Wedding Print

Concerning Marriage in the Church


The Canon Law concerning Marriage in the Church is contained in Canon XXI of General Synod.  Marriage is a public service of the Church. It should therefore be solemnized in the body of the church (except for sufficient cause to the contrary) in the presence of the friends and neighbours of those who come to be married and of the congregation of the Church. Please contact the church office if you wish to be married at All Saints, Bedford.


The requirements of the civil laws of the province must be met.


It shall be the duty of those who intend to marry to give notice to the minister at least sixty days before the day proposed for the wedding. The minister may at his/her discretion waive this requirement for sufficient cause, in which case the bishop of the diocese shall be notified in writing, with a statement of the cause for the decision.


It shall be the duty of the minister, when application is made for a marriage to be solemnized, to enquire whether there is any impediment to the marriage and its solemnization. It shall also be the duty of the minister to provide or secure appropriate means of education, so that all who seek marriage in the Church may attain a Christian understanding of its purpose and may be encouraged to give effect, with God’s help, to the vows which they are preparing to make.


No minister shall solemnize the marriage of two persons neither of whom has been baptized. If two persons, one of whom has not been baptized, desire to be married, the matter shall be referred to the bishop of the diocese; the bishop’s order and direction shall be followed. When banns are to be published, they shall be published in the church where the marriage is to be celebrated and in any other church as required by civil law. In addition they may be published in any other church at the request of a party to the marriage. The following form of banns appears in Canon XXI:


The minister shall say together with such addition as the civil law may

require: I publish the Banns of Marriage between N

of . . . and N of . . . If any of you know cause or just

impediment why these two persons should not be joined

together in Holy Matrimony, you are to declare it. This is

the first (or second or third) time of asking.


Any person knowing of a lawful reason why a marriage may not be solemnized should inform the officiating minister before the service.


Concerning the Service


Every marriage shall be solemnized in the presence of at least two witnesses in addition to the officiating minister.


The incumbent shall be responsible for the conduct of the marriage service. Hymns, anthems, and readings at the service shall be those only which may be found in Holy Scripture, in the Book of Common Prayer, the Hymn Book, or in texts approved by ecclesiastical authority. Relatives or members of the wedding party may be invited to read the scripture lessons and lead the intercessions.


Where both bride and bridegroom are entitled to receive communion, it is desirable that the form of service in which the marriage rite is incorporated in the celebration of the eucharist be used (p. 528).


A proper preface for Marriage has been provided for Eucharistic Prayer 3. One of the other eucharistic prayers may be used, if desired.

Variations in the text may be made by the couple with the consent of the minister, according to diocesan policy, but no alterations may be made in the declarations to be made by the parties or in the marriage vows themselves. Suitable points in the service for hymns or anthems are at the opening, before or after the sermon, after the couple have been declared to be husband and wife, during or after the communion, or at the close of the service. It may be necessary to provide seating for the bridal party if there is to be a sermon. When the form of service on page 541 is celebrated by a deacon, the nuptial blessing and the blessing of the ring(s) shall be appropriately changed. It is desirable that the register be signed publicly in the body of the church.


The Above content is taken from the Book of Alternative Services pages 526-527


Last Updated on Saturday, 17 November 2018 12:58