Concerning Preparation for
“Marriage is a lifelong covenant between a man and a woman, binding both to self-giving love and exclusive fidelity. The rite of Holy Matrimony is a worship service of the Church, in which the couple exchanges vows to uphold this covenant. They do this before God and in the presence of witnesses, who pray that God will bless their life together.
The covenantal union of man and woman in marriage signifies the communion between Christ, the heavenly bridegroom, and the Church, his holy bride (ephesians 5:32). While all do not marry, Holy Matrimony symbolizes the union all Christians share with their Lord.
In Holy Matrimony, God establishes and blesses the covenant between husband and wife, and joins them to live together in a communion of love, faithfulness, and peace within the fellowship of Christ and his Church. God enables all married people to grow in love, wisdom, and godliness through a common life patterned on the sacrificial love of Christ.
Great care should be taken to prepare all candidates for Holy Matrimony.
In preparing couples for Holy Matrimony, the clergy should comply with their Provincial and Diocesan Canons, and any Diocesan Customaries. The canons expect that both candidates are baptized. It is also the responsibility of the clergy to understand local law and to consult with the Bishop should they believe themselves compelled by law to act in a manner contrary to the teaching or canons of this Church.”