SAINT PATRICK CHURCH
47 WEST HIGH STREET, EAST HAMPTON, CT
WEDDING GUIDELINES AND MUSIC POLICY
To begin the process of Marriage Preparation the couple must contact Father Gerry Kirby (860-267-6644) to schedule an appointment at least one year prior to the anticipated date of marriage.
To celebrate a Catholic marriage means far more than celebrating the marriage ceremony within the confines of the church building. Christian marriage is a serious and sacred commitment that unites a man and a woman to each other in a most profound and permanent way. Christian marriage conforms a couple in such a way that they become a visible sign of Christ’s unconditional and faithful love to each other, to the Church community and to the world. It demands a living faith on the part of the couple and the awareness that they are entering into a covenant not only with each other, but also with God and with the entire Christian community.
Joined in Christ through the Sacrament of Matrimony, Christian spouses are called to see Christ in each other. They are called to be living symbols of God’s tender love and mercy. They are called to be Christ for each other.
Joined in Christ, Christian spouses are most intimately associated with God in His work of creation. Through the generation of children, whom God gives them as a blessing, spouses perpetuate the original blessing of the Creator by transmitting the Divine Image from person to person.
Joined in Christ, Christian spouses are called to be Church in miniature the domestic church- that is; they are called to form their family into a praying and believing community. They are called to manifest the love and mercy of God to a world in serious need of both. They are called to be light in the darkness and the fire against the cold. They are called to live lives of service to others.
Christian marriage is not something to be undertaken lightly or hurriedly. To love like God loves, namely, unconditionally, to forgive without counting the cost, to persevere despite difficulties, to be patient and kind, to excuse, to trust, to hope, to believe and endure whatever hardships come one's way requires virtue beyond the merely human. Therefore, the Church invites engaged couples to prepare themselves spiritually for marriage by daily prayer, celebration of the Eucharist, and frequent celebration of the Sacraments.
The Community of St. Patrick's rejoices with our engaged couples and prays that their love will grow deeper and richer as they commit themselves to each other in the Lord Jesus Christ. Remember that your Wedding is but a day; your marriage is for a lifetime.
In light of the sacredness and dignity of the Sacrament of Marriage, the following guidelines and policies are established at St. Patrick Church.
EXPECTATIONS OF THE COUPLE
- The engaged couple is expected to continue in the practice of their faith in the midst of the Catholic Church on a regular basis as they prepare for the celebration of their Sacrament of Marriage.
- The couple must participate in a Diocesan approved marriage preparation program. (see below for more information)
- The couple will assume all civil requirements established by the State of Connecticut regarding licensing.
- Copies of Baptismal, First Communion & Confirmation certificates must be sent to St. Patrick Church c/o Michelle Donahue.
- All readings and musical selections for the wedding ceremony must follow the guidelines established by the Roman Catholic Church, the Diocese of Norwich AND must meet the approval of the Director of Music and the Pastor of St. Patrick Church.
Only St. Patrick Church Music Director, Organist, Cantors and Soloists are to be used at Wedding Ceremonies.
Flowers and decorations of a simple nature in accord with the spirit of the liturgical season are permitted at the expense of the wedding couple. Artificial flowers are not allowed.
The use of a runner is NOT allowed at Saint Patrick Church.
The use of the Unity Candle is permitted. The wedding couple must provide the central wedding candle and two side candles. The Church has the candleholders in both silver and gold.
The use of young people in the wedding party is permitted but at the discretion of the Pastor of St. Patrick Church. The ultimate decision will be determined at the wedding rehearsal.
The throwing of anything before, during and after the wedding ceremony is absolutely forbidden, as is the dropping of flower petals inside the Church.
Photographs and videography are allowed at the expense of the wedding couple. The person(s) involved in picture taking and/or video recording must see the Pastor/Priest before the wedding ceremony in order to foster a respect for the religious and sacred nature of the liturgical ceremony.
Engaged Encounter Weekend: Immaculata Retreat Center
This is a weekend away designed to give couples planning marriage the opportunity to dialogue honestly and openly about their prospective lives together. The weekend is a very low-key time with emphasis on quiet relaxation. There are no group dynamics. There is a cost per couple, which includes two nights lodging and four meals. Please see specific information at the following website for dates and cost; http://www.ccfsn.org/familylife.html.
Together In Love: Parish sponsored program
This program is presented by a married couple from our church. The engaged couple has the opportunity to meet with one married couple, in their home, for four or five sessions to share and discuss on a couple to couple basis. There are several couples here at Saint Patrick Church available to go through this program with you. Please contact the wedding coordinator, Michelle Donahue, 860-342-0435 if you wish to be in contact with one of them.
Contact The Office of Family Life to complete the NFP Diocesan requirements and to register for the online course: 860-889-8346 ext.283 or www.ccfsn.org