Weddings, Funerals and Baptisms
|Baptisms, Weddings and Funerals should, in the first instance, be arranged with the Parish Office.
Baptism is the rite whereby people become Christians. It unites us to God through Jesus’ resurrection, gives the gift of eternal life and makes us part of Christ’s Body, the Church. It is administered with water in the name of the Holy Trinity – Father, Son and Holy Spirit. It is a moment of simple joy when through the unspectacular action of a little water pouring over a person’s head, they are transformed into a child of God, a member of His royal priestly family and given gifts and graces that no amount of evil or darkness can destroy.
You are very welcome to have your child baptised at St John's, or to be baptised yourself. Whilst we always encourage people from other parishes, however, they should make their spiritual home in their local parish church. There are some people, nonetheless, who have a particular link with St John's (e.g. parents who were married here etc.), or you just feel confused about how to go about it; we would be very happy to talk with you about baptising you or your child.
Baptism takes place within the Sunday Eucharist. They are not normally held during Lent to allow a greater focus on the austerity of that season.
From The Celebration and Blessing of a Marriage, The Book of Alternative Services p.528:
"Marriage is a gift of God and means of his grace...It is a way of life that all should reverence and none should lightly undertake".
Marriage is a sacrament – a support offered to two people by God for their growth together in love and holiness. The sacrament of marriage is an outward and visible sign of God’s love and mirrors Christ’s love for the Church.
It is a high calling and sacred trust between us and the Holy Trinity. The sanctifying grace of this sacrament will always be with us. If you are discerning a vocation to married life, here are the steps we invite you to read and consider if you wish to celebrate the sacrament of marriage at St. Johns’. Preparation for celebration of the sacrament begins with conversation with the parish priest.
Preparing for the Celebration of Marriage
Baptism and Membership
At least one member of the couple must be a baptized Christian. Weddings at St. Johns' usually, but not always, involves people who are members of our worshipping community.
Those who attend the liturgy of the Parish whether regularly, or occasionally, are members of the Parish. Marriage is a sacrament celebrated in community and we seek to support and uphold you throughout your married life together.
If one or both persons are divorced, each must produce the decree absolute of the divorce to the priest. The priest must also be satisfied that the applicants understand the nature of Christian marriage as stated in Canon XXI (On Marriage in the Church) and have reasonable hope that they will continue in that relationship during their lives together. They must also show that efforts have been made to heal any divisions that may have been caused by the previous marriage.
Attendance at Church
Couples are expected to attend a service at least a number of times in the months before their wedding. This is an opportunity to develop relationships with other members for mutual support and to begin or maintain a spiritual discipline of worship together, and be nourished by the sacrament of the Eucharist. The Eucharist is the central act of worship in the Church. All our actions, beliefs, and hopes are meant to reflect this gift of God’s divine life, forgiveness and welcome.
Regular attendance will also help you prepare your body, soul, and mind for full participation in the wedding Mass.
In order to adequately prepare, St. John’ requests that couples approach the rector, who may be contacted via the office as soon as possible before the intended date.
Couples can expect to meet with the priest at least 4-5 times over the course of their preparation. During these meetings the priest will cover practical details of the ceremony, review the marriage liturgy including scripture readings, offer instruction on the sacrament of marriage, meditate upon the vows, and discuss any other questions you might have.
Planning for the wedding ceremony is done by the clergy and the couple to be married. Wedding planners are not included in the planning process at the Church. They are not permitted to be present at rehearsals.
Marriage Preparation Course
It is a requirement of the diocese that all couples attend marriage preparation courses or counselling sessions with the Priest. Further information will be made available to you, upon meeting with the clergy.
A marriage license must be obtained from a Marriage License Issuer. Information on how to apply for a license (including a list of issuers) is available