Marriage, Baptism, and Funerals


Requirements for Marriage in the Church

Baptism: Both parties to the marriage must be baptized Christians and certificates of Baptism must be produced before the marriage can take place. If one party is not baptized, permission from the bishop is required; the parties should speak to the priest as soon as possible.

Acceptance of the Christian View of Marriage: Both parties to the marriage must accept the Christian understanding of marriage, that marriage is intended to be a life-long union of mutual love and support and ideally will be practicing members of their Church.

Marriage Preparation: Both parties to the marriage must undertake such marriage preparation, as the priest shall advise. Attention is drawn in particular to such courses as are made available throughout the Diocese. http://www.layeducation.org/marriage.htm

Notice: Under canon law, at least sixty (60) days notice is required before a marriage may be solemnized, and a longer period (90 days or more) is appreciated. In extra-ordinary circumstances, the notice period may be waived with permission from the bishop.

License: No specific license to marry is required in the Province of Quebec, but notice of the intention to marry must be published on the website of the Directeur de l'├ętat civil, at least 20 days prior to the ceremony. The request for publication must be submitted 28 days before the intended marriage and requires the couple and one witness (a person who knows both parties and can verify their identity and birthdate) to appear in person before the celebrant. In certain circumstances, this requirement may be waived by special dispensation (cost $10.00). For the marriage of persons under eighteen years of age, judicial approval is required, and you should consult the website of the Directeur de l'├ętat civil, www.etatcivil.gouv.qc.ca, for more information.

Remarriage of Divorced Persons: If either party is divorced the original or a certified copy of the certificate of divorce must be provided, and the circumstances of the marriage and its breakdown will be discussed in the marriage preparation sessions.

Marriage Ceremonies in places other than in the church: An Anglican marriage ceremony may take place outside of the church building, provided the solemnity, dignity and religious focus can be maintained. All such arrangements must be discussed with and approved by the officiating priest. 

General Information

The Anglican Church of Canada is in the process of revising its marriage canon to allow full marriage equality. The parish has voted "Subject to such guidelines as the Bishop shall issue, St Philip's shall offer the services *Celebration and Blessing of a Marriage *and *Blessing of a Civil Marriage* to all legally qualified couples." St Philip's is committed to inclusion and equality, and welcomes all couples who desire to solemnize their union in the presence of God. Because procedures and authorized liturgies are in a state of flux, please contact the Rector as much in advance as possible.

Advice as to whether or not to obtain a marriage contract, as well as advice on any legal matters, should be sought from a notary. If there is to be a contract, this information must be entered in the registers and marriage certificate, the Church will require the number of the contract and the name of the Notary.

The service may be in English or French, or in both languages, according to the needs of the couple and the families. The church has service books with parallel English and French text to facilitate participation.

The Marriage Service takes about thirty minutes to perform according to the traditional Prayer Book rite or the contemporary language version. Communicant members of the Church may wish to have a celebration of the Holy Eucharist at their wedding, which should add approximately twenty five minutes to the service. Choice of service and whether or not there is to be a Eucharist should be discussed with the priest who is to officiate at the ceremony.

It is appropriate that family and friends of the couple participate by reading the lessons from Scripture and by leading the Prayers of the People.

All aspects of the marriage service are subject to the approval of the officiating priest. It is also the couple’s responsibility to contact the organist, Peter Butler (514-569-2610) to make arrangements for music at the ceremony, even if his services will not be required.

Arrangements for flowers should be made with the officiating priest.


Organist or use of organ $200.00 Custodial care $80.00 Officiating Priest $200.00 Parish fee $250.00

Fees must be placed in separate envelopes marked as to their recipient and must be given to the officiating priest at the time of the rehearsal.

Clergy from outside the parish: If the couple wish to have other clergy (whether Anglican or of another denomination) participate in the ceremony, that may be arranged with the officiating priest, who will then make a formal invitation to the other clergy.

St. Philip’s also rents the church building to other churches for weddings performed by their clergy. For more information, please contact the church office.

Same sex marriage: At the present time, the canons of the Anglican Church of Canada, do not allow clergy to officiate at weddings of two people of the same gender. However, the Diocese of Montreal allows blessing of all civilly married couples.

For more information, please contact the church office (see coordinates at the bottom of the page)


The birth or adoption of a new baby is a joyous event in the life of a family. With a new arrival, there are many things to think about, and many disruptions to the family’s life. This short guide is intended to assist expecting and new parents in planning for the Baptism of their child.

To help new parents share their joy and give thanks for the birth or adoption of their child, the Church offers a service of Thanksgiving for the Gift of a Child (Book of Alternative Services, pp. 606 ff.) The service consists of a psalm, a few prayers and a blessing of the family. It ordinarily takes place within the regular Sunday worship service. It is appropriately celebrated “as soon as convenient after the birth of a child.” Because it is simple and requires minimal preparation, it can be scheduled with only a few days’ notice.

The Sacrament of Baptism, however, is an act of the entire church community, and requires more preparation and planning. (Service schedules are planned 2 or 3 months in advance).

Scheduling: Baptisms are typically scheduled on the baptismal feasts: The Baptism of our Lord (the Sunday after January 6) The Great Vigil of Easter (Saturday night before Easter) or Easter Sunday Pentecost All Saints Day (November 1 or the Sunday following) For pastoral reasons, Baptisms may be scheduled at other times, particularly during the twelve days of Christmas, the season of Epiphany, and the season of Easter. Baptisms will not ordinarily be scheduled during Lent, as that is traditionally a time of penitence and preparation for Baptism.

Parents should contact the Rector as soon as possible, and at least 30 days (preferably 60 days) prior to any proposed date.

Grandparents or other relatives may make inquiries and request an application, but Baptisms will not be scheduled without a request by the parents, accompanied by a completed application.

Sponsors (godparents) must be active, baptized Christians, but need not be Anglicans. The role of sponsors is to assist the parents in raising the child in the Christian faith.

The Baptism. As Baptism is the sacrament of initiation into the fellowship of the Church, baptisms take place when the whole Christian community is gathered. Baptisms generally take place at the 10:00 a.m. Eucharist, but may take place at 8:00 a.m. or on Tuesday evening, if the family has a connection to one of those services.

Members of the family (either the parents, sponsors, or other family members or friends) are encouraged to participate in the service by reading lessons or the prayers for the candidate(s), and by presenting the gifts of bread and wine at the Offertory. In order to coordinate this with the church’s schedule of lectors, this needs to be arranged at least one month in advance of the Baptism.

There is a coffee hour following the 10:00 a.m. Eucharist, and the baptismal party is encouraged to join us. Sometimes the family will provide a cake to share.

Pictures. Photography is not allowed during the service. After the service there will be ample opportunity for pictures, and clergy will stay around as requested.

Baptismal Preparation: parents and sponsors must participate in a baptismal preparation session with the Rector. The preparation session is a discussion of baptism, the symbolism of the ceremony, the promises being made, and the role of the godparents, and includes a brief rehearsal. Godparents living outside the Montreal area can arrange alternate preparation via phone, email or Skype, or with a church in their area. The session lasts about one hour, and may include more than one family.

Baptism of Older Children and Adults. In our increasingly post-Christian society, infant baptism is no longer the norm. Some parents choose to wait until the child is old enough to answer for him/herself. Those with no upbringing in the Christian church may make a conscious decision to become a Christian. In such cases, preparation will be tailored to the individual; please discuss this with the Rector.

First Communion: Baptism is full initiation into Christ’s Church. It is the ancient practice of the Church that the new Christian receives Christ’s Body and Blood at the baptismal Eucharist, as a further sign of his or her membership. For infants this is done with a tiny piece of the bread in wine given on a spoon. First Communion at Baptism is not required, and is offered at the parents’ option. When a child is old enough to understand and participate meaningfully in the sacrament, St. Philip’s offers a preparation class and celebration of First Holy Communion.


Christian rites concerning death are an expression of loss and grief, but also of thanksgiving and hope of resurrection to eternal life. The rites may take several forms, and be spread over several days, according to the needs of family and friends of the deceased.


Prayers at the home or at the wake: a short time of prayer, either privately in the home, or at the funeral home, on at the funeral home at the beginning of the visitation.

Funeral in the church with the body or ashes present: A full celebration of the life of the deceased with family and friends, with or without a celebration of the Holy Eucharist. A celebration of the Eucharist is appropriate if the deceased was an active communicant member of the Church.

Funeral at the funeral home: Some find it more convenient to hold the funeral at the funeral home chapel.

Committal: Prayers at the time of burial of the body, or at committal of the body to the flames.

Interment of Ashes: Prayers at the burial or other disposition of the ashes. Memorial Service: A service in the church, usually some time after the death or without the presence of the ashes or body.

The service may be in English or French, or in both languages, according to the needs of the families. The church can print service leaflets with parallel English and French text to facilitate participation.

Regulations concerning funerals

The casket is always closed before the funeral service, whether in the church or in a funeral home.

In the church, the casket is covered by a funeral pall, an embroidered white cloth which symbolizes the enfolding love of God. Nothing is placed on top of the pall except the stole of a deacon priest and the miter of a bishop.

Music (whether in the church or in a funeral home) should be in keeping with religious nature of service.

It is appropriate that family members and friends participate in the funeral by reading Scriptures and prayers.

Rites of fraternal organizations should take place before and separately from religious service. Legion rites for veterans may take place at the grave or committal.

Eulogies and tributes are appropriate as part of the service. However it is advisable to carefully choose who will speak, in order to avoid inappropriate remarks.


For funerals in the church with the body present, the preferred flowers are two matching arrangements to be placed on either side of the altar. For a funeral with the ashes present, one small arrangement can be placed on the table with the ashes, or a large arrangement can be placed at the foot of the table.


Very often, the children or heirs do not know what hymns or Scriptures readings the deceased would have liked for their funeral. Pre-planning relieves them of this burden. Pre-planning can be as simple as just leaving a list of favourite hymns, or planning every detail of the funeral service. Plans can be changed or updated at any time. For more information, call the parish office.

St. Philip’s Memorial Fund

The Memorial Fund receives donations given in memory of members and friends. The capital is invested, with income used to support the mission of the church. Capital may be withdrawn for major projects, by a vote of Vestry.

We encourage members to request that donations to the Memorial Fund be made by family and friends.


The organist‘s fee for playing at a funeral is $150.00. A donation to the Church and on honorarium to the officiating clergy are at the discretion of the family.

For non-members, the fee for the church is $250, or $350 if a reception will take place before or after the service in the Memorial Hall. In addition, in there is a fee to the verger of $20 per hour for setting up and cleaning up after the reception. An honorarium for the clergy is at the discretion of the family.

Clergy from outside the parish

If the family wish to have other clergy (whether Anglican or of another denomination) participate in the ceremony, that may be arranged with the Rector, who will then make a formal invitation to the other clergy.

For more information, please contact the church office (see coordinates at the bottom of the page)


St. Philip’s Anglican Church
25 Brock Avenue North
Montreal West

Mailing address:
3400 Ave. Connaught
Montreal, QC
H4B 1X3
Office Phone: 514-481-4871
Email: office@stphilip.packet.org

The Rev. James B. Pratt Incumbent
Peter Butler Organist and Choirmaster

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