Marriage

Best wishes on preparing for your marriage! We hope that this booklet will be a useful guide to help you prepare for your marriage. 

Remote Preparation

Ordinarily, the bride or the groom would be registered members of St. Francis Parish. Of course, due consideration will be given to those who may have moved away but whose parents are still members here.

First, contact the parish to see if the date you want is available. This should be done by you personally since at that time the process will be explained in greater detail. This should be done at least 9 to 12 months before the wedding and at that time you can make arrangements to meet with your parish priest.

Within six months of the wedding, the paperwork should be completed by the pastor of the parish in which you are living now. Please make sure that you’ve registered in the local parish well in excess of this time. You will need a new copy of your baptismal certificate from your place of baptism. This must include the record of your confirmation and first communion, if the parish of baptism has those dates. It should also indicate whether or not you’ve been married in the Church before. This document must have the raised seal of the parish on it and therefore cannot be faxed. If communion or confirmation were received in different parish from that of the baptism and not recorded at the place of baptism, you will have to request those certificates from the parish in which you received those sacraments.

Because of the Mass schedule at St. Francis and St. Romuald’s, we cannot schedule weddings later than 2p.m. on Saturdays. Also, due to the lack of staffing we cannot accommodate wedding Masses on Sundays at either location.

When you speak with your parish priest, he will explain to you how to register for the diocesan Marriage Preparation (Pre-Cana) Program. This is a requirement of the diocese and may not be omitted. If there is a problem with attending these sessions as a couple, please explain this to your parish priest and he will explore alternatives with you.

More Immediate Preparation

Ordinarily, the priest in whose parish the wedding takes place will officiate at the ceremony. However, if you have a relative or family friend who is a Roman Catholic priest or deacon, he is most welcome to preside if that is the wish of the couple. He will need to contact the parish to get official delegation to officiate. Non-Catholic clergy cannot officiate in a Catholic service. However, you can obtain permission to marry in a non-Catholic service or venue if circumstances warrant it. Speak to the priest who is doing the paperwork about this at the beginning of the process.

A civil license must be obtained from the town of South Kingstown and should be brought to the wedding rehearsal, which takes place usually the afternoon before the wedding. Anyone with a part to play in the wedding ceremony should be at the rehearsal.

A month or so before the wedding, speak with the officiant about choosing the readings, prayers, music, etc. Readings must be taken from the Bible only and prayers chosen from the Roman Missal. The celebrant or the priest doing the paperwork will be glad to help you with this. Usually, two Catholics marry within a Mass; if one of the parties is non-Catholic, the Mass is omitted, since the Catholic Church does not have open communion. The priest can discuss exceptions to this rule with you.

Some Practical Considerations

At this time we do not have a parish organist. At the present time you may contact Joseph Theroux at josephtheroux@hotmail.com for any questions or concerns you may have. Popular secular music would not be appropriate for a religious service.

Flowers are welcome for the altar and sanctuary and should be remain in the church after the wedding. We ask that a spirit of restraint be observed in decorating the church during Advent and Lent. During these two seasons, arrangements should be made with your florist to have the flowers removed immediately after the wedding. No flower petals or confetti of any kind may be used inside or outside the church building. Also, the insurance companies no longer allow us to use a runners in the aisle. Please have your photographer and videographer check in with the officiant before the ceremony.

The fee for the use of St. Francis’s parish church or St. Romuald’s chapel is $500. There is no fee for the officiant although you may certainly give him something for his labors on your behalf.