Marriage Preparation Courses (Pre-Cana) This is required for all couples wishing to be married. Information on available courses can be obtained from the Parish Priest at the time of your meeting with him. It is your repsonsibility to arrange for a pre-marriage course. Our parish recommends a course called Facilitation Open Couple Communication, Understanding, and Study (FOCCUS). Visit the diocese website for further information on the preparation courses.
Music Only sacred music is permissible, and taped music is not allowed. Music is meant to accompany an action (entering or leaving the church), to proclaim the Word of God or to offer praise to God. Please contact our music director for consultation and guidance in regards to the choice of Music. All music details must be approved by our music director. Arrangements for a musician (pianist and/or choir) or soloist are to be made by the couple. Please be aware that there are copyright rules governing publication/printing of copyrighted music compositions.
The Liturgy At a Catholic wedding, the bride and the groom are the ministers of the Sacrament. It is in their consent to freely give themselves to one another and in their vows to make of their love a life-long commitment that God is present to them in each other. The priest is present only as the Church’s official witness who presides at the ceremony and blesses the couple.
In the tradition of the Catholic Church, the exchange of vows between two Catholics is to take place within the context of a Mass. This offers the opportunity to receive the body and blood of Christ. However, if one of the parties in not Catholic, the marriage rite outside of Mass is the prescribed norm. This offers the couple being married the opportunity to join the two families together at the wedding liturgy without fear of excluding members of the congregation who would not be invited to Communion. The wedding party is given the choice of Scripture readings they would prefer during the celebration. The selected readers/lectors are expected to be at the rehearsal.
Servers or acolytes are provided by the parish if requested. The altar severs should be paid $20.00 each. St. Martha’s provides two altar servers for a marriage liturgy. If, however, family members or friends are invited to exercise this ministry, they are required to be present during the rehearsal.
Photographs Your wish to have photos of your marriage is most understandable. Please designate one photographer who will take pictures in the Church. The photographer is asked to consult with the priest half an hour prior to the ceremony or at the rehearsal since there are some limitations which the photographer is asked to follow. Video recording is acceptable but no additional lighting may be used in the church.
The liturgy must be protected as sacred and not become a “Kodak moment. ” The lower the profile on photography is kept during the liturgy, the better. Professional photographers and those videotaping should be appropriately dressed and are asked to not move around during the liturgy. They are not to interfere with or move the furnishings of the church.
Everyone involved must maintain respect for the space. Nothing is to be set on the altar. No flash or lights should be used during the service. Photographers/videographers are not allowed in the sanctuary during the service but should keep to the side aisles, behind the pew line. During the processional and recessional, photographs may be taken from the pews by anyone in the assembly.
Confetti and Flower Petals Confetti and flower petals or other similar materials, are strictly prohibited both in the church and in the church yard. Flower girls cannot scatter petals as they come in or out of the church. Bubbles are not appropriate to be used inside the church. Please inform your decorators, florists and others involved about these restrictions.
Rehearsal Besides the wedding party and parents of bride and groom, it is most important that your readers be present in order to familiarize themselves with the readings, microphone and other procedures. It is not a time for musicians, including singers, to rehearse but we welcome them to attend the rehearsal. If they wish to rehearse please make arrangements with the parish office. Punctuality is requested.