TO HAVE AND TO HOLD
In marriage, two persons enter into a life-long union, making vows before God and the Church, and receive the grace and blessing of God to help them fulfill their vows. The union is understood as intended by God for their mutual joy; for the help and comfort given one another in prosperity and adversity; and, when it is God's will, for the procreation of children and their nurture in the knowledge and love of the Lord. In the Episcopal Church, marriage is available to both opposite-sex couples and same-sex couples.
Both persons promise to love, comfort, honor, and keep their spouse, in sickness and in health, and, forsaking all others, to be faithful to their spouse as long as they both live.
The congregation witnesses the couple's promises, and the members of the congregation promise to do all in their power to uphold the couple in their marriage.
Premarital counseling is required in the Episcopal Church, and at least one of the couple must be a baptized Christian. We also follow the procedure of obtaining the permission of the bishop when one or both parties are divorced.