At St. Paul’s, we believe all are loved by God. In response to God’s abundant love, many of us fall so deeply in love with one other that we want to be joined in marriage. As a congregation of the United Church of Canada, our ministers celebrate marriage in the context of a broad and accepting Christian community of faith.
We are open to celebrating the marriage of:
- regular church-goers and those who rarely attend
- previously divorced people
- couples of different religions
- couples of different gender
- couples of the same gender
We believe God desires loving relationships to be faithful, responsible, just, healing, and sustaining of the couple and those around them. We rejoice along with God in the wonderful opportunity we have to share with couples in the celebration of their marriage!
When you come to St. Paul’s United Church to talk about the plans for your wedding, the following information and guidance will be of help with your planning.
People Who Set Aside Time for your Wedding
- The Minister
- The Caretaker
- Members of your Wedding Party
- The Organist
- The Soloist
- The Administrative Assistant
The Marriage Service
A marriage ceremony performed by a Christian Minister has two aspects:
- 1. It is a civil contract. This means, the minister has legal responsibilities for seeing that the conditions required by the province are met.
- 2. For Christians, marriage is also a religious rite. The minister has responsibility for seeing that the service reflects our faith.
The United Church of Canada believes marriage is a gift from God. As such, the service is a covenant made between two persons and with God. Marriage is a union in which two persons find their richest fulfillment of body, mind and spirit. The ceremony should honour the equality of the two persons within the relationship.
Marriage ceremonies performed by our Minister(s) will be celebrated within the context of a worship service. The marriage vows within a church ceremony are usually religious in nature and couples need to be comfortable with this aspect. Couples who feel uncomfortable with this should discuss with the minister they may also want to consider a civil ceremony.
Minister to Conduct Ceremony
The congregation expects the minister(s) of St. Paul’s to officiate at all marriages. Any exception to this must be approved by the minister(s) and/or the Governance Committee of St. Paul’s. Any request for another minister to assist at your wedding should be discussed from the onset with the minister(s) from St. Paul’s.
Organist and Music
As soon as you have confirmed the date with the church, please contact our organist, Brenda Barnes (388-5561). It is expected the organist will play at any wedding where the church instruments, organ and/or piano will be used. Any exception to this must be approved by the organist, and then discussed with the minister involved. Requests for another musician (eg. soloist) to assist at your wedding should be discussed from the onset with the organist. The music at a Christian marriage service should celebrate the gift of God’s love, for we believe that God’s love nurtures all human relationships. Our organist will be able to offer many appropriate suggestions.
Marriage licenses are available through Service New Brunswick. Contact your local SNB office (856-2204 in Moncton) to set up an appointment. Licenses cost $100 and are valid for 3 months.
In New Brunswick there must be two witnesses who must be at least 19 years of age.
A marriage preparation program is not a requirement. However, if you wish to discuss particular issues with our minister(s), they are available to do so. We encourage all couples to consider a pre-marriage or relationship enrichment program prior to or following the wedding. Also, our minister(s) are available to help couples with issues at any time in their relationship.
A rehearsal for the ceremony is required. Its purpose is to help ensure that the couple and other members of the wedding party are familiar with the service and the facilities. When a wedding is to be held on a Saturday, the rehearsal will normally take place on the Thursday or Friday.
May your wedding day and marriage be filled with love, joy and meaning.