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.
We do not ask detailed questions about your faith but as this is a public Christian service, we will only marry those who are baptized, submit to Jesus as their Lord and savior and freely wish to marry one another. Non-members are asked to make a simple statement of their faith in their own words. You must also be able to marry in law.
We will marry any such man and woman where at least one of you is a member of this church or is closely related to a member of this church (though we encourage you to marry in your own church where you will experience more active support in upholding you in your marriage).
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.”
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 charge non-members for the service and minister’s time but we do not charge members for this 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.
Rev. Oct. 17, 2016