Worship Services & Religious Ceremonies

 

History of and Current Information about Religious Ceremonies

 

WORSHIP SERVICES

Historic Rocky Springs Chapel (HRSC) is a small, interdenominational community church built circa 1882, by the Church of the United Brethren in Christ (UB) denomination that was founded at the nearby home of Reverend Peter Kemp in 1800. For its first quarter century (1882-1909), the chapel’s congregation was ministered to by circuit riding preachers assigned by the UB Church. In 1909, due to declining membership, the UB officially “withdrew from the field” in the Rocky Springs vicinity and sold the chapel to the community.  At this point, Rocky Springs Chapel became a house of worship for members of all Christian denominations (i.e.  Reformers, Lutherans, Methodists ,United Brethren and the Church of God) and frequently served as a preaching point for newly licensed ministers. In keeping with its history, HRSC embraces and values all Christian traditions, while celebrating their essential unity in Christ.

Due to the historic chapel’s small size (it can comfortably accommodate 100 people) and its interdenominational nature, HRSC relies on volunteer ministers, pastors, preachers, reverends and chaplains to conduct its worship services.  If you would like to attend worship services at HRSC, or you are a member of the clergy and think you might be interested in volunteering to preach/conduct worship services at HRSC (either periodically or on a one-time basis), please contact Trustees JaNeen Smith or Debby Moone at  (240) 439-4235 or email debbymoone@gmail.com.  We would love to hear from you!  All are welcome at HRSC.

 “An undated photograph of an unidentified circuit riding preacher from the 1938 book, “History of the Pennsylvania Conference of the Church of the United Brethren In Christ” by Reverend Paul E. Holdcraft. In the book the photograph is captioned “To the CIRCUIT-RIDERS of the Long, Long Ago This Volume is Reverently Dedicated.”

“The cover of Harper’s Weekly for October 12, 1867, celebrated the stamina and dedication of America’s circuit riding preachers.”

1867 Harpers Weekly with a Circuit Rider on the cover

PRAYER REQUESTS

HRSC’s Intercessory Prayer Chain consists of a group of people that have been called to the ministry of praying for others on a regular and ongoing basis.  They have committed themselves to pray regularly, confidentially and individually for the people and concerns that are requested of them.  They form part of a chain through which God’s love flows, and they circulate prayer requests and results among themselves via a communication chain.

If you have a serious or pressing problem and are in need of prayer, please submit your prayer request to HRSC at debbymoone@gmail.com.   Your request will be immediately passed to our Prayer Chain Coordinator who will initiate the prayer chain.  Your prayer request will be kept in complete confidence and only shared with the members of our prayer chain.  Once our Prayer Chain Coordinator confirms that each member of the prayer chain has received your prayer request, and put you or your situation into their personal prayers, we will let you know.

WEDDINGS

We hope you will consider holding your marriage ceremony (or renewal of vows ceremony) at Historic Rocky Springs Chapel. For over a century this historic chapel has provided a serene and charming setting for the marriage ceremonies of many generations of couples. The chapel has changed very little since it was built circa 1882 and has maintained its unique historical character and charm. The chapel’s ten tall, segmental arched windows, high ceiling, and hard wood floor and pews will transport you and your guests back to the Victorian age.
Whether you seek a simple relaxed country wedding or one of tradition and elegance, your wedding at Historic Rocky Springs Chapel will bring a rich legacy of history into your future, and be a wedding that you and your guests will delight in.  We do not subscribe to rigid rules like many other churches and will allow you freedom of choice about your wedding ceremony.  We know each couple is unique and we know how important it is that your wedding reflect who you are. We honor your decision to have a wedding that is truly your own creation. Our goal is to provide you with the opportunity to have the wedding of your dreams.

 

Wedding Photograph of an Unidentified Bride & Groom Circa 1885

Wedding Photograph of an Unidentified Bride & Groom Circa 1888

If you are considering having your wedding at Historic Rocky Springs Chapel, please make an appointment to visit the chapel. If you live out-of-state and have family or friends in the area, they are encouraged to visit the chapel on your behalf so they can provide feedback to you before you make a final decision to have your wedding here.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are there any fees to use the chapel?  No, we do not charge a fee to use the chapel.  However, donations to Historic Rocky Springs Chapel, Inc. are accepted and very much appreciated.
How many guests can the chapel hold?  The chapel can comfortably seat 100 guests.
Can we bring our own minister? Yes, if you would like to use your own Minister or Pastor or have arranged for a Judge or Court Clerk to perform your marriage ceremony, they are welcome to do so at  Historic Rocky Springs Chapel.   Please let us know if you will be using your own marriage officiant and when you would like to use the chapel for rehearsal so we can reserve it for you. If your officiant has any questions they are more than welcome to call us.
We don’t know anyone who can marry us.  Can you suggest someone who can?  Reverend Maxine Bowens, who is a member of our board of trustees, is an ordained and licensed ceremonial minister of the First Nation Church & Ministry and can legally perform your marriage ceremony if you wish. If you would like to meet with Reverend Bowens about performing your ceremony please let us know and we will put you in contact with her to begin the planning process.
Are there restroom facilities in the chapel?  No, the chapel remains as it was originally built in 1882, so there are no bathroom facilities within it.   However, United Site Services provides wedding portable restrooms and restroom trailers that you can rent  for your wedding to accommodate you and your guests. United Site Services will deliver, set up and remove the portable restrooms/restroom trailer after your wedding. Contact information for United Site Services is below.  Photographs and specifications of their wedding portable restrooms and restroom trailers can be found on their website at www.unitedsiteservices.com:

Liane Bollinger, Account Manager- DC, MD, VA
UNITED SITE SERVICES, INC.
Office: 250.427.5495
Cell: 240.585.0055
Customer Care: 1.800.TOILETS
1.800.864.5387
www.Unitedsiteservices.com

If you decide to rent a  portable toilet or restroom trailer for your wedding, we ask that you please let us know when you have arranged to have it delivered and picked up.
Where can our guests park? There is over an acre of parking located directly behind the chapel where your guests can park free of charge.
We are interested in booking the chapel for our wedding. What do we do next?  Call or email Rocky Springs Chapel Trustees JaNeen Smith or Debby Moone at (240) 439-4235 or debbymoone@gmail.com to schedule a date and time to see the chapel. Debby will meet you at the chapel, give you a tour and answer any questions you have.  If you decide to have your wedding at the chapel, please let us know as soon as you have made the decision so we can lock-in your wedding date and time.
What address should I put on my wedding invitations?  Historic Rocky Springs Chapel, 7817 Rocky Springs Road, Frederick, MD 21702
How long does it take for a rehearsal?  The rehearsal usually takes 45 minutes.
Is the chapel already decorated? Yes, the chapel is already decorated.  However, you are free to bring your own decorations or modify the decorations if you wish.
When can we decorate?  Decorations can be brought to the chapel the day before your wedding or the day of your wedding, whichever you prefer. In addition, arrangements can be made to have flowers delivered the day of the wedding by having the florist call us. Decorations brought in for the wedding must be removed from the chapel after the ceremony.
How many pews are there?  There are 20 pews (2 rows of 10 with an isle between them).
How long is the aisle?  The aisle is about 30 foot long.

Can we hire a musician or use a CD player to provide music for our ceremony?  Yes. However, they will need to bring their own instrument(s) and/or you must provide your own CD player. In addition, if using a CD player, someone will need to be assigned the duty of starting and stopping the music for you.
Can we have our reception at the chapel?  No.  Your reception must be held off site.  However, if you would like to have just your cake and non-alcoholic beverages in the chapel for your guests, feel free to do so. Please note: there are no kitchen facilities or plumbing/running water of any kind in the chapel.
Do you know of any helpful resources we can use to assist us in planning our wedding?
Yes, www.frederickweddings.com is an excellent resource!

MARRIAGE LICENSE INFORMATION

(from the website of the Clerk’s Office, Circuit Court for Frederick County, Maryland)
Obtaining a License

  • One of the parties, to be married, must appear in person at the office of the Clerk of the Circuit Court for the county in which the wedding will take place to make an application.
  • Upon completion of the application, the Marriage License will be issued to the appearing party. The couple may not be married until after 48 hours has passed. (License becomes valid at 6:00 am on the second day after the license is issued)
  • The license is valid for a period of 6 months. (Couple must be married within 6 months or the license will expire)
  • The license is valid only in the county in which it was issued. (ceremony must occur in the same county that the license was issued)
  • Information Needed at Time of Application to Apply for a License
  • Fee of $75.00 in Frederick County (fees vary from county to county) payable by cash, Visa or MasterCard

Required Information for Each Party

  • Full Legal Name
  • Current Physical Address
  • Age
  • State or Country of Birth
  • Social Security Numbers
  • Marital Status (Single, Divorced, Widow or Widower)
  • If either party has been previously married, the MM/DD/YYYY, county and state (or Country) must be provided for EACH divorce or death.
  • Relationship of Parties (by blood or marriage)

Marriage of Minors (under age 18)

  • 16 or 17 years old must have the consent of a parent or guardian (must appear with minor at the time of application) OR have a certificate from a licensed physician or certified nurse practitioner. The certificate must appear on physician or nurse practitioner’s letterhead, stating that the woman to be married has been examined and found to be pregnant or has given birth to a child. The certificate must be signed (no stamps) by the physician or nurse practitioner. Certificates signed by midwives or nurses are not sufficient.
  • 15 years old must have the consent of a parent or guardian (must appear with minor at the time of application) and have a certificate from a licensed physician or certified nurse practitioner. The certificate must appear on physician or nurse practitioner’s letterhead, stating that the woman to be married has been examined and found to be pregnant or has given birth to a child. The certificate must be signed (no stamps) by the physician or nurse practitioner. Certificates signed by midwives or nurses are not sufficient.
  • 14 years of age and younger may not marry in Maryland.

Non-Resident Applications
If neither party is a resident of the county in which the ceremony will take place, Maryland law allows application for a Marriage License to be made by mail. Either party must take the Non-Resident Application form to the Circuit Court Clerk or comparable official in the county in which they reside. The form must be completed in the presence of that official (not before). The official will sign and seal the application and mail the form and payment to the Circuit Court for the Maryland county in which the ceremony is taking place. Upon receiving the application, the Clerk will then process it and disburse the Marriage License however indicated on the Non-Resident Application.

 

Methods of payment accepted are bank certified checks or money orders. They must be made payable to the Clerk of the Circuit Court in the amount of $75.00 (fees vary from county to county).
Note that this provision is a Maryland law. Clerks of Court in Maryland counties will provide this service. Comparable officials in other states, however, are not required to provide this service and may refuse to do so. Therefore, you are advised to check with the out-of-state official well in advance of your wedding. If this service cannot be provided, one of the parties will have to appear in person to make the application. Comparable official would include: Clerk of a Court; Recorder of Deeds; Prothonotary. A Notary Public is not a comparable official.
Copies of Marriage Records
Certified copies may be obtained from the Records Department. You may also request a certified copy by mail. The request should be mailed to:
Clerk of the Circuit Court for Frederick County
100 West Patrick Street
Frederick, MD 21701
Attn: Record Room
Please include in your request:

  • Names of parties as they were printed on the Marriage License
  • Date of Marriage
  • Check or money order in the amount of $5.50 for each certified copy requested, payable to the Clerk of the Circuit Court
    Non-certified copies are also available. The same information is necessary, however, please indicate in your letter that you do not need the copy certified. Non-Certified copies are $.50 each.

For further information on obtaining a marriage license or questions concerning civil ceremonies, please call 301-600-1976.

Maryland Marriage Law

(extract from Maryland Code Family Law Article)
§2–406.

(a)  (2)   A marriage ceremony may be performed in this State by:
(i)   any official of a religious order or body authorized by the rules and customs of that order or body to perform a marriage ceremony;
(ii)   any clerk;
(iii)   any deputy clerk designated by the county administrative judge of the circuit court for the county;

or
(iv)   a judge.
(b)   Within 6 months after a license becomes effective, any authorized official may perform the marriage ceremony of the individuals named in the license.
(c)    (1)   An individual may not perform a marriage ceremony unless the individual is authorized to perform a marriage ceremony under subsection (a) of this section.

(2)   An individual who violates this subsection is guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction is subject to a fine of $500.
(d)    (1)   An individual may not knowingly perform a marriage ceremony between individuals who are prohibited from marrying under § 2-202 of this title.
(2)   An individual who violates the provisions of this subsection is guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction is subject to a fine of $500.
(e)    (1)   An individual may not perform a marriage ceremony without a license that is effective under this subtitle.
(2)   An individual who violates the provisions of this subsection is guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction is subject to a fine not exceeding $500.
(f)   The county administrative judge of the circuit court for the county shall designate:
(1)   when and where the clerk or deputy clerk may perform a marriage ceremony; and
(2)   the form of the marriage ceremony to be recited by the clerk or deputy clerk and the parties being married.
(g)   This section does not affect the right of any religious denomination to perform a marriage ceremony in accordance with the rules and customs of the denomination.

CHRISTENINGS

We hope you will choose to have your baby’s Christening ceremony at Historic Rocky Springs Chapel.
A “Christening,” is the baptism and naming of a baby. A baby’s Christening is usually thought of as a “naming ceremony” (the formal bestowal of a Christian name) that accompanies the act of baptism.  “Baptism” is the more general theological term that symbolizes membership in the Christian community. Either infants or adults may be baptized, depending on the person or the denomination. Adults are not Christened. Baptism is a sacrament and represents a deliberate act of identification with the person of Jesus Christ and his Church. With infant baptism, the parents are asked to reaffirm their faith in Jesus and to pledge that they will bring their child up in the life of the Church in the hope that in due course he/she will make a personal response of faith. At the same time, the congregation is asked, on behalf of the universal Church, to do what it can to support the parents in the fulfillment of their vows.
When a child is baptized they are not baptized into any particular denomination, they are baptized into the Christian Church. Denominational affiliation is not tied to the act of baptism but rather to the church that your child will choose to associate with when they are grown.  Christening ceremonies can be done privately or with immediate family and friends. Godparents can be chosen and included. Siblings can be involved and readings can be done by family or friends. After the Christening, many parents and families will invite attendees and the minister to a reception where a meal can be shared celebrating the blessings for the child and his/her life ahead.

Selecting your child’s Godparents requires some thought. Usually, one male and one female are chosen to accept the responsibility of being part of your child’s life to provide support and guidance. Often Godparents are family members but they don’t have to be. They will be seated with the parents and participate during the ceremony.
Christening gowns typically play a major role in the baptism of babies and are traditionally worn by both male and female babies. Christening gowns are white and are meant to symbolize new life, the purity of an infant and joy. Many times the gown is a family heirloom that has been passed down by generations of other members of the family who were also baptized in the same gown. Some families view this gown as important as a wedding gown is to a bride, while others are much less formal and choose to baptize their baby boys in pants instead of gowns. Whatever you decide will be appropriate for your baby’s ceremony.

Photograph of a baby wearing a Christening gown circa 1884

A baby wearing a Christening gown being held by his mother circa 1895

A photograph of twins taken prior to their Christening circa 1890

If you are considering having your baby’s Christening ceremony at Rocky Springs Chapel, we recommend you call or email trustees JaNeen Smith or Debby Moone at (240) 439-4235 or debbymoone@gmail.com to schedule a date and time to see the chapel before making your final decision. Debby will meet you at the chapel, give you a tour and answer any questions you have.  If you do decide to have your baby’s Christening ceremony in the chapel, please let us know as soon as possible so we can lock-in your baby’s Christening date and time
If you want your own Minister or Pastor to conduct your baby’s Christening ceremony, they are welcome to do so. If they have questions about using the chapel for the ceremony, please have them contact us. If you do not have a Minister or Pastor to conduct the Christening, Reverend Maxine Bowens, a member of our board of trustees, would be happy to.  She is an ordained and licensed ceremonial minister of the First Nation Church & Ministry and is authorized to perform and solemnize all rites within her duties as a ceremonial minister, including weddings, funerals and baptisms. If you would like to meet with Reverend Bowens about conducting your baby’s Christening ceremony, please let us know and we will put you in contact with her to begin the planning process. During the ceremony Reverend Bowens will Christen your baby by sprinkling water on the child’s head and marking his/her  forehead with the sign of the Cross.

A Brief History of Baptism

John 3:4-621st Century King James Version (KJ21)
4 Nicodemus said unto Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?”
5 Jesus answered, “Verily, verily I say unto thee, unless a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the Kingdom of God.”
Baptism is a sign of entry to membership in the Christian Church and has been practiced since the earliest days of Christianity. Jesus himself was baptized by John the Baptist in the Jordan River at the beginning of his public ministry. At first, only adults were baptized and then only after three years of their becoming believers. The faithful would be baptized by a sequence of three complete immersions at dawn on Easter day. They wore a white garment as a symbol of the new life of holiness on which they were embarking and they would take on new ‘Christian names’. Later that day, they would celebrate the Eucharist of Easter for the first time. Soon it became the tradition of the early Church to baptize infants of Christian parents. For practical reasons, in some denominations, total immersion gave way to pouring or sprinkling water on the baby’s head.

MEMORIAL SERVICES & FUNERALS

If a loved one has passed away, Historic Rocky Springs Chapel stands ready as a venue for memorial services and funerals as well as a place of comfort.  For those who are left behind, a funeral or memorial service provides a place for family and friends to gather for support and to remember; an opportunity to celebrate the life and accomplishments of a loved one; a chance to say goodbye; and the focal point from which the healing process can begin. Please contact trustees JaNeen Smith or Debby Moone at  (240) 439-4235 or email debbymoone@gmail.com if you would like to use the chapel for a funeral or memorial service.

Horse drawn hearse circa 1885