The Sacrament of Marriage (Weddings)
Should you/Can you get married in an Episcopal Church?
The Celebration and Blessing of a Marriage is an expression of Christian community in which a couple makes their vows before God and the Church, and the priest blesses the marriage on behalf of the Church. Marriage in church is, therefore, much more than a matter of mere form. Churches are not marriage factories, and those who are not active members of an Episcopal parish should not assume that they will be able to marry in it. If you are from outside a parish in which you wish to get married, it is, therefore, very important that you do not announce a date for your marriage in our Church until you and your future spouse have met with the priest and the suitability of the celebration of your marriage in our Church has been determined.
Place and Ministers of Marriage
Normally, the clergy of the parish preside at the celebration of marriages in our parish. If you want another cleric to preside at your marriage, you must obtain the consent of the rector. If you do get married outside the church building, you need to bear in mind that Canon law requires that your marriage be celebrated with the consent of the ecclesiastical authority of the parish (i.e. its rector, vicar, or priest-in-charge) within the boundaries of which it takes place, and recorded in that parish’s register.
Seasons for Marriages
Marriages are not traditionally celebrated in Advent and in Lent because these are seasons during which times festal liturgies, such as weddings, are not appropriate. Diocese of New York policy is that weddings during Advent or Lent should only happen in the case of serious, pressing, compelling pastoral needs. Some years ago, the Liturgical Commission of the Episcopal Diocese of New York prepared a detailed discussion of the issues surrounding marriage, and the liturgies appropriate under different circumstances (e.g. inter-faith marriages, Roman Catholic-Anglican marriages).