Weddings and Civil Unions


Weddings and Civil Unions are the most sacred, beautiful and joyful of all church ceremonies. They celebrate God’s uniting of two persons in the lifelong covenants of holy matrimony or holy union and God’s blessing on their relationships. These Christian ceremonies are services of worship before God. In the Episcopal Church in the Diocese of Chicago the following guidelines apply to both ceremonies.

You may want to know:



1. The Church seats 155 excluding the wedding party, is air conditioned, has an amplification system, and has pew candles & window decorations for your use.

2. The solemnization of holy matrimony and holy unions are governed by diocesan guidelines and the canons of the Episcopal Church. A minimum of 30 days notice is required (though it is highly recommended that the planning take place several months in advance). The following conditions must be met:
a. That both parties have the right to contract a civil marriage or civil union according to the laws of the State of Illinois.
b. That both parties understand that by entering into Holy Matrimony or Holy Union within the community of faith, they proclaim by their actions and commitments that their relationship is a physical and spiritual union of two people (a man and a woman for Holy Matrimony and for Holy Union a man and a man or a woman and a woman) by mutual consent of heart, mind, and will, and with the intent that it be lifelong.
c. That both parties freely and knowingly consent to such marriage/union, without fraud, coercion, mistake as to identity of a partner, or mental reservation.
d. That at least one of the parties has received Holy Baptism.
e. That both parties have been instructed as to the Church’s understanding of the nature, meaning and purpose of the commitments they will be making. This instruction may be provided by a member of Grace’s clergy or by persons known by the member of the clergy to be competent and responsible.

3. For additional information including complete guidelines with fee schedule and an application form, phone the church office at 815-777-2590, or our Wedding Coordinator, Alice Maffit, at 815-776-0685. Or you may e-mail the church at gracesec@gracegalena.org, or alice at jamaffit@aol.com.

Procedures


Please call the church office to determine whether your preferred date is available. Ordinarily, weddings will not be scheduled in Lent or on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Years Eve, New Years Day, Easter Sunday or national holidays. If your date is available, you may submit the application form and $375.00 fee for the use of the church to tentatively reserve the date. No public announcement should be made until the rector has officially scheduled the ceremony.

Initial meetings must be scheduled with the wedding coordinator and with Grace Church’s rector. The wedding will not be officially scheduled before these meetings have taken place. The meeting with the wedding coordinator will cover policies and logistics of the ceremony. The time with the rector will explore the understandings of holy matrimony or unions and premarital/union preparation arrangements. If it is decided at that meeting not to go forward with the ceremony at Grace, the fee will be returned.

Pre-marital/union preparation ordinarily takes place with the clergy at Grace. Three sessions are normally required. If the couple lives far from Galena, it is possible to do this with their “home church” clergy. Such clergy must, by letter or e-mail, contact Grace’s rector no less than 90 days before the wedding indicating that pre-marriage/union preparation is in process or completed. If this is not done, the wedding cannot be held at Grace Church and the deposit will be returned.

Clergy not associated with Grace Church may take part in a couple's wedding at the discretion and invitation of the Rector who will determine how the roles in the ceremony will be shared.

Fees*


Use of the church (applicable only to non-members): $375
Clergy: $250 (for Grace Church members, an honorarium at their discretion)
Church organist: $200 ($225 if practice with a soloist or other musicians is required)
Premarital Preparation: $250 (payable at the beginning of the premarital sessions)
*Clergy or musicians not associated with Grace Church should arrange fees directly with the couple. Honoraria/fees should be given directly to the clergy and musicians at the time of the rehearsal.

And finally, we are happy that you are making your wedding plans through our church. We would like to make it a celebration of the love God has given you and of the blessing God will be giving you in all that lies ahead. We hope everything done in connection with your wedding will help to make it a beautiful memory for years to come.