Wedding Information

Anglican/Roman Catholic Marriages

The booklet, Pastoral Guidelines for Interchurch Marriages between Anglicans and Roman Catholics in Canada discusses: Preparation for Marriage; Specific Procedures for Anglican-Roman Catholic Marriages; Participation in the Anglican or Roman Catholic Wedding; and Continuing Pastoral Care After the Wedding. The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops and the House of Bishops of the Anglican Church of Canada authorize this booklet.

Couples who apply to the Matrimonial Commission to marry must also submit a signed declaration that must accompany the application form. This declaration states that they understand that if such a union takes place the communicant status of either person in the Roman Catholic Church may cease, and that they will not allow the validity of their marriage in the Anglican Church to be questioned by an official of the Roman Catholic Church.

Wedding Liturgy

The colour for a wedding is white. Readings and psalms suitable for marriage liturgies are on p. 549 of the Book of Alternative Services (BAS).

The Book of Common Prayer (BCP) has the Form of Solemnization of Matrimony beginning on p. 563. The BAS has two forms for the Celebration and Blessing of a Marriage: ‘With Eucharist’ beginning on p. 528, and ‘Without Eucharist’ beginning on p. 541.

No alterations may be made in the declarations or in the marriage vows themselves. In the case of marriage of a Christian to a non-Christian, the vow of the unbeliever may be altered by the omission of the words “holy” and “according to God’s ordinance”. Any other variations in the text may be made by the couple with the consent of the minister, according to diocesan policy (BAS p. 527). In the absence of diocesan policy, permission of the Bishop should be obtained.

Check with the Incumbent regarding parish policy on flowers and decorating the church building and anything not specified in these notes.

Location of Wedding

“Marriage shall be solemnized in the body of the church except for sufficient cause, in the face of the congregation and of the friends and neighbours of those who come to be married.” (General Synod Canon XXI–Part 11 – 12) A possible exception might be for a person who is too ill in hospital to come to the church. Note this policy may change, as a motion will be put to the 2004 General Synod to amend this policy.

Music and Readings

Hymns, anthems and readings at the service shall be those, only, which may be found in Holy Scripture, in the BCP, the BAS, the Hymn Book, or in a text approved by ecclesiastical authority.

Wedding Candles

The use of wedding candles is at the discretion of the Incumbent. Some couples want to include the lighting of wedding candles in the service. Two smaller candles and a single large Marriage Candle are placed on a small table in the aisle of the chancel. Two smaller candles are lit by the parents of the bride and groom just before the service begins. At the time of signing the register the bride and groom each take one of the smaller candles and together light the larger Marriage Candle. This symbolizes the coming together of two families.

Blessing of a Civil Marriage

A form for the Blessing of Civil Marriages is found in the Book of Occasional Celebrations. People who were divorced before being civilly married, need permission from the Diocesan Matrimonial Committee to have their marriage blessed.

Anniversary of a Marriage

A form for this service may be found in the Book of Occasional Celebrations.

The Ending of a Marriage

A form for this service may be found in the Book of Occasional Celebrations.