This information applies to nonresidents only
Christ Church Cathedral is undoubtedly a very beautiful place for a Christian Wedding. At Christ Church we welcome inquiries about Christian Marriage and preparation for the celebration of this important Sacrament. The following information will help inquirers understand the processes involved in having your marriage ceremony celebrated at the Christ Church Cathedral or other preferred parishes.
Who can get married in a Christian service?
Preferably, both parties to the marriage should be baptised. The current canonical requirements of the Anglican Church of Australia allows a Christian Marriage Ceremony if only one of the couple is baptised.
The wedding is not simply a ‘ceremony’. Nor is the church building just an attractive backdrop for a colourful social occasion. At Christ Church’ we emphasise the fact that a Christian wedding is primarily a sacrament of the Church, in which a couple receive God’s grace to live together as man and wife. The church, as God’s house, is the most appropriate place for a Christian couple to begin their married life together.
The service in which a couple is married is a public statement by the couple that they are committing themselves to the Christian understanding of marriage. It is a service of prayer and blessing and an act of worship. As such, it is a joyful occasion accompanied by music, traditional ceremonies and celebration.
Can divorced persons be re-married?
The Anglican Church upholds the sanctity of marriage, however for a divorced person a dispensation enabling the person to re-marry may be granted upon application. The granting of the dispensation frees the divorced person to marry for a second time in church. Divorced persons who would like to re-marry at Christ Church’ are encouraged to discuss their situation with the priest.
How do we go about organising a wedding?
Initial contact should be made with the priest who will arrange an initial meeting. You will be required to bring copies of your birth certificates and your passports. A ‘Notice of Intention’ form, requiring your personal details, will be filled in by the priest. (These are requirements of the Commonwealth Government.)
Further meetings will be arranged as part of the preparations for the service and for marriage. Couples who desire can be referred to various pre-marriage courses. A rehearsal is normally held in the church the evening before the service.
Are there any ‘dos and donts’ regarding the service?.
The priest will assist you with all details of the wedding service. A traditional wedding contains the beautiful customs and practices of 2000 years of Christianity. Plenty of choice and variety are possible and made available in the services of the Church.
How much will a wedding cost?
The expenses relating to the actual wedding service are usually the least expensive of all the costs of a wedding.
The fees are set by the Parish Vestry, which is the parish body which, together with the priest, deals with the day to day financial and practical issues of parish life. They are:
Please write to us for this information.
Can other clergy be involved in the wedding?
The priest or one of the parish clergy normally celebrate all weddings at Christ Church’ but other Anglican clergy may be involved. Clergy of other denominations are welcome to participate in readings or prayers, or preach if requested, but they do not officiate.
Other details of your wedding can be discussed at the first interview with the Parish Priest, or at any other time he is available. Please do not hesitate to ask if you are uncertain about any matters.
The priest is happy to make time available to enquirers wanting to discuss any matters of the faith, or pastoral matters, or to prepare them for the sacraments of the Church. For further information write to : firstname.lastname@example.org
WHAT HAPPENS AT BAPTISM?
Baptism is the Sacrament through which a person, adult or child, is adopted by God as his child. The person, baptised with water “In the Name of the Father and the Son of the Holy Spirit”, receives all the privileges and responsibilities of a child of God and a brother or sister of Jesus, and becomes a member of the Church. It is the beginning of the journey of eternal life.
Children are baptised only on the understanding that their parents promise to bring them up in a life of worship, prayer and Christian service, and that the children will be given an opportunity to undertake those promises themselves in the Sacrament of Confirmation.
Who can be Godparents?
Godparents are responsible adults who share with the parents in the privilege of bringing up the child in the Christian faith. In the service of baptism they solemnly promise to guide the child to the stage where he or she is able to make a public declaration of Christian faith in the presence of a bishop at the Sacrament of Confirmation.
Godparents must be baptised themselves. They should be in a position where they will have a direct influence on the life of their godchild, and be able to lead them to confirmation at the appropriate time. It is preferred, but not essential, that godparents also be confirmed.
Traditionally, a boy has two male godparents and one female godparent. A girl traditionally has two female godparents and one male godparent. However, other combinations are acceptable.
What about adult candidates?
Adults who are being baptised do not need godparents. It is presumed that they understand the importance and significance of the commitment they are making. They should be presented for the Sacrament of Confirmation as soon as possible following baptism.
How do we organise the baptism?
If you would like to be baptised, or if you would like your child to be baptised at Christ Church’, please contact the Parish Priest. An interview will be arranged for a convenient time. At this interview, the parents (and godparents) or the adult seeking baptism, will be prepared for the sacrament, and arrangements will be made for the service.
Normally, baptism takes place either during the Sunday Mass at 10.00 am, or immediately after, at approximately 11.30 am. Baptisms held apart from public worship are rare.
If you have any questions or concerns, the Parish Priest will be only to happy to discuss them with you.
Does it cost anything?
There is no charge for a Baptism, but parents, or the candidate for baptism if an adult, might like to make a thank offering during or after the service.
Confirmation is the Sacrament whereby a person who has been baptised receives a special grace and gifts of the Holy Spirit to strengthen him or her for a life of Christian witness and service. Candidates are given the opportunity to ‘confirm’ (ratify) the promises made at baptism, either by their godparents or by themselves (if they were baptised as adults). The proper minister of the sacrament is a bishop, who is a successor of the apostles and who represents the whole church. In a sense, confirmation ‘completes’ the rites of initiation begun in baptism.
A short course of preparatory lessons and discussions is normally held before a person is confirmed.
The service of Confirmation is organised by the parish priest, in consultation with the appropriate Bishop. If you wish to be prepared for confirmation, or want your child to be confirmed, please contact the Parish Priest. There is no fee, although you may be asked to make a contribution towards the cost of preparatory material.
Who can receive Holy Communion?
In the Anglican tradition, after a person has been confirmed, they are able to become regular communicants – in other words, receive the Body and Blood of Christ, under forms of Bread and Wine, at Mass. In the past, however, adults preparing for Confirmation have been permitted to receive Holy Communion.
In more recent times, it has become common for children to receive Holy Communion before they are confirmed. However, this has caused some confusion about the role of Confirmation. Some children already accustomed to making their Communion have not gone on to be confirmed.
At Christ Church Cathedral, it will normally be the practice to follow the rubrics of the Book of Common Prayer: ” … and there shall none be admitted to the Holy Communion, until such time as he be confirmed, or be ready and desirous to be confirmed.” The Parish Priest, after discussion with the inquirer (and parents if applicable) will advise the appropriate course of action.
Who else can receive Holy Communion?
Baptised persons who are communicant member of other Christian Churches may receive Holy Communion on special occasions, provided they understand that Anglicans believe that in the Sacrament, the Body and Blood of Christ “are verily and indeed taken and received by the faithful …” (The Catechism).
Why is it so important to receive Holy Communion?
Anglicanism teaches that the Sacrament of the Eucharist, together with that of Baptism, is necessary for salvation. In it we receive the very life of Christ himself under forms of Bread and Wine. We are regularly given the grace we need to live our lives as disciples of Jesus, in following his example and commandments. Baptism is a ‘once only’ event. Holy Communion should be at least a weekly event. Jesus himself said: ‘Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man, and drink his Blood, you have no life in you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood, has eternal life”. (John 6:53-54).
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