Once all the requirements are met, you should meet with your preparer to go over the details of your wedding liturgy. The various options for the Sacred Liturgy are provided in a book, Together for Life (Jos. Champlin: Notre Dame IN: Ave Maria Press)
, available at the parish office.
The Wedding Liturgy: An Act of Worship
A wedding is a celebration of the whole Church, a sacred encounter with the Lord, a time of prayer for all who participate. All the aspects of your wedding celebration should reflect this reality and point the assembly to the Presence of God. It is a time to offer praise to God for His many graces and blessings. It is a way for those gathered to thank the Lord for you and to implore His blessings on your married life. The priests, deacons, and pastoral assistant are prepared to assist you in the careful planning of your liturgy. Please keep the following in mind:
Worship Aids (Mass or Ceremony Programs)
These are provided to the congregation by the couple, and are optional. Please submit a draft to the priest or deacon before they are printed, to ensure accuracy of terminology and format. A draft is available at the parish office.
Music is an important element of the wedding liturgy. It allows the community to more fully participate in the wedding.
Couples will receive notices regarding informational seminars about their wedding music. At that informational session, the parish music director will discuss diocesan and parish policy, music selections, and fees for organist, vocalist, and other instrumentalists that you may wish to engage for your wedding liturgy.
Choosing Liturgical Participants
Please give careful consideration to the choice of readers, gift bearers, and members of your bridal party. They should be prepared, and comfortable with their role. A reader, for example, should be one who is already a lector in their own parish, or at least comfortable with public speaking. Gift bearers should be significant persons in your lives. The witnesses (maid/matron of honor and best man) and members of the bridal party need not be Catholic. However, if the best man and matron of honor are Catholic and married, they should be in a marriage recognized by the Church.
Keeping the bridal party to a reasonable number helps considerably in a smooth and meaningful ceremony. A child chosen to be a flower girl or ring bearer should be of sufficient age to function in these roles.
The parish will assign altar servers for your wedding. Relatives or friends are welcome to take this role. Please advise the priest of deacon in advance.
Decorum for Church—Bridal Attire
Please give particular attention to attire that is appropriate for Church. Some gowns are surely inappropriate and if so designed, a jacket or wrap (that can be removed at a later time) is to be used in church. This helps maintain the modesty required in a church. It also helps to make a distinction between a sacred place and the more secular climate of a reception.
Decoration of the Church
Flowers and other decorations should be in keeping with the liturgical season. If the church is decorated for a particular season, e.g. Lent, Easter, Christmas, that décor will remain. Flowers are obtained at the florist of your choice, but please keep in mind the following parameters:
Flowers are provided by the couple. Two arrangements for the sanctuary are recommended. Flowers for the images of Our Lady and St. Joseph are optional. We prefer that flowers remain in church for the weekend, as part of your offering to the Lord. However, flowers used during Advent and Lent should be taken.
Other décor at both churches
Pew bows are optional. Please do not
use tape or tacks to affix them to the pews.
The following are not
to be used:
Interior: Palm trees, shrubbery, candelabras, flower petals in the aisle. The aisle runner is also prohibited by the parish insurance policy.
Exterior: Bird seed, rice, confetti,flower petals are forbidden. Balloons are unacceptable for environmental reasons. Bubbles and bells are an acceptable alternative!
The Lighting of the Unity Candle
This is not an official part of the Church's Rite of Marriage, and thus will not be included in the liturgy. We recommend that it be included as part of the blessing of the reception. The office can provide a text for this blessing.
Photography and Videography
You are welcome to have your wedding recorded. Please advise the persons concerned to come to church early enough to set up all that is needed.
They are to consult with the priest or deacon regarding the decorum required during the church's liturgy. Since photography is permitted during the liturgy, it will be limited after the ceremony. The schedule may permit a few minutes for photographs in church after the liturgy. This should be done quietly, and with respect for the parish schedule. Please be respectful of other weddings, confessions, or other services that may follow.