PLANNING YOUR CATHOLIC WEDDING
Marriage in the Catholic Church
Marriage is a divine calling by which a man and a woman give themselves to each other in a lifelong partnership. It is an opportunity to experience the beauty of human love, a love that mirrors the love of God. It is a path to holiness, to being saints. Most people today still have very high ideals for marriage and hope to find their own happiness there. The future of our society and of our Church indeed all of humanity depends upon the health of our married and family life. Yet marriage is often misunderstood or
underappreciated today. All sorts of relationships are called marriages which are not. Many people delay getting married too long. They do not express their married love in building a family with God. They are confused about the meaning and place of sex in their lives before and after marriage. Many marriages are under pressure and some fail. We need to rediscover what marriage is all about.
God loves us with a love so great he could only compare it to a good marriage (e.g. Hos 2:21). He wants to raise us to share in his own divine life and love, and to make this possible he came amongst us as a man, Jesus Christ (2Pt 1:4; Vatican II, Lumen Gentium 2). As the early Christians put it: “God became man so that we might become God”
(Catechism of the Catholic Church 460). So that we might begin to live that divine life even now, he gave us his truth in the Scriptures, in the living, teaching Church, and above all in the person of Jesus Christ. This is a truth that makes us free (Jn 8:32). And this includes a holy wisdom about marriage, sexuality and family life.
Excerpt from Marriage: FAQS Australian Catholic Bishop’s Conference
This booklet is included in the Marriage Preparation Resource Pack available through the Parish Office.
Weddings at Our Lady of the Rosary The Entrance
Most of the weddings in our church are on Saturday afternoons. Weddings may be celebrated on any week day and on Saturdays from 11am up until 3:30pm for the latest. We have Masses and devotions every day in the church as well as Baptisms, Funerals, Confirmations and many other sacred ceremonies throughout the year limiting the times available for weddings. To avoid disappointment contact the parish office as early as possible in your planning stages to check on the availability of the church.
One of the first questions you will be asked is if you have been previously married. If one or both of you have been previously married, and your previous spouse is not deceased, we will not be able to make a booking for the wedding but rather will offer to make an appointment for you to see the priest first.
Once you have booked your wedding through the parish office you will
be sent a Marriage Preparation Resource Pack prepared by the Diocese of Broken Bay with most of the information and contacts you’ll need in the lead up to this important day. We are happy to send this pack to any couple seeking more information about the Sacrament of Marriage in the Catholic Church.
Sample letter for those who book a wedding at Our Lady of the Rosary Church The Entrance:
Congratulations on your forthcoming marriage to be celebrated in Our Lady of the Rosary church. For the necessary paper work associated with your wedding you will need to obtain a recent copy of your Baptismal Certificate in the case of a Catholic party, or for a non-Catholic party, evidence of your Baptism in another church. You will also both need to produce your Full Birth Certificate or a current Passport. All these are needed to satisfy both Church and State requirements in establishing your identity and eligibility for the Sacrament of Marriage.
In the case of one of the parties not being a Catholic, they need to be made aware of what the Sacrament means in the life of faith of their partner and the importance of sharing that Catholic faith with their children born of the marriage. One of the reasons for the meetings with the priest beforehand is to explain these matters and also to give both parties the opportunity to discuss any concerns.
There is also a need to plan the actual ceremony. While many marriages may be similar, yours is unique and special for you. And so we need to make it as special and appropriate as possible.
All these things take time so please contact me at least two months prior so that everything can be arranged. If you perceive any difficulties, an even longer lead-time may be needed.
May I take this opportunity to recommend that you attend a marriage preparation course. There are several available, including our own Broken Bay Centacare programme. Lay people expert in his or her own fields run this, and so it is an excellent opportunity to lay a solid foundation for a strong and healthy marriage.
Your marriage goes far beyond the wedding day, so it is a pleasure then to be able to work with you in your prayerful preparation for this start of the most exciting and fulfilling journey.
With the blessing of God on your preparations.
Father Bill Stevens
Music & Flowers
Sometimes we get requests to use CD’S for a Wedding. While not totally rejecting this – there is a provision in the Copyright Laws for such usage - I would generally like to discourage the practice.
Your wedding is a most significant day in you life. The fact that you are being married here indicates that you understand the religious significance of this important occasion. Your Wedding is a Religious Ceremony in which, before God, you make the most important commitment of your life.
Because of this religious significance, the music chosen should be suitable for the occasion and reflect the holiness of the day. For that reason alone, most secular music would be unsuitable.
We have a beautiful organ and a vast tradition of music that is very fitting for the solemnity of the day.
Please consider this in your planning and feel free to contact any of us to discuss your particular needs to make the day not only very memorable but also most fitting.
Contacts to arrange for the following:
Ann Marie James-Yates (02)4389 2882
Pam Chappelow (02) 4334 3524
WEDDING ANNIVERSARY BLESSING WITHIN MASS
After the homily
The celebrant invites the couple to pray in silence and to renew before God their sacred matrimonial commitment to each other.
Father all-holy, the faithful one, you ask for and respond to fidelity to your covenant; fill with your blessings your servants (N and N) who are celebrating their (25th, 50th, 60th, other) wedding anniversary.
Lord hear us.
After the Lord’s Prayer, and omitting the embolism “Deliver us,” the celebrant faces the couple and, with hands outstretched, says:
Lord God and Creator,
we bless and praise your name.
In the beginning you made man and woman,
so that they might enter a communion of life and love.
You likewise blessed the union of N. with N.,
so that they might reflect the union of Christ with his Church:
look with kindness on them today.
Amid the joys and struggles of their life you have preserved the union between them; renew their marriage covenant, increase your love in them,
and strengthen their bond of peace,
so that (surrounded by their children) they may always rejoice in the gift of your blessing.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.
At the end of the Mass the celebrant blesses the couple.
Bow your heads and pray for God’s blessing
Then with hands outstretched over the couple, the celebrant says:
May God, the almighty Father, give you joy.
May the only Son of God have mercy on you and help you in good times and in bad.
May the Holy Spirit always fill your hearts with love.
Then he blesses all present.
And may almighty God bless you all, the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
Renewal of Marriage Vows
Celebrant invites married couples to repeat these words:
Husband: I, ……………………. , take you ……………………. to be my wife. I promise to be true to you in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health. I will love you and honour you all the days of my life.
Wife: I, ……………………. , take you ………………….. to be my husband. I promise to be true to you in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health. I will love
you and honour you all the days of my life.
Celebrant: May the goodness and constancy of God strengthen your covenant of love and fidelity to each other and fill you both with the inspiration of the Holy Spirit to live happy and creative lives.
Weddings and special anniversaries are times when a Papal Blessing makes a wonderful spiritual gift. A Papal Blessing may be obtained by making a request of your parish priest through the parish office. On your behalf he will send a letter requesting the blessing to the Papal Nuncio. There is a fee to cover the costs of the parchment and postage which must accompany the letter. The usual waiting time is approximately nine weeks so be sure to allow ample time to avoid disappointment.