The Church takes marriage very seriously: “Holy Matrimony is Christian marriage, in which two people enter into a life-long union, make their vows before God and the Church, and receive the grace and blessing of God to help them fulfill their vows.” (Book of Common Prayer, p. 861)
Marriage is a sacramental rite of the Episcopal Church, and a wedding is a sacred liturgy. At St. Luke’s, all weddings are done according to the rite prescribed in the Book of Common Prayer (1979), with appropriate dignity and order. All marriages are performed by the clergy of St. Luke’s, occasionally assisted by another member of the clergy (Episcopal, or of another denomination or faith), at the Rector’s discretion. No weddings are permitted at St. Luke’s during the penitential season of Lent. It is not necessary to be an Episcopalian to be married at St. Luke’s, but at least one of the persons must be a baptized Christian. Episcopal canon law requires a minimum of thirty days between the official declaration to the Church of intent to marry and the wedding. If one or both of the persons is divorced, the clergy must obtain the permission of the Bishop of Newark in order to perform the marriage. If there has been more than one divorce for either of the persons, the Bishop may request a personal interview with the couple.
Premarital counseling is required of all couples married at St. Luke’s. If the couple do not both reside in the Montclair area, counseling elsewhere can be arranged. Music for the service is chosen by the couple in consultation with the St. Luke’s Director of Music who will normally play for all weddings and will arrange for soloists and instrumentalists as desired. Any unusual musical requests must be submitted to the Rector for approval. Non-sacred music should be reserved for the wedding reception. Still photography and video are permitted with certain important restrictions. All photographers must report to the officiating clergy before the service for instructions. Flash photography, whether by the professional photographer or wedding guests, is not permitted during the service. With clergy approval, a stationary video camera (but no special lighting) may be used. If the professional photographer or videographer interferes with the service in any way, moves from his or her assigned position, or blocks the congregation’s view, the clergy person may stop the ceremony. Competent professionals are capable of doing an excellent job without disrupting the wedding service. The clergy are happy to cooperate in re-staging any part afterward for additional photographs. The use of confetti, rice or birdseed is prohibited in the church or on the grounds, as is the release of balloons.