Holy Matrimony

Marriage is a Sacrament and one of the most important commitments in life. A Christian Wedding is to be celebrated in the context of the Christian community. Here at Saint Paul’s by-the-Sea our practice is to celebrate weddings in the place where the Christian community normally gathers: the church building.

Some form of Marriage Preparation is required in order to be married in an Episcopal Church. Marriage preparation by any other person must be pre-approved by our Rector.

In order to be married in The Episcopal Church you should also meet one of the following criteria:

  • At least one party must be a member in good standing of Saint Paul’s by-the-Sea. A member in good standing is defined as someone who is known to the clergy and wardens, exhibits regular attendance in worship, and maintains a monetary gift or pledge of record.
  • The couple are residents of the Ocean City area, are baptized Christians (or are willing to become so), and are willing to attend worship at Saint Paul’s by-the-Sea while preparing for their marriage.
  • We receive many inquiries from non-residents about holding their weddings at Saint Paul’s by-the-Sea. Under these circumstances, we require that marriage preparation be done at the person’s local Episcopal Church and that a member of the clergy from that congregation provide written assurance that the preparation was complete.
  • All weddings at Saint Paul’s by-the-Sea are conducted according to the form found in The Book Of Common Prayer of The Episcopal Church, starting on page 423 or using the rite “I Will Bless You and You Will Be a Blessing”, which may be used by both heterosexual and same-sex couples in accordance with the laws of the state of Maryland and the Church’s blessing of these unions. These are the clergy and couple’s primary tools in planning a wedding.
  • The canons (laws) of The Episcopal Church require a minimum of thirty days’ notice before a wedding can take place. Additional time is required if one or both of the parties are divorced. We require that a wedding be booked at least six months in advance to allow enough time for pre-marriage counseling and wedding planning.

If after reading our policy on Holy Matrimony you would like to further discuss being married at St. Paul’s by-the-Sea, please contact the church office at 410-289-3453 to arrange a conversation with Pastor Jill.

Below is our St. Paul’s by-the Sea Wedding contract and guideline information. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Pastor Jill through the church office at 410-289-3453 or e-mail her at: pastorjill@stpaulsbythesea.org

Click here for:  Wedding Guidelines and Cost