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The Sacrament of Holy Baptism

Holy Baptism is the highpoint of our worship and our life together. In the mystery of Holy Baptism, we believe that we actually die with Christ to sin and death, and we rise again to freedom and life eternal. When we baptize infants, it is the parents and sponsors (Godparents) who make promises on behalf of the child. When we baptize adults, the adult herself or himself renounces evil, affirms faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and joins in promising to uphold the faith of the Church.

In baptism Holy Water is poured over the head of the person being baptized. Then Holy Oil is poured on the person's head as the presence of the Holy Spirit is invoked and claimed for this new Christian. Finally, a candle is give to the newly baptized, symbolizng that this person now shares in carrying the Light of Christ in to the world.  Holy Baptism at All Souls is a very special time and takes place in the midst of a public service of worship.



To Begin

The best way to begin thinking about a wedding at All Souls is by attending on a Sunday or weekday and checking us out.  Once you've experienced worship among us and gotten a sense of the clergy and parish, if you would like to inquire about a wedding, simply email or call us at 202-232-4244 to talk about possible dates.


As the understanding of Christian marriage and God’s blessing on covenant relationships continues to evolve, the Episcopal Church continues to pray, discern, and live out its faith. Episcopal priests (depending upon the Diocesan and state regulations) may marry same-gender couples, but the 2012 General Convention of the Episcopal Church authorized a particular liturgy for provisional use by same-gender couples.  The liturgy may be found here

Different-gender couples may use any of the liturgies in the Book of Common Prayer p. 423 –436, or the provisional liturgy designed for same-gender couples.  The Prayer Book service is the more traditional service, while the provisional liturgy may better reflect the theology of relationships in the 21st Century. 

In any case, the liturgy normally includes the Celebration of Holy Communion for all who are present, though there may be circumstances in which Communion is not celebrated.

While church membership is not required before marriage, those who come to the Church seeking God's blessing on their relationship should do so with a clear intention of maintaining an active participation in the life of the Church. While there may be extenuating circumstances, it should be considered normative that a marriage take place where the couple intends to worship.

The Basics

Where to start:   Begin by visiting All Souls for a worship service.  This is where the conversation should begin, even if you are new.  Visiting will give you a sense of the space, the style, the musical offerings available, and the personalities of the clergy.

The date:   Contact the parish office to see if the church is available and speak with a priest about scheduling your service.  You may call the parish office at 202-232-4244 or email

What things cost:  Our typical fee structure may be found here. Payment for all fees is expected by the time of the rehearsal.

Marriage License:   The license is issued by the Marriage Bureau section of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, located at Moultrie Courthouse, 500 Indiana Avenue, N.W., Room 4485, Washington, D.C. 20001.  The main phone number is 202-879-4840 and the business hours are Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.  The marriage license should be obtained within sixty days of the wedding and brought to the parish office.  The priest cannot officiate without the license. After the wedding, the priest will sign and mail the license. More information can be found at the web site

Flowers:   If flowers are to be used, they are arranged through Allan Woods Florist, 2645 Connecticut Avenue NW (between Calvert and Woodley), Washington, DC 20008.  The phone number is 202-332-3334.  Options for flowers include two large arrangements (one on either side of the High Altar) and two additional, smaller arrangements on the altar in the Mary Chapel.  Flowers are left in the church for use on Sunday, and the Sunday worship leaflet will identify the flowers as given to the glory of God and in thanksgiving for the new couple.  Prayers are also said for the couple. 

Music:   Music is coordinated through Dr. Benjamin Hutchens, director of music.  Additional information about music may be found below.  Dr. Hutchens may be reached at 202-232-4244 or



The normal process around weddings and blessings involves an initial meeting with the rector. In this meeting, the spiritual traditions of the couple are discussed, as well as their expectations for their life in the future. If the couple decides to continue in this process, they will then meet with a counselor for three one-and-a-half-hour sessions. These are confidential with the provision that if there is any reason why the counselor cannot recommend the couple further, she will communicate this to the rector. The rector and the couple then meet to plan the liturgy and discuss any additional spiritual questions the couple may have.


Further guidelines will be posted online shortly.

Interested in discussing your needs? Fill out our request form and submit it to our Rector   emailicon


At the End of Life
Planning for the End of Life

If someone in your family has died, please call the parish office or the rector.  A priest from the parish is always available to help you with prayers, logistics, and even the first conversations with a funeral home or cemetery. 

Ideally, one makes plans for the end of life well in advance.  A resource that guides you through some of the issues you might think about is available here

All Souls Memorial Episcopal Church has a columbarium, which is a large, beautiful, wooden cabinet in which brass urns are kept.  Cremains, the cremated remains of a loved one, are interred in the urn and the urn is engraved with the person's name and dates of birth and death.  A couple may be placed in one urn.  For information on purchasing or reserving an urn, please contact the parish office at 202-232-4244 or email Ms. Mary Beth Howard, parish administrator. 
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