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St. Paul's Parish is located in the picturesque Southern Highlands of NSW and is a Parish of the Catholic Diocese of Wollongong

Parish Centre

GUIDELINES FOR MARRIAGE PREPARATION

(Please read these guidelines and contract carefully and keep for further reference)

Weddings can be booked for the following times
Monday - Friday by appointment (During Lent, wedding service only)
Saturday : 1pm or 3pm
Sundays: NO WEDDINGS

PLEASE NOTE: No alchohol is permitted under any circumstances on any of the Parish Church grounds.

Church address: P.O. Box 150 (24 Garrett St), Moss Vale NSW 2577
Phone: (02) 4868 1931 Fax: (02) 4869 3586 E-Mail: mossvale @ dow.org.au

Table of Contents

WEDDINGS IN ST PAULS PARISH
SACRAMENTAL LIFE
SPIRITUAL PREPARATION
MARRIAGE PREPARATION COURSE
CONFIRMATION OF TENTATIVE BOOKINGS
CHURCH OFFERING
PUNCTUALITY
THE CELEBRANT AT THE WEDDING
WEDDING REHEARSALS
PLEASE PRODUCE THE FOLLOWING DOCUMENTS WHEN YOU MEET YOUR CELEBRANT
WEDDING CHECK LIST

WEDDING BOOKING FORMS
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

The following choices need to be discussed with your Priest
PREVIOUS MARRIAGES
MIXED MARRIAGES
TEXTS FOR THE MARRIAGE CEREMONY
NUPTIAL MASS / WEDDING SERVICE
READERS
CHOOSING YOUR WEDDING MUSIC: Music in a Christian Wedding Service
PHOTOGRAPHS
DECORATION OF THE CHURCH
CONFETTI, BUBBLES AND CANDLES
VEHICLES
CANCELLATIONS OF WEDDINGS
RETURN OF BOND MONEY
BAPTISM OF CHILDREN


WEDDINGS IN ST PAUL'S PARISH

Welcome to St Paul's Parish, Moss Vale. Thank you for considering to celebrate your wedding in our parish. You are very welcome, however, we do ask that you please respect our prayer space as this is the place where the Catholic community of Moss Vale Worships. Return to Contents

SACRAMENTAL LIFE
In the course of our life, there are moments which are celebrated with special emphasis and care. These moments are called Sacraments and are celebrated with the faith community. In Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist, we are born through water and the Holy Spirit into God's household. When our relationship within and outside the household of faith are tangled or even severed, these ties are restored through the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Some are called to minister to the community and are ordained for service as Deacons, Priests or Bishops. When one of us falls ill, we gather around the sick with prayer and anointing. And when a man and a woman fall in love and make their commitment before God and the church, we gather with them in moments of joyful promise as they become ministers of the Sacrament of Marriage to one another. Return to Contents

SPIRITUAL PREPARATION
Sunday Eucharist before marriage.

All sacraments point towards the Eucharist. Here is the very essence of our Christian Life. Our whole tradition has upheld the weekly community celebration together as church, as the minimum necessary to maintain and to nourish the life of the Spirit within us. If we have been somewhat neglectful in this regard until now, the marriage engagement period is an excellent time to have a change of heart and to begin afresh our weekly participation in the Sunday Eucharist. By your participation in the Sunday Eucharist, you show that you are part of the Catholic community and desire to celebrate a Catholic wedding and form a Catholic family.

This is also a good opportunity for you to participate in the Sacrament of Reconciliation, and receive the healing touch of Christ in your life, while preparing for the Sacrament of Marriage. Reconciliation times in our church are on Saturdays between 5.00 and 5.30 p.m. or on request. Return to Contents

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 break down 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 run by Catholic Adult Education, CatholicCare, Embrace and Engaged Encounters are found on our website. Return to Contents

CONFIRMATION OF TENTATIVE BOOKINGS
Within a month of booking the Church, you are required to send the duly completed and signed Booking Form together with the full payment as outlined in the Church Offering section below.
If you are paying by Credit Card please add a service charge of 0.58%. Your booking is AUTOMATICALLY CANCELLED if your form and payment are not returned within the required time. The bond will be refunded after the ceremony if all the conditions in these guidelines have been respected. All or part of the bond money will be withheld if any part of these guidelines is not respected or in the case of any disrespectful behaviour. Details on the procedure for return of bond money is outlined below.
If you ticked or indicated that you have been perviously married, you must meet with the Parish Priest (or the Priest Celebrant you have asked) before a confirmed booking can be made. Return to Contents.

CHURCH OFFERING
For St. Francis Xavier Church at Berrima, we ask for a contribution of $1225 (this includes a Stipend for the Priest and other related preparation costs), payable upon confirmation of booking, together with a $200 bond. The church offering covers general running and maintenance costs, being a total of $1425.

  • All cheques are to be made payable to St Paul's Parish.
  • Credit card facilities are also available (please note all credit card transactions incur a service charge of 0.58%).

For the other chuches in our Parish we ask for a contribution of $1100 which includes a $200 bond.
Credit card facilities are also available (please note all credit card transactions incur a service charge of 0.58%).

The Shrine Church of Our Lady of Mercy at Penrose Park is not included in the above. Please Contact the Pauline Fathers directly to make enquires regarding the use of this Church for weddings.

Please contact the Parish office during office hours (details above) if you have any questions.

Return to Contents

PUNCTUALITY
The times for weddings are: Saturdays 1pm and 3pm; Monday to Friday by arrangement.
NO WEDDINGS ON ANY SUNDAY

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. 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. Return to Contents

THE CELEBRANT AT THE WEDDING
The Parish Priest of Moss Vale is available to celebrate weddings in our parish. It is the responsibility of the couple to book the Priest and to organise a meeting with him three months before their wedding. Any Catholic Priest or deacon can celebrate weddings in our parish. With the celebrant the couple will decide whether they are to have a nuptial Mass or a wedding service. Return to Contents

WEDDING REHEARSALS
If you require the use of the church for a rehearsal prior to your wedding you can arrange this by ringing the parish secretary during office hours: Mon, Thurs or Friday 9am to 1pm or Wednesday 12 noon to 5pm. Due to other church commitments, each wedding rehearsal will be limited to thirty minutes only. Return to Contents

PLEASE PRODUCE THE FOLLOWING DOCUMENTS WHEN YOU MEET YOUR CELEBRANT

BIRTH CERTIFICATE OR FOREIGN PASSPORT
The law requires Australian born persons to present an original birth certificate.

BAPTISM CERTIFICATE
A recently issued certificate is required in the case of all baptised persons. This can be obtained by contacting the church where the baptism took place. It is normal procedure to ask for a recently issued baptism certificate for marriage purposes.

CONFIRMATION
You need to know the date and place of Confirmation

Please organise a meeting with your Priest to fill in the PRE-NUPTIAL INQUIRY AND NOTICE OF INTENDED MARRIAGE papers at least six months before the wedding. Birth, Baptism and any other certificates need to be presented at this time.

It is your responsibility with the assistance of the Registered Minister of Marriage (Priest) to complete all required paperwork within the specified time or you may jeopardize the ceremony taking place.

Please note: due to the high volume of weddings within our parish we are unable to “chase you up”, this is your responsibility.

Return to Contents

THE FOLLOWING NEED TO BE DISCUSSED WITH YOUR PRIEST

PREVIOUS MARRIAGES
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 have to be supplied. Return to Contents

MIXED MARRIAGES
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. Return to Contents

TEXTS FOR THE MARRIAGE CEREMONY
The texts of the marriage rite are available from the links below or from the Parish Office. The couple is invited to choose their scripture readings, and other options, to personalise their wedding celebration. The minimum requirement is a reading from the New Testament, a Responsorial Psalm, Gospel Acclamation and the Gospel (The Gospel is always read by the Priest).

New Rite of Matrimony Text: with a Nuptial Mass
New Rite of Matrimony Text: without Mass
New Rite of Matrimony Text: with a non-baptised and without Mass

Please note that the New Rite of Matrimony Texts above are compulsory in weddings from Ash Wednesday 2016.

Readings to choose from: New translation Wedding readings

NUPTIAL MASS / WEDDING SERVICE
If a nuptial mass is to be celebrated, the Priest decides whether the bridal couple should receive both the Body and the Blood of Christ. On the occasion of a marriage of mixed religion or non-practising Catholics, a service is usually preferred. The decision, however, is to be made in consultation with the Priest. Return to Contents

READERS
The couples need to organise readers for the Scripture readings. The readers need to be able to proclaim the reading clearly and intelligibly.
The minimum requirement is a reading from the Old Testament, a Responsorial Psalm, Alleluia Verse and the Gospel (The Gospel is always read by the Priest).

CHOOSING YOUR WEDDING MUSIC
Music in a Catholic Wedding Service.

Music is a servant in worship. It is never to be done for its own sake within a celebration of Christian worship. Music chosen for your wedding should be chosen to suit the different parts of the whole celebration. The text/lyrics of sung pieces should always respect the Church, which is a place of worship. "Performance" type music must be avoided. Music should be chosen from Classical or Church music. Good taste and dignity will determine what is sung, by whom, when and how. These should be discussed with the celebrant.

These guidelines are based upon an understanding of the reality being celebrated. Popular music, live Broadway musicals, pop, movies and contemprary music are not allowed during the celebration. As a matter of adhering to our guidelines, please send your choice of music to the parish office before finalising any musician. It is the bridal couple's responsibility to organise the musicians. Costs and payment arrangements are to be discussed directly with the musicians chosen.
There is a list of music , from which couples are to choose. Couples are therefore obliged that their selection be taken from this list. Unauthorised music selection may result in a breach of contract with the Parish
.

MUSIC COPYRIGHT APPROVAL: Any music used before, during or after the wedding must be either covered under the Parish Copyright Licence (refer to our list) or the couple must obtain their own copyright and produce same in writing before submitting music for approval.
The following acknowledgments must be included in the booklet.
Excerpts from the English translation of the Rite of Marriage © 1969, International Commission on English in the Liturgy (ICEL). All rights reserved.
Excerpts from the Roman Missal © 2010, International Commission on English in the Liturgy (ICEL)” and “Excerpts from the Lectionary for Mass © 1969, 1981, ICEL”.

Return to Contents

PHOTOGRAPHS
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. Return to Contents

DECORATION OF THE CHURCH
The ONLY decorations permitted in our church are FLOWERS and PEW DECORATIONS.
Please speak to your Priest regarding any flower allergies.

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.
Return to Contents

PLEASE NOTE
NO THUMB TACKS, BLUE TAC OR STICKY TAPE OF ANY KIND IS TO BE USED ON THE PEWS, CHAIRS OR CHURCH FURNITURE. NO DECORATIONS PERMITTED ON CANDLE-STANDS, ALTAR OR AMBO. YOU NEED TO ENSURE THAT YOU ARRANGE FOR SOMEONE TO REMOVE YOUR WEDDING BOOKLETS FROM THE PEWS IMMEDIATELY AFTER THE 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. Past experience has shown that soap water used for bubbles causes damage to the carpet and the pews, BUBBLE BOTTLES SHOULD BE KEPT OUTSIDE THE CHURCH Return to Contents

VEHICLES
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 celebrant, the church and musicians, in writing, as soon as possible. Others may be anxious to make use of the time you have reserved. Return to Contents

RETURN OF BOND MONEY
After the wedding, please apply in writing to the Parish secretary, 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 six months of your wedding or it is taken that your intention is to donate the bond to the Parish.

BAPTISM OF CHILDREN
PLEASE NOTE CAREFULLY: Celebrating a wedding in our church does not give you the right to baptise your children 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.
Return to Contents

WEDDING CHECK LIST
Please download the Wedding Check List which will assist you in preparing for your wedding in our Parish.

WEDDING BOOKING FORMS
Please read the information letter and the Memorandum of Understanding before filling in the booking form. It is very imporant to check with the parish office to ensure that your date is available before filling in the booking form.
If you decide to book the church, please return the booking form and full payment (Credit Card, cheque, money order or cash) to St Paul's Parish, PO Box 150, Moss Vale 2577.
Credit card payments incur a service charge of 0.58% - please add to the amount before submitting the Credit Card Payment Authority Form.
NOTE: We do not have direct debit facilities.
If the form and deposit are not received 30 days after contacting the office with a tentative date, the date will no longer be reserved.

PLEASE NOTE: When the booking for your wedding is confirmed, the contract is signed and the fee is paid. This does not give the couples the right to make demands. The fee is established to maintain the curches as no church within the Parish is under 80 years old. The payments cover the constant ongoing maintainence costs. If something you propose is not permitted please make sure you read the guidelines before objecting or trying to get the proposition reconsidered. Many people come back to get married in the Parish because they had previously attended a wedding that impressed them. This is a sacred moment and not a competition.

Getting Married in the Catholic Church

Frequently Asked Questions (Link to external site)

A resource from the Australian Catholic Marriage and Family Council


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