Guidelines for the Celebration of Marriages
at Holy Family Church, Chakala;
Guidelines January 2023 onwards
GUIDELINES TO COUPLES CONTEMPLATING MARRIAGE
- Spend some time daily in prayer either alone or as a couple asking the Lord to guide you and be your support as you launch out on this new life together. Remember it is Jesus who is the centre of your marriage life and the bond that will keep you united.
- In all your planning of the liturgy please see that it truly becomes a deep spiritual experience for both of you and for all those who attend it.
- All sacraments are communitarian and thus we would be happy that you see that as many of your relatives and friends attend the Eucharist and get them to Participate in the Liturgy.
- Please Note That No Single Couple Weddings Masses are Guaranteed At Holy Family.
- In order that your Wedding liturgy is truly meaningful and special to you, take time out to choose your own readings, hymns, write your own prayers (e.g. prayer of the faithful, thanksgiving prayers etc). While you may take the assistance of others to help you plan your liturgy, please see that both of you work along with them.
- Plan much ahead of time and don't leave anything for the last few days.
- See that you do the marriage preparation course around six months before your marriage. Get in touch with Snehalaya, Family Service Centre, Victoria Church, L.J. Rd. Mahim Tel 2446 8218. Check the Parish Notice board for the Course dates or www.snehalaya.com.
- Meet your zonal priest about 6 months before the wedding to have enough time for the necessary preparation and paper work.
- Papers that will be required:
- Recent baptism certificates (6 months within the date of marriage).
- We will require that you both fill a Pre-Nuptial Enquiry form(P.N.E.) in the presence of the priest.
- If you are abroad you will have to fill an oath of free state in the presence of your priest and you will require to get a freedom to marry certificate from your parish abroad.
- Banns & Results of Banns where domicile is had of both parties.
- Permission of Parish Priest, if marriage is in church other than of either party.
- For a Disparity of cult marriage, (Catholic with a non Christian) we will also require:
- An Affidavit with some proof of the date of birth, name and parents' names etc of the Non Catholic party stating that the non Christian party is not being forced into this marriage etc (Format is available with us)
- Promise by Catholic party that he/she will practice their faith and will do all in your power to have the children Baptised in the Catholic church.
- We will have to apply to the Bishop for Dispensation from the impediment of Disparity of Cult. Please note: Banns are not published for disparity of cult marriages
- NON-PARISHIONER MARRIAGES are allowed at Holy Family only if:
- They are ex-parishioners or closely connected with our church;
- There is some special reason for which their Parish Priest requests us to have the marriage here. At the time of booking a Wedding mass, we will require a Letter from your parish priest stating why the marriage is being celebrated here. We will also require a 'No Objection' Letter from the Girls parish priest.
Please go through the 'Guidelines For the celebration of marriages' that you will find on our parish website: www.holyfamilychurchchakala.com
All the Marriage Paper work is to be done by your own parish and sent to our Church at least a week before the marriage.
Discuss & finalize the Liturgy with the priest celebrating your marriage.
Non Parishioners will need to make arrangements for their own priest. (A letter/email from the priest will be required)
- Mass Timings for marriages:
- Timings for all wedding are at 3:00 pm and 4.30 pm. Parishioners are given a Preference & may book a mass as early as is possible.
- 4:30 p.m. Mass : Is specifically for Parishioners. Non Parishioners may book this mass 3 months in advance, only if there is no parishioners wedding
- 3:00 p.m. Mass: The 3 p.m. Mass is for parishioners and non-Parishioners. Non Parishioners may book this mass 12 months in advance. If there is already a Parishioners Wedding, a Non Parishioner may also be allowed to join at this Mass.
PLANNING YOUR WEDDING LITURGY
- Plan your wedding liturgy with the priest who conducts your pre-nuptial enquiry. Keep in mind that on the Sundays of Advent, Lent & Eastertide, the liturgy of the day must be followed. On a Sunday in Ordinary Time, if the nuptials take place during a scheduled Mass, the liturgy of the day must be followed, but one reading (preferably the Second) may be taken from the selection offered for Nuptial Masses. On weekdays and on Ordinary Sundays at Masses outside the regular parish schedule, the special nuptial readings and prayers may be used.
- Printing of a booklet is not necessary, but if you do need it for the hymns, keep it simple and please do not print the Scripture readings and prayers as these should be proclaimed from the Lectionary/Missal. Get it approved by the Priest guiding you before you get it printed.
- Fix your own choir in advance. If it is a regular mass check with the choir of the mass. For a full participation, if the hymns chosen are not from the hymn book please print out the hymns. There is no need of printing booklets for the liturgy. Please discuss the choice of hymns with the priest guiding you. For Sound arrangements, we have our own sound system and a maximum of three mikes are given to the Choir. Get in touch with our Sacristan for your needs.
- All Floral decoration should be modest and not overdone & should be discussed with the priest. (Maximum: Not more than three bouquets in front of Altar, so that the flowers don't go beyond the sides of the altar). No fresh flowers are to be attached to the pews and no tape. If you want, you may also place a bouquet in front of the Lectern, the wooden Cross next to the choir & the statue of Mother Mary on the opposite side. Please inform our Sacristan much in advance. Note: The Florist will be given one hour before the marriage time to put the bouquets in place. (They may do the flower arrangements outside the church before that time).
- Ask the priest guiding you for the possible choice of readings. You may choose two or three readings that you both find meaningful. The Gospel reading is never omitted. The Readings, Prayer of the Faithful should be done by people with a proven capacity to effectively proclaim God's Word and not merely because they are relatives etc.
- Please see that you/the bride and the bridesmaids are, dressed in a proper attire for Church.
- Lectors doing the readings must be trained Lectors and they must wear the Lectors cape while doing the readings.
- At the 'Preparation of the Gifts' the Bread and Wine for the celebration of the Eucharist may be brought forward. The only other gifts that may be brought up to the Altar are gifts for the poor (Any brand Tea powder, any brand milk powder, dals & food grains, tooth paste, soaps or towels - which will be distributed by our S.V.P) or gifts for the needs of the church (albs, stoles, chasubles etc) but no token symbolic gifts. This is to be done without a commentary/prayer made. The offertory hymn could be sung as the gifts are brought up to the altar.
- The prayer of the faithful, while being personal and bringing in your own needs should also be open to prayers for larger needs: The universally Church, the nation/world, the couple and other local needs.
- Please practise the marriage rite in advance so as to exchange your marriage vows in the most meaningful manner possible. Collect a copy from the priest.
- We do not allow any practice in the church, but we do hope your choir and readers practise somewhere and that all involved in the liturgy know their parts.
- At least a week before the marriage, you are requested to give an envelope to the priest preparing you for marriage (with your name and full address) containing your contribution to the church and another for the poor. A Church receipt will be given to you for the same.
- Don't forget to go for confession before your wedding day.
PERSONS INVOLVED WITH YOUR LITURGY
- If you are getting your own priest to conduct the nuptials, the celebrant will need to send a letter or email to us requesting permission. A delegation from us will be kept with the Sacristan before Mass.
- Concerning the Witnesses, both of them (one from the boy's side and the other from the girl's side) are to be mature. They could be Non-Catholics/ Non-Christians too, as they are only witnessing that the marriage took place.
- Try your best to get as many of your friends/relatives to attend the nuptial mass. Their celebrating with you at the party afterwards is only complete if they have first witnessed & prayed with & for you at the Eucharist.
- If you want Altar servers, you will have to make your own arrangements.
- For video shooting and photography. Only one photographer and one videographer will be permitted. You will have to pay a sum of Rs 1000/- for the use of the video. Shooting of Video or Photographs is allowed at the following time:
- Entrance procession;
- Marriage rite;
- Bringing gifts to the Altar;
- Sign of Peace;
- Communion service;
- Signing of the Register;
- After Mass: only three photographs (max) in front of the Sanctuary;
- Procession out of the Church &
- A few outside the church and the campus.
The videographer/photographer should be explicitly told not to move around too much and not to enter the sanctuary.
- Collect from the priest doing your papers:
- Order of the Nuptial Mass to plan your liturgy;
- Rite of Marriage.
- Envelope for your contribution towards the Church & the Poor.
ON THE BIG DAY ITSELF
Collect from the Office: In the days soon after the marriage, it is good to collect your Marriage Certificate from the Parish Office and please go through it seeing that all the details are right.
- Please be on time. We would not want to start the Eucharist without you.
- We earnestly appeal to you to respect the environment and not contribute to sound pollution, hence, desist from bursting crackers in the church compound or on the road outside the Church campus. To announce & celebrate the occasion, the church bells may be rung at that moment.
- Most important: Pray, Pray, Pray.