Good Shepherd Episcopal Church
Kingwood, Texas
Parish Handbook - Wedding Policy Statement

I. The Episcopal Church believes that marriage is a life-long covenant between husband and wife, which requires the Grace of God and the total commitment of each person in order to survive.

II. The request for a Church wedding implies that the couple are believing and practicing Christians, who embrace the Church's doctrine of Holy Matrimony, and who desire their marriage to be born out of the presence and power of God's Grace.

Ill. In light of the above it is the Church's responsibility to teach, promote, and practice a high view of Christian marriage that embraces God's demands and His promises.

IV. Therefore, all marriages performed at Good Shepherd Church must meet the following criteria:

   A. The bride and groom must both embrace the Church's teaching on Holy Matrimony.

   B. Either the bride or the groom must be a member of Good Shepherd Church, or in the immediate family of a member.

   C. Marriages of two non-parishioners will be considered only upon request of the priest of the couple's home parish.

   D. All couples must participate in pre-marriage counseling and instruction, plans must be made sufficiently in advance to allow time for this preparation. Canon Law requires a minimum of 90 days between the request and the service itself

   E. All weddings must be from the Episcopal Book of Common Prayer, and procedures and guidelines of Good Shepherd Church must be followed, (i.e., music, photographers, decoration, visiting clergy, etc.).

V. If divorced (once) it is possible to be remarried in the Episcopal Church. However, in addition to the above, the following criteria also apply:

   A. A copy of the divorce decree(s) must be supplied.

   B. One full year from the date of the divorce must have elapsed before the request is considered.

   C. Additional counseling regarding the previous marriage and the relationship with the former spouse and children, is required.

   D. Written permission from the Bishop must be obtained before the wedding can be scheduled and final plans be made.

   E. Sufficient time must be allowed to achieve the above conditions.

VI. By Canon Law, it is within the discretion of any minister of the Episcopal Church to decline to solemnize any marriage.

Rev. 3-97