Christian marriage celebrates the union of husband and wife in the context of their relationship with Christ and the whole Christian family. For this reason, Anglican weddings normally take place in church buildings. (If you want to be married outside, or in another venue, you should speak to the priest.)
Once you choose the church where you would like to be married, you will want to contact the parish priest well in advance of your wedding date. Each parish has its own wedding policy. Some welcome all couples, whether or not they are members of the parish, while others have more strict expectations around membership. Each parish also has its own fee structure for weddings, which can range from free of charge to several hundred dollars.
At least one of the couple must be a baptized Christian. If one or both of the couple has been divorced, the couple must apply through their parish priest to the diocesan bishop for permission to remarry. In preparation for the promises made in the wedding ceremony, the couple must meet with the clergy of their chosen church and are often required to take special classes with other engaged couples.
For more information about weddings, please contact the parish priest at the Anglican church where you’d like to have your wedding.
Blessing of Civil Marriage
A number of churches in the Diocese of Montreal offer the blessing of civil marriage, including the blessing of same-gender civil unions. This blessing is to be seen as part of an existing pastoral relationship with a priest and local congregation.
Be it resolved that this Synod request that the Bishop grant permission for clergy, whose conscience permits, to bless duly solemnized and registered civil marriages, including marriages between same-sex couples, where at least one party is baptized; and that the Bishop authorize an appropriate rite and make regulations for its use in supportive parishes and ministries.
In Christianity, baptism is the ritual act by which a person is admitted to membership of the Church. When individuals become baptized, they make a commitment to follow Jesus Christ. This means that they are willing to let go of our old ways of seeing themselves and others. They make a conscious decision to respect themselves and others, to grow in their ability to live in harmony with others, and to forgive when others hurt them. They believe that they have a responsibility to resist evil in their own lives and to work to transform our society into a caring family which is centred on Christ’s passionate love for the world.
If parents are bringing children to be baptized, they make a commitment to bring them up to understand God’s purpose for the world and to encourage them to participate in bringing about this purpose. Baptized individuals and parents of a child being baptized also promise to support the work of their local congregation and diocese through their gifts of time, talent, and financial resources.
If parents are not ready to make baptismal promises or wish to defer baptism until the child is able to make his or her own decision, the church also offers a service of Thanksgiving for the Gift of a Child. This service provides an opportunity for a family to give thanks for the birth of a child and to pray for God’s help in the child’s care and nurture.
Adults who wish to be baptized should speak to their parish priest.
Christians believe that the end of this earthly life is the beginning of a glorious new life in Christ. Anglican funerals attempt to balance the grief and bereavement of the living with a celebration of the life of the deceased, and faith in the hope of the resurrection.
Other Special Services
Many other ceremonies and services are available for personal celebrations, such as the blessing of a new home or the renewal of wedding vows. For details, speak to your parish priest.