We are delighted that you have decided to hold your marriage ceremony in our parish.
A church wedding is above all a religious ceremony, where the bride and groom commitment themselves before God and the community to lifelong, faithful love. Despite some misunderstandings, a wedding in the church is not an expensive option compared to other venues. The parish does not set fees for the use of the Church by parishioners and will aim to make the ceremony as meaningful as possible without adding to the costs that will be unavoidably incurred for the day. The following are some important considerations as you begin to plan your wedding day:
It is a requirement of the Archdiocese and Church Law that couples intending to marry should give a minimum of three month’s notice to the priest.
Please ensure that the priest and the Church are available before making other firm wedding arrangements.
When booking your wedding ceremony you can request a Wedding Service (without Mass) which will be performed by our Permanent Deacon, Rev Mr Malachy McElmeel, subject to his availability.
Couples will fill in a PRE-NUPTIAL ENQUIRY with the Priest. This form includes details of Baptism, Confirmation and Freedom to marry.
It is requirement of the diocese that all Couples attend a Pre-Marriage Course. Details of these courses are available from ACCORD – Tel: 028 3833 4781 (10am – 4pm) or on their website http://accord-ni.co.uk
The new marriage law 2004 requires that both persons inform the state before the wedding. A notification of marriage form will need to be signed by the priest celebrating the wedding Mass. This form is available from the local registrar’s office in Dungannon or downloaded here: http://www.larne.gov.uk/uploads/docs/777_marriagenoticeapplicationform.pdf
Guidelines for Wedding Ceremonies
- Weddings in St Mary’s Church and Holy Family Church are from 12.00pm onwards.
- Weddings In St Mary and St Joseph’s Church are traditionally at 1.00pm but an earlier time of 12.30pm can be accommodated.
- So that the ceremony can begin on time, brides should aim to be at the church at least 10 minutes before their wedding begins to allow photographs before the ceremony.
- The Altar table is the place where the bread and wine become the body and Blood of Jesus Christ and should remain unadorned. Flowers can be placed anywhere within the area of the sanctuary but are not to be placed on the Altar table.
- The church building is a place of worship. At a wedding ceremony our focus is on the sacrament of marriage and the worship of God. In order to help keep costs to couples at a minimum and to help in our worship we ask that floral arches are not to be placed within the church.
- It would be appreciated if florists would not move furniture within the sanctuary and the use of artificial flowers or shrubbery is strongly discouraged.
- The Sanctuary area is the place where most of the sacred action takes place. Photographers and videographers are asked not to enter this space. Photographers and videographers are requested to respect the ceremony and the church by being discrete and taking photographs which are appropriate within the church.
- Music is fundamental to the celebration of worship. Religious songs and instrumental music enhance our liturgy (worship) and help us to reflect our faith and God’s love for us. To that end, music which is not religious should be used at other venues on the wedding day.
- The signing of the register will take place normally in the sacristy but in the case of Ss. Mary & Joseph’s and St. Mary’s in Stewartstown, this will be on a table at the front of the Sanctuary.
- If the ceremony is being performed by a priest from outside the parish we would ask you to bring these guidelines to his attention.
- Contributions for Church personnel assisting with your wedding: Priest £100; Sacristan £40; Altar Server £10