Marriage Service Policy
Thank you for considering a wedding at Christ Church. It is a great place to get married set amongst the rolling green hills of Fox Chapel in our beautiful sanctuary. It is also possible to hire our hall, narthex, outdoor space and kitchen for a reception.
We are authorized to conduct Christian marriage services under the authority of the Bishop of Pittsburgh and so this policy reflects his guidelines.
A Christian Marriage is a life-long public covenant where a man and a woman exchange solemn promises before God and his people. The congregation also makes a promise to uphold you in your new life together and we take this seriously.
As this is a public Christian service, we will only marry a man and a woman who are baptized, submit to Jesus as their Lord and savior, freely wish to marry one another, are able to marry in law, and are both members of this church.
To be a member, one must be a believer who is active in the worshipping life of the church. A member is defined in our church bylaws as someone who is “baptized, a communicant, eighteen (18) years of age or over, recognized by the Rector and Wardens as a regular attendee at services, and on the Treasurer’s records as a regular contributor to the revenues of the Congregation.”
In practice, a member is simply a believer who:
- Commits (affirms the historic creeds and commits to Jesus Christ as Lord and savior);
- Connects (attends worship services as a priority);
- and Contributes (is involved in the life of the church, making regular gifts of time and money).
We encourage all couples to be married in the place where they will live out their faith, with support from fellow believers and opportunities to grow and serve.
If you’re not yet a member, you can read more about becoming one here. Then, as you grow in faith and in relationship with the community of believers here, we would be delighted to start preparing for a service as soon as we can meaningfully say our vows together.
Divorce and Remarriage
Christians faithfully hold a range of differing views on marriage following a divorce. At Christ Church Fox Chapel we take the view that while it is not always permissible or even possible to marry again, there are certain narrow biblical exceptions where we may.
We recognize that this is a complex and delicate area to discuss. Because many of us have been hurt in our human relationships, we want to be gracious and as generous as scripture allows. So, whilst we cannot guarantee that we will be able to marry you, the best thing is to talk it through honestly with one of our ministers who will try to help you.
Where there has been a divorce we will also be required to seek the bishop’s permission to marry you, this includes completing a lengthy application form and as this process can take several months we recommend beginning the conversation as early as possible.
A Service of Prayer and Dedication
It is also possible for us to conduct a beautiful service of prayer and dedication here in our sanctuary. A Christian man and a Christian woman who are already legally married to one another may use this service for a variety of reasons: perhaps you are growing in faith and now want the benefits of a Christian Marriage; maybe you are getting married and your families live a long way apart and two services are required; or you have been married a long time and wish to rededicate yourselves to the Lord after a significant event such as an anniversary or time of reconciliation.
Marriage Preparation and Arranging the Date
Before we can marry you, the officiating minster will want to meet with you at least three times to prepare you for marriage and then finally to discuss the wedding itself. If we are running an evening bible study course, we also recommend that you join that too.
After preparation, the marriage service will take place when most convenient for the church and the couple. We do have a regular Saturday service and so Saturday weddings need to start by 3pm at the latest.
There are certain minimal fees for use of the sanctuary, musicians and bulletins.
We do not charge a fee for the minister because it is a delightful part of our ongoing pastoral support of you. If members wish to make a donation to the church or to the officiating minster you can always speak to the office about what people typically give but we have no expectations.
For information on the current fees, please contact the office.
Download our CCFC Marriage Service Application
Rev. Oct. 17, 2016