GUIDELINES FOR THE CELEBRATION OF MARRIAGE

“The Christian family springs from marriage, which is an image and a sharing in the partnership of love between Christ and, His Bride, the Church: it will show forth to all people Christ’s living presence in the world and the authentic nature of the Church by the love and generous fruitfulness of the spouses, by their unity and fidelity, and by the way in which all members of the family cooperate with each other.” (Gaudium et Spes 48)
We trust that these guidelines will aid you in planning your wedding at St. Cecilia’s Church.

May your wedding day be one of peace, joy and happiness.

PREPARATIONS FOR MARRIAGE

Preparing for the celebration of your marriage is one of the most important events in your lives. It requires careful consideration of all the details relating to the RELIGIOUS aspect of the day.

The following guidelines are presented to help you in your preparations of your marriage celebration. If you have any questions, problem or concern, please feel free to call us at the office.

Spiritual Preparations:
So that the sacrament of marriage may be fruitfully received it is earnestly recommended that the couple prepare themselves spiritually through prayer, scripture meditation, faithful participation at the Sunday Eucharist and regular reception of the Sacrament of Confession. It is the understanding of the Church that when two Catholics marry, they are practicing their faith: in mixed marriages (i.e. between a Catholic and a Non-Catholic) the Catholic party is expected to be practicing his/her faith. One of the important elements that the Church considers to constitute practice of the faith is regular attendance at the Sunday Mass. The Church requests that people be properly disposed to receive the sacraments. All the material preparations are secondary compared to the exchange of vows and the spiritual commitment on the wedding day.

Marriage Policy at St. Cecilia’s Church:
Church law dictates that the normal place in which a marriage should take place is the parish of the bride or groom. The following persons may get married at St. Cecilia’s Parish Church.

a) People who live within the parish boundaries.

b) People who do not live within the parish but are registered as parishioners and have been attending St. Cecilia’s Church on a regular basis for a minimum of one year, and support the ministry of the parish.

c) NON BOUNDARY PARISHIONERS MUST REGISTER, AND BEGIN TO ATTEND AND SUPPORT THE PARISH FOR A MINIMUM OF THREE MONTHS BEFORE ANY CONSIDERATION WILL BE GIVEN TO BOOKING A WEDDING DATE.

Notice of and Booking for Marriage:
Archdiocesan guidelines require that the couple contact the parish at least one year in advance of the proposed date of the wedding, subject to the pastor’s discretion. Adequate time must be allowed to fulfill the preparations outlined in this leaflet. The prenuptial questionnaire and filling out of the official forms for the wedding may be done at this time.

Time of Marriage:
The following times are available for the celebration of Matrimony within the English-Speaking Community of St. Cecilia’s.

Saturday: 1:15 p.m. and 3:00 p.m.

No wedding may be scheduled on Sunday

Marriage Instruction:
No marriage may be celebrated until the couple has received proper instruction on marriage. Several of these courses are conducted each year in the Archdiocese. Marriage Preparation Courses are generally offered in the Spring and in the Fall. Call the office for further information regarding dates or other locations.

Priest for Marriage:
In most case the priest of the parish with whom arrangements are made for the wedding will perform the ceremony. Only in rare circumstances will a priest from outside the parish officiate at a marriage – e.g. a brother or uncle. Canon law dictates that such a priest receive written delegation from the pastor. Should you invite another priest to attend your wedding, he would be welcome to concelebrate with the parish staff. The pastor has ultimate responsibility for assigning a priest to witness a marriage in the parish. A priest from another province or country, must obtain permission from the Ontario Government if he plans to preside at a marriage in Ontario.

Documents Required:

a) Banns
The banns of matrimony are published once in the case of a marriage between two practicing Catholics who both reside within the parish boundaries for an extended period and are very well known in the community. When a couple is married with the proclamation of banns there is no need to obtain a marriage licence. The Church office will provide the licence.

b) Marriage Licence:
When both parties to the marriage are of different faiths or when no banns are published the couple MUST obtain a marriage licence. The licence may be procured at any CITY HALL. Please bring it to the office TWO WEEKS PRIOR TO THE WEDDING DATE.

c) Baptismal Certificate
Every Catholic being married MUST produce a certificate of Baptism. It must be one that has been issued WITHIN SIX MONTHS of the marriage. Contact your parish of Baptism in due time.

A Non-Catholic party, if baptized, must also obtain proof of Baptism.

d) Consent of Parents
Consent of parents (guardians), in writing, is required to enter into marriage legally, if one of the persons is under the age of eighteen.

e) Certificate of Marriage Preparation:

Proof of completion of a marriage preparation course is required.

f) Previous Marriage:
If a previous marriage existed, the following documents are required:

i) An authentic certificate or satisfactory proof of death.

ii) Official confirmation from the proper ecclesiastical court with regard to the dissolution or nullity of marriage.

Planning the Liturgy:
Since the wedding ceremony centres around the couple, it is only natural that both should participate actively in the celebration and planning of the details. You will be given a wedding book to help you choose from a number of prescribed scriptural passages, prayers, marriage formulae and blessings to make your marriage celebration personal. The priest who will officiate at the wedding should be consulted to finalize the choices. The book must be brought to the rehearsal and left with the priest/wedding coordinator.

Lectors:
The couple may choose mature baptized and practicing Christians to proclaim the first and second readings from the Word of God and the Prayers of the Faithful. The readers should be able to proclaim the readings clearly and devoutly. Also, they are to attend the rehearsal to practice the readings.

Altar Servers:
The Church usually provides altar servers. However, friends and/or relatives may serve at the wedding. If they plan to do so, the officiating priest and/or the wedding coordinator should be informed in advance.

Rehearsal:
Please be careful if you are planning to hold the wedding rehearsal on the First Friday night of the month, because the First Friday of each month is not available due to the Holy Hour scheduled for that night each month. Rehearsals will normally be scheduled for either 7:30 p.m. or alternatively to begin at 5:00 p.m. and conclude by 6:00 p.m. Finally, since there could be 2 weddings scheduled for any given Saturday, book your rehearsal time early.

Music:

The services of our Church organist can be arranged. Please discuss this with the Pastor.

If you would like a singer at your wedding, please contact the Rectory Office or our music director. ALL MUSICAL SELECTIONS MUST BE RELIGIOUS MUSIC.

A REMINDER — YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR CALLING OUR CHURCH ORGANIST AT YOUR EARLIEST CONVENIENCE. Our organist and soloist are professional artists and might not be available without sufficient notice.

Flowers:

Flowers for the wedding are the sole responsibility of the bride and groom. It is expected that at least TWO STANDARDS of flower arrangements will be left in the Church following your wedding. Delivery to the Church should not take place more than 1 hour before the start of the wedding. The setup and security of the flower arrangments are the responsibility of the couple. When there is more than one wedding on the same day, the parties may wish to contact each other about the possibility of sharing expenses.

Suggested Wedding Offering to the Church:
On the occasion of weddings, offerings are made for the upkeep and maintenance of Church Buildings, and the running of the parish. YOUR OFFERING DOES NOT GO TO THE PRIEST FOR HIS PERSONAL USE. THEREFORE, THE SUGGESTED OFFERINGS ARE AS FOLLOWS:

A) For persons who are either living in the parish boundaries or those who are registered parishioners and in either case have been actively attending and supporting the Church prior to their contacting the priest for this marriage. – Suggested $300.00

B) For new parishioners and those who have not been actively supporting the Church prior to contacting the Church for their marriage. – Suggested $500.00

Remember: The parish community cannot live by prayers alone (Michael 1:1)

Please note: the bottom line. If money is a problem and you are a parishioner, Don’t worry! Speak to the Pastor and given your circumstances be generous and make an offering within your means in thanksgiving to God for His blessing in your life and love for His Church.

Altar Servers: $20.00

Organist: Fee to be discussed with the organist. Rehearsal time, if necessary, is extra.

Soloist: Fee to be discussed with the soloist

You may drop off your offering to the Church either at the time you drop off your marriage licence to the office, which is usually the week before the wedding, or alternatively, on the evening of the wedding rehearsal.

Photographers and Videographers:

The couple makes their own arrangements for the photographer and/or videographer. OUR CHURCH RULES ARE STRICT AND SHOULD BE RELAYED TO THE PERSON(S) YOU ARE HIRING FOR YOUR WEDDING PICTURES. Please also ask your photographer to check in with the priest on the day of the wedding prior to the start of the Marriage Celebration. Please see guidelines.

Promptness:
Courtesy and consideration for others demand that the bridal party should be ON TIME FOR THE REHEARSAL AND FOR THE WEDDING. Both the Church and the parking space surrounding the Church should be cleared as soon as possible after the wedding, to make way for the next wedding or service.

Use of the Hall:
St. Cecilia’s Church does not rent the parish hall for wedding receptions.

Confetti:
Please! the use of confetti or rice IS NOT PERMITTED in the Church or around the Church premises.

Wedding Coordinator:
Every couple being married in our Church may be assigned a wedding coordinator who handles all the details of the wedding, including conducting the rehearsal, and setting up the Church for the marriage celebration, and is present throughout the ceremony to ensure that everything runs smoothly.

Sacrament of in the Matrimony
Please note: Flashes and video lights are not allowed.

1. Photographers and Videographers are welcome to record and celebration of the Sacrament of Matrimony in the Church.

2. In all cases, the use of additional or accessory lighting is prohibited.

• In the case of photographers, this means no flashes.

3. The photographer is not permitted to walk across the sanctuary during the service. Photographers and Videographers must speak with the priest on the wedding for instructions as to what is and is not allowed. Failure to do so may cause the coordinator to be giving out instructions during the wedding ceremony.

4. In the case of Videographers, the person making the video may not walk about with the recorder.

5. Please inform your photographer and/or videographer that your wedding coordinator is in charge of the service at the Church, that you understand our rules and that they will be carried out. We also recommended that you encourage your photographer and/or videographer to dress appropriately for the service in the Church.

6. Please give a copy of these rules to your photographer and/or videographer.