Marriage is a public service of the Church. It should therefore be solemnized in the body of the church (except for sufficient cause to the contrary) in the presence of the friends and neighbours of those who come to be married and of the congregation of the Church. The requirements of the civil laws of the province or territory must be met. (Book of Alternative Services, pg. 526)
License to Officiate
If you are a new clergyperson to the diocese of New Westminster in the province of British Columbia, and have not received your license to officiate a marriage, please contact Bill Siksay at the diocesan office.
Authorized Liturgies for the Marriage Ceremony
In addition to the marriage liturgies in the Book of Common Prayer (1962), the Book of Alternative Services, and Evangelical Lutheran Worship, authorized marriage liturgies for couples, including same-sex couples, are available here.
Conducting same-sex marriages in a parish requires Parish Council and the priest-in-charge to have given their consent.
It shall be the duty of the minister, when application is made for a marriage to be solemnized, to enquire whether there is any impediment to the marriage and its solemnization. It shall also be the duty of the minister to provide or secure appropriate means of education, so that all who seek marriage in the Church may attain a Christian understanding of its purpose and may be encouraged to give effect, with God’s help, to the vows which they are preparing to make. (Book of Alternative Services, pg. 526)
Marriage preparation Counselor
Pauline Barrett is a clinical psychotherapist and parishioner at Christ Church Cathedral. She's available for marriage prep counselling sessions (usually 2-3 sessions) for couples.Telephone: 604-676-9645 (no text) or E Mail: email@example.com
Courses for Marriage Preparation
Currently, there are no diocesan wide marriage preparation courses. Parishes and parish priests design their own preparation using training from resources such as Prepare and Enrich, offer courses such as the Alpha pre-marriage course, refer couples to counsellors who specialize in pre-marital counselling, or recommend online courses:
Designed by a Canadian Anglican priest and registered psychotherapist, this is an 8 session online course for couples covering subjects such as "building your attachment, managing conflict, sexual loving in a long term marriage, family systems and partnership." It is largely aligned with John and Julie Gottman's marriage research and while not specifically Christian says it is "rooted in the values of our Judaeo-Muslim-Christian tradition." Cost per couple: $180.00
This is a relationship assessment tool that can be offered to couples in any stage of their relationship - dating, living together, engaged, long-married. It assesses relational strengths and weaknesses for each couple and gives them tools to build a stronger relationship. It is offered by a trained facilitator. Clergy can become trained facilitators by taking a course in a day seminar or online. Cost for training: $199.00 Cost for couples' assessment: $45.00
Designed by the makers of the popular introduction to Christian faith (Alpha), this five session course can be run in-person or online. It can be led by clergy or lay leaders and offers training and promotional materials. May not be inclusive of same-sex couples. Cost: ~100.00 for a course package (DVDs or online videos, leader's guide, guest manual)
An online course accessible on the website or downloadable in an app. The course is a series of 19 bite-sized videos (8-10 minutes long), discussion questions, and worksheets for busy couples to do at their own pace and on their own time. Can be done by couples preparing for marriage or looking for a renewal of their marriage/relationship. Could also be used in a small group setting or with some scheduled check-ins with a clergyperson or mentoring couple. The course was designed by Canadian Anglican priest, Ryan Sim. Cost: Free
Books for Marriage Preparation
A rare resource to explore and affirm ways to build healthy, life-giving, queer Christian marriages. The book gathers stories from a diverse range of couples and each chapter has discussion questions at the end.
The Gottman’s book is based on decades of research on marriage and includes questions and exercises for couples to do together.
Popular books from a Christian pastor written for a general audience. Couples preparing for marriage and couples in long term relationships can use this book and have discussion and new insight into building a stronger bond.
Certificates for Marriage can be downloaded and printed on card stock from the national church website.
Please speak to your local priest. Don't have a local priest? Go to our Find-a-Church page to find your local church and get in touch with a priest in your area.