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159What we believe about Christian Marriage

A marriage ceremony is the formal occasion when a solemn, sacred union is celebrated. In a Christian context, it is an act of worship in which marriage is celebrated as a gift of God, intended to last for a lifetime. The joy and the commitment being made to one another are shared by family and friends, and blessed by God and the Church. The wedding service is one of the most profound acts celebrated by the Church, for it is a sacred event signifying the covenant made between two people, as well as between the couple and God. For this reason, at least one member of the parties to the marriage must be a baptized Christian. The Methodist tradition, through words and actions, reflects the belief that spouses are equal partners in Christian marriage and that they are entering this sacred union of their own volition.

Planning a Wedding at Christ Church

We are glad that you are considering Christ Church for your wedding celebration. Our staff will do everything possible to make the occasion joyful, meaningful and beautiful, and as free of stress as possible. The following are guidelines for celebrating your wedding at Christ Church:

  1. After your initial contact with Roseann DeGennaro in our church office, you will be asked to fill out a wedding application, which includes fees, deposits and procedures. You will also be asked to schedule an initial meeting with one of our clergy. The church office will assign a member of our clergy staff to preside at your wedding, unless you make a specific request for one of the clergy members. Should you wish to have a member of the clergy not on the Christ Church staff preside at your ceremony, you will need to contact the church office for information regarding procedural requirements for a visiting minister.
  2. Once you have met with a member of the clergy staff and he or she agrees to perform your ceremony, a wedding date and time will be established. In order to allow appropriate time for planning and preparation, weddings dates must be set at least two months in advance.
  3. We ask that you meet with the presiding minister at least three times in the months prior to your wedding. Times and frequency will be negotiated directly with the minister. As part of the preparation process, you will also plan your ceremony in consultation with the minister. It is understood that the service will be Christian marriage liturgy, including at least one reading from scripture and music appropriate for Christian worship. Our music staff is also available for consultation, and any plans for musicians not on the Christ Church staff will need to be arranged with Dr. Steven Pilkington, our Director of Music.
  4. All matters regarding building usage, fees, outside wedding coordinators, flowers, decorating and scheduling for the rehearsal will be handled by Roseann DeGennaro, our Church Administrator.

Interfaith Weddings

We celebrate the religious diversity and plurality of our city and world. Our mission at Christ Church is to love God above all things and our neighbors as ourselves, and we take this mission seriously. Christ Church has a long history of interfaith work, cooperation and advocacy, and we welcome our brothers and sisters from different traditions to share in our life and work. As stated above, weddings at Christ Church are occasions for Christian worship, and ceremonies here will be celebrated as such. Yet, we understand that couples often share different religious backgrounds and convictions, and we are open to including different cultural and religious traditions as part of your ceremony insofar as they are consistent with Christian faith and practice. Clergy members of other traditions are also welcome to participate in weddings after consultation with the presiding minister.

Photography and Video

It is our desire for your marriage service to be joyful and worshipful. Given that wedding ceremonies are occasions of Christian worship, it is our policy that photography and video not disrupt the sacred nature of the liturgy. Flash photography, with quiet lenses, and video are allowed during the processional and the recessional. Once the service begins, however, no flash photography or video with extra lighting is permitted. This is so for both professional photographers and guests. Photographers and videographers may photograph or record during the service without flash or extra lighting from either the north or south aisles, the balcony or from pews behind the worshipping congregation. Photographs may be arranged for the wedding party and families before or after the ceremony, and any aspect of the service that you may wish to capture may be re-staged following the service as well.

Applying for a Marriage License from New York State

New York State requires obtaining a New York State Marriage License. To obtain the license, both parties will need proof of identification (such as a birth certificate, passport or driver’s license). A fee is assessed by the New York City County Clerk’s office for the license, which must be obtained at the city clerk’s office with both parties present. There is a 24-hour waiting period before the license can be executed, and it is valid for 60 days. The Office of the City Clerk is located at 1 Centre Street, Room 262, New York, NY 10007. The office may be reached at 212-669-2400, and office hours are from 8.30 a.m.-3.45 p.m. Monday through Friday. We ask that you bring the license with you on the night of your rehearsal and you should present it to the church wedding coordinator. The presiding minister will sign it with you and your two designated witnesses following the ceremony.

Our Best Wishes

We congratulate you on this momentous step in your life, and are honored to celebrate it with you and your families and friends. Please feel free to contact Ms. Roseann DeGennaro, Church Administrator, by phone at 212-838-3036 or by email, with further questions. May God bless you richly during this planning and preparation process. Our prayers and support will be with you throughout.