Preparation of Marriage
Preparing for your marriage is one of the most important events of your lives which requires careful consideration of all the details relating to the RELIGIOUS aspects of the day. The following guidelines are meant to aid you in your preparations and put before you all the requirements of the parish for your marriage celebration. The parish priests will be most happy to help you in any way to plan this important day of your life. Please feel free to discuss any questions, problems or concerns with them.
1. Marriage Policy at St. Justin’s: Church law dictates that the normal place in which a marriage should take place is the parish of the bride or groom. Consequently, St. Justin, Martyr Parish requires that you register with us as a Parishioner.
2. Booking Dates for Marriage: The couple must contact the parish about ONE YEAR in advance of the proposed marriage date, so that they will have adequate time to meet the other requirements given in this package. Pre-nuptial investigation and the beginning of the marriage forms are filled out at the first interview with the couple. The date of the wedding is set at this interview - it cannot and will not be booked over the phone beforehand.
3. Times For Marriage : The following times are set aside for the celebration of weddings - Saturday’s at 11:00 a.m., 1:00 p.m. or 3:00 p.m. Weddings may be scheduled from Monday to Friday. Weddings are not permitted on Sundays within the Archdiocese of Toronto.
4. Marriage Instruction : It is required for the couple to have completed a marriage preparation course. Several of these courses are conducted in the parish during the year. Some couples ask about the weekend marriage courses that are conducted at retreat centres. These courses are intended for those who cannot take a parish-based program.
To accommodate difficult situations, we have online Marriage Preparation Courses available. Please visit The Catholic Family Services of Toronto website www.cfstoronto.com
5. Priest For Marriage : The parish priest with whom arrangements are made for the wedding and who conducts your first interview will most likely be the one who will perform the marriage ceremony.
6. Documents Required
a) Baptismal Certificate : Every Catholic being married must produce a current certificate of Baptism. A non-Catholic party, if baptized, should also provide proof of baptism, this need not be a current document, a copy would suffice.
b) Previous Marriages : If a previous marriage existed, the following documents are required; I) a death certificate or a divorce decree; ii) an official confirmation from the proper ecclesiastical court with regard to the dissolution or nullity of the marriage. No date for marriage can be given until freedom to marry has been documented and approved by the Archbishop’s office.
7. Spiritual Preparation : It is expected for the couple to be connect to the Parish in reasonable ways, especially by regular participation at Sunday Mass.
8. Interfaith Marriages : Marriage between a Catholic and non-Catholic or an un-baptized person is celebrated without Mass. This allows both parties to participate fully in the Marriage Rites along with their family and friends.
9. Planning The Liturgy : The couple is encouraged to make their marriage celebration personal by planning the ceremony with the presiding priest. The couple will be given the opportunity to choose a number of prescribed scriptural passages, prayers and blessings. At the end of the parish marriage preparation course the couple will be given a booklet to help them make these choices. The selections will then be finalized with the parish priest at the second interview.
a) Lectors (Readers) : The couple may choose a mature person to proclaim the first and second readings, as well as the prayers of the faithful. The readers should be baptized Christians and be able to proclaim the readings clearly and devoutly.
b) Altar Servers : St. Justin, Martyr usually provides servers for a wedding Mass. However, if a couple has a relative, they would like to serve at the wedding, the parish priest should be consulted in advance. The standard offering for a parish server is $20.00.
c) Music : Music is an important part of any wedding. It should, however, reflect the sacredness of the celebration. For this reason secular songs or show tunes are not allowed in a wedding ceremony. We require to have Prayer Mass. Contact our Musician through the Parish Office.
d) Flowers : Flowers for the wedding are the sole responsibility of the bridal party. Please keep the floral arrangements simple. No Floral arches or large floral candle stands can be used.
e) Runner : No runners are allowed (regardless of their material) due to insurance restrictions.
f) Photographer and Videographer : The photographer should be unobtrusive and as inconspicuous as possible. At the very least, the photographer should check with the priest 10 minutes before the ceremony for any guidelines and restrictions.
The videographer is to remain in a fixed position during the ceremony. They may move about only at the opening and closing processions.
g) Confetti: The use of rice or confetti is not allowed in the church or on the church grounds.
h) Suggested Church Offering: The church offering is $650. These offerings should be placed in separate envelopes and given to the priest on the night of the wedding rehearsal.
i) Parish Hall: The parish hall at St. Justin, Martyr is not available for rent.
We trust that these guidelines will help you in planning your wedding. May the time between now and your wedding day be used to ask God’s blessing on your newly chosen vocation. May your wedding day be one of peace, joy and happiness.
For all other enquiries, please contact the Priest through Parish Office.