Please give these matters your prayerful consideration and ponder them carefully in your heart.

Theology

Christian marriage is intended by God to be a life long union between two persons. Typically, this configuration is between a man and a woman, but not always. There have been life long unions between persons of the same sex from the beginning as well. While the church is not yet permitted to officiate at same sex unions in the Diocese of Massachusetts, blessings of such unions may be arranged under special arrangement with the priest-in-charge.

We are told by the Book of Common Prayer that “the covenant of marriage was established by God in creation and Jesus Christ adorned this manner of life by his first miracle at a wedding in Cana of Galilee…and Holy Scripture commends it to be honored among all people.” Book of Common Prayer, page 423.

A Christian Marriage then whether between men and women or between persons of the same sex is designed by God to be the kind of relationship in which each is to the other “a strength in need, a counselor in perplexity, a comfort in sorrow and a companion in joy.” Book of Common Prayer, page 429. We therefore approach marriage with care, reverence, and with great happiness.

Premarital Counseling

The canons (laws) of the Church require that the priest and the couple to be married meet on at least three occasions. We typically suggest one or two of these meetings to be with a certified marriage counselor so that the couple have a good sense that they have identified the significant issues in intimacy that lead to confidence in building a good and lasting relationship. Thus we seek to establish that those entering this covenant not do so “lightly, or unadvisedly but reverently, deliberately and in accordance with the purposes for which it was instituted by God.” Book of Common Prayer, page 423.

Remarriages

The Episcopal Church permits remarriage only under certain circumstances. At St. Peter’s we normally require that at least one of the couple be an active member in good standing of this congregation (regularly attends and contributes financially). More extensive pastoral and professional counseling is required and the Bishop’s approval must be secured.

Notice of Marriage

Canons require at least 30 days notice be given to the clergy and the parish office to allow sufficient time for careful preparation. Several months notice is usually given and appreciated.

License

You must secure your own Massachusetts marriage license. There can be no wedding service without one. Consult the county clerk’s office for proper procedures.

Rehearsals

Please bring your license and all fees to the rehearsal. If there is no rehearsal, tend to those matters at the office well ahead of time.

Church Fees

St. Peter’s is a beautiful and historic building. There are those who wish to be married here who are not members and we do expect some help in maintaining this building, our staff, and our utility expenses. Our members work very hard to carry the burdens of this church. For that reason we ask non-members to make a significant contribution to the church for its use.

Nassif Hall accommodates about 200 people. A full kitchen is available. Wine or champagne may be served for the customary toasts.

Please contact the office for more information.

Flowers and Candles

You may use the church florist or a florist of your own choosing. Artificial or silk flowers are not allowed for use on the altar of the church. Please make arrangements with the office for a time of delivery by the florist so that access to the building can be arranged. There are ten candles in the Sanctuary area that are typically lighted during the ceremony. For an additional fee, 32 additional aisle candles and 24 balcony candles may also be used. A unity candle may be used as well by request.

Photography and Videos

A professional photographer may not take flash photos during the service. Available light shots may be taken from the balcony. A video recording may be taken also from the balcony. Care must be taken so as not to distract from the sacred nature of the ceremony.

Back to Marriages and Weddings