Wedding Blessings & Renewing Wedding Vows
Wedding Blessings - In Russia, in order for a marriage to be legally recognised, it must take place in a civil ceremony at a registry office (ЗАГС) or a wedding palace, of which there are 4 in St Petersburg, 2 in the city centre and one each in Peterhof & Pushkin.
For civil marriages in St Petersburg involving a foreign national, the preparation lead-time and paperwork required, including a certificate of no impediment, can be significant. British nationals can learn more about this process from the GOV.UK Getting married abroad site and American citizens can refer to the U.S. Citizen Services information on Getting Married in Russia.
Following a civil marriage ceremony, whether in Russia or abroad, the Anglican Church in St Petersburg can offer a Service of Prayer and Dedication, which is often known as a 'blessing’. It is a simple service in English, acknowledging the commitment already made between husband and wife during a civil ceremony and asking for God’s blessing and guidance in their new life together. It can be designed to have a similar feel to a wedding with hymns, readings and flowers, or it can be an intimate, low key service.
Because it is not a marriage service, banns are not required, there is no exchange of rings or signing of a register, and no marriage certificate is issued.
Renewing Wedding Vows - In recent years, there has been increasing interest from couples wishing to express their continuing love and commitment to each other, and often also mark a significant wedding anniversary, by renewing their wedding vows during a visit to the beautiful city of St Petersburg.
The Anglican Church in St Petersburg offers a Thanksgiving for Marriage service which celebrates a couple's renewed commitment to each other in the presence of God. As such, the service is a declaration of continuing love and devotion and the only condition placed upon those seeking this service is that they are already legally married.
The service is in English and usually comprises a welcome, a prayer of preparation, a preface, a reading and a sermon, often with one or two hymns, followed by the renewal of vows. After this, the original wedding rings, or new rings such as eternity rings, are blessed and prayers are said, before the minister ends by blessing the couple.
As with wedding blessings, given that the couple are already married, there is no signing of a register and no marriage certificate is issued.
Contact us - If you are interested in finding out more about a wedding blessing or a renewal of your wedding vows at the Anglican Church in St Petersburg, please contact our churchwarden via the 'Get in touch' page.