What We Believe
A Rite of Holy Union or a Rite of Holy Matrimony is a celebration of “wedding”, the spiritual joining of persons in a covenant relationship. The Rite of Holy Matrimony is for opposite-gender persons, and the Rite of Holy Union is for same-gender persons.
These ceremonies are more than a ritual. They are the culmination of decisions that have brought you to this point where you are making public, formal agreements and vows. These vows encompass the spiritual, emotional and physical commitment you are making to each other as an expression of mutual love and support. It is a covenant which places God at its center.
While wedding ceremonies are described in ancient religious literature, no particular ceremony is sanctioned or required. They must have varied from culture to culture and era to era. However, they were all solemn, mutual agreements between people with a statement of specific terms, confirmed by an oath. In many instances God was the formal, named witness to the agreement.
The covenant of Holy Matrimony or Holy Union is a serious undertaking, not to be entered into lightly. The Sunshine Cathedral believes that it is primarily a spiritual ceremony, and should be a reflection of your spiritual values. If you are not seeking a faith-based ceremony, a secular ceremony may be more appropriate for you.
The service can be as simple or as elaborate as you wish, but some basic elements are strongly suggested: prayer, scripture or other spiritual readings, instruction or encouragement, dismissal and blessing. The Rite itself should include vows or pledges and the exchange of rings or other personal tokens. The Eucharist may conclude the service if you feel it is appropriate. (This, however, is not necessary.)
A Holy Union is a religious rite. At present, there is only one state within the continental United States that affords Civil Unions the same legal status as a Matrimony. However, if you both live in Broward County you can register your Domestic Partnership with the county. We offer this service (including notary public) as part of our Holy Union package. You can also make contractual agreements by consulting your attorney. If you need a referral, we will give you a list of attorneys.
Holy Matrimony is both a religious and a civil act, and changes the legal status of the relationship between two people of opposite gender. There are civil forms and legal requirements which are required by the State of Florida. You will need to obtain a marriage license prior to the wedding date. You might also consult with your attorney about the legal aspects of your marriage.
We take the sacraments and the rites of the church very seriously. Before we will perform one of these ceremonies, you must 1) first meet with a wedding consultant; 2) meet several times with the person who will solemnize your vows 3) assume financial responsibility for the cost associated with the ceremony; and 4) have been in this relationship long enough to be very clear about your decision to be wed. (Six months is a suggested minimum period for being in relationship before being wed.)
The decision as to whether we will conduct the ceremony will be made by the clergyperson with whom you meet. The date of your service will not be finalized until this decision has been reached.
If one or more of you have been previously married, every legal impediment should have been removed before a date is set for this wedding.
To begin planning a wedding contact the church office for an appointment with a wedding consultant. This initial appointment will answer many of your questions. You will then meet with your chosen celebrant as stated above. At the end of this appointment you will be given a Wedding Planner. After you have had an opportunity to go over the materials together, we will have one or more meetings to plan your ceremony and finalize other details. Please complete the information on the next page and get in touch for your first appointment.
Our beautiful and convenient 100+ seat Robert S. Graham, MD, and Paul Fasana Chapel makes a marvelous setting for all but the largest weddings. It is currently being renovated. It is designed to be flexible so that your wedding will be placed in the finest surroundings. An organ and grand piano are available for music, as well as a sound system for recorded music.
Our Social Hall is located in the Dr. John C. Graves Building, a beautiful setting for a reception (just across the courtyard from the chapel).
The Friendship Court will create a beautiful setting for wedding pictures. (We have a growing list of photographers and videographers for your convenience.)
Very large weddings can be placed in the 450-seat Walter Lawrence & Stephen Lewis Worship Center, with our beautiful four-manual Rogers Organ and a 9ft grand piano. The Worship Center is located just across the drive from the Chapel, Courtyard and Social Hall.
Weddings Fees at the Sunshine Cathedral:
(Non-refundable Deposit Required)*
$500.00 – Walt Lawrence & Stephen Lewis Center for Worship and the Arts**
$250.00 – Robert Graham MD & Paul Fasana Chapel***
$100.00 – Lighten Technician
$100.00 – Sound Technician
$100.00 – Social Hall (optional)
$300.00 – Clergy (includes pre-meetings and ceremony)
*All fees must be paid 30 days prior to ceremony/event.
**250.00 Non-refundable deposit required at time of reservation.
***100.00 Non-refundable deposit required at time of reservation.
Note: Fees for the Clergy, Sound and Lighting must be paid to the individual providing the services directly.
If you wish to begin making arrangements for your ceremony, you may complete our information form here:
Holy Union Questions
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