Grace Church, Rutherford, NJ

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Having a Grace Church Wedding

Grace Church is an ideal setting for weddings, wedding receptions and other special occasions. With beautiful stained glass windows, some are Tiffany, a magnificent pipe organ and a high wooden ceiling, Grace Church is often chosen by couples for a wedding ceremony.

Although canon law requires that the intention of a couple to marry be communicated to the priest at least thirty days before the ceremony, proper preparation normally takes six months or longer. If you are considering holding the celebration and blessing of your marriage at Grace Church, you should begin your consultation and planning with the priest well in advance of the date you intend to hold the ceremony. We ask that a couple agree to the Episcopal Church's definition of marriage defined in its Declaration of Intention and plan their wedding according to the "Celebration and Blessing of a Marriage" from the Book of Common Prayer, 1979.

In the Episcopal Church, we adhere to the position a man and a woman commit themselves to a lifelong union “in heart, body, and mind … intended by God for their mutual joy; for the help and comfort given one another in prosperity and adversity; and, when it is God’s will, for the procreation of children and their nurture in the knowledge and love of the Lord.” Marriage is a sacrament administered to one another by the couple; it is an outward and visible sign of an inward and spiritual grace. The sacramental nature of marriage involves infinitely more than the wedding ceremony in which a marriage is solemnized. “Therefore marriage is not to be entered into unadvisedly or lightly, but reverently, deliberately, and in accordance with the purposes for which it was instituted by God.” (Book of Common Prayer, p. 423)

Once the Declaration of Intention is signed, a couple may proceed with their wedding plans. The first step for the couple is to complete one of the surveys prepared by Life Innovations. Life Innovations has four surveys (Prepare-Enrich) each specifically geared to the personal situation of the couple to be married. Once the survey has been scored, the clergy will begin a series of counseling sessions with the couple (an extra session is required when one or both parties has had a previous marriage end in divorce).

A meeting with the organist is usually also scheduled. In addition, a rehearsal is held one or more days in advance of the ceremony. Rehearsals take about one hour. Ordinarily, a couple will meet with the clergy 4-5 times leading up to the wedding ceremony.

In the event of a divorce, the clergy are required by Canon Law to be provided with the Divorce decree(s). The clergy then must obtain permission of the Bishop to perform the wedding ceremony. This process is a positive one; it is intended to help couples avoid repeating patterns and decisions that are detrimental to a healthy marriage. It is a priest’s duty to refuse to officiate when, in his or her judgment, a couple does not intend to, or is unable to enter the lifelong union of Holy Matrimony.

Although most weddings at Grace Church are those of parish members and their families, we will perform a wedding ceremony for couples living in the area who plan to join our church, who are members of an Episcopal congregation elsewhere, or who are actively involved in another Christian community. The Episcopal Church requires that at least one of the parties has been baptized.


Fees:

Please call the parish office at (201) 438-8623 for current fees and schedule.

A Thank offering for the Church will cover the cost of heating during the winter months and air conditioning during the summer months.

Additional costs may include: aisle candles, flowers, soloists, instrumentalists and rehearsals requiring the organist to work with soloists or instrumentalists in advance. These items are solely at the discretion of the couple.

All fees including the marriage license should be returned to the parish office no later than the Monday preceding the ceremony.

 
 
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