The Celebration of the Sacrament of Marriage
Congratulations of your decision to commit yourselves to one another in a life-long Christian marriage. The Sacrament of Marriage is a sign of God’s unconditional love for one another.
Your call to married life in the Church is important to the whole Christian community. For this reason you must undertake your preparation with the utmost care and seriousness.
We hope that the information provided here will assist you in planning for your upcoming marriage, but, also, and most importantly, for your life together as a married couple.
Below are the requirements for a marriage to take place at St. Paul the Apostle Catholic Community:
- You must make an appointment with a priest/deacon at St. Paul’s to discuss your wedding at least six months prior to the date. Either the bride or groom must be a baptized Catholic in order to be married in the church. All registered parishioners and their families are welcome to celebrate the Sacrament of Marriage at St. Paul’s. However, couples who have an historical connection to St. Paul’s or who are not currently registered may be married here with the Pastor’s permission.
- If either one or both of you have been married before you will need speak directly with the priest/deacon to determine what steps need to be taken in order for you to marry in the church.
- A marriage between a Catholic and non-Catholic or a non-baptized person requires a dispensation signed in the presence of the priest/deacon. In addition, the Catholic party reaffirms his/her faith in the Catholic church and he/she promises to do everything in his/her power to share that faith with their children and ensure that they are educated in the Catholic faith. This document is signed by the Catholic party in the presence of priest/deacon and the non-Catholic partner.
- You are required to take what is called FOCCUS. This is a pre-marital inventory which will assist the priest/deacon in discussing you future life together and what areas should be explored during your interviews with priest/deacon. Once a date has been set for the wedding, you will be contact by email on how to take FOCCUS on the internet.
- In addition to the meetings with priest/deacon, all couples are required to participate in an Archdiocesan marriage prep classes. You need to contact the Archdiocese Marriage Preparation office (213-637-7250) for the available marriage prep classes. Once completed you will receive a certificate of completion that will be kept in your marriage file here at the parish.
- In addition to the above requirements, the following documentation needs to be provided:
- If Catholic, a recent copy of your baptismal certificate (issued within the last six months). The certificate should also indicate the date of your First Communion and Confirmation.
- A Prenuptial Inquiry Form done in the presence of the priest/deacon needs to be completed by the bride and groom.
- Pre-nuptial Witness Forms needs to be completed by a close relative or long time friend in the presence of a priest/deacon. Two Witness Forms are required for the bride and two for the groom.
- General Wedding Fees: $700.00. This fee includes preparation with the priest/deacon, completion of all required documents, use of the church, altar servers, wedding coordinator and stipend to the parish. $350 is due when a date is recorded in the parish calendar and $350 is due thirty (30) before the wedding date.
- Music for the ceremony is not included in the $700 fee. It is your responsibility to contact the Wedding Music Coordinator, James Casey, and make arrangements with him.
May the Lord continue to bless and deepen your love for one another.
Fr. Daniel E. McCotter, CSP