Table of Contents
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Congratulations and Welcome! Initial Steps in Planning Your Wedding
Interview Process Scheduling the Time Your Next Meeting The Wedding Liturgy: Worship of the Church Creating Your Wedding Liturgy Music Reading/Together for Life Booklet Invitations Programs Sample Programs The Wedding Ceremony The Wedding Mass The People in Your Wedding Liturgy Using the Parish Bride’s Room Furnishings Rehearsals Scheduling Times Decorations, Flowers and Florists Photographers and Videographers Required Documentation Offerings and Fees
Pastor Father Anand Maddineni, MSFS 641-7244 firstname.lastname@example.org Wedding Coordinator Patricia Whitehurst 221-8677 email@example.com Organist/Pianist Rhonda Martin 631-5237
Congratulations and Welcome!
The Holy Spirit Parish and Staff rejoice with you in the announcement of your engagement! We are pleased that you have chosen to celebrate the sacrament of marriage at Holy Spirit Catholic Church. Father Anand and Staff are deeply committed to assist you in the preparation of that sacred ritual which consecrates your love and commitment to each other in the community of your family, friends, and the Church. This booklet is offered to guide you in the preparation of your wedding at Holy Spirit. The prayers and best wishes of the parish community are with you as you prepare to celebrate this holy sacrament before God and His people.
Your Wedding in the Community of the Church
Many couples choose to be married before civil authorities, judges or justices of the peace. In choosing to be married in the Christian faith, you are proclaiming publicly that you desire to live out your marriage commitment in the Church, which is not a building or institution, but a community of people. Your wedding liturgy is an act of worship in praise to God for the love you have found in each other and as a point of strength and nourishment as you continue the journey of life together. It is an experience of transformation and prayer for all gathered with you on that day as well. Your wedding liturgy should call everyone (and not just you as the wedding couple) to a deeper encounter with the God who loves us. The wedding liturgy should remind everyone that your marriage is a great sign, “the mirror of God’s everlasting love” (Rite of Marriage).
Initial Steps in Planning Your Wedding
The Interview Process
The first step in your wedding preparations is to make an appointment with the Priest who will preside (officiate) at your wedding, at least eight months before the wedding date. At your first interview, you will meet with the Priest in his office. During this meeting he will discuss the process of preparation for marriage with you and answer any questions you may have. He will also inquire about any special circumstances surrounding your marriage. Please note that one of the parties must be a practicing Catholic. You will then have the opportunity to schedule a wedding date and time. The Priest will assist you making contact with Patricia Whitehurst, the Wedding Coordinator who will be your principal point of contact and will assist you in your wedding preparations.
Scheduling the Time
Weddings are scheduled for Saturdays at 2pm. Weddings are NOT scheduled the week before and after Christmas, New Years Eve or Day, the weekend of Easter Sunday, or Thanksgiving weekend.
Your Next Meeting
Once you have met with the Priest and the location, date, and time for the wedding has been scheduled, you will then meet with the Wedding Coordinator, Patricia Whitehurst. At this meeting you will discuss the preparation necessary to be married in the Catholic Church and answer any questions you may have. Patricia can be reached at (904) 221-8677 or her e-mail address at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Wedding Liturgy: Worship of the Church
Every liturgical celebration, regardless of whom is present or the kind of event, is worship, the prayer of the entire Church. It is a religious ritual that focuses, not only on the couple, but also on the entire community gathered who offers praise and thanks to God who loves us and who manifests, in a special way, that love in the persons of the bride and groom. The community of family and friends then, are not mere spectators but active participants in the wedding liturgy. The very word “liturgy” is translated from the ancient Greek as “the work of the people.” In preparing your wedding liturgy, you will help your family and friends to do just that – become active participants in the ritual actions, words, song, and gestures of a people gathered for prayer. This is the primary goal of your wedding liturgy preparations.
During Mass or Outside of Mass
Should you celebrate your marriage in the context of Mass (the Eucharist) or outside of Mass? A definition of terms might be helpful. Every Mass consists of a Liturgy of the Word (entrance rite, readings, homily, and general intercessions) and a Liturgy of the Eucharist (presentation of bread and wine, the Eucharistic prayer and communion). When a wedding is celebrated during Mass, the Rite of Marriage takes place after the homily and before the general intercessions. The Liturgy of the Eucharist then follows. When a wedding is celebrated outside
of Mass, the rite of marriage is celebrated after the Liturgy of the Word and before the general intercessions and is concluded with prayers and blessings. Normally, when either the bride or groom is not Catholic, the celebration of the wedding occurs outside of Mass. Discuss your situation with the Priest who is assisting in the preparation of your marriage. He will help you make the decision, which will provide the best context for prayer and celebration. If a deacon is presiding at your wedding the celebration occurs outside of Mass.
The Importance of Hospitality in Making Choices
Keeping in mind that your wedding is liturgy, it is very important to make choices that are welcoming, hospitable and respectful of all that will gather for that communal prayer. The choices that are made for your wedding liturgy must attempt to engage and invite your family and friends to participation. The choices of Scripture readings, hymns, processions, the place of the bride and groom (as well as attendants), and prayers must help all gathered to enter into the celebration, even if many or most of the assembly is not Catholic. Thus, as in all aspects of a wedding celebration, the wedding liturgy should be hospitable.
Creating Your Wedding Liturgy
Music An important aspect of your wedding liturgy is the music that will help everyone to enter into the celebration. During your first meeting with the Wedding Coordinator, you will have an opportunity to discuss your musical requirements. Please note that if you wish to use other musicians it is still necessary to discuss arrangements with the Wedding Coordinator so guidelines may be followed. Readings During your initial visit with the Priest, he will give you a booklet called “Together For Life”. This booklet explains the order of the ceremony, gives several Scripture selections for each type of reading (Old Testament, Responsorial Psalm, New Testament and Gospel, Prayer of the Faithful), and will give you an understanding of the wedding liturgy. Invitations The mailing address for Holy Spirit Catholic Church is 11665 Fort Caroline Road, Jacksonville, Florida 32225. Programs Many couples are choosing to have a program. Programs are a brief outline of the order to be followed, the features to be presented, and the persons participating. The program helps everyone gathered to participate fully in the wedding liturgy. If you wish to have a program, it is the responsibility of the couple to create and provide a program. If you have any questions regarding the format please contact the Wedding Coordinator.
A sample program outline for a wedding celebration outside and during Mass is on the following pages. The chronological order of a Wedding Liturgy is also located on page 9 in the “Together for Life” booklet.
The Wedding Ceremony
Processional Seating of the Mothers “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring” (Bach) Presentation of the Wedding Party “Canon in D” (Pachelbel) Presentation of the Bride “Bridal Chorus” (Lohengrin) The Liturgy of the Word Old Testament Reading Song of Songs 2:8-16 New Testament Reading Colossians 3:12-17 Gospel Matthew 22:35-40 (Priest) Homily (Priest) Rite of Marriage Exchange of Vows Blessing and Exchanging of Rings Lighting of the Unity Candle Prayer of the Faithful Nuptial Blessing Presentation to the Blessed Mother (Optional) Final Blessing and Benediction Recessional “Wedding March” (Mendelssohn) ** The wedding ceremony lasts approximately 45 minutes including the Processional and Recessional.
The Wedding or Nuptial Mass
Processional Seating of the Mothers “Ave Maria” (Schubert)
Presentation of the Wedding Party “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring” (Bach) Presentation of the Bride “Trumpet Voluntary” (Clarke) The Liturgy of the Word Old Testament Reading Genesis 2:18-24 Responsorial Psalm Psalm 103:1--18a The Response is “The Lord is kind and merciful.” New Testament Reading 1 Corinthians 12:31 – 13:8a Gospel John 15:9-12 (Priest) Homily (Priest) Rite of Marriage Exchange of Vows Blessing and Exchanging of Rings Lighting of the Unity Candle Prayer of the Faithful Liturgy of the Eucharist Presentation of the Gifts Nuptial Blessing Eucharistic Prayer The Lord’s Prayer Invitation to the Sign of Peace Communion Presentation to the Blessed Mother (Optional) Final Blessing and Benediction Recessional “Trumpet Tune” (Clarke) ** This wedding mass lasts approximately 1 hour including the Processional and Recessional.
The People in Your Wedding Liturgy
The Assembly The fundamental ministry in any liturgy is that of the assembly – the people gathered for prayer and worship. Everyone in the church is first and foremost a member of the assembly – the bride and groom, the wedding party, the celebrant, readers, communion ministers and the musicians. It is the assembly that celebrates the liturgy. The various roles within the wedding liturgy are known as “ministries” and those individuals who perform those roles within the liturgy are called “ministers.” The Bride and Groom In the Roman Catholic wedding liturgy, the bride and groom are the ministers of the sacrament. The Priest or Deacon serves only as the Church’s official witness. It is the couple who gives themselves, one to the other, in marriage.
The Celebrant Usually the Priest or Deacon is the Celebrant. If you are a member of another parish, your Pastor or another Priest may be the Celebrant at your wedding. The Witnesses While the entire assembly is a witness to your wedding, three individuals have a special role to play in the liturgy and for the records of the Church. The Celebrant acts as the Church’s official witness. In addition, the two individuals who stand with you, traditionally the Best Man and the Maid or Matron of Honor, fulfills a requirement as witnesses who formally attest to the fact that the wedding took place. The Attendants as Greeters and Ushers The Groomsmen and Bridesmaids can fulfill a critical role in your wedding liturgy by serving as Greeters and Ushers for those who gather for the wedding. In acting as the initial ministers of hospitality, they can greet the people as they enter the church, give them a printed program if used, and guide them to a seat near the rest of the assembly. Readers These ministers perform the crucial role of proclaiming God’s Word in the Scriptures and offering the General Intercessions during the wedding liturgy. Most couples choose readers from friends or relatives who will attend their wedding liturgy. You may select one or two individuals to read the Scripture. Additionally, a third person can be asked to read the General Intercessions. Unless they are regular lectors (readers) in the parish, you may want to select friends or family members that are good public speakers and comfortable with that role. A typical wedding liturgy during Mass includes an Old Testament Reading, a Responsorial Psalm, a New Testament Reading and the Gospel. The Responsorial Psalm may be omitted for weddings outside of Mass. The Priest or Deacon is required to read the Gospel. Eucharistic Ministers Eucharistic Ministers are only necessary when the assembly is large and when the wedding occurs during Mass. These individuals assist the Priest in the distribution of the Eucharistic Bread and Wine. Please consult the Priest before selecting Eucharistic Ministers. Altar Servers Alter servers are optional for both wedding ceremonies within Mass or outside of Mass. If there are guests attending your wedding who are experienced Altar Servers, you may ask them to serve at your wedding. Please consult with the Wedding Coordinator if you wish to use Altar Servers. Gift Bearers Gift Bearers are used only for weddings during Mass. There may be two to four people from the assembly that may be invited to bring forward the Gifts of Bread and Wine.
Using the Parish
The Parish was founded in 1966 and the present-day Church was dedicated in 1992. There are 15 pews on each side of the main aisle. There are no restrictions on size of wedding party or processional participants. Bride’s Room The Church facility has a Bride’s Room. This area is provided for the Bride and her Attendants to get dressed and as a waiting area. The Bride’s Room is the first room to the left as you enter the vestibule. Restroom facilities are located in the Bride’s Room. The room is available at least one hour prior to the ceremony and should be cleared of all belongings prior to or immediately following the ceremony. The Groom and Best Man should be completely dressed and will gather at their entrance location. The groomsmen are to assemble in the in the rear of the church to help with greeting and ushering wedding guests. For your protection, please be sure to lock your handbags and valuables in the trunk of your car. Do not leave them in the Bride’s Room. Also, alcohol is not permitted on the church grounds. Please be sure to save your celebrating for your reception. Furnishings The altar, ambo (pulpit), and other furnishings are fixed and cannot be moved. The seasonal decor and other appointments in the Church (Advent wreath, Easter candle and seasonal flowers) likewise, may not be altered. We will provide kneelers, chairs, altar candles, the unity candle and other elements of the liturgy, as needed. Rehearsals The rehearsal time will be scheduled during your first meeting with the Priest or Wedding Coordinator. The rehearsal schedule is at 6pm in the Church for the Friday evening before the wedding. The Wedding Coordinator will be available and waiting to greet your wedding party. You will do a “walk through” of the ceremony so that everyone will be familiar with his or her roles. The rehearsal lasts approximately 45 to 60 minutes depending on the type of liturgy and size of the wedding party. Please be sure that you and your wedding party are on time. It is Holy Spirit’s policy to start the rehearsal at the scheduled time regardless if the entire wedding party is present. We strongly suggest that you ask your wedding party to be at the church 30 minutes prior to the scheduled time. Scheduling Times If there are no other weddings or events before or after your wedding you will be allowed access to the church for 2½ hours. You will have one hour prior to the wedding, one hour is allotted for the ceremony, and thirty minutes after the ceremony for additional pictures. The church and bride’s room will be open 1½ hours prior to the ceremony to allow the church to reach a comfortable temperature and for any deliveries. If you would like to have the church available for more than the allotted time please contact the Wedding Coordinator for more information. Punctuality is a necessary for both rehearsals and weddings. Should the wedding party arrive 30 minutes late, the Priest has the right to abbreviate the ceremony.
After the Wedding Receiving lines after the liturgy are not appropriate at the church but are a function of the wedding reception. To insure that nothing is left at the church, please assign someone the responsibility to collect all your belongings afterward, especially in the Bride’s Room. Also, please arrange for someone to remove silk flower petals from the aisle and pew decorations from the church immediately following the celebration.
Decorations, Flowers and Florists
We would greatly appreciate it if you would donate your flowers to the church and share in your celebration of God’s love with the rest of the community. Church Decorations During festive seasons, especially Christmas, Easter, and during Lent, floral decorations may be a complement to, not a substitute for, decorations already in place for regular parish celebrations. We will not be able to remove any of the parish’s decorations such as flowers, Lenten decorations, Advent wreath or Nativity. The Church is decorated during the seasons of Lent, Easter and Christmas. Lent begins on Ash Wednesday (sometime in mid-February to early March) and remains until Good Friday. Easter decorations are on display for two to three weeks following Easter Sunday. Christmas decorations are on display from Christmas Eve until the second Sunday in January. Flowers and Plants Floral arrangements and plants may be placed in the sanctuary. Most couples choose to have two floral arrangements placed on the altar in the Church. Flowers in the Church may be placed on pedestals provided by the church or florist or may be placed directly on the floor. Flower Petals Silk flower petals may be thrown down the center aisle only. Please assign someone to be responsible for picking up all the petals after the ceremony. Candelabras Candelabras may be placed in the sanctuary but are not available from the Church. Please use only oil-based candles or Paradise candles to prevent wax from dripping on the floor. Unity Candle You may use the church’s unity candle with stand or you can provide your own. If you want your own unity candle, you must provide the unity candle and the two taper or side candles. The church will provide a table and candleholders for the three candles. Pew Bows To prevent damage to the pews in the church we ask that you use only elastic bands, ribbon, or felt-backed pew bow clips. This is so that the pews will not be marked or scratched. Tape of any kind is prohibited. Decorations on the outside of the Church may be placed on the doors. Aisle Runners
Aisle runners are permitted in both churches, but are discouraged. A 75 foot aisle runner is needed for the Church. The best method for securing an aisle runner in the Church is to pin the runner to the existing rug. Rice Rice, birdseed, bubbles, flower petals, and any other confetti-like substance may not be thrown on Church property. This is for the safety of your guests, parishioners and other visitors of the Church. It is helpful to advise guests of this policy before the wedding date. Military-Style Weddings Military swords remain in the vestibule during the liturgy. Sword ceremonies may only take place outside the doors of the Church. Delivery and Pick-up Items The time of your flower delivery should be approximately one to one and a half hours prior to your wedding. All decorations including pew bows, unity candle, and silk flower petals should be removed from the church immediately following the ceremony. The florist may pick up rented palms, plants, or candelabras the week following the wedding. The florist may call ahead to make arrangements for the church to be open. Also, please note that the church is not responsible for any missing or damaged items. Photographers and Videographers Photographers and videographers are welcome to film the liturgy but may not impede, interfere, or obstruct the ceremony or the viewing by the wedding guests in any way. If the photographer and/or videographer would like to be located in the front of the church, they must stay near the wall at the back of the altar only. Flash photography and external lighting are permitted during the entire ceremony. Photographers and or videographers need to be considerate of each other and the guests when placing their equipment and themselves for the ceremony. Pictures may be taken prior to and following the ceremony as time permits.
The following documents are needed to complete your marriage file. These forms will be given to you during your first meeting with the Priest. The completed documentation along with the marriage license is required 30 days prior to the wedding. Diocese of St. Augustine File (White Folder) The white envelope serves as the file to place all required documentation, provides the church with personal information of the bride and groom, and questions to prove there are no impediments to the marriage. Certificates of Baptism and Confirmation Catholics must provide original baptism and confirmation certificates. You may contact the church where you were baptized and request a Certificate of Baptism/Confirmation. If you do not know the address or phone number of your church of baptism/confirmation, you can call the church office and we will be glad to assist you in this matter.
Other baptized Christians may present the original or a photocopy of an official record of baptism. This can be in the form of a certificate, ceremonial booklet, or a letter from a pastor or elder. Statement of Freedom to Marry Affidavits The affidavit is completed by a close relative (usually your parents) or by someone who has known you for a long period of time (at least since your fourteenth birthday) about your understanding of marriage and your freedom to marry. One form with two signatures is completed for the bride and groom. Decree of Annulment or Death Certificate This is required in the case of a previous marriage by either party (whether Catholic or not). If an annulment is required a meeting with the pastor is advised to begin the process. If either party is widowed, a copy of the death certificate of your former spouse is required. Autobiography An autobiography is completed by the bride and groom regarding their life. This exercise will help the couple discover themselves and to begin the discovery of their loved one. A suggested outline will be provided. Engaged Encounter or Pre-Cana Certificate A certificate will be awarded to you upon your completion of a certified marriage preparation program provided by the Diocese of St. Augustine. Cana Again is available for previously married couples. Schedules and details are available by calling the Family Life Center for the Diocese at (904) 308-7474 or you may contact their website at www.dcfl.org. This should be completed at least 3 months prior to the wedding. FOCCUS Inventory Upon initial meeting with the Priest, both the Bride and Groom will be asked to complete a survey on aspects of married life to identify strengths and challenges of the couple. The completed inventory will be sent to the Priest or Wedding Coordinator to facilitate in couple discussion. The engage couple is then matched with a married couple to review various practical matters of married life. Wedding Profile A wedding profile form requests information to assist the Priest in understanding when and where you met and your future plans as a married couple. You are not required to complete this form if a Priest from another parish is performing the ceremony. Wedding Information Forms The wedding information forms include information about the wedding party to assist the Wedding Coordinator in conducting the rehearsal and to assist the Priest regarding certain aspects of the ceremony. Civil Marriage License This is obtained from county in the State of Florida. State law requires that the license be obtained at least 72 hours prior to the wedding ceremony and is good for 60 days. If you bring your Pre-Cana or Engaged encounter “Certificate of Completion” form the fee is $61.00, otherwise it is $93.50. The fee must be paid in cash only.
If possible, please obtain the marriage license as soon as possible so that you can submit the license along with all other documentation and offerings which is due 6 to 8 weeks prior to the wedding.
Offerings and Fees
All offerings and fees are due prior to the wedding. Please note that all offerings and fees are subject to change. Use of the Church The customary offering to the church is $150. The amount is at the discretion of the couple and may be more or less as the circumstances permit. Celebrant The customary offering to the Celebrant is $100. The amount is at the discretion of the couple and may be more or less as circumstances permit. Altar Servers The customary offering of $10 is usually given to each of the altar servers directly after the ceremony. Organist and Other Musicians The typical fees for musicians are as follows and can be arranged through the Wedding Coordinator at (904) 221-8677. Organist/Pianist Soloist Instrumentalist $150 $150 $150 to $300