The decision to marry is one of the great decisions of life. In marriage, a man and a woman commit themselves to a lifelong union “for the purpose of mutual fellowship, encouragement, and understanding, for the procreation, if it may be, of children, and their physical and spiritual nurture.” Marriage is a sacrament, an outward and visible sign of an inward and spiritual grace, administered to one another by the couple. The focal point of the sacrament is the wedding ceremony, but the sacramental nature of marriage involves infinitely more. “Therefore, 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.” Couples applying to be married in this church are understood to be seeking the fullness of the sacrament in the blessing of God on their relationship.
To be married at the Cathedral of the Incarnation at least one of the parties to the union must be a practicing Episcopalian, active, participating and pledging at the Cathedral of the Incarnation for at least nine months prior to a wedding date.
- WHO MAY BE MARRIED AT THE CATHEDRAL
a. Persons being married in the Cathedral must meet the requirements of the canons of the Episcopal Church and of the State of New York.
b. While it is required that at least one of the parties is baptized, it would normally be expected that both parties be baptized and practicing Christians, or seeking to become so.
c. The permission of the Dean is required for every wedding in the Cathedral.
d. Canon Law gives the discretionary right to all clergy to decline to solemnize any marriage without reason.
e. Parties to the marriage must sign the Declaration of Intention.
f. Marriages involving previously married parties whose prior marriage ended in divorce may be solemnized only under certain circumstances. Each case will be considered pastorally on its own merits. The parties to be married must be practicing Episcopalians at the time of the marriage or be in the process of becoming so. A meeting with the Dean or his designee is required before any arrangements may be made. The permission of the diocesan Bishop is necessary for all such marriages and can only be obtained on the recommendation of the Dean. Parties to the marriage must sign a Declaration of Intention at the time of application.
- WHO MAY PERFORM A MARRIAGE IN THE CATHEDRAL
a. All marriages will normally be carried out by the clergy of the Cathedral staff.
b. Occasionally, a visiting clergy person may be requested. The permission of the Dean is required in such circumstances.
- WHEN TO CONTACT THE CATHEDRAL
a. As soon as possible! Generally, nine months to a year in advance is suggested. Preliminary inquiries, which may be made by telephone, must be followed by a written application in the prescribed form (supplied by the Cathedral office) before said application goes to the Dean for approval.
b. Weddings will be performed in the penitential season of Lent only in extreme emergencies. Advent is also a penitential season though it is of less severity than Lent. Advent weddings are, therefore, discouraged and will not be permitted within one (1) week of Christmas Day. While brides and attendants may carry flowers, no flowers will be used for decorations in the Cathedral itself during the penitential seasons.
- PREMARITAL PREPARATION
a. Premarital preparation is required by Canon Law and also desirable for the parties to the marriage.
b. One day Premarital Workshops are conducted by The Family Consultation Service four times a year in Suffolk, Queens, Nassau and Brooklyn
Please feel free to call the Cathedral Office at 516-746-2955 for additional information about weddings at the Cathedral.
a. The ceremony will be from the 1979 Book of Common Prayer of the Episcopal Church.
b. When both parties are confirmed Episcopalians, it is recommended the service be a Nuptial Eucharist.
c. On the day of the wedding, the bride and groom and the wedding party are asked to arrive at the church a half hour before the scheduled start of the ceremony. Due to clergy and lay staff time constraints, it is imperative that the wedding begin promptly at the arranged time. Please impress upon your wedding party and guests the importance of being on time.
- FLOWERS AND DECORATIONS
a. Flowers are not permitted during Lent and Advent. During other seasons, they are placed in the church with the understanding that they will remain in the Cathedral following the ceremony as they are given to the honor and glory of God in thanksgiving for your marriage.
b. Arrangements for flowers must be made with the Cathedral Altar Guild Flower Chairlady, Mrs. Tria Reuss, at 897-4048 and a donation according to particular requirements (see Honoraria) is required. Checks should be made payable to the Cathedral Altar Guild. Flowers and decorations are restricted to moderation and good taste.
c. Candlelight (pew candles) should be discussed with the Cathedral Office. Additional fee (see Honoraria).
d. No carpet runner is allowed in the Cathedral due to liability insurance.
a. If pictures are desired, they may be taken during the procession and recession. If a photographer or videographer has been engaged, he must be advised the use of lights/flash is not permitted. He may choose one of several locations in the Cathedral which has been approved by the Wedding Verger from which to take his shots. It is imperative that the photographer remain in this spot during the ceremony. If additional photos are required, it is generally possible to do so after the wedding ceremony is finished. Our sexton is able to keep the Cathedral open for an additional 15 minutes for this purpose.
- MARRIAGE LICENSE: Securing the license is the responsibility of the couple. The license needs to be brought to the Cathedral Office at least one week before the wedding.
- CONFETTI: NO confetti is to be used at all. Birdseed or rose petals may be thrown outside the church only.
- WEDDING REHEARSAL: Arrangements for a wedding rehearsal should be made with the Cathedral Office well in advance of the wedding as it necessitates coordination of Cathedral space and staff. Those expected at the rehearsal are the bride and groom and their parents, the best man and maid or matron of honor, the bridesmaids, groomsmen and ushers. Rehearsals are scheduled to be completed within one hour. Please be sure to notify your wedding party that it is essential that they be on time for the rehearsal.
a. All music arrangements will be made directly through the Cathedral office and with the Cathedral organist. Couples being married in the Cathedral will normally meet with the organist to plan their wedding music.
b. The Cathedral organist is happy to supply any desired soloists and/or instrumentalists. Other outside musicians may be engaged in consultation with the Cathedral organist. Any such musicians should be competent professionals.
c. Only sacred music is permitted. Under no circumstances will theme music from films and musicals, or pop songs be used.
d. Soloists from the Cathedral Choir may be engaged. Fee – see Honoraria.
e. The Cathedral Choirs are available to sing during a wedding. Fee – see Honoraria.
f. Organist fee – see Honoraria.
g. Cassette tape recordings of music suitable for your wedding are available in the Cathedral Office. Included are numerous musical selections which you may listen to at your leisure. Other appropriate pieces are certainly available, as well. A $20 returnable deposit is required.
- . HONORARIA – Fees
a. A gift should be made to the Cathedral - $500 is a suggested minimum. Checks should be made payable to the Cathedral of the Incarnation.
b. Officiating Priest – It is customary to make a thank offering to the officiating priest in appreciation of his services. A gift of $250 is suggested.
c. The Cathedral Organist, Larry Tremsky: $200 without a rehearsal; $50 additional with rehearsal; $50 additional with soloist.
d. Choir Soloist: $125 minimum, depending on requirements. Please consult Mr. Tremsky.
e. Boys or Girls Choir - $500.
Men and Boys Choir - $750. When engaging the Cathedral Choir, it is also necessary to have the Assistant Organist present - $200.
f. Flowers – a minimum of $125 for Altar flowers. Check payable to the Cathedral Altar Guild.
g. The Cathedral Wedding Verger - $150.
h. Service Leaflet, if desired (program for ceremony) $50 – check payable to the Cathedral of the Incarnation. If the couple wishes to have a service program distributed at the wedding, the material should be submitted to the Cathedral office at least two weeks in advance. A sample leaflet is available.
i. Candlelight (Pew Candles) - $100. Check made payable to the Cathedral of the Incarnation.
j. Cathedral Sexton - $100 to be made out to the Cathedral of the Incarnation.
k. All fees and honoraria are payable at the Cathedral Office ONE WEEK prior to the wedding. This leaves you with no more concerns about your wedding. All you have to do is be on time!
A DEPOSIT of $500 is required to secure your chosen wedding date. It is refundable after the wedding provided the rehearsal and the wedding have begun at the scheduled time. Unfortunately, due to clergy and lay staff time constraints, the Cathedral will have no further obligation to continue with the rehearsal or the wedding following a delay of 15 minutes or more after the scheduled service time.
- A MESSAGE FROM THE CATHEDRAL CLERGY
- We trust that your plans for the future will bring you great joy and fulfillment in the relationship that you have found in each other, and that God will richly bless you in fostering and strengthening it in the years that lie ahead. Please be assured that our good wishes and prayers are with you for your marriage and that the Church and its ministry will always be ready to assist you whatever your need may be.