To all who are anticipating marriage, bless you! If you are considering a wedding here at Church of the Ascension, please join us for worship on a Sunday and introduce yourselves to one of our clergy. During a subsequent meeting with a priest, we can discuss dates and plans. COVID-19 Update: Weddings continue to take place at Ascension, with health-safety measures that have resulted in some outdoor weddings and all with limited attendance.
Weddings at Ascension
During an initial meeting with clergy, we normally plan dates for pre-marital counseling and hold a date for a wedding. The main aim of this meeting is to reach an agreement between the couple and priest about overall expectations and commitments.
Premarital counseling is required -- a minimum of three 75-minute sessions, arranged with and facilitated by the priest who will preside at the wedding. On occasion the presiding priest will identify an alternative, suitable clergy or therapist, in which case separate payment to the priest or therapist for counseling time will normally pertain. In either scenario, the counseling sessions are to be completed not less than 90 days before the date of the proposed ceremony.
We traditionally use marriage rites from the Episcopal Book of Common Prayer. As described on the Episcopal Diocese of Chicago website, the Bishop of Chicago has authorized rites for use by gay and lesbian couples (also increasingly used by straight couples).
In anticipation of marriage, couples are expected to take part in Sunday mass at least twice a month and to participate as able in the life and ministries of the parish.
We view marriage as a sacramental rite, a holy union. We help you prepare for a beautiful wedding day and a lasting and meaningful marriage that is an important expression of your Christian faith.
If you have been previously married, the priest will work with you to prepare a related Application to the Bishop for Judgment as to Marital Status. The Bishop requires that additional counseling be provided and that the application be completed and submitted at least 90 days prior to the intended date of subsequent marriage. There is no fee for the Application.
The parish Organist has the right of first refusal to play all weddings and if unavailable will find and arrange for a suitable substitute. Additionally, any additional musicians and music (vocalist, brass, strings, etc.) are normally arranged for and must be approved by the parish Organist. The organist should be contacted directly by the bride and groom at least 90 days prior to the ceremony to plan music.
Communion is a normal feature of weddings at Church of the Ascension, and related questions should be addressed to the officiating priest well in advance of the ceremony.
Printed bulletins are normally provided by the church at no cost. It is critical for the couple to be timely in communicating information so that the bulletin may be timely reviewed by the bride and groom and printed. Information should be provided at least two weeks prior to the ceremony and a final review completed five or more days prior.
The basic wedding fee for pledging members of the parish is waived, although a voluntary thank offering is welcomed.
A $1000 wedding fee for non-members or those not otherwise regularly contributing to the parish is to be paid in full before a calendar date can be confirmed. (The fee may be reduced by the priest in instances of economic hardship.)
Additional fees for both members and non-members include:
The services of the clergy are free to all, though many couples make a personal gift to the priest or to the priest’s discretionary fund. The normal range of such gifts is $200-$500 and often depends upon how much time the priest has devoted to counseling and other preparations before the wedding day.
Additional fees may pertain depending on circumstances.
Wedding Day Considerations
The foregoing restrictions and cautions notwithstanding, we wish to make your wedding day a meaningful and joyful occasion. The parish clergy, staff and worship ministers will do their best to understand your hopes and needs and to be of service to you and your family, friends and guests.
To discuss your wedding, join us for worship on a Sunday and talk to one of our clergy.
"Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness."
Church of the Ascension
1133 N La Salle Dr.
Chicago, IL 60610-2601
Sunday Worship Schedule
9:30 a.m. - Morning Prayer, via Zoom
10:0 a.m. - Mass (In-person and streamed)
(pre-registration is not required for in-person services, but please check in with an usher upon arrival)
Our free parking lot is located on the northeast corner of La Salle Boulevard and Maple Street.