WEDDINGS IN ST PAUL’S PARISH
Welcome to St Paul’s Parish, Moss Vale. Thank you for considering celebrating your wedding in our parish, however, we do ask that you please respect our churches as these are the places where the Catholic community of Moss Vale Worships.
Catholic Marriage is the making of a lifelong covenant of love between a man and a woman. It is the making of a true partnership of the whole of life recognised, celebrated and blessed by the Church in the Sacrament of Marriage.
THE CELEBRANT AT THE WEDDING
The Parish Priest of Moss Vale can celebrate weddings in our parish subject to his availability. If our Priest is not available you are able to bring your own Catholic Priest or Deacon, it is then the responsibility of the couple to book the Priest and to organise a meeting with him six months before their wedding. The couple will decide with their Priest whether they are to have a nuptial Mass or a wedding service.
MARRIAGE PREPARATION COURSE
Marriage is a Sacrament, a serious lifelong commitment. It is not merely a matter of arranging for the reception, filling in the necessary papers and getting to the church on time. As part of the preparation for marriage, it is necessary that the bridal couple receive instruction for married life. This is done by attending a Catholic Church approved marriage preparation course. We firmly insist on your participating in this course because we feel it is important to spend time reflecting on your future life together. No matter how well you know each other, being married is very different from being single. As we are all aware marriages do breakdown, so we feel that it is important for you to explore ways of communicating with each other and how to handle finances, stress and conflict, which are a part of everyday life. The Catholic Church recommends that all couples attend an approved Catholic marriage preparation course. Links detailing courses can be found below:
If either party has been through any form of marriage before, no matter where or when, it is very important to discuss this with your Priest before making a firm booking. In these cases, the death certificate of the previous spouse, a certificate of annulment of the previous marriage and divorce papers must to be supplied.
At least one party has to be Catholic for the church to be used for a wedding. When one partner is not a Catholic, the Catholic party will be asked to sign and answer the question, “Do you sincerely promise to do all in your power to share your faith with your children by having them baptised and brought up in the Catholic Church?” A dispensation must be obtained from the Bishop of the Diocese of the Catholic party.
The bride must be on time on the wedding day. Arriving late inconveniences many people. Punctuality is of utmost importance.
When considering the time for your wedding, please be mindful that there may be other bookings for the Church on the same day ie baptisms, Mass. It is important that your arrival and commencement of your ceremony takes this into account and that you avoid discomfort to yourself, guests, the Priest and others by being on time. Some Brides in the past have obviously not treated their responsibility in this regard with the seriousness it deserves. To emphasise the importance of this it has become necessary to include the timely commencement of the wedding service as a condition for refund of the bond.
Please inform your celebrant, guests and photographers that you have to abide by these guidelines
If you require the use of the church for a rehearsal prior to your wedding with your Priest, you can arrange this by ringing the parish secretary during office hours:. Due to other church commitments, each wedding rehearsal will be limited to thirty minutes only.
Photographs may be taken before the celebration. Professional photographers are permitted to take pictures during the celebration provided they do not become a distraction. This norm helps to preserve the true reverence for the celebration. Videos are permitted. Please request the photographer or videographer to introduce themselves to the celebrant prior to the celebration.
DECORATION OF THE CHURCH
The ONLY decorations permitted in our church are FLOWERS and PEW DECORATIONS.
Pew decorations are understood as being a length of ribbon material secured to the pew end.
Please consider the solemnity of the Lenten period by using minimal flowers in the sanctuary.
PLEASE NOTE: No thumb tacks, blue tac or sticky tape of any kind to be used on the pews, chairs or church furniture. No decorations permitted on the candle stands, altar or ambo. We ask that you ensure that you arrange for someone to remove your wedding booklets from the pews immediately after your wedding.
CONFETTI, BUBBLES AND CANDLES
The church and the grounds are cleaned in preparation for weekend services and weddings. You are therefore advised that FLOWER PETALS, CONFETTI OR RICE ARE NOT PERMITTED either inside or outside the church. USE OF CANDLES AS DECORATIONS IS PROHIBITED for safety purposes. Past experience has shown that soap water used for bubbles causes damage to the carpet, timber floors and the pews, BUBBLE BOTTLES SHOULD BE KEPT OUTSIDE THE CHURCH
Under no circumstances are vehicles to obstruct the entry and exit to the church or grounds. Also note that there is a 5-tonne load limit in the church grounds.
CANCELLATIONS OF WEDDINGS
If you decide to cancel you booking, please notify the Priest, the church and musicians, in writing, as soon as possible. Other couples may be anxious to make use of the time you have reserved. A cancellation fee of $100 will be charged to cover administration costs.
RETURN OF BOND MONEY
After the wedding, please apply in writing to the Parish office, to confirm details for the accurate return of your bond. Bond money will be withheld if any part of these guidelines is not respected or in the case of any disrespectful behaviour. In these cases, the decision of the Parish Priest is final. The bond must be claimed within three months of your wedding, or it is taken that your intention is to donate the bond to the Parish.
BAPTISM OF CHILDREN
PLEASE NOTE: Celebrating a wedding in our church does not mean that your children also can be baptised in this church. Children should be baptised in the parish to which the family belongs, normally this is the parish where the family lives, or the parish where the family attends regularly.