The commitment to a life-long union is a very special one, and we are happy that you are thinking of making Grace Cathedral the setting for your wedding or blessing. We hope that the information contained in these pages will help to answer some of the more commonly asked questions.
Grace Cathedral welcomes same-sex couples to have their relationships blessed here.
The General Convention of the Episcopal Church voted at its 2009 meeting to develop rites for the blessing of same-sex unions. Grace Cathedral, as the Cathedral church of the Diocese of California, follows the position laid out by the Bishop of California: "The Diocese of California seeks to provide, by advocacy and example, a way forward for The Episcopal Church so that the marriage of same-sex couples will be a part of our official marriage rites, without distinction. Although The Episcopal Church does not have canonical rites for same-sex marriage, it is our goal that all couples be treated equally by the Church, as they are equally loved by God."
In this spirit of advocacy and example, Grace Cathedral is delighted to offer the blessing of same-sex unions.
For more information, contact our Wedding Coordinator at 415-749-6327 or send an e-mail by clicking here.
There are five venues for weddings and blessings at Grace Cathedral. Click on any location for further information and a photograph of a wedding in that space. For a graphical pop-up map that shows each location within the cathedral, click here.
To download a PDF of our current Wedding Handbook, click here.
To get a visual idea of what your ceremony might look like at Grace Cathedral, please view this short wedding video that Laura and Oliver, a gracious couple who were recently married in the nave at the cathedral, have shared.
The video was produced by D.P. Weddings.
It is not necessary to be a member of the cathedral congregation, or to be an Episcopalian, to be married here. Nevertheless, a marriage in the cathedral is different from a ceremony which takes place at City Hall or another location. We hope that couples who come to the cathedral seeking God's blessing on their relationship will be open to a discussion of the spiritual nature of that relationship and the place of God in their lives. The canon law of the Episcopal Church does require that at least one of the couple must be a baptized Christian.
Clergy on the staff of the cathedral normally officiate at all weddings. Clergy are assigned according to their availability on the date in question. Other Episcopal clergy are welcome at the cathedral, and should request to officiate here by letter to the Dean. Clergy of other denominations, including those of other faith traditions, may assist the Episcopal priest.
Weddings are most often scheduled on Saturdays. They may also be scheduled on weekdays (Monday-Friday) subject to the requirements of the cathedral calendar. Weddings are not scheduled on Sundays, during Holy Week or during most of the month of December. The times available for Saturday weddings are: 10 a.m., 12 noon, 2 p.m., 4 p.m. and 6 p.m.. Please e-mail or call the wedding administrator if you need more information or to check specific dates and times.
Weddings in the cathedral use the order for "The Celebration and Blessing of a Marriage" found beginning on page 422 of the 1979 Book of Common Prayer of the Episcopal Church. The New Revised Standard Version of the Bible is the text used for scriptural readings. When you visit the cathedral, you may want to take the time to read the marriage service in the Book of Common Prayer, which is the red book found in the pews.
Several sessions of premarital counseling are required of all couples. Meetings are scheduled at the mutual convenience of the officiant and the couple. Couples who reside far from San Francisco may make arrangements for counseling in their home areas; the counseling clergy will confirm with the officiating cathedral clergy when the counseling has been completed.
Music is subject to the same standards and policies as music for any cathedral service. Only sacred music may be performed; popular music in the form of secular love songs or romantic ballads is not suitable. Hymns may be sung during the service by the congregation. We will provide you with a CD of music suitable for the entering and retiring processions. Exceptions to this are subject to approval by the Music Department.
Only previously approved florists prepare flower arrangements for any area of the cathedral. We will provide you with a list of approved florists. For safety reasons, pew-end arrangements which contain candles are not permitted.
These are permitted within specified guidelines. No flash photographs may be taken during the service by anyone. The verger will determine where video cameras and photographers may be located. An information/permission form will be provided for your photographer and/or videographer containing complete rules and regulations.
The cathedral's media professionals can provide you with a digital audio recording of your wedding in the nave or quire for an additional fee.
Please contact us (contact information at top of this page) for a complete list of current fees. The package price includes the counseling, clergy honorarium, organist's fee, verger's fee, sound engineer's fee (nave and quire), space use fees for the church, including rehearsal time and space, dressing areas and time for photography.
A deposit of approximately 25% of the full fee is required to confirm a date on the cathedral calendar. Ceremonies will be rescheduled, if necessary, but the deposit is non-refundable if you cancel. Additional fees apply for the carillon, cathedral choir, additional musicians, or any other special services.
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