Marriage

INTRODUCTION

Read also: Message from Pope Francis on marriage

We are most pleased to help you with your marriage needs.  Saint Joseph Catholic Parish follows the norms set by the Archdiocese of Denver, which include an eight (8) to twelve (12) month preparation time with required marriage preparation components:

  • FOCCUS Inventory
  • A Marriage Preparation Class
  • Natural Family Planning Class
  • In addition to the Archdiocesan classes, Saint Joseph Parish requires attendance at our Wedding Liturgy Class.

Information about Marriage Preparation Classes and Natural Family Planning classes can be found at the Archdiocese of Denver marriage preparation web page.  We will have information regarding dates for the Wedding Liturgy Class at Saint Joseph Parish at the time of your initial visit.  Feel free to contact Kimberly Tallman at (970) 482-4148, x:204 or ktallman@stjosephchurchfc.org to set up a time to meet with her to begin the marriage process or if you have questions about marriage preparation.

Please note that if there has been a previous marriage by either person, an annulment will be necessary before beginning the marriage preparation process.  If married previously, please contact us so that the annulment process can be started immediately, as the process takes time.

If you are a non-parishioner (attending another Catholic Church with no ties to the parish, i.e., parents or grandparents who are members) your marriage request will be considered on an individual basis.  Non-parishioners will be asked to bring their own celebrant and are also asked to make an offering to the Church.

Saint Joseph Parish does have specific guidelines regarding marriage.  Please carefully consider all that is contained in this document before scheduling your wedding, as exceptions are not typically made.  All wedding parties must follow the procedures set by Saint Joseph Parish whether a parishioner or a non-parishioner.

CONTENTS

Scheduling a Wedding

Rehearsal

Wedding Liturgy

Procession

Wedding Coordinator

Master of Ceremonies/Altar Servers

Music

Readers of the Word of God

Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion

Decorating the Church

Additions to the Ceremony

Proper Wedding Attire

Photography

Wedding Expenses


SCHEDULING A WEDDING

You are most welcome to contact us regarding available dates for your wedding.  We will place a hold for your chosen wedding date on our calendar for up to two weeks.  Your date will be confirmed after your initial appointment and upon receipt of the wedding fees.

Weddings are typically scheduled on Saturdays at 1:00 p.m.  Other days of the week can be scheduled upon request, depending upon availability.  Please ask if you have a specific request.  The church is available to couples from 11:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. for a 1:00 p.m. wedding.  With no exceptions, the Saturday 1:00 p.m. wedding must be completely finished with pictures and cleanup by 3:00 p.m. so that we can prepare for our 4:00 p.m. Mass.

Rehearsal

Rehearsals are generally scheduled the evening before the wedding, depending upon the availability of the Church.  It is important to schedule your rehearsal time as soon as possible for the best availability.  The wedding party is given an hour time frame for rehearsals.  It is important that the entire wedding party arrive on time as we are not able to accommodate a longer rehearsal time. Furthermore, every person directly involved in the wedding ceremony, i.e., readers, ushers, gift bearers, ring bearers, etc., must be present at the rehearsal in order to participate in the wedding.

WEDDING LITURGY

At your initial meeting, you will be given a booklet that covers the wedding celebration with suggested readings and choices for vows and prayers.  Over the course of the months of preparation you will want to prayerfully consider these choices.  Your choices will be discussed with your presider (priest or deacon) prior to your wedding.

Procession

It is important to note that Saint Joseph Church uses the recommended entrance procession for a Catholic wedding liturgy in which the priest or deacon and then the bride and the groom together or escorted by their parents, the parents (if not escorting the bride and groom) and the two witnesses (maid of honor and best man) process into the church. Unlike the common American form of the procession which suggests that the bride is given away by her father to the groom, the faith of the Catholic Church holds that the bride and groom enter marriage mutually and as equal, complementary partners. This type of procession emphasizes the mutual equality of both the bride and the groom.  There are some variations to this procession that can be considered, depending upon special needs of the family.

Wedding Coordinator

A Saint Joseph Wedding Coordinator is required for all wedding ceremonies at Saint Joseph Catholic Parish.  A Wedding Coordinator will be assigned to you approximately one month before your wedding.  She will assist with the rehearsal and the wedding liturgy.

If you request a “no see” wedding (the groom does not see the bride before the ceremony begins) or you have more than six couples in the wedding party, then a second Wedding Coordinator will be needed and an additional fee will be required.

Master of Ceremonies and Altar Servers

A Master of Ceremonies is required at all weddings.

An Altar Server is optional, but can be a nice addition to the wedding especially if you plan to have a Mass.  We will supply an Altar Server from Saint Joseph Parish for you, or, if you know of an Altar Server you would like to have in your wedding, you may choose that person.

Music

Meeting with our Music Director is required.  The Music Director will help you with your music selections as well as help you acquire Saint Joseph musicians and cantors.  The Music Director will also work with guest musicians.

Following are the Saint Joseph Parish guidelines for music.

  • Music of a sacred nature and classical pieces are acceptable and appropriate for the Sacrament of Marriage. The use of secular music is not permitted within the wedding ceremony and is best used at your rehearsal dinner and wedding reception.
  • All music selections must be approved by the Music Director.
  • A qualified cantor (one who cantors at Saint Joseph or at his/her own Catholic parish) is required to lead assembly in song.
  • The use of the church organ is permitted if using a professional organist. A list of Saint Joseph organists will be supplied upon request.
  • If you request guest soloists or other musicians, they are required to meet with our Music Director and comply with parish liturgical procedures.
  • Upon request, the church bells can be rung to announce your marriage as you leave the church.

Readers of the Word Of God

Two readers can be chosen for your wedding liturgy.  When choosing readers, look for a person who is comfortable using a microphone and speaking to a crowd.  A practicing Catholic is ideal; however, a practicing Christian of another tradition is also acceptable. A person from the Jewish Tradition may be chosen to proclaim the Old Testament.  A reader from the parish can be provided if none of your wedding guests meet these standards.

Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion

In a wedding Mass where Holy Communion is distributed under both species, you will need at least two people who are mandated as Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion to help distribute communion.  We will need the contact information of these individuals to verify their Mandation.  Parish members who are Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion at Saint Joseph are available to help upon request.

Decorating the Church

The Church is decorated during Ordinary Time using plants, well-designed artificial plants and flowers plus fresh flowers on occasion.  We typically make up two to three well-designed arrangements for the high altar which are neutral in color.  You are most welcome to incorporate those arrangements in your wedding decorations.   Please keep the following in mind when planning your wedding environment:

  • Church furniture, candles, and other items in the sanctuary must remain in place during the Wedding Liturgy.
  • During special Church seasons such as Advent, Christmas, Lent, Easter, Pentecost, Holy Days, and some Feasts, decorations and floral arrangements already in place may not be removed. During these special Church seasons, it is important to plan your colors and flowers accordingly. An explanation of seasonal colors and decorations will be given to you if your wedding falls on one of these days or weekends.
  • Floral pieces are not allowed on the main altar (the marble table in the middle of the sanctuary). You may place floral arrangements on the high altar (at the back wall of the sanctuary) or in front of the main altar (except as noted above).  Your florist should handle the placement and removal of the arrangements.  You may leave the arrangements as a gift to the church.
  • Please remember that you are responsible for returning (or arranging for pickup) items that need to be returned to the florist or rental company immediately following the wedding ceremony.
  • Pews can be decorated with bows, flowers or candles.
  • For the safety of your guests and our parishioners, we are not able to permit use of the following:
    • Aisle runners
    • Rice, birdseed, or confetti inside or outside the church
    • Flower petals (real or artificial) inside or outside the church

Additions to the Ceremony

The Wedding Ceremony as set out by the Church contains all that is necessary for a Catholic wedding to be valid as well as all that is necessary for a beautiful celebration of the love between two people joined together by our Lord. Nothing needs to be added; however, there are a few traditions that Saint Joseph Parish allows.

Signs of Unity

The true sign of unity between the couple is the vows they profess to each other. Using other devices as symbols of unity can detract from this true sign of unity.  Because unity candles and wedding lassos have been cultural traditions for many years, we do allow them within the ceremony.  However, we do not allow other signs of unity, such as unity sand, crosses or hearts. These are better left for the reception.

Flowers at Mary’s Altar

Also not a necessary part of the Mass, the bride and groom may place flowers at the altar of Mary asking for Mary’s intercession in their marriage bond.

Proper Wedding Attire

Please keep in mind the following when planning your attire for the wedding party:

The Sacrament of Matrimony is a sacred event held in a sacred environment that commands modest attire.

  • At the very least, men must be dressed in slacks, a dress shirt and with appropriate shoes (no sandals, flip-flops, tennis shoes, etc.).
  • Women must have their shoulders and back covered and dresses must be at least knee-length or longer with appropriate shoes.

PHOTOGRAPHY

A photographer may take pictures or make a video during your wedding.

The photographer may never enter the sanctuary area (the elevated platform behind the railing) during the celebration.

A photographer may take pictures or make a video before, during, and after your wedding.  However, because of other events that are scheduled in the church, pictures must be completed within the time period that the church is reserved.

Please do not ask the presiding priest or deacon to be connected by wires for better microphone reception or for any other reason.  Photographers and videographers are asked to make use of the sound emitted from the sound system.

A letter will be provided to your photographer outlining these standards so that he or she is able to prepare accordingly.

WEDDING EXPENSES

The basic fee for a wedding prepared and celebrated at Saint Joseph Parish is $325.00 and is broken down as follows:

Marriage Preparation and Materials (includes FOCCUS Inventory) $  80.00

Saint Joseph Wedding Liturgy Class $10.00

One Wedding Coordinator (required) $210.00

One Master of Ceremonies $25.00

TOTAL: $325.00

Other Costs:

Additional Wedding Coordinator (if necessary) $130.00

One Altar Server for Mass $25.00

One Cantor $100.00

Musicians from Saint Joseph Parish Organist $150.00

Pianist $100.00

Other musician fees vary depending upon your choice

A stipend to the priest or deacon ($100-$200 suggested)

The fees at Saint Joseph Parish do not cover the actual cost of a wedding ceremony.  An offering to the Church is greatly appreciated and helps offset these costs as well as provides funds for those couples who cannot afford the fees associated with a wedding.

The fee of $325.00 for the Church is collected upon scheduling your wedding. All fees for the Marriage Preparation Classes not part of Saint Joseph are collected by the agency that provides for the particular class you choose.

We will collect the fees for any servers, cantors and musicians that Saint Joseph Parish provides two weeks prior to the wedding so that you do not have to worry about that on your wedding day.  We can also collect the stipend for the priest or deacon if that is your wish.  Your check or cash should be placed in a clearly marked, sealed envelope so that the Wedding Coordinator can properly disperse these fees on the wedding day.

If you are unable to afford any or all of the fees associated with a wedding at Saint Joseph Parish, we are happy to work with you. Please contact Jeanette Coleman, (970) 482-4148, x:278 or jlcoleman@stjosephchurchfc.org to set up a time to meet regarding your needs.

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