One of the most frequent biblical metaphors for the relationship between God and the Church is that of marriage. Heaven is often described as a marriage feast, when humanity is brought into perfect union with God. The Anglican Church of Canada’s marriage rite describes marriage as a time of rejoicing and calls our attention to a number of purposes for it:
Marriage is a gift of God and a means of God’s grace, in which two people become one flesh. It is God’s purpose that, as they give themselves to each other in love, they shall grow together and be united in that love, as Christ is united with his Church.
The union of two people in heart, body, and mind is intended for their mutual comfort and help, that they may know each other with delight and tenderness in acts of love. In marriage, two people give themselves to each other, to care for each other in good times and in bad. They are linked to each other’s families, and they begin a new life together in the community.
Frequently Asked Questions about Marriage
Who can get married at St Bartholomew?
Manitoba civil law requires that people being married be at least 19 years of age or have the consent of parents.
You may not have any legal impediment to being married, such as either partner being already married, or the two people being too closely related to one another.
At least one of the two people being married must have been baptized. (See below.)
Both of the people being married must be willing to participate in marriage preparation with the cleric who will preside at the marriage. (See below.)
What sort of marriage preparation is required?
The exact form of marriage preparation is determined by the cleric presiding at the marriage and the couple being married. Normally this takes the form of one or more conversations about the couple’s ideas and expectations around marriage and a shared domestic, financial, and spiritual life.
Do I need to be an Anglican to be married at St Bartholomew?
Membership at St Bartholomew Anglican Church or even in the Anglican Church of Canada is not a requirement to be married in our church. If you do not have a church home, you may wish to consider joining our parish family at St Bartholomew. Surrounded by a caring community, your marriage and life together can be supported and strengthened.
Do I have to be baptized to get married?
At least one person of the two being married must be baptized with water in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit prior to the marriage ceremony. Special permission is required from the bishop for an unbaptized person to be married in the Anglican Church of Canada. Regardless of baptismal status, the cleric presiding at the marriage will want to have a discussion with the couple about their lives of faith and the spiritual aspects of marriage.
I’m marrying my same-sex partner. Can that happen in church?
In our diocese the answer to this question varies from parish to parish. The answer at St Bartholomew is: Yes! After the decisions made by the national church in July 2019, the diocese is organizing the necessary material and resources for same-sex marriages and will have them available in the near future. Please contact the parish priest for more details.
I am having (or have had) a civil marriage. Can that be blessed?
Yes. There is a rite for the blessing of a civil marriage and, since 2013, parishes and clergy in the Diocese of Rupert’s Land have been able to bless civil marriages of both same-sex and different-sex couples. If you would like to discuss the blessing of a civil marriage, please contact the parish priest.
I’m divorced. Can I be remarried in church?
The Anglican Church of Canada views marriage as a lifelong commitment, not to be entered into lightly. We also recognize that relationships change over time. Sometimes these changes mean that the marriage becomes a detriment to the health and wholeness of both people and that divorce happens. We also believe in a God of grace, love, forgiveness, and new life. In most cases we are happy to offer marriage after a divorce, but the cleric presiding at the marriage will want to talk through with you what happened in the previous marriage, as part of the marriage preparation. A summation of why the previous marriage broke down and what the divorced person has learned from the experience is forwarded to the bishop before they authorize a subsequent marriage.
I have a friend/relative who is ordained. Can they take the service?
We would be happy to discuss the involvement of other clergy in the service. The Anglican Church of Canada and the Province of Manitoba have regulations about who is authorized to do what with regard to marriage, but there are ways of including nearly anyone in a marriage ceremony.
Can I choose any date I want to be married?
We try to be flexible about dates and times, but this depends greatly on what else is happening in the life of the church. Marriages do not normally take place during Lent, the period from Ash Wednesday to Easter, but please contact the parish priest to discuss your marriage plans.