Congratulations as you think about marriage! In the roadmap outlined by the Prime Minister, weddings will be able to happen again once we’re in Step 2. No more than 15 people will be allowed to attend and masks have to be worn.
Please remember that you need to speak to a priest here at least six months before you wish to be married.
What is Marriage?
- It is a public commitment, before God and others that you intend to live lovingly and according to the promises you make.
- It is a gift from God by which we are invited to think more about the love of God.
- For those able to do so, it is the foundation of family life in which children are born and cared for.
- It is a life-long commitment.
- It is a legally binding ceremony.
What are the promises?
- That you don’t know any reason in law why you should not marry.
- That you will take your fiancee to be your husband/wife: to love him/her, comfort him/her, honour and protect him/her, and, forsaking all others, be faithful to him/her as long as you both shall live.
What are the vows?
I, N., take you, N.,
to be my wife/husband,
to have and to hold
from this day forward;
for better, for worse,
for richer, for poorer,
in sickness and in health,
to love and to cherish,
till death us do part;
according to God’s holy law.
In the presence of God I make this vow.
Music at St Mary’s
The Director of Music charges £150 to play the organ at St Mary’s at a Wedding. Currently the congregation cannot sing hymns and if you would like a soloist to sing this can be arranged.
Hymns & Readings
Here are some suggestions – you can choose others, of course.
- A new commandment
- All people that on earth do dwell
- All things bright and beautiful
- Amazing Grace
- Dear Lord and Father of mankind
- Immortal, Invisible, God only-wise
- Lord of all hopefulness
- Love divine
- Morning has broken
- Praise my soul, the King of Heaven
- Lord of all loving
- The Lord’s my Shepherd
Some suggested Bible readings are Genesis 2:18-25; Song of Solomon 2:10-13, 8:6-7 ; Psalm 127; I Corinthians 13; Ephesians 5:20-33; I St John 4:7-12; St Matthew 5:1-12; St Matthew 7:21, 24-27; St John 15:9-17.
What happens at the service?
- If you want to have a best man, brides maids &c, then you can.
- If you want to have a rehearsal in Church with family and friends present, please ask the priest.
- Many people like to have a Mass during their wedding. This is great. Please let the priest know. There is no extra charge for this,
- The man and the woman exchange a ring and join hands.
- You will need to ask two people to be your witnesses.
- There will be a Bible reading(s) and prayers.
- You will sign the registers, which are the legal record of your wedding. You will need two witnesses for this, normally one from each family/group of friends.
You will need to meet with the priest officiating at your marriage at least three times before the day to cover these topics:
- Your relationship: how did you meet? how will you nourish each other over the coming years?
- The Church’s teachings on marriage: why is marriage something that you are called to?
- The vows: how are these put into practice?
How much does it cost?
In 2019, the basic marriage service costs £455. This does not include music, flowers and other costs you may need to meet in order to get married (banns or licenses).
What happens if I am divorced?
The Church of England lets individual priests decide whether or not the marriage of those whose divorced partners are still living can happen or not in Church. This does not happen here. If you wish to know why, please speak to one of the priests.
If you want to get married and one of you is divorced from a partner who is alive, you could get married in another Church or in a Registry Office. God will still be present.
If you get married in a registry office, you can then have a Service of Thanksgiving here. This could be during a Mass if you wanted.
A donation of at least £200 is asked for this service and there may be extra charges, such as for an organist.