Weddings, Funerals and Lifecycle Events

Weddings, Funerals and Lifecycle Events

Our chaplain, Luke is a credentialed and provincially licensed minister, and is available to preside over weddings, funerals, new-life celebrations for babies, and other lifecycle events. He is also available to lead community wide prayer, providing bible reading, or other spiritual elements at community and social events, such as remembrance services, memorials, celebrations, reunions.

Weddings, funerals, new-life celebrations, and other key lifecycle events are available both to people who are part of our fellowship, and those in our wider community.

Please contact us if you would like to enquire about booking an event.

For more information about specific events, please see the FAQ Below.

Questions and Answers

Can you preside over my wedding?

In most cases, yes, we are happy to celebrate your union, and preside over your wedding ceremony, even if you are not normally part of our congregation.
Luke is licensed as a religious representative for weddings by the BC Vital Statistics Agency, and is a certified Chaplain working with Fellowship Chaplains, and is a credentialed minister of Fellowship Pacific. He is therefore legally authorized to solemnize weddings within the province of BC.
However, please be aware that this subject to a few conditions.
Unlike a civil officiant, as a religious representative acts in his capacity as a minister of the Christian faith, and represents not only the BC Vital Statistics Agency, but is also a representative of God, and The Fellowship — the denomination by whom he is credentialed.
As such, all weddings Luke officiates will include some Christian elements and language, including an acknowledgement that we are gathered in the sight of God, and a definition of marriage that includes God as the author of marriage. We do not insist that you are a Christian, or regular attender at our (or any other) church to be married in a Christian wedding, but we do require that both parties can, in good conscience, agree to the inclusion of this, as respect that this does represent the sincerely held belief of our Chaplain.
We therefore always ask to meet you in person to discuss your requirements, and ensure we will be a suitable fit, before agreeing to preside over your ceremony.
Please also note that, it is a requirement of the terms of his role as a Fellowship Chaplain and credentials as a minister of Fellowship Pacific, as well as his sincerely held religious belief and conviction, that this biblical definition of marriage is a monogamous union between one man and one woman. For this reason, we cannot preside over a marriage union that does not meet this definition — ie, a marriage between individuals of the same gender, or marriage between two individuals assigned the same biological sex at birth, irrespective of later legal changes of gender, or a marriage involving any individual in a non-monomous relationship.

Where can you perform our wedding?

Luke is licensed to marry couples anywhere within the province of BC. You are free to get married indoors, or outdoors, and you do not need to get married in a religious building.
Hudson’s Hope Chapel is a home church, and do not have a traditional church building. If you would like to get married in a church building, you may contact House of Hope Community Church, or St. Peter’s Anglican Church about hiring their venue separately. Our chaplain is happy to work with either venue, and can still preside over wedding services in either church building.
Alternatively, you are welcome to get married any other venue you like. Some choose to be married in a small, intimate location, like their home, or outdoors, either on their property, or another beautiful location in our province. Others choose to marry in a civil building, like a community hall, a conference suite, hotel ballroom, or other venue.
Wherever you choose, as long as it is within the province, and you have secured the necessary permission to use the venue for that purpose, we are happy to work with you to ensure your day is exactly what you imagined.

Can you lead a funeral service, memorial, or celebration of life for a departed loved one?

Yes. In general, we would be honoured to lead a funeral service, or celebration of life for a departed loved one.
As a chaplain, Luke is here not only to lead this service, but can also meet with the family throughout the process, and is available to provide bereavement care and pastoral support, if you would like it.
We always do our best to ensure you have a memorial service that truly honours the memory of your loved one, while also doing our best to reduce as much of the the burden of planning and delivering this as possible from you and your family, giving you the necessary space to grieve and mourn.
While we are, of course, always available to anyone who is known to us personally — especially those in our church family, and this can provide us opportunities to offer a uniquely tailored service, we are also happy to preside over the funerals of those who are not known to us.
While we are willing to preside over the funerals of people of other faiths, and no professed faith, please understand that any funerals, memorials, or celebrations of life that we lead will be explicitly Christian in nature, and we will always therefore include a short Christian message that will minister hope that is found in the good news of Jesus Christ, and his love.
If you think you, or your loved one would not want this, and would prefer an entirely secular memorial, or a funeral presided over by a minister of another religious tradition, we would be happy to help point you in the direction of people who may be able to help with this, and would still be honoured to help you in practical ways, if we possibly can.

Can you lead help us celebrate the birth of a new child (or adoption of a child into our family)?

The birth or adoption of a new child is always something to celebrate, and we are happy to join you in marking this special occasion. This provides an opportunity to give thanks for the child. While there is no formal legal requirement to mark this occasion, and thus there is no “official” ceremony for this, many families do choose to do so with some kind of celebration, and we are happy to work with you to do this in a way that fully marks the significance of this wonderful and blessed event.
We offer both Thanksgiving Celebrations and Dedication services, as an opportunity mark the birth or adoption of your child.

Should I choose a Thanksgiving Celebration or a Child Dedication Service? What is the difference?

Both services include three common elements.
First, they are an opportunity for you, as parents, to give thanks to God for the birth of your child.
Second, both provide an opportunity to name Godparents (or guardians/sponsors etc.) if you choose to have them. These are chosen individuals who have a special relationship with the child, committing to help the parents raise the child well.
The third is a chance for the wider community to celebrate with you in your joy, and welcome the new child into the community.
Dedication is a symbolic christian ceremony, which has two additional elements.
First, it includes an explicit commitment by the parents (and godparents, if chosen) to Train up a child in the way he should go” (Proverbs 22:6), raising the child in the Christian faith, and giving them every opportunity to hear and respond to the gospel.
Secondly, it also includes an opportunity for the gathered Christian community to make promises before God to, as much as is possible, assist the parents in this task, by faithfully modelling the Christian faith, and taking opportunities to present the good news of Jesus with the child.
Both services include some Christian elements, but a dedication includes significantly more Christian commitments. A Thanksgiving celebration can take place in any location, and at any time, whereas a dedication would usually take place in the context of our regular Sunday gatherings.
While any parent may choose a thanksgiving celebration, due to the nature of the promises and commitments made during the dedication service, including by other Christians in our church community, we would generally suggest that a dedication may not be appropriate for a non-christian family, or parents who are not part of a church family, and do not worship together regularly.

Can you baptize/Christen my child?

Probably not, as we do not baptize/christen infants who are unable to make a personal profession of faith for themselves. We understand that christians of different traditions differ on this, but we believe that baptism is a symbolic act, representing a person’s spiritual rebirth. Because it is a representation of an internal spiritual church, it is to be offered only to believers who have chosen to follow Christ for themselves, and can profess their faith for theirselves. While there is no minimum age, per se, we would ask that a person be able to express both their faith in Christ and a desire to be baptized for themselves.
For more information about baptism, you can see our Baptism page.
If you would like to celebrate your child’s birth, and make many of the same commitments — to raise them in the Christian faith — a dedication service is probably more appropriate.

What are the responsibilities of a Godparent (sponsor/guardian etc)? Do I need to have them?

A godparent is not a specific defined role either in scripture, or any legal status, rights, or responsibilities in Canada. At points in history, it has had different responsibilities, but today is a historic and symbolic role within the church, and means different things to different people. In general, when you name a godparent as part of your Thanksgiving or dedication service, they are individuals who you, as parents, are asking them to step forward and publicly support and assist you in raising your child well. You are giving them permission to be a part of your child’s life, and letting people know that they have a special role in your child’s life. In the context of a dedication, this also includes committing to, as much as is possible, raise them in the Christian faith, and being trusted spiritual mentors to the child as they grow.
You may choose to use different language to describe these people, including sponsor, guardian, etc. This is fine, but be aware, some of these things may have a different legal meaning. For example, a legal guardian has a different, and more specific legal role or responsibility, and naming someone a “guardian” in the context of a thanksgiving service or dedication will not grant them these rights and responsibilities, and you will still be responsible for ensuring that you complete the legal process to confer this upon them, if you desire for them to have these responsibilities. Likewise, while historically a godparent would be the individuals responsible for raising your child if you were to pass away, Canadian courts do not recognize this, and you would still need to specify this your will if you want this to be the case.
You are not required to have godparent named as part of your thanksgiving, and there is no formal definition for who they can or should be, but if you do, you should discuss with them — and us — what you want their role and responsibility to be in your Childs life, so we can ensure that the service properly reflects this.
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