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Baptisms and Weddings

The Covenant of Baptism--
Baptismal Policy for Melrose

Baptism celebrates God's initiative and our response. It is God's "Yes" to us, and our "Yes" to God. It is a sign of the Divine-human covenant. Baptism flows from God's grace and pours out in lives of gratitude and commitment. As initiation into the Church, the Body of Christ, it is an act of welcoming, blessing, and belonging.

Our baptismal identity is both individual and communal. Baptism honours the diversity of individuals and challenges us to be a community of equals.

Baptism for infants and young children proclaims the unconditional grace and love of God. It is also a reminder of the wonder, blessing, and new responsibilities that come with a new life. In the case of adults, baptism is a moving witness to the work of the Spirit in individual and corporate commitment. It is also a celebration of the promise of new life and growth in faith.

Melrose United Church embraces a theology of inclusion and, as such, welcomes all who wish to be initiated into the Body of Christ through baptism. Those requesting baptism, either for themselves or their children, do not need to be members of Melrose. It is not up to us to decide how God's grace will be mediated: that is for God.

Baptism in The United Church of Canada normally occurs within a regular Sunday worship service. As an integral participant in the baptismal covenant, Melrose promises to be involved in the on-going nurture and support of the baptismal candidate's faith and spiritual growth.

Because the congregation undertakes a commitment to the person being baptized, Melrose does expect some commitment on the part of those being baptized or, in the case of babies and children, their parents. Melrose requires that an adult being baptized, and at least one adult on behalf of a child being baptized or dedicated, must offer informed consent to all the questions & promises in the baptismal covenant. This will normally happen by attending at least one information meeting with the Melrose minister which will explore what baptism means in The United Church of Canada and at Melrose and what it means to those requesting baptism. This meeting will also review the questions and promises made during the baptismal covenant.

It is strongly suggested that an adult being baptized or at least one of the parents of the child being baptized attend a minimum of one regular Sunday worship service prior to the Sunday of the baptism. It is hoped that those who are baptized will continue to be a part of the Melrose faith community in the days and years after baptism.

A Church Wedding (Melrose Wedding Guide)

We are honoured that you have chosen to be married in our church sanctuary or chapel. We look forward to helping you plan your wedding day. This short guide has been prepared to help answer some frequently asked questions concerning our wedding policies. Please direct your inquiries to our minister:

Open Wedding Policy

At Melrose United Church, we affirm the integrity and sanctity of couples in loving and committed relationships. We celebrate and welcome couples of all sexual orientations who want to honour their commitments through marriage and covenanting ceremonies.

A Church Wedding

Your marriage service is first and foremost a worship service. In this service you make a covenant with one another and with God. In the name of Christ, the church blesses your marriage covenant, praying that you may know the freedom, joy and sanctity of life-long union.

You do not have to be a member of the church to be married at Melrose. We do ask, however, that you approach the ceremony with reverence, respecting the convictions of both the church and yourselves.

We invite you to attend any of the worship services held on Sunday mornings at 10:30 a.m. You will then have the opportunity to experience the worship life of our congregation, and to better understand your marriage as an act of Christian worship.

If you wish to learn more about Christian faith and life, we welcome your inquiry. We would also welcome your decision to become a member of Melrose.

Contacting the Church

Before making any arrangements, couples planning their wedding should consult with our minister and office administrator concerning the date and time of the marriage service. We request doing so at least six months in advance if possible.

Clergy

All weddings will be conducted by our minister. If the minister is unavailable, then she or he will arrange for a substitute. The church recognizes that you may have a clergy person who has had a special influence in your life, whether in the Christian church or from another tradition. If you would like another minister, priest, rabbi or spiritual leader to assist our minister in the wedding, please submit a written request to the Melrose minister for consideration. Approval is at the minister's discretion.

Interviews with the Minister

There are usually three interviews with the minister. The first provides an opportunity for couples and the minister alike to get acquainted, and to learn something of each other's expectations. The next two meetings are devoted to planning the marriage service. You will be given resources for the wording of various parts of the service.

Music

Our music director has the right to play at all weddings in the church and gives permission for all other musical participation including soloists and instrumentalists (e.g. trumpeter, flautist, oboist, etc.). Only the music director or his designate may play the organ. The soloists of Melrose are available for wedding services. Couples can participate in the selection of the prelude, processional and recessional music and are invited to contact the music director at least one month prior to the service. If the music director is unavailable, then it is his responsibility to arrange for a substitute.

Education for Marriage

We strongly encourage you to participate in a marriage preparation program focussed on topics such as enhancing communications skills, the constructive use of conflict, spousal roles and expectations, sexuality, finance and spirituality. Please ask us for details.

Marriage License

A Marriage License, valid for 90 days, can be purchased at City Hall.  The license should be left with the minister at least one week before the wedding.

Flowers

In arranging for flowers, please be aware of the limited space in the church's chancel area. Please arrange a time for the delivery of the flowers with the office administrator or church custodian as it is important to have them delivered when the church is open. With your permission, flowers left in the sanctuary after the wedding may be displayed in the worship service the following Sunday. 

Photography

As flashes and camera noise may detract from the marriage service, photography is not permitted during the service between the opening prayer and final blessing. Photographs may be taken without restriction during the processional, the signing of documents, and the recessional. Permission will be granted to the official photographer for a limited number of photographs during the service, provided none of them are taken during times of prayer. We request that the official photographer be familiar with this policy and consult the minister before the start of the wedding ceremony.

Video

The video recording of services is permitted. However, cameras must be stationary, with no additional lighting, and not restrict the sight lines of the congregation. We request the videographer be familiar with this policy.

Rehearsal

Almost all weddings require a rehearsal so that the marriage service may be conducted in good order and with minimal anxiety on the part of the couple and bridal party. The rehearsal usually takes place the evening before the wedding and lasts about an hour. The couple, the bridal party, any additional ushers, musicians, and involved family members should be present.

Confetti

The use of confetti, rice or seed is not permitted in or around the church building.

Parking

The church parking lot is accessible off Stanley Avenue and accommodates 40 cars. There is also limited parking on Locke Street and Homewood Avenue.

Service Bulletin

If a printed order of service is desired, then the couple is invited to supply the blank bulletins or copy paper. The office administrator will prepare and duplicate them for a fee of $25.

Fee Schedule

Booking Fee:       $ 50 (non-Refundable)
Sanctuary:          $400
Chapel:               $210
Minister:             $300 (this fee applies to the interviews and the ceremony)
Music Director:    $250 (An additional fee is applicable for practice time with a soloist and / or instrumentalist, or if out-of-the- ordinary musical compositions are requested)
Custodian:          $100 (per custodian--extra staff may be assigned based on setup and clean-up requirements)

In most cases, the total cost will be $1,100. If soloists or instrumentalists are employed at your service, their fees are additional.

With the approval of the minister and the Official Board, church use fees can be waived in cases of financial difficulty.

Individual cheques in the amounts of the fees for the minister and music director are to be submitted in an envelope for each to the church office at least one week before the wedding. At the same time, please provide the payment for the custodian in cash in an envelope labelled "Melrose Custodian".

Exceptional Requests

Special requests regarding the planning of the service deemed by the minister as exceptional will require the review of both the minister and the Official Board. Sunday weddings may be arranged at the discretion of the minister and staff. 

 

 

 

 


 

Group Facility Use

Melrose offers an array of spaces for single-use events and long-term tenants.

Facilities include the sanctuary, chapel, parlour, gymnasium, auditorium and other meeting rooms.

Our adjoining parking lot accommodates 40 cars.

Please contact the (905-522-1323) for rates and availability.