WEDDINGS AT THE CHURCH OF ALL SAINTS BY -THE- SEA
Holy Matrimony in the Episcopal Church is the sacramental rite whereby Christian men and women join together in the presence of Almighty God “for better or worse, richer or poorer….till death us do part”. The clergy person officiates at the service as a witness for the Church and solemnizes the wedding with God’s blessing. The officiant must be an ordained Episcopal minister. Justice of the Peace, Notary Public or civil lawyer is not permitted to be the only officiating person at the wedding. You may have your own Episcopal priest or an ordained Christian minister may assist along with an Episcopal priest.
Your wedding is an occasion of happiness and love. It ought to be one of the most tender, beautiful and meaningful moments of your entire life together. Before the altar, in the presence of God, your family and your friends, the solemn vows of the sacramental rite of Holy Matrimony represent your total commitment to each other and, therefore are not to be taken lightly. Think, plan and pray most carefully about your wedding.
The Episcopal Church of All Saints by the Sea welcomes the use of its building and grounds when the church conducts services during the summer season. The church committee and its designated clergy are responsible for its use, however, and certain conditions have been established in order to meet the canonical requirements for the performance of the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony. Because All Saints by the Sea is a summer chapel, applications should be submitted to the Church Committee as far in advance as possible and approval received prior to the actual announcement of the date of the wedding. CONTACT PERSON Leal Brinegar, P.O.
Box 26, Southport, Maine (207-633-2117 or Fax 207-633-4574 E-mail Southport@aol.com)
1. To be married at All Saints, at least one of the parties must be a baptized Christian. It is also required by Canon Law that anyone desiring to be married must meet with the officiating minister before the wedding to arrange the details and receive instruction in the nature of Christian marriage. This counseling may be done with your local minister or a professional marriage counselor who must then contact the officiating minister to verify that adequate counseling has taken place.
2. Details regarding the marriage license requirements can be ascertained from the local Town Clerk in Southport. Her name is Donna Climo and her phone number at the Town Hall is 207-633-6311.
3. In the event of a civil divorce of one or both of the parties of the proposed marriage, the officiating minister must be advised of the details so that it may be decided whether it is appropriate for the Diocesan Episcopal Bishop to grant permission for him/her to conduct the service. As a guideline, the granting of the divorce decree should have occurred at least one year prior to the date of this new marriage.
4. Arrangement for the type of wedding service should be made in consultation with the officiating minister, for example, communion. If music is desired, it should be appropriate and selected with the approval of the officiating clergy. The arrangement for the organist is the responsibility of the couple. Plans for music should be made well in advance.
5. No alcohol is permitted on the church grounds. We also request that you observe the rule of “No smoking on the church grounds”. Pets, though we recognize they are family members, are not permitted.
6. Please refrain from throwing confetti, rose petals, bird food, etc. We do not have staff to sweep it up.
7. When considering transportation, the church road cannot accommodate anything larger than a 15 passenger van. Stretch Limos may not park on the church road during the service.
PLACE AND TIME FOR WEDDINGS
All Saints by the Sea seats approximately 125 people. The church may be reached either by road or by boat to its own dock. Since the space in the parking lot is limited please ask your guests to park on Rte. 238. We suggest you assign parking responsibilities to a reliable young guest. The church lot can then be free for the wedding party and for those who would have difficulty walking the distance from the road. However, the number of cars should be limited so as not to block the access road to the parking lot. The church is wheelchair accessible through the side door. Help in getting from the parking lot to the church by golf cart is available and must be pre-arranged with the wedding committee.
THE WEDDING REHEARSAL
Weddings are generally rehearsed the afternoon prior to the ceremony. The rehearsal usual requires about one hour and includes the entire wedding party, the officiating clergy and may include the organist. We stress that all parties be ON TIME as clergy and wedding committee members are freely giving their time to make your wedding a success. The marriage license should be brought to the rehearsal and given to the clergy so that the Church Register can be signed in advance with the two official witnesses. You many elect to have this done as part of the wedding ceremony but it should not be left until after the wedding as it is difficult to gather all necessary parties together.
A member of the wedding committee will be available to assist the officiant in conducting the rehearsal and to help on the day of the wedding. Please return Wedding Committee Form by May 1.
All pre-arranged fees for the church should be paid at the time you submit the application for Holy Matrimony. Please return this within two weeks of receiving the packet. Clergy fees and stipend for the organist should be taken care of at the rehearsal or before. As a guideline $150 is a reasonable fee for the organist.
1. After the service, you may have someone ring the bell at the rear of the church. This celebration may be given to the last groomsman to recess or a selected guest.
2. Someone should be assigned to make sure that flowers are taken to the reception if you choose, collect any special items you have used such as unity candles, ring pillows, programs, etc.
3. Groomsmen will be asked to help bring guests into the church in a timely fashion.
4. The church dock may be used for weddings. As a general rule, no boat heavier or longer than the NOVELTY (46’) should be used. Sailing boats are not recommended due to water depth around the dock. If you are in doubt about the suitability of the boat you wish to use, please contact Leal Brinegar who will put you in touch with the float committee. If you are planning to use the float, please keep in mind high and low tide and the fact that the church float is limited in size. We do not recommend brides to arrive by boat. Should you decide to do this, please keep in mind that there are no suitable accommodations to repair windblown hair.
FLOWERS AND DECORATING
The beauty of All Saint by the Sea lies in its simplicity and its location on the water. Flowers used in decoration should be suitable for the spaces available. The florist the bride has chosen may pick up the liners for the vases at the Church ahead of time. These flowers should not be higher than the cross bar of the cross on the altar. (28 inches) The florist (the local florist, Boothbay Region Greenhouse is familiar with the church and can advise you within the guidelines, If you want flowers or greenery on the pews, they know that you must use pew clips, which can be returned after the wedding). The flowers are often left at the Church for the Sunday service in blessing of your marriage. They are then taken to an appropriate facility for the enjoyment of ill or aged. Please let us know well in advance if you are going to leave the flowers. We discourage the use of a runner but if you choose to use one which local florists are prepared to provide. We move certain large pieces of furniture to accommodate the bridal party and nothing else should be moved without permission.
Flash photographs may be taken only as the bridal party enters and leaves the church, but NOT DURING THE SERVICE. Please ask your guests to respect this policy, which is intended to guarantee the solemnity, beauty and spirituality of your wedding. Videotape may be taken from the side door. When the service is over you may pose for pictures inside the church.
FEES AND HONORARIUMS
There is a charge of $400 for the use of the Church. An honorarium of $400 is suggested for the services of the officiating clergy in payment for the time and effort made in counseling, planning the ceremony and officiating at the rehearsal and wedding.
We also stress that this church is VERY CLOSE TO THE WATER. All children should be under strict supervision at ALL TIMES. Rocks, docks and decks are not play areas. Any parents should be made aware of the opportunities for accidents around the waterfront.
Rain, don’t despair; it is good luck for a bride to be rained on.