The Sacrament of Matrimony, whereby a man and woman are joined together in a life-long union of procreative love, is a calling from God. The creator established this purpose from the very beginning by the very manner in which He made men and women. Since God created man and woman, their mutual love becomes an image of the absolute and unfailing love with which God loves humanity. While the Old Testament gives witness to this loving union, the teachings of Jesus in the New Testament give ample evidence of Jesus’ desire to raise this union to a new level of meaning. While in the old covenant the possibility of breaking this union by a decree of divorce is in evidence, Jesus pronounces a new teaching. In Matthew 19:3-12 Jesus teaches, “whatever God has joined no man must separate.” Jesus clearly has a new teaching on the nature of marriage itself, it reflects the indivisible unity of the love of God. In this way Jesus raised the natural bond of marriage to a supernatural sacrament of life and love. The movement toward this life choice, the union of marriage, is, therefore, a moment requiring careful deliberation and spiritual preparation. One of the parish priests should be contacted at least six months prior to the desired date of marriage so appropriate arrangements and preparation can be made. The St. Mary Wedding Guidelines are available to help you plan your wedding.
- The church is available to all active members of St. Mary Parish, however, a non-returnable reservation fee of 200 is due prior to reserving the church. After registering in the parish one of the parties must be active in the parish 6 months prior to scheduling a wedding.
- Both parties must be free to marry. The Catholic Church requires a decree of nullity if either of the parties, regardless of religious denomination, have been previously married. Weddings cannot be scheduled until this requirement is met.
- Preparation for engaged couples is required before marriage. Arrangements for weddings should be made at least 6 months ahead of time by contacting the parish office.
- Following the initial visit, it is the couple’s responsibility to call the pastor and/or deacon begin marriage preparation. Detailed guidelines will be available during the couple’s first visit.
- All Catholics must provide a record of Baptism. This record must be no more than six months old. Baptized non-Catholics must also provide a written record of Baptism.
- Normally, the priest and/or deacon of the parish, or priest/deacon’s relatives of the bride or groom will officiate at all weddings. Exceptions may be made for priests/deacons who are dose personal friends of the bride or groom. When these exceptions are made, that priest/deacon must assume ALL canonical responsibilities (Marriage papers etc.) and the responsibility of conducting the wedding rehearsal. It will be that priest’s/deacon’s responsibility to determine the readiness of the couple to enter into marriage. In the case of a non-Catholic spouse, his or her pastor or minister is most welcome to be a part of the ceremony.
- Weddings may be scheduled no later than 1:30 p.m. on Saturdays and no later than 5:00 p.m. on Friday evenings.
- Arrangements for music are to be made directly with the parish music coordinator, Muriel Byers at 740-369-3543. Approved church music must be used for the Mass or ceremony. This means that only specifically religious music is to be played or sung in the church. No taped music is permitted.
- The church is available 1 1/2 hours before the scheduled wedding time for decorations and pictures. Because of other parish activities that may be scheduled, please do not plan on arriving earlier than 1 1/2 hours ahead of time. All photos must be completed prior to 3:00pm.
- Floral arrangements in the sanctuary should be such as not to impede the action of the liturgy. Flowers may not be put on the Altar of Sacrifice. Additional candelabra are not to be placed in the Sanctuary, on the pews, or in front of the Altar. Each couple is to leave two floral arrangements in the Sanctuary for our weekend Liturgy.
- NO rice, birdseed, rose petals or confetti are to be thrown inside or outside of the church. (There is no one to clean up before the Sunday Masses and the pigeons have become quite a problem.)
- Nothing is to be pinned or taped to the pews. Plastic hooks work very nicely and hang over the end of the pew and are available from your florist or a craft store. We do not recommend an aisle runner. We ask that you please Inform vour florist of these regulations or assign a member of vour wedding party or a special friend to remove items following the ceremony.
- A room in the school is provided as the bride’s dressing room. It is the responsibility of the bridal party to be certain this room is left neat and clean before the wedding ceremony. Please remove all articles of clothing and other possessions with you prior to the wedding ceremony as the door will be locked once your ceremony begins and will not be available following the ceremony. Also, please turn off all electric lights. It is presumed that the groom and ushers are already dressed when they arrive at the church as there is no dressing room available to them.
- FEES: Fees to cover the expenses of ministers and for the use of the church are $650, this includes the non-refundable $200 reservation fee. The reservation fee is due two weeks after the first meeting with our Priest or Deacon. Remaining fee is due 2 weeks prior to the scheduled wedding date. Separate checks to cover these fees may be made payable to St. Mary Church and all fees are due to Mrs. Conroy, at the parish office. Additional fees may apply for additional preparation, clergy and if additional musicians are requested.
- The marriage license is to be given to the the Priest or Deacon 1 week prior to the scheduled wedding date.
- Wedding photographers and videotape cameras may not go beyond the first pew or enter the Sanctuary, They may shoot from the side, rear or choir loft only.
- Due to time restraints, the receiving line is to be held at the reception, not the church.
- Liquor is NOT permitted in the church or on church property at any time.
- Questions may be referred to the parish office, (740) 363-4641.
- Questions for our wedding coordinators may be directed to Janet Conroy at the parish office, (740)363-4641 ext. 101 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note that one of the wedding coordinators will be available during the wedding rehearsal and on the day of the ceremony to assist with details of the day.