Weddings at Gethsemane


Please contact the church office at 612.332.5407 or Weddings@AMindToWork.org if you have any questions or would like to speak with the staff about being married at Historic Gethsemane.

To the Couple:

It is our hope that your wedding will be a joyous celebration and an expression of your mutual love. This ceremony is meant to convey the profound bliss and promise of Christian union. As the Book of Common Prayer states, it is “…not to be entered into unadvisedly or lightly, but reverently, deliberately, and in accordance with the purpose for which it was instituted by God.”

Similarly, the service of worship asking for God’s blessing on your union commands a special respect as well. It is important to remember that you come to a church not to just get married (all that takes is a justice of the peace) but to ask God’s blessing on your relationship. A certain appropriate reverence and spirituality will therefore enhance the actual ceremony, making it true to this purpose.

The guidelines that follow are intended to help you in planning for your ceremony of holy union. They are practical and will help simplify your efforts at a time when you are no doubt quite busy. Should special circumstances arise that call for the changing of these guidelines, the Clergy and Altar Guild will try to act in the best interests of all.

If you have any questions, please feel free to direct them to the Clergy. It is our desire to make this ceremony an occasion you will cherish for the rest of your life.

Faithfully yours,
The Community of Gethsemane Church

The Blessing of a Relationship

Declaration of Intention

We, desiring to receive the Church’s blessing on our relationship, do solemnly swear that we hold our bond to be a lifelong union characterized by fidelity, monogamy, mutual affection and respect, careful and honest communication, and the holy love that enables us to see in each other the image of God.

We renounce promiscuity, exploitation, and abusiveness. We affirm the purpose of our union to be mutual fellowship, encouragement and understanding; the procreation (if it may be) of children and their physical and spiritual nurture; and we do engage ourselves, so far as in us lies, to make our utmost effort to establish this relationship and to seek God’s help thereto.

Celebration and Reception Guidelines and Responsibilities

We are delighted that you have an interest in Gethsemane Episcopal Church as the place for your wedding. The celebration of love between two people is always an exciting sign of new life. The information below applies generally for both members as well as non-members renting the church for the occasion.

Specifically for Church Members:

Please contact the priest as soon as you consider setting a date. ECMN policy requires that at least one of you must be a baptized Christian and connected with the Episcopal Church. We prefer to work with couples who are active members of Gethsemane, regularly worshipping with us, planning to continue in the life of this community after their celebration, and sharing in our ministries and stewardship. We realize that finding a parish home and planning your celebration often happen concurrently.

Prior Unions: The Episcopal Church understands that some relationships end and is happy to celebrate subsequent unions. If either of you have been divorced or have separated from a pledged life-partner, approval for the celebration must be obtained from the Bishop of Minnesota. This is a simple process and the priest will assist you in preparing a petition to clarify your status in the Church. You will also be required to demonstrate divorce decrees and custodial arrangements for children, should there be any.

Pastoral Counseling: The Episcopal Church requires that a minimum of 30 days’ notice be given to the priest prior to a wedding. At Gethsemane Church, you can expect a minimum of 6 months to assure that proper counseling takes place. The priest will explore with you the nature of your relationship, issues that may be relevant to your future life together, and the creation of your celebration using the Book of Common Prayer. When a couple lives far away they may make arrangements with a suitable counselor or priest at another Episcopal or other denominational Church.

The Ceremony: The Book of Common Prayer provides the form for all blessings of relationships at Gethsemane. Communion is a normal part of the ceremony but may be omitted, if appropriate for pastoral reasons, after talking with the priest.

Wedding Bulletin: Many couples like to have a bulletin to give to their guests who come to the wedding. The main purpose of the bulletin is to assist the guests in worship so that they know what is happening and how best to participate. The best bulletin will have the entire service within it and requires 8 to 12 pages. A simpler bulletin may also be used, simply listing the parts of the service in the order in which they come with the appropriate page and hymn numbers showing. Often these bulletins allow for all the key participants to be listed by name and for the couple to extend their thanks to the guests. There are sample bulletins in the church office. It is the couple’s responsibility to put the bulletin together and to have it printed in sufficient quantities for all the guests. Before final printing of the bulletin, the parts that apply to the service itself need to be approved by the clergy.

General Information for All Couples:

Setting a date and time: We establish dates on our calendar on a first come, first served basis. All scheduling for your wedding, including rehearsal date, is made through the church office (612.332.5407 or Weddings@AMindToWork.org), but such reservations are only temporary until the priest has given permission for the rite to occur. A non-refundable deposit of $200 is required for non-members to save your date.

Wedding License: To be legally married you must first obtain a license from your county of residence. This license, as applicable, must be presented prior to the celebration of blessing.

Visiting Clergy: Clergy from other Episcopal churches or other denominations are welcome to assist in your holy union or, if you are a non-member renting the building for this occasion, to conduct the ceremony. If you wish to have another minister assist, please discuss this with the priest.

Rehearsal: The rehearsal, which usually takes place the evening prior to the celebration, will last about one hour. All members of the celebration party and anyone who will read lessons or prayers should be present and prompt. The exact time should be arranged well in advance with the priest. The wedding license and all checks should be presented at the rehearsal to avoid confusion on the celebration day.

Music: Generally the church musician plays for weddings and should be contacted immediately. He/she will gladly help in the selection of music and will advise as to what music is appropriate and permitted. Please contact the office for the name and phone number of the musician. If you wish to provide your own musician, you must obtain the approval of our church musician, and a consultation fee will be required. Only approved organists are allowed to use the organ. If you wish to include a vocal or instrumental soloist, please bear in mind that he or she needs to practice with the organist. The added time for this should be born in mind when paying for these services. You will also want to consult with the clergy, who will have final say about where to place solo music in the service.

Decor: By 10:00 AM on the day of the wedding, flowers for the church decorations must be at the church. Should you wish your altar flowers to remain at the church after the ceremony to be used for Sunday services, please check with the priest to see if this is a possibility. The Altar Guild can answer any questions you have regarding flowers, including use of the church vases. All decoration must receive prior approval. Church furniture is not to be moved without expressed permission of the priest.

Photography: Gethsemane permits one video camera operator to record from the side of the nave only. No artificial lighting may be used during the service. Still photos may be taken before or after the service, but not once the celebration begins. This means that pictures may be taken while the participants process down the aisle and as they leave.

Reception: A reception at Gethsemane may allow you the use of the kitchen and parish hall depending on your needs. Smoking is not allowed in any part of the church facility or within 100 feet of any entrance of the church. Alcoholic beverages may be served in the parish hall. The reception must end by 10:00 PM. (Because of the demands on the church personnel, Saturday celebrations after 5:00 PM are discouraged and an extra fee may be assessed.)

Parking: Gethsemane is a beautiful and historic building, but unfortunately there is no on-site parking for your event. There is on-street parking around the church and a parking ramp kitty-corner across 4th Avenue.

Miscellaneous:

  • Rice or confetti are not allowed in the church or on the church grounds. Instead, birdseed or bubbles may be used outside.
  • Church hours are seasonal, so please consult with the church staff for your needs. (This might affect florists, photographers, decorators, etc.)
  • The wedding party may dress at the church. Please consult with the priest about this.

Liability: When you hold your celebration at Gethsemane Church, you agree that the church is not liable for injuries, theft and/or damage to personal property, and you agree that you are responsible for any damage to property that might occur during the period of your celebration and reception.

FEE SCHEDULE

CLERGY: Clergy Discretion
ORGANIST: $200 (*1)
CHURCH USE (WEDDING ONLY): $500
PARISH HALL FOR RECEPTION: $500
DEPOSIT: $200 (*2)

*1) The Organist’s fee includes one consultation about music and playing for wedding rehearsal and wedding ceremony. Additional meetings requiring the organist’s time, including rehearsal with other musicians, will be charged at $35 per hour by the organist. If an outside organist is used, there is a fee to the Gethsemane organist of $150. If there is no keyboard music (organ or piano), no fee will be charged.

*2) Non-refundable deposit to book the church for that date. Deposit will be deducted from overall fees.