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827 Broad Street, Shrewsbury, NJ.
Congratulations on your engagement!
The parish and staff of St. Uriel’s joyfully welcome you as you prepare for the Sacrament of Matrimony. The love you have privately come to realize and share will now be made public through a sacred sacrament. We join in the support of family and friends as you undertake a new way of life.
The purpose of this guide is to provide you with insights and information which will help to make your wedding day a happy and holy event. It details the various steps that are important as you prepare for the Sacrament of Matrimony. One of the parish priests will assist you in the preparatory steps which will lead to your wedding day. You will also meet with St. Uriel’s Director of Music to plan all of the music for your wedding, and you will meet with the Altar Guild Directress.
We assure you of our continued support, help and prayers. If we may be of further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us.
The Parish Staff
The Jersey shore can be a very romantic place to get married and St. Uriel’s is a very beautiful parish situated in Sea Girt, NJ. Together, it is an idyllic place to get married. However, St. Uriel’s is not a wedding chapel. It is a living parish community where the Body of Christ lives out her mission to be faithful to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. As such, we seek to take the sacrament of Christian Marriage very seriously. The Book of Common Prayer, which contains our Anglican worship, states, “…marriage is not to be entered into unadvisedly or lightly, but reverently, deliberately, and in accordance with the purposes for which it was instituted by God.” (BCP 1979. p. 423.)
The Exhortation which begins the liturgy states, “The bond and covenant of marriage was established by God in creation, and our Lord Jesus Christ adorned this manner of life by his presence and first miracle at a wedding in Cana of Galilee. It signifies to us the mystery of the union between Christ and his Church, and Holy Scripture commends it to be honored among all people.” (BCP 1979. p. 423.) The Church understands Christian marriage to be lived out in the context of the couple, a man and a woman, living within Christian community, i.e. belonging to a parish community.
Engagement and preparation for a marriage is both a time of great joy...and a time of great stress. Often it will be the most peripheral details which might cause the greatest stress between the couple and their families and friends. The most important thing you can do is set the tone for your marriage, with concentration on what is truly important, the religious expression, in God, of your love. Keeping this central will help keep everything else in perspective.
Pre-Marriage Preparation is required. Two of the most popular options available are Pre-Cana and Engaged Encounter. These two forms of pre-marriage preparation are scheduled throughout the year. This is one reason why it is very important to schedule your wedding no sooner than six months from the day of the wedding. Couples have found Pre-Cana and Engaged Encounter to be of great value.
The Engaged Encounter Weekend experience is usually held at a retreat house. Like the Pre-Cana Program, it is led by married couples and a priest. Because it is a full weekend, it affords a greater opportunity for sharing, reflecting and developing a view of married life that can extend beyond the wedding day. This also covers most of the pre-marriage preparation. The parish priest assisting you will provide the schedule for these programs.
The Wedding Liturgy
The bride and groom are the center of the wedding ceremony; according to Anglican understanding, they are the principal celebrants of the marriage. Everything should be planned so that the witness of the bridal couple to God's love can be acknowledged and appreciated by all.
We urge that the number of people in the wedding party be kept simple. The two witnesses to the marriage (traditionally known as the Best Man and Maid of Honor) are essential to the wedding. Others may be involved in the wedding in a variety of ways: reading the scriptures, serving as Eucharistic Ministers (if they have been trained), bringing up the offertory gifts of bread and wine, or helping to seat the wedding guests.
Two affidavits affirming each person’s freedom to marry may be required, in some cases. The document is called the Declaration of Intent. This document can be obtained through the parish office. The consulting priest will advise.
The attendance certificate presented at the completion of the Pre-Marriage Preparation is to be kept on file at St. Uriel’s with the other marriage documents.
A marriage license is required and is to be presented to the priest at the time of the rehearsal. It is the couples responsibility to secure their own marriage license.
Because every couple is unique, there are some cases where other documents may be required. The consulting priest will assist in this regard.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Who may be married at St. Uriel?
A. The common practice for marriages in the Anglican Church is that the wedding should take place in either the parish of the bride or of the groom. One of the couple should be an Anglican and active member in his or her local parish.
Q. What if neither of us belongs to St. Uriel’s parish?
A. St. Uriel’s is not a wedding chapel. It is a vibrant living Christian community. However, there maybe that rare instance when a couple is not a member of the St. Uriel’s and for pastoral reasons, would like to have their wedding held in the parish. The final decision will be left with the Rector.
Q. How soon must plans be made for our wedding?
A. Arrangements for your wedding should be made at least six months in advance. This is necessary to allow sufficient time to complete pre-marriage requirements and to take care of the details of planning the marriage ceremony.
Q. What sort of liturgy should be planned?
A. If both parties are active Anglicans, the Rite of Holy Matrimony should be celebrated with a Mass. Receiving Holy Communion expresses more deeply the unity of the couple. There may be some circumstances where the Rite of Holy Matrimony should be celebrated without a Mass. This decision will be made in consultation with a priest.
Q. What type of readings should be used and whom should we ask to read?
A. There is a broad selection of readings from scripture which is appropriate for your wedding. These scripture readings can be found in the Book of Common Prayer. When selecting readers for your wedding, we strongly recommend that you choose those who have been trained in the church as lectors, or readers who would otherwise be competent and comfortable proclaiming the Holy Scriptures. The operative words here are competent and proclaiming.
Q. May we write our own vows?
A. No. The Church has had 2,000 years of experience in the development of the wedding rites. The wedding vows will be conducted out of the Anglican Book of Common Prayer.
No date will be set for a wedding without a personal interview between the couple and the Rector. Dates will not be scheduled through a third party, i.e. a parent, or grandparent. It is the couples responsibility to contact the Rector.
If the couple has a friend who is a priest from another parish or a member of the clergy from another denomination, the couple should first make the request known to the Rector of St. Uriel’s before notifying the guest priest or minister.
All wedding music is planned in consultation with our Director of Music. If a visiting organist is granted permission to play, the music director of St. Uriel's fees are still to be paid. Please refer to the WEDDING MUSIC SECTION for further information about the fees for the musicians.
You will plan your wedding liturgy with both the priest and the parish Birector of Music. Please note: This meeting needs to occur prior to contacting any musician or soloist.
Arrangements for flowers in the sanctuary is to be coordinated through the Altar Guild Directress . When that is done, THEN the bride and groom may consult with the florist of your choice. We urge couples to be very sparing in their use of flowers. The church building is, itself, beautiful and the congregation wants to see the bridal party and not a floral show. Please refer to the FLORIST guidelines below.
Arrangements for photographs are to be made by the bride and groom with the studio of your choice. Photographers/videographers should be instructed not to interfere with the wedding liturgy. They should stand at the back and to the side, well out of the sightlines of the congregation. No stationary lights are permitted and photographers should use the available light of the church as much as possible. Videographers may not roam during the liturgy. The photographers/videographers must meet with the presiding priest before the liturgy begins.
St. Uriel’s has a seating capacity for 225.
Out of respect for the church building, which is a sacred space, we ask that no rice, be used inside or outside the church. If a Unity Candle is desired, the couple may pick the Unity Candle of their choice from one of the church catalogues. The church will make the order for the candle(s) and pedestal. However, the couple will be responsible for covering the expense of the ordered Unity Candle. Before and during the liturgy, the wedding party and their guests shall behave appropriately, refraining from bringing food or alcohol onto Church property.
If a private wedding consultant is employed, please communicate this information to your consultant; "the priest and his staff will be conducting the rehearsal and officiating at the liturgy along with the input of the bride and groom only." When in the Church, the priest overrides any all private wedding consultants. Again, we urge couples to keep plans for the wedding simple so that the impact of the Sacrament can be experienced by all.
No tacks, staples, or tape be permitted in the Church.
Music for your Wedding
Planning: We ask all couples being married at St. Uriel’s to contact, the Director of Music. This can be done by first calling the parish office at 732-449-6173. Please call the Director of Music at least six weeks before the wedding to schedule a wedding music consultation appointment. It is helpful if you have reviewed and chosen your scripture readings, especially the responsorial psalm. Our organist and Director of Music will guide you through the music selection process. Any questions regarding the suitability of wedding music selections will be decided by her in consultation with the Rector. Only Christian music will be used in the liturgy. Save the secular music for the reception.
Vocalists: It is helpful that a cantor be engaged for each wedding. The cantor is the vocal soloist and leads the congregational singing. The Director of Music can secure the services of a cantor for your wedding. It is important that a cantor from St. Uriel’s participate in your wedding because of their high level of skill, familiarity with the liturgy, experience in the church space, and ongoing working relationship with our staff and clergy. If the couple wishes a guest soloist to participate, the request must first be made to the Rector. If the soloist has a fee, it is the responsibility of the couple to pay the fees. If approved, the guest soloist must get in touch with our Director of Music to plan a rehearsal time to go over the music.
Instrumentalists: Additional instrumentalists (trumpets, violins, etc.) are often desired as part of the wedding music. Again, this must first be discussed with the Rector and the Director of Music. All fees for guest instrumentalists must be paid by the couple.
Fees: Organist $225 ($275.00 when guest musicians are involved); Cantor $75. (Note: These are base fees which include the consultation, preparation and performance of the wedding liturgy.) If there is the need for extended music rehearsals between the organist and the invited musicians, then the organist fee is $300.00
Pre-Recorded Music: The use of pre-recorded music is not permitted in St. Uriel’s Church liturgy.
A music ministry that a couple may wish to use to enhance the solemnity of their weeding is the New Jersey Chamber sings. The NJCS have sung at a number of weddings at St. Uriel's. Click on the link to the NJCS web-site:
New Jersey Chamber Singers.
Guidelines for the Florist:
St. Uriel’s has a number of very talented people who are gifted at designing and creating beautiful altar arrangements. The members of our Flower Guild have been special trained in this ministry. After the wedding date has been agreed upon and booked by the couple and the priest, the couple will need to contact our Flower Guild Directress. Cost of flowers have become very expensive. Flower costs will be determined at the time of purchase. The initial cost of the flowers will cover the High Altar only. There will be an additional charge if the couple desires flowers for any of the side chapels and the Shrine of the Sacred Heart.
The following guidelines are to be followed by all florists who service St. Uriel’s. Should the couple desires a floral arrangement on the end of the pews, these floral arrangements should be made through the couples’ florist. These floral arrangements and or bows, must first meet with the approval of the Flower Guild directress. Floral arrangements are not to block the liturgical movements. Additional floral arrangements may interfere with video taping.
Deliveries and decorations can be made up to one hour before the wedding time, or at another time to be arranged with the priest.
The Liturgy of the Word
The lessons for the liturgy will be the lessons prescribed in the Anglican Book of Common Prayer. If there is to be a Mass one of the Gospel lessons will be ready. To review the lessons click on the link below. Lectionary of the Rite of Marriage.
Church of St. Uriel the Archangel
219 Philadelphia Boulevard and Third Avenue
Sea Girt, NJ 08750
Parish Office Hours
9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.