Congratulations Congratulation on your engagement. Our warmest wishes and prayers for you. We urge you to consider the sacredness of marriage. Besides being a very meaningful social occasion for you and your families, it is a profoundly sacred reality for you are receiving a sacrament, the sacrament of marriage. By your marriage in the Church, you are making a public statement of your faith, and your love and fidelity not only to each other but also to Christ and His Church. Please take the time to spiritually prepare yourself for living out the sacrament of Marriage. Finally, the information below should answer some of your questions about Marriage, You, and the churches of the Taunton Catholic North Collaborative.
How Do I Arrange For a Marriage at Taunton Catholic North? 1) In order to arrange a Wedding at one of the Parishes of Taunton Catholic North it is assumed that either the bride or the groom is a registered member at one of the Parishes. If you are not a member of one of the Parishes and want to get married here, you will need a letter of permission from the pastor of the bride or the groom.
2) A wedding date cannot be secured over the phone. Nor can it be done by anyone but the couple themself. It can only be done in a meeting with one of the co-Pastor. Before you can schedule the appoint you must obtain your sacramental records (baptism & confirmation) for both parties, and bring them with you to that initial meeting. This is not necessary if you were baptized at one of our three parishes since the records are here. Baptism certificates must be current, within at least six months. Once you have secured your records please call one of the Parish Office to set up an appointment with one of the co-pastors. Both parties must be present for this initial meeting.
3) According to Diocesan regulations stipulate that a couple should contact their parish at least 8 months before the requested wedding date. It is best to contact the Parish as soon as you are engaged to get a date for the wedding.
4) Weddings are not celebrated after 2:00pm on Saturday because of the 4:00pm vigil Mass.
Marriage Preparation & Focus The diocese requires that couples getting married participate in Marriage Preparation to help them prepare not for the ceremony, but for a life time together. Marriage Preparation is conducted by the Religious Education Office of the Diocese of Fall River. From their web site you can get information about the Marriage Preparation Program, dates of the program, and even register on-line. Click here for a link to the page. You can also get information about Engaged Encounter which is a weekend retreat for Marriage Preparation.
In addition to the Marriage Preparation Program the diocese also required that a couple preparing for marriage participate in the FOCCUS Marriage Survey. The purpose of FOCCUS is to examine strengths and weaknesses in a couple's relationship and communication skills. FOCCUS can now be done on line at your leisure. If you can not do it on-line, it is also possible to do FOCCUS in the rectory with paper and pencil.
Readings for the Celebration of Marriage There are a number of places on the web where you can access the readings for the celebration of marriage. The US Conference of Catholic Bishops has a site called For Your Marriagewhich contains the readings along with other helpful information in planning a wedding. This site contains a wealth of information in addition to the readings. However, this site does not contain petitions or General Intercessions. For petitions click here.
In choosing your readings it is best to read all of them through, and then discuss the ones that you like as a couple. Choose one from the Old Testament, one from the New Testament. You can also choose the gospel. The psalm is always sung at a wedding, therefore discuss the psalm with your singer/organist. The Psalm can never be a song that is used instead of a Psalm. A song which is a psalm is acceptable.
Finally, your readers should get a copy of their readings before the rehearsal, and should be present at the rehearsal to practice.
Flowers & Decorations It is the usual custom that the couple provide two medium size flower arrangements for the altar at the time of their wedding. It is also expected that the flowers remain in the Church after the wedding as a decoration for the weekend Masses. In this way the flowers are an offering to the Lord. Any other type of floral arrangements should be discusses with the pastor prior to contacting the florist. Tape or tacks can not be used on the pews to secure floral arrangements since they will leave a permanent mark on the wood. For reasons of safety we do not allow an aisle runner. If you want to use a Unity Candle discuss this with the Parish priest prior to purchasing one.
The throwing of rice, birdseed, rose petals, bubbles, and/or any confetti-like object is not allowed within the Church building or outside on the grounds due to the very serious problem of safety and cleaning.
Photographers & Videotaping The photographers, as a matter of courtesy, should speak with the celebrant before the liturgy begins. Photographers are welcome to take pictures throughout the celebration as long as the celebration is not disrupted in any way. The photographer or videographer is not allowed within the sanctuary of the Church.
Wedding Rehearsal 1. Your wedding rehearsal should be scheduled when you meet with the parish priest. Generally, the rehearsal is scheduled an evening or two before the actual wedding date. Wedding rehearsals are scheduled for 30 minutes. It is important to be on time.
2. Those who must attend the rehearsal are: the bride and groom; best man and maid of honor; the bridesmaids; the ushers; ring bearers; flower girls; and the parents of the couple. In addition, those who are doing the readings and/or bringing up the gifts for the celebration should attend as will. In a word, anybody who will be formally seated or participating in any way should be present for the rehearsal.
3. Please remember that a valid marriage license is to be given to the parish priest or to the parish office well in advance of the wedding rehearsal.
4. Even though it had been traditional in the past, a wedding rehearsal is not the best time to celebrate the sacrament of Penance. It is recommended that the bride and groom go the Saturday before the wedding, or at some other time.
Offering to the Church 1. It is customary to make an offering to the Church on the occasion of a marriage (the usual offering is a donation of $100.00). There are separate fees for musicians and altar servers. If the couple wishes, a donation may also be made to the officiating priest or deacon. This should be clearly marked as being separate from the donation to the Church.
Wedding Reception Please do not assume that the parish priest will be able to attend your wedding reception. Being the only priest in the parish, this is usually not possible because of the parish schedule as well as other commitments. Your understanding in this regard is most appreciated. In most cases it is possible for Father to go to the reception to give the blessing.
Order of Celebrating Matrimony Without Mass There are several reasons why a Catholic wedding would take place without a Mass: 1) when a Catholic marries a baptized non-Catholic Christian (although such couples can request permission from the bishop to hold their wedding within Mass) 2) when a significant number of wedding guests are not Catholic or 3) when a priest is not available. Either a priest or a deacon can use the Order of Celebrating Matrimony without Mass. Inter-church couples (a Catholic and a baptized Christian) might wish to talk with the priest or deacon about the participation of clergy from the non-Catholic party’s church. If the couple wishes to hold their wedding at the non-Catholic’s church, they need to receive permission from the bishop to do so in order for the marriage to be valid.
Marriage without a Mass IS a valid Catholic wedding. It is also still a sacrament because the bride and groom are both baptized. The main difference is that there is no Liturgy of the Eucharist. The rite of Marriage outside of Mass is found here - For Your Marriage.
Collaborative Office at St. Anthony Parish Center (Washburn Street, Taunton); 508-824-3333/Office@cntaunton.org
St Anthony Parish 126 School Street, Taunton MA 02780
St Jude the Apostle Parish 249 Whittenton Street., Taunton MA 02780
St Mary Parish 14 Saint Mary's Square, Taunton, MA 02780
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Our Parish is committed to providing a safe place for all the faithful. If you or anyone you know has been a victim of sexual abuse by a diocesan employee or volunteer, please contact Carolyn Shipp, at 508-675-1311, our victim assistance coordinator.