At Bethany United, our understanding of marriage is to have your desire for a lifelong and committed relationship blessed by God and to live your life together seeking God’s guidance and strength.
The central act of the Marriage Service is the expressions of vows of fidelity and love to one another shared before God and the witnesses who are assembled. It will be unique in that the planning is a joint effort between yourselves and the clergy and musician/organist and will include prayers for the couple and blessings. There may also be included music/hymns, special singing and a message from the clergy. At the discretion of the Pastoral Charges Clergy, other clergy may take part in the service.
The Marriage Service is an act of worship and a time for rejoicing in God’s love made known in the love that two people have found in one another. It is also a civil act in that the Service is recognized as a legal contract and must contain the following civil requirements: declaring of those to be married, the signing of the marriage licence, the presence of the witnesses, the declaring that the marriage has taken place, the question pertaining to legal impediment, that there is mutual consent to the marriage and the vows of marriage.
Arranging Your Wedding:
When you decide to book the church, you have to make arrangements with the Church secretary who keeps a schedule for weddings. She will arrange with the Clergy to ensure that they are available. At that time, the Secretary will ask if you will need the services of an Organist. She will ascertain if the Organist or one of the Supply Organists is available for the date you request. We ask that you do not finalize your Marriage Service until the Secretary has confirmed the time and date.
As you plan for your Marriage Service, you need to be aware that you must apply for a Marriage Licence from one of the Marriage Licence Issuers designated by the Newfoundland/Labrador Government. This licence will need to be obtained not more than 30 days and not less than 4 days prior to the wedding date. In addition, there are fees for the Marriage Service as follows:
Organist–$75 (If the church organist is requested. $100 if organist is required to play for a soloist).
Church–$200 (Applicable only if neither member of the bridal couple is a paid up member of the church for the previous two years.)
The Church Fee is to be paid one month in advance and the other fees are to be paid one week in advance of the Marriage Service. At the discretion of the Clergy and Executive of Council, some of the fees may be waived when a couple has limited financial means.
Consulting with the Minister and Organist (if Organist is selected to play), may be helpful in choosing music. All music must be cleared with the Minister before time of rehearsal. Church policy regarding the organ is that only the Organist or Supply Organists use the church organ. The exception to this is another qualified organist approved by the Church Organist. With the consent of the Minister, the couple may decide to utilize another musician (i.e., a harpist, violinist, guitarist, etc.)
Videos and Photos:
The Marriage Service is an act of worship; therefore, we try to avoid anything that may distract from the meaningful progression of the Marriage Service. Please consult with the Minister on the issue of Photographing during the service, and well as Videotaping
Confetti/ Flowers/ Decorations/Candles/ Bulletins:
The use of confetti in the Church is not permitted. Flowers may be used. However, couples should be mindful that flowers may cause allergic reactions for some individuals. The Sanctuary may be decorated with bows, candelabra, artificial flowers and other suitable decorations. You may arrange with the Caretaker a suitable time for decorating the church, normally the night before the wedding. If the couple wants to have a Bulletin, it is their responsibility. However, the church Secretary can reproduce/ photocopy bulletins if requested.
Interviews with the Minister:
Normally, the Clergy will meet you at least twice before the rehearsal. During these sessions the Minister will focus on the Marriage Service itself, as well as the nature of your relationship and your hopes for marriage. These sessions enable the Minister/Clergy to gain a greater understanding of your wishes as well as permit you to reflect on questions/issues that you as a couple may not have considered. The Minister/Clergy has the right to refuse to conduct the Marriage Service in exceptional circumstances. The Minister/Clergy may also ask you as a couple to seek Relationship Counselling as part of your Marriage Preparation if he/she feels this is necessary.
Marriage is an act whereby two people in equality promise to demonstrate their love and commitment to one another in a relationship that is both wholesome and life giving. Both individuals who are marrying may decide to receive a blessing from their parent(s) or other family member(s) as part of the Service itself.
We pray that your Marriage Service will be a joyous event and your married relationship will forever be life giving. We pray God’s blessings upon you both and upon your families.