The celebration and blessing of a marriage is a cause for great rejoicing. As a Sacramental rite of the Church, it is appropriately administered in the parish under the canons and policies of The Episcopal Church and the Diocese of Washington, as well as the customs of our parish. Our prayers are with you as you contemplate your marriage. We look forward to working with you.
Planning Your Wedding at Christ Church
A Christian marriage is a time of great joy mingled with solemn purpose, as the couple meets before the Altar of God to pledge to each other a lifelong union of fidelity and love. We want to make the service as joyous and meaningful as possible for all. Therefore, we offer guidelines to reduce confusion, ensure that arrangements go smoothly, and add beauty and meaning to the service.
Please download and review the Christ Church Wedding Guide, which explains our policies and contains answers to the most frequently asked questions. It also includes forms for the required premarital counseling sessions couples must complete.
If you wish to pursue being married at Christ Church, please call the church office (301-762-2191) at least two, and preferably six months, prior to the anticipated date of your wedding to schedule an appointment with one of our clergy.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who may be married at Christ Church?
We are happy to discuss Holy Matrimony with anyone who shows interest in being a part of and sharing in the life of this parish. At least one of you has to be a baptized Christian and have a connection to this parish, either through the church or school.
Those couples who are not members are still invited to contact one of the clergy to discuss their hopes and expectations. We will schedule a wedding after you have been participating in the life of the parish for six months. Our church community is welcoming, and we hope that you will find a church home with us.
If you grew up at Christ Church and no longer live in Rockville but seek to be married here, please know that we are happy to work with you. We ask that you have an established relationship with a faith community where you live and that you seek the customary preparation for marriage offered in that community.
When may you be married at Christ Church?
We suggest that your wedding be scheduled six or more months in advance. In all cases, your wedding must be scheduled no less than three months prior to the ceremony, or six months if this is a second or subsequent marriage, provided in cases of prior marriage that the Bishop of Washington consents upon written application.
Weddings are normally scheduled on Saturdays at the following times: 11:00 a.m., 12:00 p.m., 1:00 p.m., 5:00 p.m., 6:00 p.m., or 7:00 p.m.. In May and June, we may have more than one wedding on a Lord’s Saturday. We do not bless marriages during the season of Lent and one week before or after the major holidays of Christmas, New Year’s, Easter, the Day of Pentecost, and All Saints Day. Any exceptions must be approved by the Rector.
Rehearsals are scheduled between 5:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. for one hour on the day prior to the marriage. Exceptions must be approved by the officiating clergy.
Who will officiate at your wedding?
One of our clergy will officiate at your wedding. If you have a particular relationship with a member of the clergy of any faith not on the staff of Christ Church, please know that we are delighted to discuss including that person in the service. Such requests are subject to the Canons of the Church, policies of the Diocese of Washington, and may require the permission of the Bishop.
What kind of help is offered in preparation for your marriage?
Christ Church has a two-part preparation process. In addition to regularly attending worship services, you will meet with the clergy for pre-marital counseling. This will include at least three sessions, each lasting approximately one hour.
The Wedding Program
The bridal couple is responsible for writing and producing the wedding program for the service. The Church will provide a sample of the basic format of the service, established in the Book of Common Prayer. Music and scripture may be customized based on discussions with the priest and Organist/Choir Director.
There are times when the bridal couple may wish to be married at a location other than the church, but wish to have a Christ Church priest officiate or participate in the ceremony. Such cases need to be discussed individually with the priest, and in most cases, require the consent of the Bishop.