Marriage is one of the most important commitments in your life. The Clergy, Staff and Wedding Guild of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church wish to assist you in making this a memorable and holy event. We are not a “wedding chapel;” rather, we offer the Church’s blessing upon those who look to God in Christ to give ultimate meaning and strength to marriage. This is a sacramental rite of the Christian Church, as well as an important event for a couple, their families and friends; it is much more than a social gathering.
It is the parish’s desire to provide a home for those who seek the blessings of the church in marriage, a place where the couple’s relationship together and as individuals can grow and flourish in Christ. Sunday attendance at worship is assumed before as well as after the wedding for all couples. It is important to find out if St. Paul’s is a parish where the couple can feel comfortable spiritually in their Christian marriage. Our hope is to play a supportive role in your marriage not just at its start, but throughout your life together.
In the Diocese of Los Angeles, clergy are given permission to bless the unions of gay and lesbian couples. A trial liturgy for use on these occasions has been provided by our bishop. All the above concerns pertain to gay and lesbian couples, too. Currently, of course, Episcopal clergy cannot officiate at a legal marriage for gay and lesbian couples, but we would be delighted to be a part of helping to plan a ceremony with you.
The first step for arranging to be married at St. Paul’s is to be interviewed by the Priest in Charge, the Reverend Kay Sylvester. You may make an appointment by calling the Parish Office, 714-544-3141.
Following your meeting with the Rector, additional consultations are necessary:
1. Consult with the Parish Administrator regarding the date and time. A deposit of $250.00 payable to St. Paul’s is necessary inorder to insure the date and time of your wedding. This means, of course, that no announcements may be published until both the meeting with the clergy and the reservation have been accomplished. There are additional facility use fees involved, depending on your plans. The Administrator will discuss these with you and make available to you a copy of a planning booklet.
2. Pre-marital counseling and instruction are required. The Clergy will determine the content of these sessions with the couple. The couple is responsible for scheduling the required number of sessions. According to the Canons of the Episcopal Church, the Clergy may decline at any point to officiate at any marriage. Nonetheless, throughout the preparations, we commit ourselves to providing a community of support and nurture to those entering into a Christian marriage in this Parish. (There are special Canonical requirements regarding remarriage of divorced persons.)
3. Consult with the St. Paul's Wedding Director. Only after this interview will it be appropriate to make your plans regarding the photographer, florist, and reception.
4. Consult with our Organist-Choirmaster, David Milligan, regarding the music – including any outside soloist or musicians – for the Celebration and Blessing of a Marriage.
Episcopal clergy are governed by the canonical requirements of the Episcopal Church, which include a number of rules which generally affect most brides and grooms: Thirty days notice prior to the marriage is required for preparation time. The bride and groom must comply with the laws of the State of California. At least one of the two persons to be married must be baptized. If either party has affiliation with another church, written permission must be obtained of your pastor before marriage may take place here.
An Episcopal priest of another parish or diocese may use the church for the Celebration and Blessing of a Marriage. That priest must contact our Rector directly; no further arrangements should be made until this permission has been granted. A non-Episcopal clergyperson may assist but not officiate at a wedding here.
Marriage at St. Paul’s is performed within the rich tradition of the Anglican Communion to which the Episcopal Church belongs. “The Celebration and Blessing of a Marriage” as contained in The Book of Common Prayer, pages 423-438, is the standard liturgical form for services here. However, each ceremony is unique and the participation of the couple in the design and execution of their particular wedding service is important within the liturgical structure of the Prayer Book.