Baptisms ~ Weddings ~ Funerals
Through baptism, we become members of the Christian church. This can happen at any time of life. Some people bring their infant children to be baptized while others come as adults. When infants are to be baptized, we invite the parents to prepare for it so that they can make their own profession of faith and make the promises to raise their children within the church. We hope that all parents will want to do that honestly and with integrity, so we usually recommend that parents become involved in the life of the church before presenting their children for baptism.
Baptism is an ecumenical sacrament. That means that a person is not “baptized United” because, with only a few exceptions, all denominations recognize the validity of each other’s baptism. There is only one church into which a person is baptized: the Christian Church. The baptism itself is universal.
If you would like to be baptized and become a member of the church, or if you would like to have your children baptized, please call the church office (905) 892-3081.
The purpose of this page is to help you with your planning by providing information about our wedding customs.
Interview with the Minister: Once you are ready to set the date of the wedding, the first step is to arrange for an interview with the minister. The minister will ask you about your situation in life, your relationship to each other, your hopes and plans for the future, family support and religious commitment. The minister will interpret the wedding service and make the practical arrangements with you. To arrange for an interview, please contact the church office at (905) 892-3081. This should be done early in the planning stage.
Music: Music is normally provided by the church’s organist on the pipe organ, however a grand piano is also available. Since the marriage service takes place in the context of Christian Worship, the music selected should be appropriate for the occasion. Arrangements for music should be made through William Outred, the church’s music director. You may contact him through the church office.
Rehearsal: In all but very small weddings, a rehearsal is recommended and normally takes place on the evening prior to the wedding. People in attendance should include the entire wedding party, ushers, parents of the bride and groom (where applicable), flower girl, ring bearer, etc.
Minister conducting the service: The minister of the Fenwick United Church normally performs marriage services at the church, however if your marriage date occurs when the minister is on vacation, arrangements will be made to have another minister conduct the service.
Marriage Licence: A marriage licence is required and is available from most City Halls in the region. In Welland, City Hall is located at 60 East Main Street; the clerk’s department is on the main floor and is open weekdays from 8:30 to 4:00. In St. Catharines, City Hall is located at 50 Church Street; the clerk’s department is on the third floor and is open weekdays from 8:30 to 4:00. Be sure to bring a birth certificate or passport, as well as photo identification. The marriage licence is valid for three months from the date of purchase. It should be brought to the church no later than two weeks prior to the wedding.
Flowers: Flowers may be brought to the church at the rehearsal, or immediately prior to the wedding.
Photography: Guests may take pictures before and after the service. A professional photographer may take some pictures during the ceremony if it is done discreetly, without flash. A video camera may be set up, but not moved during the service. Your wedding is a sacred occasion, and we do not want to see the solemnity of the service spoiled by the commotion of taking pictures. After the service, the wedding party may come back into the sanctuary to pose for additional pictures.
Confetti: Ask your friends not to throw confetti in or around the church. This takes a lot of time to clean up and results in an extra charge. Birdseed, however, may be used outdoors.
Alcohol: The Government of Ontario Marriage Act requires that no wedding will be performed where alcohol has been consumed or is being served prior to the wedding.
Weddings outside of the church: The minister may be available to conduct marriages outside of the church. In such cases, couples should make their own arrangements for music and the only fee is for the minister. When travel distances are significant, the fee should be increased accordingly.
Fees: The total cost of a wedding at Fenwick United Church is $625 and is broken down as follows:
Church building: $ 200 Fenwick United Church
Minister: $ 200 Officiating Minister
Organist: $ 150 William Outred
Custodian: $ 75 varied
A non-refundable deposit of $200 is required to reserve your wedding date and it should be brought to the initial interview. The balance of payment is to be made in cash, in separate envelopes for the minister, organist and custodian, and brought to the rehearsal.
Whether or not people have a current religious affiliation, they often experience the death of someone close to them as a sacred occasion to be marked by a worship service. Fenwick United Church’s minister is available to conduct services and to offer pastoral care to anyone regardless of their religious affiliation.
When a funeral or memorial service is being planned, the minister will ordinarily ask to meet with the family so as to make the service more personal. Funeral services are designed to suit the needs of the family, but a typical order of service goes like this:
· Prelude music
· Introduction and welcome
· Opening prayers
· Words of remembrance (a eulogy by a family member or friend)
· Musical selections (hymns and music appropriate to the occasion may be chosen)
· Readings from the Bible or other sources
· Words of Hope (a meditation on the readings)
· Pastoral prayers
This service may be followed by a short service of committal at the cemetery or place of disposition of ashes. Funeral and memorial services are commonly held in the church, the Funeral Home chapel or at the graveside.
For Funeral Service information:
Pelham Funeral Home, 1292 Pelham Street, Fonthill (905) 892-5762
Lampman Funeral Home, 724 Canboro Road, Fenwick (905) 892-4701
Pleasantview Memorial Gardens, 2250 Highway 20, Thorold (905) 892-2611