ST. JOSEPH OLD CATHEDRAL CATHOLIC CHURCH
Marriage Preparation & Wedding Guidelines
The Vocation of Marriage
Congratulations on your engagement!
The call to marriage is a particular way of living the universal call to holiness given to every Christian in the Sacrament of Baptism.
The call to love is “the fundamental and innate vocation of every human being.” In the vocation of marriage – something which “is written in the very nature of man and woman,” we see that “the love of husband and wife becomes an image of the absolute and unfailing love with which God loves” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, nos. 1603 and 1604).
The Catholic Church teaches that marriage is a Christian vocation that the couple’s relationship is more than simply their choice to enter a union which is a social and legal institution. In addition to these things, marriage involves a call from God and a response from two people who promise to build, with the help of divine grace, a lifelong, intimate, and sacramental partnership of love and life.
As one of the seven sacraments of the Catholic Church, given to us by Jesus Christ, the Sacrament of Marriage is serious and sacred, and, therefore, so is the preparation for marriage. Marriage preparation is more than just planning a wedding, it is centered on a couple’s relationship and their faith in God, who has called them to possibly live the vocation of marriage.
These guidelines will assist you in preparing for the Sacrament of Matrimony, deepening your relationship with one another and with Christ and his Church.
According to the policies of the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City, an engaged couple must begin marriage preparation at least six months prior to the date of their proposed wedding.
Pastor: Rev. Oby Zunmas email: [email protected]
Associate Pastor: Rev. Showdri Gali email [email protected]
Parish Wedding Coordinator: Maria DeLoera email [email protected]
Director of Music/Organist: Dr. Vicki Schaeffer [email protected]
Scheduling your Wedding
Before you plan your wedding, contact the pastor at least six months before your proposed wedding date and schedule an appointment. He will inform you of the wedding preparation requirements and set the date of your wedding in the parish calendar.
Weddings are not recommended during the Holy season of Lent. They are not permitted on Sundays or Holy Days of Obligation. You may choose to have your wedding at the following times: Fridays at 6:00 PM, Saturdays at 12:00 PM, 1:00 PM or 6:30 PM. If you choose to have your wedding at 6:30 PM on Saturday, because of the regular scheduled Vigil Mass at 4:00 PM, there may be no photographs in the Church before the wedding ceremony.
Wedding rehearsals are scheduled at 6:00 PM (unless another time is requested) the day before the wedding.
The cost for the Church for active registered parishioners is $600.00. In addition, there are fees for the services provided by the persons listed below.
For non-parishioners who wish to be married at St. Joseph’s (by pastor’s approval) there is a fee of $1,200.00 for the use of the Church in addition to the fees for the services provided by the persons listed below.
The Church fee includes 1-hour rehearsal fee the night before the wedding, Bride’s dressing area, Groom’s dressing area, one hour before and one hour after the wedding ceremony for pictures, and cleaning service fee.
Parish Wedding Coordinator: $250.00
Music Director/Organist: $250.00
Altar Servers: $20.00 per altar server
One altar server is required for weddings outside of Mass and two altar servers for wedding within Mass.
There is a $200.00 non-refundable deposit to secure the date; it will be applied to the final payment. The balance of the fees is due in full four weeks before the wedding date.
Clergy Stipend: There is no set fee. A priest is not permitted to “charge” for his ministry. It is customary to give the priest a monetary gift for the wedding and the work involved.
Parish Wedding Coordinator
The role of the wedding parish coordinator is to guide you in the preparations for your church wedding, to give direction to your florist, photographer, rehearse with your wedding party, discuss arrival times, assist the clergy in both the rehearsal and wedding ceremony. She is a resource for questions and helpful suggestions and will be present at the wedding rehearsal and the wedding.
Director of Music/Organist
St. Joseph Old Cathedral will make available to you our Music Director. She will guide you in choosing appropriate music for your wedding. Guest/professional musicians are welcome to assist at the wedding but only with the approval of the Director of Music. Outside professional musicians may not be hired in lieu of the parish organist and cantor.
Non-professional musicians (such as friends/family) may be asked to sing or play one or two solos. Please discuss with the Music Director.
MARRIAGE PREPARATION REQUIREMENTS
Marriage Preparation Steps
Step 1: Meet with the Priest
1. Before you can schedule a date for your wedding you must have a meeting with the pastor or the associate pastor.
2. At this meeting he will go over with you the Marriage Preparation and Wedding Guidelines.
3. You will also set the date of your wedding and it will be entered into the parish calendar.
STEP 2: Meet with the Parish Wedding Coordinator & Director of Music
1. Approximately four months before the wedding schedule a separate meeting with the parish wedding coordinator and the Music Director.
2. Each will go over with you the details of the wedding ceremony.
3. Please review these guidelines before your meeting.
STEP 3: Final Meeting with the Priest
1. Two months before the date of your wedding contact the priest to schedule a meeting with him to make final preparations for the wedding ceremony.
2. Make sure you have a copy of your baptismal certificate if you are Catholic. Non-Catholics may present a baptismal certificate or the month and year of baptism.
3. At this meeting the priest will complete the final paperwork (Pre-Nuptial Investigation) and go over the entire ceremony with you from beginning to end.
4. In the state of Oklahoma if a couple completes a marriage preparation program, they receive a discount on their marriage license. A letter stating that you have completed our program will be given to you at this meeting.
STEP 4: Wedding Rehearsal
1. The rehearsal is typically scheduled on the night before the wedding ceremony. However, depending on the date of your wedding the rehearsal day may need to be adjusted.
2. All rehearsals begin at 6:00 PM unless another time is requested.
3. Bring the marriage license with you to the rehearsal.
4. Make sure the wedding party, and anyone involved in the wedding, is on time to the rehearsal.
STEP 5: The Wedding Ceremony
The Rite of Marriage
Your wedding at St. Joseph’s will be dignified and sacred. All members of the wedding party, family and guests must contribute to the sacredness of the ceremony by their appropriate behavior. Therefore, the drinking of alcohol before the wedding is strictly prohibited. Any violation of this can lead to the cancelation of your wedding.
All weddings at St. Joseph’s parish follow the ritual guidelines of the Roman Catholic Church—no exceptions. The Church provides two options for the wedding ceremony, the Nuptial Mass, and the Sacrament of Marriage outside of Mass. It is highly recommended that Catholic couples select the Nuptial Mass for their wedding ceremony.
The Wedding Party
There is no limit to the number of bridesmaids and groomsmen you can have for your wedding. Two witnesses (a Best Man and a Maid/Matron of Honor) are required by Oklahoma Law and the Catholic Church for a marriage to be valid. Witnesses must be 18 or over. Groomsmen will assist ushers (if applicable) in seating guests before the wedding.
Flower Girls and Ring Bearers
It is preferred that flower girls and ring bearers chosen for your wedding be age appropriate, in other words, they should old enough to walk down the aisle by themselves.
At the meeting with the wedding coordinator you will select readings for your wedding from the options provided by the Church. Copies of these readings will be given to you so you can give them to the readers. You may have up to two readers for your wedding (Old Testament, New Testament). All readers must be present at the wedding rehearsal.
The Wedding Vows
The Church provides wedding vows that will be used by every couple. You will review them with the pastor at your final meeting.
All music before and during the ceremony must reflect the reverence and dignity of the occasion, intensify the Christian meaning of the liturgical service and dignify and enhance the sacredness of the liturgy. Keep in mind that the architecture of our parish church lends itself to more traditional styles of music. The following may not be used:
• Any music that is purely secular in nature and, as such, neglects the sacred union of the couple, not only to one another, but also to Christ.
• Popular, operatic or Broadway musical favorites which merely recall sentimental and personal associations; such music should be reserved for the wedding reception.
• No pre-recorded music.
Prayers to the Blessed Virgin Mary
It is customary (but not required) for the bride and groom to ask for the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary as they begin their married life. At the appropriate time, they will go to the statue of Mary and present flowers while a Marian hymn is sung.
Arriving at the Church on the Wedding Day
The wedding party may arrive no earlier than one hour before the start of the wedding. Groom and groomsmen should arrive already dressed. The bride and bridesmaid may dress in the bride’s room. Hair and makeup must be completed before arriving to dress.
All personal belongings must be removed from the bride’s and groom’s room before the start of the wedding. The church is not responsible for any personal belongings that are left unattended.
The beauty of weddings essentially exists in the exchange of vows and rings at the altar of the Lord. Decorations should not distract or overpower these sacred symbols. The following restrictions are applied to all weddings:
1. An aisle cloth is not allowed.
2. Flower petals may not be dropped within the church or chapel and flower girls are not permitted to hand out flowers while walking down the aisle.
3. Rice, birdseed, balloons, confetti, bubbles, or sparklers are not permitted on the church premises.
Flowers should contribute to the aesthetic beauty of the church, not detract from it. The proper placement of flowers may be discussed with the parish wedding coordinator. Only live flowers are permitted in the sanctuary.
No decoration is to be used that will obscure the line of vision in the church, or damage in any way the furnishings of the church. No tacks, nails, or other items that damage wall or furniture should be used. If pew bows or flowers are used, they need to be secured to a plastic clip.
Hurricane lamps and rented candelabras are not permitted. Candles are not allowed on the pews, or in the aisle.
Photographers & Videographers
It is very important when choosing a photographer and videographer for your wedding that you make them aware of these guidelines. If the photographer or videographer has any questions, please contact the parish wedding coordinator.
During the ceremony, flash pictures may be taken when the wedding procession enters the church. Flash photography is not allowed once the bride and groom have entered the sanctuary and until the ceremony is over.
Photographers and videographers are not permitted to roam throughout the church during the wedding ceremony. He or she can position at the back of the church or in the choir loft to take photographs during the ceremony. Photos may be taken in the church before and after the wedding ceremony, except in the case of a Saturday evening wedding. Photos taken before the wedding will end 30 minutes before the start of the wedding.
Video cameras must be placed on a tripod. The tripod can be placed in the back aisle leaving enough room for the wedding party to move down the aisle or on one of the side aisles. The cameraperson cannot walk around the church or in the sanctuary during the ceremony. The cameraperson cannot lie in the aisles or stand in the pews.
When the ceremony is over the Wedding Coordinator will bring the wedding party around to the sanctuary so the photographer can take additional photos. After the marriage license is signed a photo of the couple with the priest should come first.
Normally the clergy assigned to St. Joseph will preside at all weddings; however, arrangements can be made for a family priest or friend to con-celebrate a wedding ceremony. Please discuss this with the pastor.