A Unitarian wedding
ceremony is a unique celebration of the joining of two people on
their life's journey. There is no set liturgy or format but rather
each ceremony is a creation by a team made up of the couple and the
Lay Chaplain. The ceremony uses elements which are meaningful to
those involved. The result is an honouring and celebrating of the
joining of families, the commitment between two people and the
blessing of whatever it is that gives meaning and substance to their
lives. A couple need not be members of a Unitarian church or
fellowship in order to be married in a Unitarian ceremony.
Chaplain will meet with the couple wishing to be married to discuss
the kind of service they would like to have. The Lay Chaplain will
provide a Guide to Marriage Ceremonies containing many
selections of readings, vows and blessings. The couple may choose the
elements they feel best express their situation or may adapt what
they find to their own liking.
The elements in a
marriage ceremony can include any or all of the following:
| ||Opening Words|
| ||Address to Family and Friends.|
| ||Affirmation of intentions|
| ||Address to couple|
| ||Exchange of Vows|
| ||Exchange of Symbols|
| ||Reading or Meditation or Prayer|
| ||Pronouncement & signing of the register|
| ||Candle Lighting and children's affirmation|
| ||Closing Words|
great emphasis on individual freedom of belief.
marriage ceremony, is based on the personal integrity of the
participants, rather than on institutional forms. Inclusiveness is
highly valued and Unitarian ceremonies strive to honour different
religious backgrounds and cultural traditions.
Couples getting married in a Unitarian ceremony
are welcome to explore the Unitarian Fellowship of Fredericton to see
if it is a place where they can cultivate a deep and meaningful
spiritual life. Attendance at services is not a pre-requisite to
having a Unitarian wedding ceremony.
Place of Ceremony
A Lay Chaplain
will travel to various settings to perform a wedding. the homes of
couples, parents, and of friends. Outside settings such as
parks, beaches and gardens may be selected, but alternate plans
should be made in case of inclement weather.
Chaplain will provide the couple with a Guide to Marriage
Ceremonies which contains many selections of readings, vows,
and blessings. The Lay Chaplain will work with the couple to create
a ceremony that is meaningful to them.
Professional musicians or friends may provide the music or recorded music may be
informal wedding the couple may choose not to have music. If
desired, however music can be played before the ceremony while the
guests are arriving.
Chaplain will provide the couple with a Marriage Certificate after
the ceremony. Official certified copies of the Marriage
Certificate(wallet card size) can be purchased from the Vital
Statistics Office for a small fee.
In a commercial setting,
it is recommended the bar be closed and no alcohol be served prior to
Photos and Videotaping
Guests may take photos or videotape the
ceremony as long as they are unobtrusive and do not detract from the
atmosphere of the ceremony. The final decision rests with the couple
The essentials are a
room for the ceremony itself, and a desk or table for the signing of
the registration and register.
In a home setting you may wish to switch off the
telephone to prevent interruption.