Milestones at Grace
– Ecclesiastes 3:1-8
Human beings, children of God, cannot help but be aware that there are moments in each life, rites of passage and transition such as baptisms, weddings, and funerals, that are holy and call us to pause and draw nearer to God and to eachother. As long as their have been people we have turned to our communities of faith to mark and celebrate life’s milestones.
At Grace you are invited to be known, to celebrate, to mark, to reflect, and to rejoice in the gift that is this life and journey.
Weddings at Grace
As a practice of holy hospitality, Grace invites anyone desiring to commit themselves to each other in matrimony to join us in solemnizing their marriage before God and the gathered community.
Christian marriage is a solemn and public covenant between two people in the presence of God. In the Episcopal Church it is required that one, at least, of the parties must be a baptized Christian; that the ceremony be attested by at least two witnesses; and that the marriage conform to the laws of the State and the canons of this Church.
Grace Episcopal Church Wedding Policies (revised 1/2023)
- Non-members can lock-in a date up to 12 months in advance and the cost is $2,400* for the worship space, auxiliary spaces, premarital counseling, organist, and officiant.
- Our parish hall can accomodate small receptions and can be reserved separately through the office.
- Our clergy will attend and preside at offsite weddings on a case-by-case basis.
- Outside musicians may be brought in upon clergy approval.
- Sunday weddings cannot begin prior to 1pm, and Saturday weddings must conclude prior to 3:30pm (we have a 5pm Saturday service), although if there is an interest in using our parish hall for the reception, an extension in that space is workable.
- Premarital Counseling is generally three sessions each lasting sixty to ninety minutes, and can be conducted in person or virtually over Zoom.
- It is expected that a Grace Episcopal Church priest or deacon will be performing the wedding. Guest officiants will be allowed under extraordinary circumstances, and guest co-officiants will be invited on a case-by-case basis.
- The liturgy/form/order of service for the ceremony will be from the Episcopal Church’s 1979 Book of Common Prayer, with some latitude for individualization at the discretion of the officiant. Music is expected to follow appropriate religious themes.
- Reservations can be made by calling the office and are confirmed by receipt of a 50% deposit within14 days of making the reservation. Deposits are refundable until six months prior to the wedding date.
*Grace members can lock-in dates up to 36 months in advance of the date. Costs to members will be negotiated on a case-by-case basis. Subsidies for non-members may be available upon clergy referral, particularly for practicing members of the Episcopal Church, Anglican Communion, or ELCA, or upon demonstrated financial hardship.
Funerals and Burial at Grace
The death of a loved one is a time when we lean most heavily on our faith in God, not only faith that our loved ones live on in God’s kingdom, but that we can find meaning and purpose even in the most painful moments of life’s journey. God shows up for us not only in the comfort of the word and the hope of resurrection, but in the love that is poured out onto us from our friends, family, and church community.
At Grace we seek to provide this all-important care to any who call upon us.
Generally, funerals are held in the sanctuary at Grace, although Grace clergy are regularly invited to preside at funerals hosted by our area funeral homes, and will do so as they are available and able.
While most families choose to donate an honorarium to the church in their loved one’s memory, there is never any cost charged for the burial service, we ask only that the cost of any chosen musicians, or the food at a reception are provided for.
Burial – Our Columbarium and Memorial Garden
After a funeral, the disposition of a person’s bodily remains is an important consideration. Often a procession of cars will travel to a cemetary to inter the body as part of a funeral service, or a family will choose to keep their loved ones cremains or scatter them privately.
At Grace we are able to inter cremated ashes in either our Memorial Garden or our Columbarium.
Our columbarium is located inside the sanctuary, and niches can be reserved for $500 or $600 for a couple.
The memorial garden is available for interment during the months when the ground is soft enough to dig, and has no cost.
From the book of Common Prayer…
The liturgy for the dead is an Easter liturgy. It finds all meaning in the resurrection. Because Jesus was raised from the dead, we too, shall be
raised. The liturgy, therefore, is characterized by joy, in the certainty that
“neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
This joy, however, does not make human grief unchristian. The very love we have for each other in Christ brings deep sorrow when we are parted by death. Jesus himself wept at the grave of his friend. So, while we rejoice that one we love has entered into the nearer presence of our Lord, we sorrow in sympathy with those who mourn.