In Christian Marriage, Human Love is caught up in Divine Love
Marriage is the beginning of a new common life between you and your spouse. You are no longer two individuals who do things together, but enter into a covenant where everything in your life is seen with respect to your spouse.
Your relationship is transformed by Jesus, who gave himself completely and unreservedly on the cross to his bride, the Church. As marriage is so important a Sacrament in the life of the Church, Catholics are required to marry within the Church. (ie. it is not permitted for Catholics to attempt to marry by a civil ceremony)
In Australia, Catholic marriages are also recognised in civil law. Therefore there are a number of legal requirements that must be met.
You are urged to make your booking sooner rather than later. If things are left too late, your big day may need to be cancelled! Our clergy cannot proceed if legal requirements are not met. Generally speaking, 6 months notice is required.
It is important to remember that the church building is not a venue for hire, and our clergy are not celebrants available for hire. Our church is a sacred place that is used exclusively for religious purposes. For this reason, certain things are not appropriate in the church.
The first point of contact for booking a wedding is our Parish Office. Our Secretary will advise you of availability. Then, one of our Priests will contact you and arrange to meet you. At this first meeting, he will complete much of the paperwork legally required. He will then usually meet with you around a month before the wedding to finalise the liturgy and paperwork. At this meeting a rehearsal time is agreed to.
At least one of the couple must be Catholic. Both parties must be free to marry. If either party has been married before, or has had a divorce, freedom to marry must be established before the wedding can proceed.
The ceremony may be either or Liturgy of the Word, or a Mass. Of course, a Deacon cannot celebrate a Mass. If you have not been Confirmed, it is desirable to do so before receiving the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony.
All couples seeking Marriage must complete a Marriage Preparation course which is run by the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle. The Priest will provide you information about this course.
In your choice of music, please remember that your wedding is a religious ceremony. It is a prayer. The music is part of that prayer. Not all music is appropriate for the ceremony. Music does not have to be drab but it must be appropriate and prayerful music that is compatible with the nature of the church as a sacred space. Rock or Pop music is not appropriate. Your Priest/Deacon, or our musicians, will help you select the music. Live music is normal for church worship. We have a number of musicians who are available to play. There is a modest fee for the musician.
There is a significant amount of preparation and paperwork required of our clergy in making your wedding a success. Whilst there is no fee as such, our parish is reliant on your generous donation. The recommend figure is notionally $500. This can be paid in advance to the Parish Office, or given to the Priest/Deacon on the day.