What is Christian Marriage?
The service of Christian marriage is provided for couples who wish to solemnize their marriage in a service of Christian worship. Christian marriage is proclaimed as a sacred covenant reflecting Christ’s covenant with the church. Everything about the service is designed to witness that this is a Christian marriage.
Both words and actions consistently reflect the belief that husband and wife are equal partners in Christian marriage and that they are entering into this marriage of their own volition.
Those present are understood to be an active congregation rather than simply passive witnesses. They give their blessing to the couple and to the marriage, and they join in prayer and praise.
Holy Communion may or may not be celebrated. If it is, it is most important that its significance be made clear. Specifically: 1. the marriage rite is included in a Service of Word and Table. 2. Not only the husband and wife but the whole congregation is to be invited to receive Communion. It is our tradition to invite all Christians to the Lord ’s Table. 3. There should be no pressure that would embarrass those who for whatever reason do not choose to receive Communion.
Who May Be Married in the Church?
The Sanctuary is dedicated to the glory of God and used for the administration of the Christian sacraments, public worship, and private prayer, for weddings and funerals, and for activities of the church and its organizations. Those who desire to use the worship facilities for this purpose are welcome. Please remember to treat it with reverence and good taste.
The church is happy to make its facilities available to all who desire a wedding service which emphasizes the sacredness of Christian marriage. There are, however, fees involved in the use of the church facilities, equipment, and personnel. The furnishings and the equipment in the Sanctuary are part of the primary function of worship, and therefore are not to be moved without permission.
In keeping with the purpose and policy of this church, smoking is not permitted on the premises; alcoholic beverages are not to be brought on, consumed or served anywhere on the property.
The name and address of the church is as follows:
Shelburne United Methodist Church
30 Church Street
Shelburne, VT 05482
Weddings are scheduled after a discussion with the Pastor. Saturday weddings during the summer months must be held no earlier than 3:00 pm. All weddings scheduled are dependent upon available facilities and personnel. This will be discussed with the Pastor prior to any firm arrangements.
A deposit of $200 will be required to hold a wedding date.
Pastor’s Rights and Obligation
Every United Methodist Pastor is charged with the responsibility to perform the marriage ceremony after consultation with the parties involved, providing guidance and spiritual counsel to them as they seek to prepare emotionally, physically, financially, and spiritually. The decision to perform the ceremony shall be the “right and responsibility of the pastor” (UMC Book of Discipline) That decision shall be made by the Pastor on the basis of premarital counseling which is designed to strengthen the couple’s relationship, and demonstrate a knowledge of covenant.
A valid marriage license, issued within the state, and acceptable for use in the county, must be presented to the pastor before the marriage service will take place. These will be signed just prior to the wedding service.
– The pastor of the local United Methodist Church shall perform or participate in all weddings held in the building. Exceptions may be made as a pastoral consideration for other clergy to officiate.
–– All couples shall participate in premarital counseling by meeting with the pastor at least three times. (The pastor may require UMC marriage manual or other appropriate literature as well as evaluation instruments.)
– Should, in the process of counseling, it become obvious to the pastor that in-depth professional care be needed, the couple may be required to seek additional counseling at their own expense.
– Wedding dates, rehearsals and counseling will be scheduled with the Pastor in advance.
-Couples shall present the valid Marriage License to the Pastor at the rehearsal.
-No wedding will be performed where it is evident that members of the wedding party have been indulging in drugs or alcohol prior to the wedding or the rehearsal.
Music arrangements must be cleared first by the pastor and then by the church organist. The church organist shall play for all weddings or approve any musician that shall play the organ or the piano.
Arrangements for flowers are the responsibility of the couple. Aisle runners are not permitted. Additional items must be approved by the pastor.
The church is open for taking pictures one hour before the service is scheduled to begin. Photography is not allowed during the speaking parts of the wedding ceremony. No flash photography is allowed after the processional or before the recessional. The Pastor will be available, if the couple wishes, for photographs following the ceremony. Videotaping is allowed only in consultation with and by prior approval of the Pastor.
Fees for Non Members
Non members will be charged $1200 for a wedding. The fee for the organist is separate as set by the organist. The organist is to be paid directly. Checks for the church fee are to be made out to “Shelburne United Methodist Church.”
You qualify as a Church member if one of you is an active member or one of your parents is an active member. An active member is someone who attends regularly and supports the church financially. In this case there is no charge for the use of the church facility and it is your decision whether to give the pastor an honorarium.
The balance of all fees must be paid two weeks prior to the wedding. Checks should be payable to the church. Fees for the organist are separate and are determined based on the music selected for inclusion in the service, the time given to consultation with the couples about that music and, if the organist participates at the rehearsal. This fee is paid directly to the musician. The wedding service will not begin until all fees are paid.