At least six (6) months prior to the desired date of your marriage ceremony, contact the priest with whom you want to celebrate your Wedding Ceremony/Mass. Make an appointment with him to discuss your plans and to set a date.
He may need some important information from you, especially if you or your fianceé has been previously married. In a case of previous marriages, no date can be set until either an annulment or a nullity is taken care of first.
Because of the difficulty in getting a hall and coordinating dates with the church, you should try to do both at the same time.
After speaking with the priest who will preside over the ceremony, call to see if the date is available in the chapel. Call the Chapel Chairperson, Carole, at 412-999-4401.
Weddings can take place on any day except Sunday and Holy Days. According to diocesan guidelines, a wedding that takes place after 4 p.m. fulfills a Catholic's obligation to participate in Sunday Mass.
A very important part of your preparation for marriage is marriage instructions. These instructions help the couple take a good look at each other while in the midst of lots of wedding details. They help you focus on the most essential part of this great event, your relationship with each other and with God, who binds your love. There are three options available for these instructions:
The Diocese of Pittsburgh offers the Engaged Couples Encounter Weekend. This program has the couples spending a weekend away at one of the retreat sites throughout the Diocese. Couples have the opportunity to share their hopes and goals for marriage with each other and with the Engaged Encounter Team. For information on this program, including dates and fees call: The Family Life Office at 412-456-3160.
Arrangements can be made with the priest who will marry you to have private or group instructions with him. He will discuss with you the program he uses for instructions.
Many parishes offer special programs to which they invite anyone who is preparing for marriage; however, Saint Anthony Chapel does not currently offer such a program.
Chapel Donation: MHN parishioner, $300.00; non-parishioner $500.00.
Ceremony vs. Mass: The ordinary way a Catholic celebrates their marriage is within a Wedding Mass. When one of the partners is not a catholic, they may choose to have a marriage ceremony. In a marriage ceremony, the readings are done and vows are exchanged. The Eucharistic prayers are omitted.
Necessary Papers: Information papers are filled out with the priest marrying you. You must obtain a RECENT COPY OF YOUR BAPTISMAL RECORD, meaning one dated no earlier than six months prior to your marriage date. This paper has your other sacramental records on it.
Marriage License: As your marriage approaches, you must apply through the County Marriage License Bureau for your license. For information call: 412-350-4230, the Marriage License Bureau, City-County Bldg., downtown Pittsburgh. It is not open on Saturdays. The chapel does not supply the license.
Wedding Ceremony Planning Book: The priest who will marry you will give you a copy of Together for Life. This book contains readings, prayers, and the exchange of vows so that you can pick those you would like to use in your ceremony.
Music: You may ask any organist, guitarist, or musician(s), to play for your wedding ceremony. If they are not affiliated with Most Holy Name of Jesus Parish, they should check with the priest concerning the music that is planned to be used. Because this may be a mass of obligation for Sunday, music should be chosen for the congregation to sing. You may choose your own singers, but if they need to rehearse before the wedding with the organist or other musicians, it is up to you to arrange this time.
Flowers, Decorations, etc.: You must contact the florist of your choice for your wedding flowers. You may place floral arrangements beside the main altar. If you choose, you may leave the flowers as a gift to the Chapel. You may choose to place a single flower or a bouquet on the Blessed Mother altar or in front of the statue of the Blessed Mother located in the sanctuary.
Bubbles: May be used to greet the married couple outside of the chapel.
Bows: May be used but should be attached with rubber bands.
Aisle Runner: There is no main aisle in the chapel; however, an aisle runner may be placed on one of the side aisles. Regarding any special decorations you plan to have, contact the pastor of Most Holy Name of Jesus Parish or the Chapel Chairperson.
Unity Candle: Many couples like the idea of a unity candle: one large candle that is lit by the couple using two smaller candles. A member of the groom’s family and a member of the bride’s family light the smaller candles. The groom and bride light the center or larger candle. If the couple chooses the unity candle, they must supply all of the candles necessary.
Photographers & Videographers: These professionals should contact the priest marrying the couple before the service. They should NOT be on or around the Altar during the ceremony, nor should they stop or interrupt the wedding procession or the ceremony to get the “right” shot. They should be “very discreet” in their positions during mass. They may take photos after the ceremony. THEY SHOULD NOT USE FLASH BARS OR STRONG FLASHES DURING THE CEREMONY.
Clean-up: Contact the Chapel Chairperson, Carole, at 412-999-4401 regarding clean-up after the ceremony.
Hall Rental: Most Holy Name of Jesus School Hall is available for rental. For information, call Most Holy Name’s Secretary at 412-231-2994. A signed agreement is required to rent the hall.