Congratulations for your engagement! This is an exciting time for you and we are so glad you are looking at Grace Church to determine if this is a place for your wedding. Grace Church would love to help you make your wedding day special. We welcome you whether you are from a different denomination, different faith tradition, a same sex couple, or if one, or both of you, have been in previous marriage relationship (s)- we welcome you.
We have three sacred areas that you can select from to meet your wedding needs. The main sanctuary of the church, a chapel for small intimate weddings, and a scenic outside area that can be as large or intimate as you wish.
To get ready for the wedding the upper floor of the Parish Hall has space for the Bride and Bridesmaids to dress and relax. An area in the church may be provided for the Groom and Groomsmen to prepare. The Parish Hall is available for a reception. We would love to work with you to create a beautiful and sacred service.
- 1. At least one person must be a baptized Christian. We welcome couples who represent more than one faith tradition. The Priest will work with you to honor different faith traditions with in the framework of the Episcopal marriage service.
- 2. If you do not have a church in this area and are interested in a service at a church, please feel free to contact Rev. Sharon at 443-506-4666.
- 3. Grace Church welcomes clergy of other Christian denominations and faith traditions to officiate at weddings with the prior approval of the Priest. If couples plan to celebrate the Eucharist during the service, Rev. Sharon, or another episcopal priest, will officiate or co-officiate the wedding using the service from the Book of Common Prayer.
- The State of Maryland and the Episcopal Church require several documents. The first is a marriage license must be obtained from the Clerk of the Court of Frederick County (or if the wedding is at another venue, from the county the wedding is to be performed in). We request that the license be presented to the priest no less than one week before the wedding. If one (or both) member(s) of the couple is divorced, please bring the paperwork to the priest to verify each divorce at least 6 weeks before the service. The priest will send the paperwork to the Bishop to obtain permission for the marriage, as per Episcopal Canons (church laws). If the officiating Clergy is from another denomination, they are responsible for obtaining proper permissions within their religious denominations.
- All wedding plans, music arrangements, and preparations will be made under the direction of the Priest. If working with a wedding planner, they work under the direction of the priest.
- A wedding program which prints out the entire service will be provided by the Parish Administrator. This will make the service much easier to follow by all those who gather. The couple will be responsible for the bulletin cost which depends on the number of bulletins and the price of the program cover they select. It is usually under $40.00.
- The officiating Priest, or minister if someone else will officiate, will conduct a wedding rehearsal the evening before the wedding.
Premarital Counseling Requirement
Couples being married in the Episcopal tradition must attend premarital counseling sessions as per Canons (church law). There are many counselors who provide this service and we will be happy to give you some suggestions. You may also meet with Rev. Sharon. Couples using a minister from another tradition will receive direction from their officiating minister.
Counseling Sessions are a time to think about the marriage you will create, to tell stories of your experiences with marriage, and how you became a couple. This can be fun, rewarding, and enlightening as you prepare to enter into a new relationship.
Charges: If you are a member we do not charge for the ceremony or the use of the Parish Hall, but it is customary to make a donation to Grace Episcopal Church. This is not a requirement, but a decision for you to make as a couple.
If you are a non member, there is a charge to use the church and parish hall. The church is $300.00 and the Parish Hall is $300.00.
For music, the organist’s fee is $250.00 and if you hire any other soloists or musicians, please compensate them appropriately. If you hire an outside organist, a bench fee of $100.oo is asked for our resident organist.
We would love to celebrate your wedding at Grace. It is our greatest wish that your wedding becomes the first day of a beautiful life for you and the one you love.