CELEBRATING MARRIAGE IN
                               ST. JOSAPHAT CHURCH
        Weddings are a special and joyful time for brides and grooms, for their families and friends and for the
parish community. The new beginning, the love, the promise and hope that weddings are for us make their
celebration a grace-filled time in our lives. The Church welcomes its members to celebrate and solemnize their
weddings in the context of our prayer as Christians. Indeed, so important is marriage in Christian life that it is
called a sacrament.
        Great care is taken to see that the prayer for this special moment is reverent, graceful, beautiful and open
to the movement of God's Spirit among us. Our celebrations of the sacraments, marriage included, are always
rooted in listening to the scriptures so that we can be nourished and strengthened by God's Word. We always
celebrate the sacraments as community. We gather our sisters and brothers in faith and ask for their prayerful
support. These celebrations are incomplete unless they are filled with song, with prayerful gestures and with
silence in which we hear the voice of God in our lives.
        In this spirit, St. Josaphat parish provides the following information and guidelines.

                                           SETTING THE DATE
        Couples are expected to contact a member of the parish staff at least six months in advance of the date
on which they hope to celebrate their wedding.
        Only members of the priest staff may enter the date for the celebration of a wedding. Dates will be
finalized only after a member of the priest staff has met with the engaged couple, taking care of necessary paper
work and arranging for their participation in a marriage preparation program. It is the responsibility of the
engaged couple to secure the date with the church before making commitments with caterers, reception halls,
etc. (It is not possible to guarantee a date for a wedding if either party is pursuing an annulment. The final
notification of the annulment must be granted before a date can be finalized.)
        A non-refundable deposit will be required to “hold” a date for a wedding.

                                        SCHEDULING THE TIME
        Weddings are scheduled with respect to the couple's wishes and the availability of the church building
and parish ministers. Generally, we schedule no more than 2 weddings per weekend. Weddings are usually
scheduled on:
                Saturdays at 1:00 PM or 3:00 PM.
        For exceptional reasons weddings may be scheduled on Friday afternoon/evening, or on Sunday
afternoon. In the case of Sunday weddings, because of the schedule of Sunday masses, weddings will be
celebrated at a ceremony only -- no additional masses are scheduled on Sundays.
        Wedding times are arranged to allow for other events in church, such as Baptisms, the Rite of
Reconciliation, funerals and weekend Masses. As a result, weddings must begin at the scheduled time. The
parking lot needs to be cleared between services to allow for adequate parking for the next service. On
Saturday, the parking lot needs to be cleared by 4:30 PM.
        There are a few days in the liturgical year when a wedding cannot be celebrated. There are also times in
the Church year when the liturgical calendar is less conducive to the celebration of weddings. For example, the
season of Lent is a time of penance in the life of the church community; that spirit touches and colors all parish
liturgies between Ash Wednesday and Easter. The staff member will discuss this with you if the proposed date
for your ceremony is affected.
        Certain civil holidays should also be considered when selecting your preferred date. We encourage you
to remember that legal holiday weekends throughout the year often provide families and individuals with their
only time to enjoy a break from their work schedule without fulfilling other social obligations. Thus, Memorial
Day, July 4th, Labor Day and Thanksgiving weekends should be avoided.
                                          MAKING THE PLANS
        We will work with you in this process of preparation. Some of these preparations include the gathering
of certain documents, the completion of a pre-martial inventory, and your participation in a pre-marriage
preparation program (Pre-Cana or similar programs).

         1. A new Baptismal Certificate dated within six months of the day you wish to be married must be
submitted by each Catholic party. In the marriage of a Catholic and a non-Catholic Christian, the non-Catholic
is also to present a record of baptism, if that is possible. Writing or phoning the church in which the baptism
took place easily obtains these certificates. Copies of original certificates are unacceptable.
         2. A Confirmation Certificate is also required for all Catholics. (Both certificates remain on file at St.
         3. A civil Marriage License is required for the marriage to take place in church. This can be obtained
at the Office of the Cook County Clerk, 118 North Clark Street, Lower Level Randolph Street in Chicago. It is
good for 60 days from when it is issued, but cannot be used within the first 24 hours of receiving it. It should be
brought to the wedding rehearsal. Currently, in Cook County, there are no blood tests needed to obtain a
license. You need to go together and have proper identification. Obviously, no wedding can be witnessed
without a valid license. If you have any questions regarding this license call 312-603-7790. Only cash is
accepted at the county office.
         4. In case of a marriage ceremony at a non-Catholic church involving a Catholic and a non-Catholic, a
dispensation must be obtained from the Chancery Office of the Archdiocese before the wedding. Because of
the time involved in such a procedure, it is advisable to complete all of the necessary paperwork as soon a

        Pre-marriage preparation includes a program that offers you the time and setting to consider together
your life as a married couple. A number of programs are available to you. Popular programs include
Discovery Weekend, Engaged Encounter, and the Parish Pre-Cana or Archdiocesan Pre-Cana. These
programs are approved by the Archdiocese and fulfill the recommendation for pre-marriage preparation
required by the Archdiocese. Arrangements for any of the programs are the responsibility of the couple.
Reservations are required for all programs. The cost of the Parish Pre-Cana is included in your wedding fee. If
you are being married somewhere else, the cost of Pre-Cana is $180.00

                                   FOCCUS PRE-MARITAL INVENTORY
        As part of the preparation for the sacrament of marriage, one of the tools you will use is the FOCCUS
Pre-Marital Inventory. This inventory has been designed to help you realize where you are in agreement and
disagreement on certain important aspects of married life. FOCCUS is completed by each of you individually,
at the website of the Archdiocese’s Family Ministry Office:http://www.familyministries.org/foccusinfo.htm.
Once accessing the site, follow the instructions, giving appropriate information (our parish number is #238).
Then you complete the questionnaire. The Family Ministry office will contact a trained facilitator at the parish
who will in turn contact you to schedule an appointment to review the results of your FOCCUS inventory. The
FOCCUS results remain confidential. You will be asked to complete a summary to share with the priest/deacon
with whom you are working in the parish.
        The cost of the FOCCUS questionnaire, its scoring and your session with the facilitator is included in
your wedding fee to the parish. If you are being married elsewhere, the cost of the FOCCUS is $100.00

         1. A statement of intention by both bride and groom, called a pre-nuptial questionnaire, is required.
         2. In cases where the priest preparing you for marriage does not know you or your family, two
affidavits for each of you may be required. Adults who know you well complete these affidavits in any
Catholic parish in the presence of a priest, deacon, or pastoral associate. Close family members (parents,
sisters, brothers) are most acceptable since they can easily answer the questions asked. They need not be
Catholic, but should be at least eighteen years of age.
         3. In case of a marriage between a Catholic and a non-Catholic, a dispensation must be granted. When
the non-Catholic party is Christian and has a copy of his/her baptismal certificate, the parish priest can grant the
dispensation. In cases where the non-Catholic does not have a record of baptism, the Chancery Office of the
Archdiocese must grant the dispensation.

                                       PLANNING THE LITURGY
                                   THE MINISTERS OF THE CELEBRATION
        In the Roman Catholic tradition, the bride and groom minister the sacrament to one another; they are
the celebrants of the ceremony. A priest or deacon and at least two Catholic witnesses are also required to be
        Presider. Ordinarily, one of the priests or deacons on the parish staff will preside at weddings
celebrated in the parish. On occasion, a couple may have a priest or deacon friend or relative whom they want
to invite to preside at the wedding. In this case, the couple should mention this to the parish priest or deacon
early in the planning process. The involvement of a friend or relative in your preparation for marriage can be
important to you and to him.
        Lectors/Readers. The marriage celebration includes selections from scripture and General
Intercessions (sometimes referred to as the Prayer of the Faithful). We encourage you to ask family members or
friends to serve in your wedding as Lector or Reader. When choosing family members or friends, please select
those who are accustomed to public speaking and have a familiarity with this type of reading. Usually three
Lectors are required.
        Minister of Communion. If a wedding is celebrated during Mass, there may be a need for the service
of Ministers of Communion for the distribution of Holy Communion. Family members or friends who
participate in this ministry in their own parish are welcome to assist with the distribution of Communion at your
        Music Ministers. The parish music minister assists the couple in planning the music for the ceremony
and is the organist/pianist for all weddings. Please check Your Wedding Music Fact Sheet included in these
Guidelines for more information.
        Ushers. The groom's attendants usually function as ushers and minister of hospitality. The bride's
attendants, and, indeed, the bride and groom and their families may also act as ministers of hospitality. It is a
mature, gracious gesture for all members of the wedding party to greet members of the assembly as they gather
to celebrate.
        Servers. Altar servers from the parish will be scheduled for your wedding celebration. If you have
specific servers you would like, or have members of your family who fulfill this ministry in their own parish,
please let the priest know as soon as possible.
        Ring Bearers/Flower Girls. Couples are asked to consider the age of children involved in these roles
and their ability to participate in a church service.

                           SOME QUESTIONS ABOUT THE LITURGY
                        Should we get married at a Mass or should we have a ceremony?
        First, let's understand the difference. Every celebration of Mass consists of a Liturgy of the Word
(entrance rite, readings, homily, general intercessions) and a Liturgy of the Eucharistic (presentation of bread
and wine, the Eucharistic Prayer, and Holy Communion). When a wedding is celebrated at 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 it is celebrated in a Liturgy of the Word in which the
rite of marriage takes place after the homily and before the general intercessions. The rite concludes with
prayers and a blessing.
        If one of you is not in communion with the Roman Catholic Church (and so will be unable to share Holy
Communion if the wedding is celebrated during Mass), you may want to consider what this means. Do you
want to include something in this celebration in which only one of you will be able to take part? Who will your
guests be? Is the celebration of the Eucharist the best way to help them to be with you and pray with you at
your wedding? If many of your guests are from outside the Catholic community, you may want to consider
celebrating your wedding with the Liturgy of the Word. (If one of you is not a baptized Christian, Church law
does not allow the wedding celebration at Mass.)
        Some people seem to think that a couple is not really married unless the wedding takes place at Mass.
This is simply not true. Discuss your concerns with the staff member with whom you are working and make the
decision that will provide the best context for your prayer and celebration.

                        Where do the prayers and readings come from for our wedding?
        After you have completed the preliminary preparations for your marriage (the papers needed, the Pre-
Cana sessions, etc.), you will be ready to begin planning the church liturgy. The workbook you receive at the
Pre-Cana sessions has the many readings and prayers used most frequently at Catholic marriage celebrations.
The staff member with whom you work will give you a different, more comprehensive workbook for planning
your wedding, Together for Life. This booklet provides a step-by-step outline for planning your celebration.
You will be asked to spend some time together reading through the many options available to you and making
the selections which best express your own sense of your wedding celebration.
        Most couples find the selections in this booklet more than adequate; however, you are not limited to the
options provided. If you decide to select from other sources, be sure to discuss this with the staff member
helping in your preparations. Scripture readings are always proclaimed during the Liturgy of the Word. If you
select a prayer or reading from some other source, the placement in the liturgy will have to be discussed with
the staff member.
                                Who decides what will happen at our wedding?
        A wedding, like any sacrament the Church celebrates, is a public celebration. It is celebrated both for
the particular persons receiving this sacrament, and in the context of the parish community.
        Among the items you will want to consider:
        Are the people who will be joining in your celebration mostly from St. Josaphat parish, or will
they be coming from a number of parishes? If they are from many parishes, it will be necessary to take into
account the music they are likely to be familiar with through their regular Sunday worship.
        Are most of those assembled going to be from the Catholic tradition, or are many from other
Christian or non-Christian tradition? Because those assembled are your guests, it is important they feel
comfortable in joining in the prayer of this joyous occasion. You may want to include touches from another
tradition if a sizable number of your guests are from that tradition. If one of you is from another tradition, you
may want to have your own minister present at the celebration. We welcome the participation of your minister
and would like to extend a personal invitation from the staff member working with you.

        Will those assembled need a worship aid in order to best join in the prayer? Some couples find it
helpful to provide a small booklet outlining the order of service. Some couples also prefer to place all the
musical responses for the congregation in the booklet.
        If you choose to provide a program or participation aid for your guests, please remember that copyright
notices are required for the printing of most music and texts for the participation of the assembly. Permission
for "one-time use" is usually gratis from the publisher. Check with the parish music director for more
information on this part of your program preparation. He will be happy to assist you in putting this together.

                         SOME OPTIONS IN THE WEDDING LITURGY
                                 What is a "unity candle?" Should we have one?
        Every sacrament has a primary symbol, which shows us in a tangible way what we celebrate in the
sacrament. In the Catholic marriage ritual, this symbol is the exchange of wedding vows between the bride and
groom. Over the centuries, an additional symbol has been added--the exchange of rings. The rings have come
to symbolize the permanence of the marriage vows (the unbroken circle) as well as the commitment in love to
only one other person (the public wearing of the ring).
        In recent years, a third symbol--the unity candle--has been used by many brides and grooms as an
additional symbolic articulation of their vows. In discussing your plans with the staff member, you may find it
helpful to explore whether or not you wish to include the unity candle in your ceremony.

                               Should we "make a visit" to the Marian shrine?
        Bringing flowers to the Blessed Virgin Mary shrine is a European custom added to the marriage
ceremony, beginning around the time of your parents' wedding. The bride took a floral offering to the Marian
shrine as an expression of surrendering her virginity. In our time and culture, it may also be a prayer of
invocation to the Blessed Virgin Mary that God bless the wedding couple in their new life together. With this
latter meaning, the bride and groom visit the Marian shrine as a couple.

                                  Are we supposed to bring roses to our mothers?
         Another addition to the wedding ceremony is the presentation of a single rose or some other small floral
tribute to mothers and/or grandmothers at the time of the exchange of peace. While this seems like a very nice
gesture, we ask you to consider whether you are singling out mothers at the exclusion of fathers or other
important members of your families, and whether or not additional flowers (besides the corsage or boutonniere)
are necessary.
                                        Arras, Lasso, Vinculo, Rosario, etc.
         In many countries other additions to the ceremony are customary, including the giving of symbolic coins
(arras) by the groom to the bride while asking for God’s blessing on their material concerns in their married life.
The lasso is also used frequently in weddings when godparents (padrinos) place a cord/rope or a two-circled
rosary over the heads of the bride and groom while a prayer of blessing is said. Similarly, a rosary (rosario) or
prayer book (libro de oraciones) may be presented to the bride by godparents (padrinos). Because some of
these practices were in use before the contemporary liturgy, it is important to let the priest know ahead of time
(certainly at the rehearsal) if you will be following some of these customs. For example, the lasso once stayed
on the couple until the end of the ceremony or mass. However, because the bride and groom will need to accept
the gifts of bread and wine at the presentation, the lasso now is removed from the couple immediately after the

                                          OTHERS CONCERNS
                                                 Church Address
The church address for the printing of invitations is:
St. Josaphat Church                   OR               St. Josaphat Church
2311 N. Southport Ave.                                 Southport & Belden Avenues
Chicago, Illinois 60614                                Chicago, Illinois 60614

         Most couples choose to hold a rehearsal a day or two before their wedding--even a week or more
before the wedding is acceptable. The rehearsal time is set with the staff person who is arranging your wedding
with you. A rehearsal takes between thirty and forty-five minutes. Please remember that we have an evening
mass every Wednesday and Thursday at 6:00p.m., and other prayer services on some evenings.
        In addition to the bride and groom and members of the wedding party, you may want to have your
lectors present in order to learn where they will sit, when they will read, and (if they would like) to go through
their reading at the rehearsal. Parents and any of your guests are always welcome at the rehearsal.
        Please ask everyone who will be attending the rehearsal to be on time. Often there will be other
rehearsals before or after yours or other services scheduled in the church.

         It has been traditional for wedding couples to provide floral decorations for church on the day of their
wedding. We encourage you to use fresh flowers with strong colors. Our church is large and ornamented;
arrangements of white flowers and greenery tend to "disappear" in this large space.
         Sanctuary flowers. Usually two large arrangements placed on either side of the altar will serve
as beautiful and dignified decorations which everyone in church can see and will not interfere in any of the
movements of the wedding party.
         Please do not order any flowers to be placed upon the altar itself. The altar is meant to be kept very
simple--with only the gifts of bread and wine, the book of prayers, and the chalice and paten on it.
         Other flowers. Be sure to let your florist know if you are choosing to make a floral tribute to the
Blessed Virgin Mary or are presenting flowers to members of your family.
         Runner for the center aisle. If you wish to have a runner for the center aisle, this can be arranged
through your florist. The center aisle is 65 feet long -- we suggest an additional 10 feet of runner.
         Pew decorations. If you choose to have bows or other decorations placed upon pews in the center
aisle, please inform your florist that they are asked not to use tape on the wooden pews (it removes the finish).
Alternatives to tape are usually available. Also, if you wish to drape ribbon along the edge of the pew, be sure
the ribbon will be removed before the wedding begins. It is against fire regulations to block access to the pews
in this or any other manner.

                                          Photography & Videography
        The still photographer may take pictures at any time as long as the wedding ceremony is not interrupted.
The photographer is not allowed into the sanctuary of the church and should never stand between the couple and
the congregation. Nor should any part of the ceremony (e.g., the procession up the aisle) be stopped by the
photographer. Flash photography is acceptable. The church is available for a maximum time after the
ceremony for pictures of 30 minutes if there is time permitting.
        Please note: the photographer should never remove items from the altar or anywhere else before taking
pictures. The time allowed will be shortened if there are other weddings or church services to follow. If the
services start on time, there will be more than enough time for pictures. (All this is especially true for 3 pm
Saturday weddings.) St. Josaphat Community Park behind the church is usually available for pictures during
the appropriate seasons at no extra charge, again, subject to availability.
        Video taping of the wedding is certainly permitted by a professional. We ask that the taping take place
from one spot only and without a sustained high intensity lamp going on and off. The videographer is not
allowed to walk around with his or her equipment nor set up a camera in the sanctuary.
        Please show these guidelines to the photographers so they are aware of the restrictions and abide
by our rules. Then, tell them they too must touch base with the priest prior to the ceremony. These guidelines
will help to make your ceremony more reverent, special, and prayerful. Photographers who do not follow rules
will not be allowed to continue to photograph the wedding in church.

The Church fee is $800. It is a requirement that one of the parties be a registered parishioner of at least 4
months when arranging the date for the wedding. Please register with the parish before making arrangements
for the wedding. Registration can be done at the parish office of online. Full payment of this fee is necessary
to secure the date and time for your wedding. No wedding will be scheduled without full payment of this non-
refundable fee because of the scheduling restraints of so many wedding requests. If there is any financial
difficulty, a wedding ceremony can be arranged for little or no cost. An additional $25 rice fee must be paid if
rice is to be thrown. This money will go to feed the hungry in our community. See the next section on wedding
music for details on music fees. The church will provide altar servers for your wedding. We encourage you to
make a small offering to the servers (between $10.00 and $15.00 for each server).

                                                Rice, Washroom, etc.
        You may have rice thrown after the ceremony outside the church itself. The altar servers will sweep it
up afterwards but we ask that you make a $25 donation to be used to feed the poor. The only washroom
available is in the front right-hand side of the church. There is no wedding room in this older church, and
therefore, no place for the bride to dress. We do not supply stands, pedestals, extra candles, etc.

                               A FEW THOUGHTS ON CHURCH WEDDINGS
        We ask that you remember that unlike a hall or a restaurant, the church is not "rented" for a wedding. As
a place of worship it should be respected. It is also the symbol of the faith community before which you will be
exchanging your vows. It should also be stated that the parish staff (priests, music director, altar servers,
sacristans, etc.) is not employed by the couple getting married. Respect with regards to punctuality and
decorum in the church is essential. Drinking of alcohol before the rehearsal or ceremony will lead to the
expulsion of those drinking from the church. Failure to comply could mean the forfeiture of the privilege of
marriage in St. Josaphat Church at the discretion of the priest at any point in the preparation or ceremony. The
priest will deal only with the couple and not with parents or wedding coordinators to avoid any confusion or
miscommunication. Yours is one of over 65 weddings celebrated at St. Josaphat this year. We expect your full
cooperation. You are expected to be on time for the rehearsal and the ceremony. We will not delay the start of
another ceremony in church because of a tardy start of yours. The church is open one half hour before the
ceremony. All weddings have 90 minutes for the ceremony and picture taking.
        Remember, it is the love shared between the couple that calls down God's presence in the Sacrament of
Matrimony. You are the ministers of this beautiful sacrament. As you schedule and work on all the details, try
to relax. The ceremony will be beautiful because the people in attendance are choosing to be there, drawn to the
church by your love for each other. In the rush of things, take time for each other, support each other. We will
do everything on our part to make your wedding a fitting and prayerful beginning to your Christian Marriage.
Feel free to contact the rectory (773.327.8955) with any questions you might have.

                         YOUR WEDDING MUSIC FACT SHEET
An integral part of your wedding liturgy is the music. Saint Josaphat’s Music Director is looking forward to
helping you through this important aspect of the planning. Wedding Music Workshops are offered throughout
the year, providing you an opportunity to hear the various musicians and cantors/soloists available for your
wedding celebration. Besides this workshop, the Music Director will meet with you at a mutually convenient
time (usually evenings during the week). At this time, the Music Director will outline the Order of Service for
the wedding showing you the many places where music would be appropriate. After hearing the choices, it is
easy to find things that you both like and that work well in the liturgy.

Please know that Saint Josaphat’s Music Department is an excellent resource for soloists (male and/or female)
and instrumentalists. Soloists offered by the Music Department are young professionals that regularly do solo
work in and around the Chicagoland area as well as singing in professional ensembles. All instruments are
available through the Music Department and come highly recommended: trumpet(s), flute, oboe, strings, solo
violin, cello, French horn, harp as well as combinations in trios and quartets. We even can recommend some
fine bagpipe players! You may even want to engage our Children’s Chorus or Gallery Choir.
The musicians that regularly play here are highly qualified and offer a fair price.

  The cost of musicians and/or soloists will be discussed at your music planning meeting. Fees range between
  $150 to $200 per musician, although harpists generally charge $275 to $350. These fees will be paid for
  separately through the Music Director and are due one to two weeks prior to the wedding. (N.B. The Music
  Director’s fee is not included in the parish fee.)

Booking and arrangements should be made through the Music Department. Pianists, harpists, trios, etc., for
your cocktail hour or reception can also be booked.

In following the liturgical guidelines of the Archdiocese of Chicago, Saint Josaphat does have some restrictions
as to what you may choose to have played during the church service. These can be discussed during your
planning meeting. Also, due to the delicate nature of our musical instruments and sound amplification system,
the Music Director will be present for all weddings which utilize other musicians.

Finally, if you have a family member that would like to participate musically in the wedding, please call and
make arrangements as soon as possible. Oftentimes, extra rehearsals need to be scheduled to rehearse and learn
the music. An additional fee for these rehearsals will be charged.

The Music Director can be reached by phone at the Parish Office (773) 327-8955, or emailed at

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