and wedding service supplies.
To use the church facility (for the wedding and or for the reception) there is a reasonable fee. The fees include such things as a security deposit and the use of the building. There are of course a separate charges for the organist and for flowers provided by our flower guild and those costs must be negotiated with them directly. For members of the parish, or for those actively seeking membership, these fees are reduced. For those who are not seeking membership, but wish to use the space, the fees are a bit higher. Even so, our facility is worth the expense.
If you are interested in beginning a discussion, or want more information please contact Fr. Dewayne by clicking the button below!