Matrimony - Guidelines For the Wedding Ceremony
Contact the Parish Office (301) 946-8200 to meet with a priest concerning your wedding. Ministers of the Ceremony Priest or Deacon The role of the priest or deacon is to serve as the principal witness at your wedding celebration on behalf of the Christian community.
The officiating priest or deacon is normally assigned to the parish.
If you desire to have other clergy assist or additional clergy concelebrate, the invitation to that clergyman must come from the Pastor, with the permission of the Bishop.
The visiting clergy should be asked to write to the Pastor, requesting permission to celebrate the Sacrament in our parish and in this Diocese.
The visiting priest will also need a letter from his Diocesan Chancellor.
This should be discussed with one of the priests of the parish before any invitation is extended to the other clergy.
Lectors proclaim the readings from Sacred Scripture during the celebration.
If the couple wishes to ask friends or family members to serve in this ministry, these persons are required to be at the rehearsal so they can practice to effectively proclaim the Word of God in the worship space.
Extra Ordinary Ministers of Holy Communion
For most weddings celebrated within the Mass, Communion Ministers are not needed. For those weddings in which a large number of Catholics will attend and the celebrant believes that Communion Ministers will be needed, then those who already serve in this ministry in the parish are available to serve at weddings or the celebrant may be assisted by a deacon. If friends or family members are Communion Ministers in their home parish, they may be invited to serve at your wedding provided they attend the rehearsal so that they are familiar with the worship space and communion distribution practices.
Ministers of Hospitality
The groom's attendants usually function as ushers and thus fulfill part of the Ministry of Hospitality. The bride's attendants and their families may also fulfill this role. A warm greeting is a wonderful way to show your appreciation of your guests' presence at your wedding.
The bride and groom may choose to greet their guests as they arrive for the Wedding Ceremony.
This ministry, when required, may be filled from the servers of the parish. If you wish, you may ask a friend or family member to serve.
They must be experienced in this ministry and also be present at the rehearsal.
Ring Bearers and Flower Girls These children are not ministers, nor are their services required for the celebration of marriage.
However, if you choose to use them in your ceremony, we ask that the child be at least 5 years old and in school.
Music Arrangements for ALL music MUST be made through the Parish Music Director. Music is an important part of any wedding and great care should be given to the selection of appropriate music for your wedding celebration.
Music chosen for your celebration should be Liturgical in nature and should lead the congregation to pray and participate in the celebration.
The Music Director will make suggestions and help you in planning the music for your celebration. A wedding ceremony in the Roman Catholic Church is a sacramental rite and the music used must be appropriate to liturgy. As in all liturgies, the music is an enhancement to worship.
Persons planning the ceremony are reminded popular romantic ballads may be appropriate at the reception, but are not in keeping with a worship service. "Background music" cannot be utilized during the service.
Organists/Pianists Our parish has competent organists and pianists on staff that are available to play at your wedding.
These instrumentalists have the first option to play for weddings at the Sh
irne of St. Jude Parish. Permission from the Director of Music must be obtained before an outside organist or pianist can play for a wedding at the parish.
Cantors and Instrumentalists To assist the assembly with singing, a trained cantor should be used. The Director of Music will assist you with the selection of a cantor.
Other instrumentalists, such as trumpeter or flutist, may be used to enhance the music at your wedding. A list of qualified instrumentalists may be obtained from the Director of Music. Permission from the Director of Music must be obtained before an outside instrumentalist or cantor can be used for your wedding.
The Ceremony The "Together for Life" booklet specifically deals with the authorized readings, prayers, preface and blessings of the ceremony. We ask you to prayerfully study this material together and choose the appropriate selections, filling in the form in the back of the booklet. If you need any help or advice, the priest will be happy to assist you. Any changes or additions to the ceremony must comply with the traditions of the Roman Catholic Church and must be authorized by the officiating priest.
This can be discussed at one of the pre-nuptial conferences.
DECORATIONS Flowers Remember, it is not necessary that a wedding be elaborate, to be beautiful.
True beauty lies in the spirit and attitude of those taking part in the event. The Altar is the natural focal point of the Church. No flowers or decorations of any nature can be placed on the altar. Flowers, candles and other decorations are to be arranged so as to not obscure the Altar, the Pulpit, or the Tabernacle. Plants, flowers or candelabras must not interfere with the movement of the priest. Ou
e parish do not own any elaborate floral stands on which to place your flowers. Your florist may have these available if you so desire, or you may want to rent them. Under no circumstances will any device be used which will harm or mar the sanctuary or pews, such as thumbtacks, nails, glue, tape, etc.
Christmas and Easter decorations will not be removed for weddings.
Worship Aid for the Congregation Some couples prepare worship aids that may include the order of service, names of the wedding party, and the liturgical ministers.
Couples should secure all necessary copyright releases for any music or texts reprinted in programs, booklets, hymn sheets, etc.
After the Ceremony Often times, families neglect to remove flower boxes, tissues, cameras, flower petals, etc.
We ask you to assign the task of removing all personal items from the church. All decorations must be removed from the Church to allow ample time to prepare for the next liturgy.
Appropriate flowers or plants may be left for display at our parish liturgies, and would be greatly appreciated. We cannot be responsible for any flower containers left in the Church.
PHOTOGRAPHY The purpose of the liturgy will always take priority over the making of photographs. In order to preserve the dignity of the service, flash photography is not permitted during the service, and the photographer will not come into the sanctuary during the ceremony. Please check with the parish priest or deacon for further information. Photographers, both professional and amateur, should be discreet and not distract from the solemnity of the occasion. During the recessional, the photographer is allowed to use his flash equipment as the couple is going back down the aisle, but not interfere with the recessional. During the ceremony, the photographer is asked to avoid unnecessary movement causing distraction to clergy and invited guests. Because marriage is a sacrament and the ceremony is a worship service, an atmosphere of reverence and a focus on prayer is kept. No flash pictures may be taken during the service and movement with photographic equipment must be kept to a minimum.
The photographer (or other guests with cameras) may not step into the center aisle during the ceremony and no climbing on pews, etc. at any time is allowed.
During the ceremony, photographs and video-tape recordings may be taken only from the rear of the church, or from a pre-arranged position at the side, and without flash or additional lighting. Corridors to the side of the sanctuary may be used by photographers. Photographs may be taken in the church immediately following the service.
Clergy are usually available only immediately after the ceremony, if it is your wish that clergy be included in the photographs.
REHEARSAL Rehearsals are usually held the evening before the wedding. Everyone who will be taking part in the wedding is to attend the rehearsal. The rehearsal should begin promptly at the scheduled time. The rehearsal is normally one hour in length. Please be on time both for the rehearsal and for the wedding ceremony. Make sure to bring the wedding license to the rehearsal if you have not already brought it to the parish office. Final preparations for the ceremony, (dressing, make-up, photos, where the ladies of the wedding party should meet, where the gentlemen of the wedding party should meet, etc.) will be made prior to the event.
Please remind all members of your party security for private possessions is a personal matter, and Church premises are places of worship. Please insist all members of your wedding party be prompt for the rehearsal and the wedding. All members of the wedding party need to take part in the rehearsal. We realize sometimes this is not possible, but it is for your benefit that everyone be familiar with his or her role. Readers of the selected Scripture passages should rehearse several times. Readers should practice at least once on the microphone in order to familiarize themselves with its use in order to be heard clearly by those in the pews.
These readings can be read from the lectionary or typed out on paper.
MISCELLANEOUS Our parish is a substance free environment, which include tobacco, alcohol and illegal drugs.
This environment includes the Churches and all buildings and grounds. Also, rice and bird seed cannot be thrown on church property. The Shrine of St. Jude has two parish halls that may be rented for a reception following the ceremony. To insure the sanctity of the wedding celebration, no alcoholic beverages shall be consumed before the wedding ceremony. No alcoholic beverages may be consumed in the parking lot area. No food or drinks are allowed in the Church. We want your special day to be a joyous one in keeping with the traditions of the Roman Catholic Church. These guidelines are provided to avoid unnecessary confusion when that special day arrives.
Your understanding that many other groups also utilize the parish buildings and your cooperation in working with us are appreciated. Please see that all persons involved in the planning of your wedding read and abide by these guidelines. We wish to make a commitment to help and support you not only in the planning of your nuptial ceremony, but throughout your life together. After The Wedding - a variety of growth and support opportunities are available in the parish and archdiocese to enhance and foster growing marital and family relationships.