Planning your Wedding
It is hoped that the following instructions will assist you in planning your wedding and also acquaint you with the customs and traditions of the Episcopal Church regarding the celebration of a marriage at Christ Church Cathedral.
A Christian marriage is a covenant relationship proclaimed in a public setting. By covenant relationship, we mean a relationship that is reflective of God’s relationship with God’s people. It is a relationship of grace — we neither earn nor deserve God’s love, and, likewise, we do not merit the love that we need from each other and discover in this relationship of commitment. It is a relationship lived out in trust and forgiveness.
Marriage is a relationship through which God’s grace can come to be known in real and concrete ways. The relationship is itself redemptive. The couple are the ministers of the sacrament in a marriage ceremony. The priest officiates and pronounces God’s blessing on the relationship, but the couple are the ones who proclaim the covenant. It is in their lives that the sacrament is lived out.
A marriage service is a worship service of festive proportions and specific intention, but it is, nonetheless, a worship service. The central focus of the liturgy is God and giving God thanks and praise for the love that has been poured into our lives.
At Christ Church Cathedral, all marriage services are in accordance with the Book of Common Prayer and the approved liturgies of the Episcopal Church. It is, to be sure, a worship service with a romantic theme, but it is not sentimental. The proclamation of a marriage covenant is a serious step. Church wedding customs vary in detail from place to place. The guiding principle to remember is that marriage is a sacramental rite in the Episcopal Church, a regular worship service of the church and, as such, is an occasion for both great joy and dignity. The canon law of the Church states that Holy Matrimony is a union “entered into within the community of faith.”
It is expected that, under normal circumstances, those who marry at Christ Church Cathedral will nurture their marriage in the context of this worshipping community. Marriage is a pastoral sacrament, which rightfully begins in the place where it is to be supported through community worship. For those who have no intention of regular involvement in any Church, it might well be more appropriate to be married in a different context.
Music for a Cathedral Wedding — Repertoire Listing
|Trumpet Tune||Henry Purcell|
|Trumpet Voluntary||Jeremiah Clarke|
|Prelude to Te Deum||Marc-Antoine Charpentier|
|Trumpet Tune||Georg Philipp Telemann|
|Wedding Party Processionals|
|Psalm 19 The Heavens Declare the Glory of God||Benedetto Marcello|
|“Air” from The Water Music||Georg Friedrich Handel|
|Crown Imperial||William Walton|
|Trumpet Voluntary||John Stanley|
|“Hornpipe” from The Water Music||Georg Friedrich Handel|
|Chorale-Prelude “In Thee is Gladness”||J.S. Bach|
|Toccata from Symphony V||Charles-Marie Widor|
For more information, please contact Anne Shepard (713-590-3301).