You are about to commit yourselves to one another in Holy Matrimony. This is to be a lifelong commitment. We are honored that you are asking us to help you prepare for this most important step in your lives.
We want you to be as confident as possible in making your wedding vows. So, in keeping with the procedures of the Archdiocese of Chicago, we have a program that helps you understand one another, and appreciate the Holy State of Matrimony.
Our Church building is not only beautiful, but it is also a house of prayer. Accordingly it is worthy of respect, and so we have some rules about its use for weddings. There are some steps that must be taken in order to confirm your date for the wedding.
The following information, we hope, will help you prepare your permanent commitment to one another. Above all we want to help you!
Part I: Confirming the Date
Because this question is probably uppermost in your minds, we treat it first. Before confirmation, you will need to do the following:
If you are a registered and active member of the parish, contact the priest about arranging the details. He will explain the procedures, answer your questions, and set the tentative date.
A $500.00 offering is expected two months prior to the wedding. (the music and floral arrangements are the responsibility of the bride and the groom.)
You may schedule your wedding on Friday evening or Saturday at 12 PM or 2:00 PM.
Part II: Preparation
The policy set forth seeks the best possible pastoral care for the bride and groom as well as the needs of the Catholic Community. Good sound marriages do not happen; they are created and sustained by the partnership of husband, wife and God. The policy of St. Mary’s Parish for marriage seeks careful and sound preparation of couples for entering marital life.
In accordance with the norms of the Archdiocese, we have the following expectations:
Participation in at least one recommended marriage preparation program.
Completion of the necessary forms for our Church records.
Planning of your ceremony with the priest or deacon.
If the priest or deacon is not from our parish, please let a priest know as soon as possible. They need permission from the Archdiocese to perform the ceremony.
Part III: Planning Your Ritual
Because you are getting married in a Catholic Church, you are requested to follow the ritual of the Catholic Church. However, there is room for some creativity.
We offer a booklet that will help you prepare your liturgical celebration.
The Nuptial Mass & Your Wedding:
If both of you are Catholics ordinarily you would have a Mass.
If one of you is not a Catholic or has not made their first communion ordinarily you would not have mass.
If one of you is not baptized, then a Mass would not be permitted.
The bride and groom are responsible to choose and hire the musicians for the wedding. The cost of the music is not included in the church fee. Please let the church office know who you have hired for the music at the wedding.
Photographers are asked to avoid being a distraction during the ritual.
No photographer or videographer is allowed in the sanctuary (up the stairs).
Nor may they set up video cameras in the sanctuary.
Photographs may be taken up to 30 minutes before or following the ritual.
During the photos respect must be shown in the church.
FLOWERS AND DECORATIONS
The bride and groom select their own florist and are responsible for the decorations.
The cost of the decorations is not included in the church fee.
No tape or mechanical devices may be added to the pews.
Flowers or “unity candles” may not be placed on the main altar.
A small table will be set up for the unity candles.
No food or drink or gum is permitted in the Church or on its grounds.
Please dress appropriately for the rehearsal and wedding.
No rice, birdseed, flower petals or any other item may be thrown in the Church or on its grounds.
We expect all to act with respect and reverence while in our church.
We hope that these guidelines will help to make the ritual for your wedding reverential and memorable. Your cooperation is much appreciated. If you have any questions please feel free to ask them. We want to do everything possible to help you in this the most important day of your lives together.