Christian Marriage

(Christian Marriage Document)

We are delighted that you have decided to get married, and even more delighted that you are considering having your wedding service take place within the Christian Church, with prayers and God’s blessing. Our prayer is that you will experience in your marriage a deepening love and understanding of one another, joy and fulfilment together, and a happy and secure home and family in which to bring up children for God.

There are many different ideas about what marriage is meant to be, but Christians understand marriage as a life-long commitment between a man and a woman, made publicly and before God, involving promises and responsibilities.

To be married before God involves accepting the Biblical teaching that: 

1. Marriage is for life. 

2. It is exclusive, and comes before all other human relationships.

3. It involves total commitment.

4. Marriage is the setting for sexual intimacy, union and fulfilment between a man and a woman.

5. It is the environment in which God desires children to be born, nurtured and raised in the knowledge and love of God.

In the promises you make before God, and one another, you will be saying that you agree to commit yourself to this Christian understanding of marriage.

Church Requirements

1. Church Membership: The church’s requirement is that the bride and bridegroom are members of a Christian church. You may need to provide the minister with a copy of your baptismal certificates. If you are not a member of a Christian church but desire a Christian marriage ceremony, please advise the minister of this at your first meeting.

2. Divorcees: If either the bride or bridegroom is divorced, the divorced person will need to make application to the Bishop of Bunbury seeking permission to be remarried. The minister will make the application on your behalf and this will entail extra meetings with the divorced party. You will also need to provide the minister with original copies of your decree absolute papers.

3. Location: Should you wish to have your wedding take place in a location other than the church, permission will need to be sought from the Bishop. This will only be granted if it is an appropriate pastoral response for the couples’ particular situation and will be considered on a case by case basis.

Legal Requirements

The Commonwealth Marriage Act requires that:
1. You are not currently married.
2. Both of you have attained the age of 18 years.
3. In the case of a divorce, that the decree has become Absolute before the new marriage takes place.
4. The Commonwealth Marriage Act also requires that people who intend to marry give 31 clear days notice of their intention to marry to a marriage celebrant by completing and signing FORM 13 (regulation 38) of the Marriage Act 1961. The Notice of Intention to get Married (NOIM) form must be signed in the presence of the marriage celebrant. If this is not done the marriage will not be able to proceed. The minister will help you complete this. You will need to provide original Birth Certificates and proof of identification.
5. Prior to the wedding taking place the bride and groom must make a statutory declaration in the presence of the minister stating that there is no legal impediment to the marriage.

Marriage Preparation

We also want to help you prepare, as well as possible, for your life together as a married couple. We think this preparation is very important because we want the very best for you and we are responsible before God for celebrating and witnessing your marriage. We are also deeply concerned about the number of breakdowns in marriage, and the pain and anguish experienced by all parties, the broader community and especially children.

For these reasons it is required that the couple will attend pre-marriage preparation. This preparation will involve:

1.An initial meeting with the minister to determine the details of the proposed marriage.

2. Individual meetings of both parties with the minister.

3. Three sessions to discuss a set marriage preparation book.

4. Attending a five session Marriage Preparation DVD course offered by the church.

5. There is also the opportunity to complete the Prepare-Enrich Australia Course. It involves answering an extensive questionnaire which analyses the couple’s relationship in the following areas: Communication, Conflict Resolution, Partner Style and Habits, Financial Management, Leisure Activities, Affection and Sexuality, Family and Friends, Relationship Roles, Spiritual Beliefs, Partner Dominance, and Flexibility of Family-of-Origin and of Couple Relationship amongst other things.

The minister/s of the church will preside at all marriages. Permission will need to be sought in writing should you wish for another Christian marriage celebrant to preside at the wedding.

Order of Service
The order of service used is that of the Anglican Prayer Book of Australia. This will be discussed thoroughly with yourselves. It is not possible for the bride and groom to write their own vows.

Ceremony Details

Music: All songs are to be approved by the minister.

Readings: As the marriage takes place within a Christian service, scripture readings will take place. The minister will make suggestions in helping you choose the bible readings.

Housekeeping: After the service, the church will need to be restored back to its original cleanliness and arrangement.

Please contact the Parish office in regard to fees payable.

Booking your wedding
If you have read and agree with this Christian Marriage document of Living Water Anglican Church, and you wish to proceed with booking your wedding at the church, please complete the application form.

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