From Wellington Cathedral of St Paul
Special Services in the Cathedral
Wellington Cathedral is the venue for a range of special services – from marking the rites of passage such as Baptism, Confirmation, Weddings and Funerals, to civic and national events of importance and meaning.
Baptism is the Sacrament of Initiation into God’s Church. It is a serious and once-only event. Preparation is offered to parents and god-parents before the ceremony which takes place in the context of one of our usual Sunday services. (Please note that there is no such thing as a ‘private’ baptism – a person is baptized into the Church which must be present.)
Thanksgiving for the Gift of a Child
This is a delightful service which deserves to be more widely known and used. It is a simple service of thanksgiving and can be performed anywhere and at almost anytime – in hospital, on arriving home, a Chapel. For many people not sure about the commitment of Baptism this is a very good first step – marking of an important occasion in any family’s life, without necessarily making a formal Christian commitment.
The Cathedral has two beautiful spaces for weddings – the nave (main part of the Cathedral) and the smaller Lady Chapel (seats 60 max.). Before making other bookings and arrangements prospective couples should contact a priest at the Cathedral. Preparation is offered and the couple work through the implications of Christian marriage with a priest as they prepare their unique order of service. This is usually done over a period of months. Ask too about the bells, choir, flowers etc.
Confirmation and Renewal
Many people feel the need to make an adult and public profession of their faith. This is where Confirmation and/or Renewal of Faith come in. Using a process which invites people to reflect on their experience of regular Sunday worship and daily life, small groups of people discover together what God is calling them to be and do, the joys of prayer, the richness of Bible Study, the cost and rewards of being a member of the Body of Christ, the Church. This sacrament is usually celebrated during Eastertide and will often include adults being baptized.
As funerals in New Zealand become increasingly secular the Cathedral offers a Christian burial. Death for Christians is not the end, but the transition from life to Life. Please contact a priest as soon as possible, and s/he will walk with the family through what is always a difficult and emotional time. Careful choice of hymns and readings can express faith and hope.
Civic, State, Military and other Services
A Cathedral is the natural place for many occasions which are not strictly ‘church’. The Dean is always the first point of contact and will listen carefully to the need and then work alongside the various parties to craft a service which both fulfils the requirements of the ‘outside’ party and is within the parameters of a Christian building. The Dean (or his deputy) is always the host at such events.
In August 2005 the installation of a new Sound System (costing $150,000) was completed. This has revolutionized the spoken word. People with hearing aids should tune them to ‘loop’.