Parish Guidelines

Parish Guidelines

For Baptism and Marriage

The following are general guidelines for Christian sacramental rites of Baptism, Holy Matrimony (Marriage) and Burial. It is important that if you wish to pursue one of these rites of the Church that you personally contact the priest as soon as possible. 

Guidelines for Holy Baptism

1. Infant or Child Baptism. The rite of Christian Baptism for an infant or child involves one or both parents – one of whom must be a Christian — and two adult “sponsors” who are practicing Christians. If the child is of school age, it is recommended he or she have some understanding of the event in which he or she is about to be involved.

2. Adult Baptism. The rite of Christian Baptism for a person 18 years of age or older involves the person to be baptized (who should undergo a process of Christian initiation) and two adult “sponsors” who are practicing Christians.

3. The Liturgy. The usual procedure is to perform the Baptism during regular Sunday worship at 9:30 a.m. unless there are exigent conditions such as a serious illness or impending surgery, etc. The Rite of Baptism is the basic entry into the Christian faith and we believe the person or child needs to have faith community to help him or her journey.



Guidelines for Marriage

1. No date should be firmly set (and none announced) until the couple has met with the priest. 

2. In the event of one or both of the parties have been divorced, no date should be set until the bishop gives his consent to the priest to solemnize the marriage. The bishop needs to be petitioned by the priest on behalf of the couple at least 30 days before the intended marriage. (If one or both of the parties to be married has been divorced more than once see #5 below). The necessary forms for the bishop’s approval will be submitted by the priest. A marriage license is required from a county Clerk of residence. The ceremony must be attested by at least two witnesses.

3. At least one of the parties to be married must be a baptized Christian. The usual procedure is for the couple to meet 4-6 times with the priest. During that time, a “Declaration of Intent” is signed by the couple which states their intent to receive a blessing of Holy Matrimony in the Church and solemnly declares that they hold marriage to be a lifelong union of husband and wife as set forth in the Book of Common Prayer, see page 422, and pages 423-432).

4. The couple is required to participate in an informative personal inventory called “FOCCUS” (Facilitating Open Couple Communication, Understanding, and Study), and, if available at the time, participate in The Marriage Course. (Information about the Course is available elsewhere on this site).

5. If either or both parties have been divorced, at least one calendar year must have elapsed since the date of their final divorce decree and all matters of property and custody have been settled (including any issues of child support).

6. If either or both parties have been divorced (or had a marriage annulled) more than once, they are required to have a written statement from a licensed professional counselor indicating the person(s) involved has adequately resolved the issues related to the former marriages and is prepared for a lifelong marriage commitment.

7. The couple (or at least one party with the support of the other) intends to live out their marriage with the support of the Christian community as participants in either St Peter’s or some other congregation.

8. Marriages are usually celebrated on Saturdays or some other day of the week other than Sunday. If both parties are Christians, it is expected the marriage liturgy will have Holy Communion.

9. The church can accommodate 60-80 persons with some seating in the center aisle. A kitchen, rest rooms, tables and chairs are available in the parish hall beneath the church. They may be used by the wedding party. We apologize that our basement is not officially “accessible” to persons with disabilities, there are, however, both interior and exterior stairs to the basement.

10. If a member of the wedding party or family is a member of St Peter’s, or related to a member, there is no charge for use of the parish hall or clergy services. Otherwise, there is a $500 fee for use of the church and a $250 fee for clergy and preparatory counseling services.