MARRIAGE AND COVENANTING SERVICES

The 30th General Council (1984) of the United Church of Canada adopted the following (among other} affirmations about marriage: “We affirm that marriage is a gift of God through which Christians make a covenant with one another and with God.  We affirm in Christian marriage two persons give themselves to each other in the full intention of a lifelong commitment.  We affirm that this unity is a creation of God and is greater than the two individuals.”
The 30th General Council also declared: “We affirm our acceptance of all human beings as persons made in the image of God regardless of their sexual orientation.”

“The word covenant refers to a solemn pact or agreement between persons who commit themselves to each other. In the case of lesbian and gay couples they commit to honor, respect, support, and love each other. Such covenants are intended to be exclusive and permanent, the basis of creating a new family model that not only will have the stability necessary to rear children (if the couple wishes to do so) but will also sustain the partners to the end. of their lives. Christian rites of blessing for same-sex couples have been: found as far back as the ninth century, predating the church’s heterosexual marriage rites from three hundred years. ”
 from “Equal Rites: Lesbian and Gay Worship, Ceremonies, and Celebrations”  Cherry & Sherwood, Eds.

 

Guidelines:
– TSP provides marriage and covenanting. services for all TSP members and adherents.
Preparation requirements include pre-marital counseling sessions with the officiating minister. It is also highly recommended that couples participate in a formal pre-marriage course.  When marriage and covenanting services are performed for TSP members and adherents, no user fee is charged. (Adherent is understood to mean established relationship with the TSP faith community.)
– For services in the building for couples outside the TSP faith community, building charges are in accordance with the current fee structure. Remuneration for pastoral and miscellaneous staff service are negotiated directly with staff members involved.
– For those outside the TSP faith community, marriage and covenanting services may be provided for couples in a Christian faith context where at least one of the partners has a Christian perspective.
– If the couple intending to be married desires other clergy to officiate or co-officiate, they may do so in consultation and agreement with the incumbent minister.
– The decision for the presence of media and/or cameras during weddings and covenanting services is at the discretion of the minister, taking into consideration the wishes of the family.