Summerlea United Church
225 50 Av, Lachine, Québec, H8T2T7, Canada. 514-634-2651

Church Activities | Pages
Information for Those Seeking to be Married
at Summerlea United Church

Posted 2011/06/01

If your plans change...
Some Legal Considerations
About the Wedding
Marriage Education Courses
Honoraria & Charges
Articles 392 – 396 of the Civil Code

This information is provided for persons who wish to be married at Summerlea United Church within the Christian tradition in the United Church of Canada. It is designed to provide some insights into the values and expectations of Summerlea United Church around the wedding itself and in the preparations for marriage.

Marriage is a major step for two people however long they have known each other. The commitment of a married relationship is not to be entered into lightly and, as a community of faith, we believe that our role is no less significant.

We ask that you consult with the minister before you finalize the date for your wedding. This should be done at least four months prior to the actual wedding day. This way we can be sure of the availability of the minister, the organist and the space. The minister will want to meet with both partners together, as early as possible, to discuss the details of marriage preparation, content of service and to assist in wise decision making regarding this new phase of your relationship.

The person authorized to officiate at the wedding is the minister of Summerlea United Church. If you wish to have another minister participate in the service, then the Summerlea minister must first be consulted.

There are many things to consider about marriage. When you meet with the minister, please feel free to ask questions that concern you.

Here are some helpful contacts (all available via the church office at 514-634-2651 or by email at summerlea_united at

MINISTER: Rev. Scott Patton

ORGANIST: Constance Osborne

SECRETARY: Susan Ippersiel

(Please contact the organist as early as possible - at least 1 month in advance)

If your plans change...
PLEASE CALL THE CHURCH!!! If for any reason you decide not to go ahead with the wedding at the time reserved for you, please let the church know immediately.

If there are other changes to your plans that affect the wedding ceremony please let us know as soon as possible.
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The Publication of Marriage
Marriage is governed by Provincial Family Law. No license is needed for weddings performed by clergy. Instead, before a marriage is solemnized, the Publication of Banns must be posted for a period of twenty (20) days prior to the date set or the marriage, at the place where the marriage is to be celebrated.

The publication sets forth the surnames, given names, place and date of birth, present marital status, and religious denomination of the intended spouses. The correctness of these particulars must be confirmed by a witness (or witnesses) of full age, who will also witness to the oral reading of the Articles 392-396 of the Civil Code pertaining to marriage (See page 8).

A Contract Or Not
If a marriage contract is not notarized before the wedding, a regime called the "Partnership of Acquests" takes effect from the date of marriage. Simply said, the "Partnership of Acquests" provides that property possessed before marriage (and any inheritance) is the private property of the spouse who owns it. Acquests, on the other hand, gained during the marriage, are jointly owned (50-50).

A couple may still want a contract to be separate as to property. There are times when this is important. Upon the agreement of both parties, a marriage regime can be changed at any time during the marriage by notarial deed. Whether you have a marriage contract or not, you should have a Will.

If You Are Divorced
As you probably know, the United Church does marry divorced people. We take this issue seriously and may insist that a couple receive counselling before a marriage is solemnized. The minister must SEE your divorce papers (original) and a copy (photocopy) must be deposited with the minister. If the divorce took place outside of Canada, a letter from a Quebec lawyer is necessary. This letter, stating that the divorce is recognized in Quebec, is deposited with the minister.

Birth Certificate
When you come for your first appointment, along with other important papers, you should bring your birth certificates along. Please have a photocopy made so that a copy may be left in the church office. Note also that the government forms require the names and place of birth of the parents of both the bride and groom.

There is much more legal information that cannot be included in this booklet. You may wish to check on up-to-date information at the Registrar of Civil Status: (514) 864-3900, or visit their website at:
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We have an organist who is willing and able to play your special requests, if feasible, but remember, it must be in good taste. If we do not have the sheet music for your request, your responsibility is to provide it. If you plan to have a soloist, please consult the organist well in advance. Music adds a lot to the service, creating a mood fitting to such a special day as your wedding. The couple is responsible for contacting the organist and arranging musical selections. The church reserves the right to have the final say on musical pieces used in the service.

Flowers & Decorations
Flowers are your responsibility. They can be simple or elaborate. You should appoint someone to see that the flowers are arranged the way you want them. Should you wish to leave your flowers to be used for Sunday service, we would be grateful. After the service they are usually delivered to shut-ins, unless you indicate otherwise. If you plan to use pew marker decorations, please attach them with ribbon or fishing line. Please do not use nails/staples/tacks or a form of adhesive or tape.

A wedding ceremony is a service of worship where God's blessing is asked for the couple who are pledging vows of faithfulness. In order to preserve the spirit of the occasion our policy is for no photographs to be taken from the time the service begins (usually when the wedding party is assembled with the minister) until the time for signing the official documents. The procession of the wedding party may be photographed in progress but should not be interfered with by the photographers.

The wedding party is welcome to return to the sanctuary after the service for posed photographs with or without the minister present.
You may have one person operating a video camera without lights in a prime location in the church for the whole ceremony. High- tech lighting or lamps on tripods is not permitted. Please ensure the video camera person arrives 20 minutes before the scheduled time of the wedding.
It is your responsibility to inform any official photographer(s) of this policy and we ask you to let your guests know. In the "Welcome" at the beginning of the service, the minister may make a reference to our policy.

All parties who have responsibilities in the service, including the parents, are encouraged to attend. The rehearsal is a time for us all to become familiar with the details of the service. The time will be pre-planned and participants are asked to arrive on time. The minister may have other commitments. As Friday is the minister's day off, rehearsals will usually be planned accordingly.

Wedding Day
1. Time of arrival - the ushers should be on duty at least thirty minutes before the appointed time.

2. Confetti - We ask that no confetti be used in the church buildings or on the church walks. Confetti is really difficult to clean up, particularly in damp or wet weather, when it tracks in everywhere on people's feet.

3. Reception/dinner - Ordinarily the minister will not attend the reception or dinner. However, please feel free to discuss this with the minister.

We do not provide wedding bulletins. However if you wish to have them, we can give you a copy of the information you may need in order to have some made.

Honoraria have been set for the use of the building and the people involved. Please see Honoraria & Charges for details.
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Everybody who's thinking of getting married or remarried should enroll in a Marriage Education Course. The Centre for Lay Education offers such a course. It is a church founded programme which is interdenominational in scope and nature and is open to all people.

The course leaders are trained in Marriage Education and experienced at working with groups. The program is usually a weekend event. Each twelve hour course usually covers communication skills, conflict resolution, families of origin, roles in marriage, sexuality, spirituality, finances, legal issues, cultural and other differences, myths about marriage, realistic expectations, family planning, intimacy and commitment. The details and specific concerns vary with each group and the leaders are flexible and able to respond to those concerns. Both partners should expect to attend.

For more information, call the Centre for Lay Education at 514- 849-4437
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Approved at May 5, 2011 Board Meeting
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Article 392
The spouses have the same rights and obligations in marriage. They owe each other respect, fidelity, succour and assistance. They are bound to live together.

Article 393
In marriage, both spouses retain their respective names, and exercise their respective civil rights under those names.

Article 394
The spouses together take in hand the moral and material direction of the family, exercise parental authority and assume the tasks resulting therefrom.

Article 395
The spouses choose the family residence together. In the absence of an express choice, the family residence is presumed to be the residence where the members of the family live while carrying on their principal activities.

Article 396
The spouses contribute towards the expenses of the marriage in proportion to their respective means.
The spouses may make their respective contributions by their activities within the home.
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Last updated 20-10-2018