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The Blessing of a Civil Marriage
In the faith and life of the Episcopal Church marriage “signifies…the mystery of the union between Christ and his Church.” (Book of Common Prayer, p. 423) The wedding ceremony is a sacramental rite in which the bride and groom themselves are the ministers by whose words and actions Christ is made present and their love is raised to new life in the Holy Spirit. “Therefore marriage is…to be entered into…reverently, deliberately, and in accordance with the purposes for which it was instituted by God” (Book of Common Prayer, p. 423) It is with this understanding of our faith and life that the Church of the Resurrection welcomes couples who desire to have their civil marriage blessed by the Church. While this mission is not the more typical parish setting, to the extent possible the Vicar will arrange meetings and discussions to assist the couple in their spiritual preparation. The ceremony will follow the rite as contained in the Book of Common Prayer, according to the use of the Episcopal Church.

Policy and Procedures
Couples of all religious backgrounds are welcome, but one of the parties should be from a Christian Church or Community. A copy of the Certificate of the Civil Marriage must be sent/given to the Vicar. If either of the parties has been married before, then special procedures must be followed, including requesting the permission of the Bishop. A copy of the decree of divorce or annulment must be provided to the Vicar; there is a questionnaire to be completed; and a letter must be written to the Bishop by the separated party (s). The process of requesting and obtaining the Bishop’s permission usually takes about thirty days. There are no costs involved.

Practical Considerations

  • The ceremony may be held at the mission church (seating capacity of 30) or at another site and location.
  • For a ceremony outside of Orvieto the couple will be expected to provide transportation/lodging for the Vicar.
  • The Vicar will assist the couple in planning the ceremony. The rite may include personal additions, and may be performed in whole or in part in other languages: Italian, Spanish or French.
  • Photography equipment and video cameras may be used during the ceremony, provided they do not in any way distract from or interfere with the ceremony.

Registration and Certificate
The ceremony will be entered in the Marriage Register of the Church of Saint Paul’s-Within-the-Walls, Rome. A Blessing of the Marriage certificate will be given/sent to the couple.

Offering to the Church
It is customary for the couple to make a contribution of 500 euros for the support of the ministries and work of the mission. However, a couple should feel no less welcome, if they are unable to make this contribution, and the mission will gratefully accept what the couple can honestly afford.

Reverend Russell G. Ruffino
Casella Postale N.81
5018 Orvieto (TR)
+39 392 258 6513

The Church of the Resurrection is a mission of the Church of Saint Paul-Within-the-Walls, Rome. The mission was founded in 2005, and is a member of the Convocation of Episcopal Churches in Europe. The Cathedral and Offices of the Bishop in charge of the Convocation are located in Paris. The Episcopal Church of the United States is a branch of the worldwide Anglican Communion of Churches.

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