A Christ Church Wedding

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Concerning the Service

Christian marriage is a solemn and public covenant between two adults in the presence of God. In the Episcopal Church it is required that one, at least, of the parties must be a baptized Christian; that the ceremony be attested by at least two witnesses; and that the marriage conform to the laws of the State and the canons of this Church. At Christ church we perform same sex marriages. Divorce and mixed marriages are not an issue.

A priest or a bishop normally presides at the Celebration and Blessing of a Marriage, because such ministers alone have the function of pronouncing the nuptial blessing and of celebrating the Holy Eucharist.

When both a bishop and a priest are present and officiating, the bishop should pronounce the blessing and preside at the Eucharist.

A Christ Church Wedding a very special event for special people – you!

This booklet will assist you in planning your Christ Church Wedding. Please read all of it – it's very brief yet should answer many of your questions. While there are few firm rules pertaining to a wedding in this church, there are some. We ask everyone involved in the wedding to abide by these rules. The Episcopal Church and this parish have formulated them through many years' experience – to maintain the dignity that all Sacraments deserve. By familiarizing yourself with all that this church has to offer, you will have a wedding that will be sacred, happy, and memorable.

A Christ Church Wedding ...begins with careful planning

In the past, church policy dictated that the church be contacted before any other arrangements were made. Most couples find, however, that they must reserve their reception site months, even years, in advance. Christ Church recognizes this need and recommends that you contact the church office at your earliest convenience. It's always possible that another couple may have already claimed the date and/or time you want. We want to resolve any conflicts to everyone's satisfaction.

Be clear with the officiating clergy exactly what type of ceremony and any special features you want: a simple wedding or a Nuptial Mass (including the celebration of Holy Communion); music, including soloists and instruments; a wedding (or unity) candle; etc.

A Christ Church Wedding...requires a marriage (or a civil-union) license

Apply for your license at the Board of Health in your town of residence. Your license will be valid for 30 days following issuance. There's a 72-hour waiting period between the time of application and issuance of the license.

A relative or friend of legal age, who knows both of you well, is required to accompany you – to serve as a witness. If you cannot apply together, the same witness must accompany each of you individually. For instance, if one is in the military or lives at some distance, the other may begin the application process with the common witness, to start the 72-hour period.

If the groom is under 21 (but at least 18) or the bride is under 18 (but at least 16), you must also bring with you a consent form signed by both parents of the person who is under-age and two witnesses who all appear together before a Notary Public
or an attorney.

After your wedding, the officiating clergy will complete the document and deliver it to the Registrar of Pompton Lakes Borough. If you wish a copy of your certified license, contact the Registrar (973-616-5910) for a request form and pay the required fee to the Borough. You will undoubtedly want to keep a certified copy of this document with your valuable papers.

It's advisable to deliver your license at the rehearsal. At the rehearsal, the wedding party – normally the bride, groom, maid/matron of honor, and best man – all sign it and the parish marriage register.

A Christ Church Wedding...may require the consent of the bishop

If either or both of you have been married previously, consent of the bishop is required. Please provide the clergy a copy of any divorce decree(s).

A Christ Church highlighted by music

Music, like the ceremony itself, is an act of worship of God. Plan to meet in person with the organist at least six weeks prior to your wedding date to arrange all music matters. See below for a list of suggested music.

Other contemporary music is permissible. If you prefer another organist, this decision requires the approval of the clergy. Vocalists and other musicians are also welcome, however payment of a guest organist, vocalists, and other musicians will be entirely your responsibility.

A Christ Church graced by flowers and candles

Christ Church Pompton offers a beautiful sanctuary that seats 175 adults comfortably. Usually two vases of flowers are sufficient to "dress the Altar," which the Altar Guild Flower Chairperson will order. The wedding bouquets become the property of the church, for delivery to shut-ins, unless alternate arrangements are made with the clergy at least two weeks in advance.

We recommend that you coordinate all other floral needs at Pompton Lakes Florist at 288 Wanaque Avenue (973-835-0192). That way, you assure safe and timely delivery of everything to the church.

The Altar Guild will place white bows on the ends of the first three pews to reserve them for family members. If you want more than the normal six, additional pew bows are available at $16 per pair.

A Flower Girl may be part of the procession. If you want her to scatter petals in the aisle, please remove them after the conclusion of the service.

You may arrange a candlelight wedding – for a service that begins after sundown. The Altar Guild will place candelabra stanchions with candles on the ends of the pews in the center aisle, for an additional donation of $100.

A Christ Church Wedding...involves Ushers

Ushers – as well as the Groom and Best Man – should be at the church at least one-half hour before the time set for your wedding. Ushers represent both families and should be ready to greet everyone, including early arrivals. Ushers need to ask every woman they do not know: "Friend of the bride?" or "Friend of the groom?" The Usher then offers his left arm to a friend of the bride and escorts her to a pew on the left, as far forward as possible. The lady's escort follows them down the aisle. Ushers offer their right arm to friends of the groom and seat them on the right.

Ushers, please do not seat any guests in the front pew on either side – these seats are reserved for the parents of the couple. Grandparents, children, or other close relatives attending the wedding are seated in the second and third (reserved) pews.

Approximately one minute before the ceremony begins, a designated Usher seats the Mother of the Groom, followed by the Father of the Groom in the front pew on the right. The last person seated before the ceremony begins is the Mother of the Bride, who sits in the front pew on the left. (In the case of divorced parents, the mother is seated in the first pew of the appropriate side, and the father is seated in the third pew.)

Please do not throw bird seed inside the church building as it may cause injury from people slipping and falling.

A Christ Church Wedding...needs to be rehearsed

A wedding rehearsal is encouraged, except for a private, intimate ceremony.

A Christ Church Wedding...involves donations

The first is for the Altar Guild: $200, payable to Christ Church Altar Guild – to cover the candles and two wedding bouquets on the Altar, six bows for the family pews, and all preparation for the ceremony and Holy Communion, if your wedding includes this Sacrament. For a candlelight ceremony, there is an additional donation of $100. And additional pew bows can be ordered for $16 per pair.

There is no charge for the use of the church by members and their families. Non-members of Christ Church are expected to donate an additional $500 for the use of the building and to defray normal operating expenses. You will need to prepare a separate check, payable to Christ Church, if you or your spouse-to-be are not members of the parish.

If you wish the service of the Church Organist, a check of $200, payable to the organist is required. If the organist is needed to rehearse with other musicians, additional fees will apply.

These donations do not include an honorarium for officiating clergy. An appropriate honorarium for the officiant is $800.

Plan to hand all checks to the officiating clergy – who will distribute them as appropriate – at the rehearsal.

A customized and personalized service bulletin can be crafted and printed for the wedding ceremony. Details can be discussed with the designer by calling Graphic Innovations at 973-616-0309 during regular business hours.

Suggested Music


Bridal Chorus (Wedding March from "Lohengrin") by Wagner
"Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring" by Bach
Canon in D by Pachelbel
Allegro Maestoso (Hornpipe, from the D Major Suite from "Water Music") by Handel
The Masterpiece (Theme from "Masterpiece Theatre") by Parnes
Trumpet Voluntary by Purcell
Wedding Processional (from the "Sound of Music") by Rodgers


The Wedding March (from "Midsummer Night's Dream") by Mendelssohn
Finale, from Concerto No. 5 by Handel
Trumpet Tune by Purcell
"Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee" by Beethoven
Vivace (from Sonata, Opus 1, No. 3) by Handel

Preludes & Incidental Music

Air (from the F Major Suite, from "Water Music") by Handel
"Because" by D'Hardelot
"Dedication" by Franz
"Evening Star" by Wagner
"Great Is Thy Faithfulness" by Runyan
"I Love You Truly" by Jacobs-Bond
"Love Is a Many-Splendored Thing" by Fain
"Where Do I Begin" from "Love Story" by Lai
"Masterpiece" by Nolan
"Moon River" by Mancini
"O Love, How Deep, How Broad, How High" (Agincourt Hymn) by Johnson
"O Perfect Love" by Burleigh
"O Promise Me" by Koven
"The Lord's My Shepherd" by Irvine
"To God Be the Glory" by Doane
"Traumerei" by Schumann
"Up Where We Belong" by Sainte-Marie & Nitzsche
Wedding Song ("There Is Love")
"We've Only Just Begun" by Nichols
"What Are You Doing the Rest of Your Life?" by Legrand

Suggested Passages from Holy Scripture

The Old Testament

Genesis 1:26-28 – "Male and female he created them"
Genesis 2:4-9 and 15-24 – "A man cleaves to his wife and they become one flesh"
Song of Solomon 2:10-13 & 8:6-7 – "Many waters cannot quench love"
Tobit 8:5b-8 (The Apocrypha) – "That she and I may grow old together"

The Epistles

1st Corinthians 13:1-13 – "Love is patient and kind"
Ephesians 3:14-19 – "The Father from whom every family is named"
Ephesians 5:1-2 & 21-33 – "Walk in love, as Christ loved us"
Colossians 3:12-17– "Love which binds everything together in harmony"
1st John 4:7-16 – "Let us love one another, for love is of God"

The Gospels

Matthew 5:1-10 – "The Beatitudes"
Matthew 5:13-16 – "You are the light...Let your light so shine"
Matthew 7:21 & 24-29 – "Like the wise one who built the house upon a rock"
Mark 10:6-9 & 13-16 – "They are no longer two but one"
John 15:9-12 – "Love one another as I have loved you"

Readings may be chosen from any of the above passages. If the wedding includes the Holy Communion, clergy will read a selection from one of the Gospels.

Readings may also be used from other sources, such as poetry.

Directions to Christ Church, Pompton

400 Ramapo Avenue at the corner of Passaic Avenue
Pompton Lakes, New Jersey 07442

From the North and East
Take Interstate 287 South to Exit 53 (Pompton Lakes – Bloomingdale). At the bottom of the ramp, turn right onto Hamburg Turnpike. Go to the fourth traffic light and turn left onto Ramapo Avenue (auto repair shop on the near left corner). Christ Church is at the end of the block on the left.

From the South and West
Take Interstate 287 North to Exit 53 (Pompton Lakes – Bloomingdale). At the bottom of the ramp, turn right onto Hamburg Turnpike. Go to the third traffic light and turn left onto Ramapo Avenue (auto repair shop on the near left corner). Christ Church is at the end of the block on the left.

Parking is permitted on both sides of all surrounding streets EXCEPT the right (north] side of Passaic Avenue.

By Bus from New York City
At Port Authority Bus Terminal, take NJ Transit # 197. Ask to be let off at the intersection of Hamburg Turnpike and Wanaque Avenue, near "the monument" in Pompton Lakes. Walk past the Fire Department and Synagogue on Passaic Avenue. Christ Church is at the end of the block on your right.