Holy Matrimony at Emmanuel Policies and Guidelines

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Holy Matrimony at Emmanuel Policies and Guidelines

“ And now faith, hope and love abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love.” 1 Corinthians 13:13

Rev. August 2015

Congratulations on your upcoming wedding! We are pleased that you have chosen Emmanuel Church, and we look forward to working with you in the months ahead as you prepare yourselves for this important step. This Booklet contains important information for planning a successful wedding. Please review it. Your officiating priest will review it with you at the initial meeting. At that time, we will present you with a Folder with more information about orders of service, music selections, and Scripture readings. Also included in the Folder is the Declaration of Intention and additional documents for you to complete and return with your deposit. What an exciting time! It is an honor for us to be included in your wedding plans, and we look forward to being present to you in this process. May God bless and keep you during this time of preparation and discernment.

Rev. August 2015

Marriage Versus Holy Matrimony: Understanding Marriage In The Church As far as the government is concerned, all marriages are contracts between estates, or in the popular vernacular, “civil unions.” In the United States, government does not, and cannot, recognize the religious component of marriage. However, the government does permit clergy to serve as agents of the state in performing wedding ceremonies. Illinois requires very little for a couple to become legally married. The couple needs only to apply in person for a marriage license to any town or city clerk and sign the marriage certificate in the presence of the clerk. After that, the couple must state in the presence of an authorized official and at least one other witness that they take each other as spouses. No more is required, making marriage in Illinois an easier prospect than obtaining a driver’s license! Marriage in the Church, or Holy Matrimony, is viewed differently than it is by the state. It is a solemn and public covenant between two adults in the presence of God. It symbolizes to us the mystery of the union between Christ and the Church. The union of spouses in heart, body, and mind is intended by God for their mutual joy; for the help and comfort given one another in prosperity and adversity; and for the creation of family and community nurtured in the knowledge and love of the Lord. While Holy Matrimony fulfills the legal requirements of marriage in Illinois, it also requires a couple to commit to a relationship in God, connected to a community of faith. To that end, there are several requirements that must be met before a wedding date may be scheduled. 1. The couple must discuss with the parish priest their interest in Holy Matrimony and their spiritual goals as a couple before setting dates or making other arrangements. 2. The couple commits to participate in a community of faith in order to nurture their marriage and to serve as a “symbol of Christ’s love.” We ask couples to commit to regular attendance at worship and support of the ministry of the Church. Rev. August 2015

3. The couple prepares for Holy Matrimony by scheduling and attending no fewer than three premarital sessions with the Rector/Priest in Charge or designated Priest, or other qualified individual with the priest’s approval. 4. The couple commits to follow up meetings after the ceremony at 6, 12, and 18 months. 5. At least one of the parties must be a baptized Christian. No fewer than two witnesses must attest to the ceremony. 6. The couple will read and understand the liturgy (order of worship) to be used at the ceremony. 7. The couple will sign a Declaration of Intention affirming their commitment to receive the blessing of Holy Matrimony with all the responsibilities thereof. 8. The couple will sign an indemnity agreement. 9. The couple must be prepared to obtain a marriage license in Illinois.

Additional Considerations •

Divorced persons may be remarried in the Episcopal Church with the consent of the Diocesan Bishop. Such consent is obtained via application with the officiating priest’s recommendation. Emmanuel will furnish the application.

The Episcopal Church welcomes same-sex couples to receive the sacrament of marriage.

Ecumenical and interdenominational weddings are permissible provided at least one of the wedding party is baptized with water in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

If one person is of another denomination, and wishes this marriage to be recognized in his/her Church, that partner should check with the clergy of his/her Church for appropriate guidelines and procedures.

Rev. August 2015

Setting the Date A date may be scheduled only with the Rector’s approval, with the express understanding that it may be postponed or cancelled if, in the course of pre-marital preparation, the clergy determines cancellation to be necessary. Church law requires a minimum of 30 days between the notification of the intent to wed and the desired wedding date. It is Emmanuel’s practice to require 90 days minimum. Exclusions. No weddings are conducted during the season of Lent (40 days preceding Easter Day) nor on the eve of major feast days (Christmas and Easter). Exceptions are made only for extreme emergencies and special circumstances (e.g., family illness which necessitates a more immediate wedding). Time. We schedule weddings between 10 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. on Saturdays. Weddings may be scheduled on Fridays with sufficient cause. If you are planning a summer wedding, keep in mind that Emmanuel is not air conditioned; a morning wedding may be a cooler option.

Liturgy The liturgy used at Emmanuel is found in the Book of Common Prayer, beginning on page 423. Other orders of service authorized by the Church may be used. In either case, the vows of the church are used. Holy Communion is part of the service when one or both persons being married are parish members, and is encouraged for all celebrations of Holy Matrimony.

The Marriage License Because marriage is also a civil act, a marriage license from the State of Illinois must be secured before a ceremony can be performed in Emmanuel Church. You must apply for your license in the County Building at 118 N. Clark St. in Chicago; or at the County Clerk’s District Office located in the District Court Building on First Avenue in Maywood (2-1/2 blocks north of the Eisenhower Expressway). Even though you may reside in a different state, you must obtain your license from Cook County, Illinois, in order to be married at Emmanuel. Rev. August 2015

The officiating clergy completes the license and returns it to Cook County. Emmanuel can provide you with a photocopy of your completed license if you wish, but it will not be a certified legal copy. Requests for this should be made directly to the Bureau of Vital Statistics, 118 N. Clark St., Chicago, IL 60602. The marriage license should be given to the marriage coordinator about a week in advance.

Parish Facilities Church Capacity. The Nave seats approximately 350 persons, the Chancel seats approximately 50, and St. Mary’s Chapel seats 30. Dressing rooms. Upon request, Beaudway Hall or the main floor ladies’ room may be used for dressing. A clothes rack and mirror are provided. Similar arrangements can be made for the groomsmen. Should you plan to have the wedding gown, bridesmaids’ dresses, and other items delivered to the church, you must make sure someone will be available to receive these items BEFORE scheduling a delivery time. Valuables. Safekeeping of valuables before, during, and after the wedding is the responsibility of the wedding party. Emmanuel Church is not responsible for lost or stolen items.

Decor Flowers. All arrangements for altar flowers and church decoration must be approved by the clergy or wedding coordinator. The expense of all floral decorations and other appointments is the responsibility of the wedding party. Decorations and other appointments should be kept as simple as possible. A brass container (with liner) on the altar can be used. The Altar Guild can arrange for you to review these if you wish. The flowers must be arranged in the liners for these containers alternately; your florist can provide containers. Given the size of the church, arrangements should be large and tall to be effective. Center arrangements should be 24-36 inches high including the container. Rev. August 2015

Chancel Boxes that fit on the chancel rail (below the choir stalls) are available for an additional fee and may be filled by your florist at your expense. Altar Flowers for Saturday weddings are customarily left in the Church as a token of thanksgiving and for the regular services the following day. A notice is placed in the Sunday bulletin acknowledging your gift. Rented plants must be removed immediately following the wedding. Emmanuel Church is not responsible for any rented plants left in the building. Candles. All candles in the sanctuary (the area behind the altar rail), including altar candles and any additional candelabras furnished by the Altar Guild are included in the Altar Guild Fee. Please note that our liturgy does not allow for the use of a unity candle. Pew Candelabras. Pew Candelabras may be placed on a number of pews down the center aisle for an additional fee. Bows. Your florist may decorate the ends of pews with greenery, floral accents, or bows on the pew candelabras, if desired, provided no adhesive, tacks, or nails are used.

Scripture & Music All wedding music is to be discussed with the Parish Organist/Choirmaster who has the prerogative to play for the service and who will supervise any other musicians used. Music selections must be appropriate to a religious service in our tradition and is subject to approval by the Rector/Priest in Charge. Recommendations for music can be found in your ceremony workbook. Weddings include one or more reading from Holy Scripture. Recommendations can be found in your ceremony workbook.

Rehearsal The rehearsal gives the entire bridal party an opportunity to know what is required of them during the service. This includes the couple, Rev. August 2015

all the attendants, ushers, readers, musicians, and parents (if applicable). Normally, the rehearsal is scheduled for the night before the wedding and lasts for precisely one hour. The rehearsal date and time must be cleared with the officiating priest and will begin promptly. Failure to appear on time will result in a shortened rehearsal. It is the bridal couple’s responsibility to communicate to the wedding party the time, place, and promptness of the rehearsal.

Photography The couple may choose any photographer they wish. The photographer must consult with the wedding coordinator prior to the wedding to fully understand the rules regarding both still and video photography during the ceremony. Photographers may take flash photos during the entrance and exit processions; generally from the sixth pew from the back. During the ceremony, photos may be taken from the balcony and must use available light. The photographer may stay for a maximum of 30 minutes after the ceremony. Videographers must avoid distracting movement, noise or the use of additional lights or microphones. The video may be recorded from a position adjacent to the front pillar on the north side of the church or from the balcony. Please notify your photographer and guests that no flash photography is permitted during the service. Emmanuel Church is not responsible for photographic equipment damaged, lost, or stolen.

Service Ministers One of our Acolytes may be scheduled to light all the candles. Other Lay Ministers will serve as needed at the Holy Eucharist.

Wedding Party Ushers Ushers serve two primary functions: to distribute programs to guests as they enter (if applicable), and to escort certain guests down the center aisle to seats if so desired by the wedding couple (bride’s side is left; groom’s side is right). Rev. August 2015

Programs You may elect to provide programs for your guests that contain all or portions of the ceremony. Samples of wedding programs are available from the Parish Administrator. You may have them professionally printed, or Emmanuel’s office can print them for a fee.

Restrictions Alcohol. All participants in the rehearsal and ceremony are to refrain from the consumption of alcohol prior to these events. If the reception is at Emmanuel, alcohol may be served with appropriate non-alcoholic alternatives. Receiving Lines. Due to safety concerns, receiving lines at the front door of the church are not permitted. Please arrange to greet guests at the reception. Rice and Other Projectiles. No rice, confetti, flower petals, or bird seed are to be thrown in the church or on church grounds. Blowing bubbles is discouraged.

Arrival at the Ceremony All members of the wedding party shall arrive at least one hour before the scheduled time of the wedding. Please do not leave the church grounds once you have arrived. The Wedding Coordinator and Sexton will assist the party in preparing for the service and in taking their places at the appropriate time.

Rev. August 2015

Fees Church


Officiating Clergy

(see below)

Altar Guild




Music Director/Organist Programs

$300.00 $100.00 for up to 100, $1 each additional.

Additional Musicians



$25.00 each

Optional Décor

Chancel Boxes Pew Candelabras

$40.00 $50.00


Memorial Hall


There is no Church Fee for communicants in good standing of Emmanuel Episcopal Church. The fee is required for all others.

Gifts payable to the officiating priest are in honorarium. For non-parishioners the minimum suggested gift is $300. For parishioners it is $250. Members of churches in communion with the Episcopal Church/Anglican Communion may use their own clergy but must discuss the clergy gift with them.

The musician(s) and sexton are paid directly. Acolytes/Servers receive cash in envelopes.

One check payable to Emmanuel Episcopal Church covers all other fees.

Please pay all fees by dropping off the checks and envelopes to the church office the week prior to the wedding, and no later than before the rehearsal.

A $500 non-refundable deposit is required upon confirmation of the wedding date.

Name of Person delivering checks/envelopes: ____________________________ Phone Number


Email Address


Received ____________________________

Rev. August 2015

203 S. Kensington Avenue LaGrange, IL 60525 (708) 352-1275 + www.eeclg.org

“God with us, in each of us.”

Rev. August 2015

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