The Church of England offers two services for married couples which can be described as ‘blessings’. One is a Service of Prayer & Dedication after Civil Marriage, the other is a Thanksgiving for Marriage.
Service of Prayer and Dedication after Civil Marriage
Many couples who have had a civil wedding in the UK or abroad decide they would like to dedicate their marriage to God in church soon afterwards. The Church of England service is called a Service of Prayer and Dedication, and is sometimes known as ‘a blessing’.
It is a simple service acknowledging the commitment already made between husband and wife during a civil ceremony and asking for God’s blessing and guidance in your new life together. The service can include hymns, readings, flowers such as a wedding might have.
A Service of Prayer and Dedication is significantly different from a wedding because the couple is already married. Key differences are:
- The husband and wife enter church together.
- There is no ‘giving away’.
- There is no exchange of rings, though the rings you wear can be blessed during the service.
- There is no signing of the Register.
As with all special services relating to marriage, we require couples to have or create a connection with the church in the same way as if they were getting married. You can create a connection simply by attending usual Sunday services at least once a month for at least six consecutive months before your marriage blessing. It is best to start attending eight months before your service to ensure you have sufficient time to complete this requirement. The fees for the Service of Prayer and Dedication are the same as for an actual wedding. For further information about fees and availability of dates please visit our main Weddings page.
Please contact Revd Fiona Jenkins if you are interested in having a Service of Prayer and Dedication in St Bartholomew’s or St Michael’s churches.
Thanksgiving for Marriage
There may be a time when you want to come to church and renew your vows. You can have this kind of service even if you weren’t originally married in church. A Thanksgiving for Marriage service can be designed to be intimate or grand, or could even be part of one of the church’s usual Sunday services. Rings can be blessed as part of this service too, either your existing wedding rings, or perhaps you have special rings, like eternity rings.
As with all special services relating to marriage, we expect couples to have, or create, a connection with the church. You can create a connection simply by attending usual Sunday services at least once a month for at least six consecutive months before your Thanksgiving for Marriage service. It is best to start attending eight months before your service to ensure you have sufficient time to complete this requirement.
The fees will depend on the scale of the occasion. Please get in touch with Revd Fiona Jenkins to find out more.