Weddings, Funerals & Baptisms
Life Cycle Events at St. John’s
Weddings are a sacrament in the eyes of God and a joyous occasion in the life of the church and your family. We at St. John’s take great pleasure in sharing the planning and celebration of this life event with you. Couples wishing to be married at St. John’s must first be worshipping at St. John’s, or (if they live elsewhere) another Episcopal Church. At least one party to the marriage must be a baptized Christian. Both parties must evidence a commitment to Christian marriage as defined by the Declaration of Intention and the rubrics of The Book of Common Prayer. Weddings are scheduled at the same time that premarital counseling sessions with the clergy (which are required of all couples being married in an Episcopal Church) are also scheduled. In the case of couples who live elsewhere, counseling may take place with an Episcopal priest in their area. Diocesan and national canons and state law are carefully observed, without exception.
Besides the guidance of our clergy and beautiful building and grounds, St. John’s can provide additional services and support for weddings, including music and rental of the parish hall for a reception or rehearsal dinner. Our Wedding Customary (information packet) outlines the planning process and costs, and lists suggested Bible readings.
St. John’s is only available for weddings planned in consultation with and officiated by our parish clergy, and is not available as a rental venue for ceremonies performed outside the Episcopal tradition or with outside officiants.
According to The Book of Common Prayer (p. 507):
The liturgy for the dead is an Easter liturgy. It finds all its meaning in the resurrection. Because Jesus was raised from the dead, we, too, shall be raised. The liturgy, therefore, is characterized by joy, in the certainty that “neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” This joy, however, does not make human grief unchristian. The very love we have for each other in Christ brings deep sorrow when we are parted by death. Jesus himself wept at the grave of his friend. So, while we rejoice that one we love has entered into the nearer presence of our Lord, we sorrow in sympathy with those who mourn.
Families work with the clergy to plan the service, and St. John’s can provide suggestions and referrals for scripture readings, hymns, flowers, and other necessities. Our Funeral Customary (information packet) outlines the planning process, costs and suggested readings and music. Parishioners are invited to keep copies of their funeral and burial wishes on file in the church office; a form for this purpose is available from the church.
It is our privilege to welcome people to St. John’s at the most sacred times of transition and change in their lives. Please contact us for more information about planning a wedding or funeral at St. John’s.
Baptism is full initiation by water and the Holy Spirit into Christ’s Body the Church. Each candidate for Holy Baptism is sponsored by one or more baptized people (parents and godparents). When the candidate for baptism is a child, the sponsors make promises in their own name and also take vows on behalf of the candidate. The worshipping congregation also makes their own vows and recommits to the Christian faith by renewing their baptismal covenant.
Baptism is appropriately administered in a service of Holy Eucharist as the chief service on a Sunday or other feast. At St. John’s, we follow the Episcopal Church’s preferred practice of designating certain Sundays for Holy Baptism: the Baptism of Christ (the first Sunday after the Epiphany in early January), the first Sunday after Easter (March or April), the Day of Pentecost (late May), and All Saints Sunday (the first Sunday in November). To discuss your own baptism or that of your child, please contact the rector or the parish office.