Marriage at All Saints
According to the Book of Common Prayer Matrimony is “an honorable estate, instituted of God…and therefore not to be entered into unadvisedly or lightly; but reverently, discreetly, advisedly, and soberly, and in the fear of God.” In the Form of Solemnization of Matrimony on page 303, the Book of Common Prayer declares that Christian matrimony is a state of being between one man and one woman that represents “the spiritual marriage and unity betwixt Christ and the Church…” The word “matrimony” comes from the Latin “matrimonium,” which was derived from the word for “material” or “substance.” “Substance” is simply that from which things are made. The Latin “mater,” which translated means “mother,” indicates the same thing. All of us were made from our mothers. In the Nicene Creed* when we profess that Jesus Christ “was incarnate by the Holy Ghost of the Virgin Mary” we are, by professing the “of,” declaring our belief that the very material or substance of Christ’s humanity came from his mother Mary. Matrimony means Motherhood. It is important to note that the man and the woman enter a state of matrimony, not patrimony. According to the logic of the liturgy of the BCP a maiden (how quaint that word in our day!) enters the state of motherhood when she is married, not when (and if) she actually, biologically, conceives and bears children. The Form of Solemnization of Matrimony bestows the grace of “motherhood,” so that she may walk faithfully in that vocation. Children do not make a mother; God makes the mother so that children have a mother to come to. Holy Matrimony is one of the happiest and sobering turning points in our life. In order to be married in the Church both man and woman must be baptized and at least one of them must be confirmed in the Church. Because we understand Matrimony to be a sacrament of the Church we administer it only to the members of Christ’s Church we know. Because Matrimony is a life-long union between one man and one woman we generally require three months of pre-marital counseling.
If you wish to be married in All Saints parish church please contact Fr. Spencer.