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Religious Education

Marriage is a covenant relationship (I will love you unconditionally),
and NOT just a contractual relationship (I will love you IF you love me).
The principal goal of marriage is not just pro-creation, it is also the
mutual love of husband and wife.
The Sacrament of Marriage has an important community dimension, couples
by their love for each other become living signs of how God loves us.
Marriage assures a couple’s ability to sustain an intimate relationship.
Marriage assumes a relationship to Christ and His Church.

Required Documents *Recent (issued within 90 days) Baptismal Certificates for each Catholic party. *Witness Statements concerning freedom to marry. Form provided by parish. Two witnesses are required for each person. For more information, see the Divine Mercy Church wedding guidlines below.
GUIDELINES AND PROCEDURES I. BEFORE SETTING THE WEDDING DATE We do understand that it is difficult to coordinate the date and time of the wedding ceremony with the available dates of the reception facility. We will try our best to accommodate you, but we must follow the guidelines of Divine Mercy Catholic Church and the rules of the Catholic faith. With this is mind, PLEASE DO NOT ORDER INVITATIONS OR SECURE ANY RESERVATIONS WITH THE RECEPTION FACILITY or any other wedding services until the following steps are completed. By doing this and allowing yourselves ample time to plan your special day, you will avoid any additional expense of lost deposits and stress which can accompany planning such an event. *The engaged couple will need to arrange a preliminary interview with the priest. A wedding date should not be set prior to this meeting. The priest will set a date at this time. *There is a minimum six months period between the first contact with a priest of the parish and the actual wedding date. *Times of weddings are based on availability of the church. Other parish activities may restrict certain times and dates. Weddings may be scheduled on Saturdays from 10:00 a.m. through 2:00 p.m. Saturday evening weddings are not scheduled before 6:00 p.m. *The couple needs to schedule and attend an Engaged Encounter Weekend or a Pre-Cana as soon as possible. This is required for every couple prior to the wedding. To register call the Diocesan Family Life Office at 407 246-4865. *The engaged couple will also need to contact a FOCCUS support couple within two weeks of the first meeting with the parish priest. There will be at least two visits with this couple. Herb and Vicki Briesacher at 459- 0460 will either meet with you or arrange for you to meet with a couple. *The couple then needs to meet with the priest to fill out any remaining paperwork and review the results of the FOCCUS questionnaire. II. PLANNING THE WEDDING a) MUSIC The couple should then arrange a meeting with the parish music and liturgy director, to select the music and songs for their ceremony, make selections and plans for the liturgy itself. The Catholic Church has specific requirements concerning any music used during a wedding liturgy. The Catholic Marriage Ritual is a beautiful liturgical celebration in which God’s love for His church and the love of Man and Woman are expressed through Sacred Scripture and Music. As a form of prayer, music and song are an important part of the wedding liturgy. The Music Director will give you a wedding music CD recording to help you choose your music. To facilitate the prayerful expression of this liturgy it is essential that all planning and preparations be made with the guidance of our parish Music and Liturgy Director. Please call our Music Director to set up an appointment to finalize your music selections at least 90 days prior to your wedding date. All plans and selections need to be finalized no later than one month prior to the wedding. If the couple is using musicians from outside the parish staff then ALL music and manner of performance is to be reviewed and approved by the parish music and liturgy director. Guest musicians must work together with the music director who provides and coordinates music for all ceremonies. We discourage the use of other organists/pianists besides our own Music Director. b) COORDINATING THE WEDDING LITURGY The couple may now schedule an initial meeting with the Wedding Coordinator to review plans and liturgical selections concerning the ceremony. Together with the wedding coordinator, the couple will take all suggestions and notes gathered from the Music and Liturgy Director and formally plan the ceremony. The book: “Together for Life” is very helpful in assisting the couple plan the ceremony. The coordinator will also discuss the guidelines concerning the type and use of flowers, pew decorations, photographs, video, candle arrangements, etc. The coordinator will assist the couple in choosing any options available for the particular parts of the liturgy itself, such as readings, exchange of vows and special prayers. All plans are to be formalized no later than ONE MONTH prior to the wedding date. The Wedding Coordinator, will schedule the time of the wedding rehearsal, making every effort to meet your needs. It is very important that the rehearsal begin at the agreed time and that all parties involved in the ceremony arrive on time. The wedding coordinator will conduct the rehearsal and be present prior, during, and after the wedding to attend to the bridal party, assist the florist, photographer, and ushers. We encourage only using the Church’s wedding coordinator Vilma Williams. In this way the liturgy is more likely to run in a smooth and orderly manner. The Music Director and the officiating priest normally do not attend the wedding rehearsal. c) UNITY CANDLE If you wish to have a “Unity Candle” in the ceremony you should make arrangements with the coordinator. d) FLOWERS With the understanding that any existing church decorations will not be removed, you may provide floral arrangements suited to your wedding plans. Flower petals may not be scattered by flower girls during the entrance procession. PLEASE DO NOT USE: RICE, BIRD SEED or CONFETTI anywhere on parish property . e) INTERIOR DECORATIONS The sanctuary of the church is decorated to reflect the liturgical seasons of the “church year.” These seasonal decorations have priority over any decorations/flowers brought into the church. During most liturgical seasons, you will often find that the parish decorations for a particular season are appropriate for a wedding. Little or no additional flowers may be needed, thus saving you additional expense. f) PHOTOGRAPHS We are very conscious of trying to be as helpful as possible to the couple on this very important day, the photographer may be in the church for up to 45 minutes after the end of the liturgy or up to 30 minutes prior to the start of the next parish liturgy, which ever occurs first. All decorations and arrangements need to be removed within this period of time. We suggest that as many photographs as possible be taken prior to the start of the liturgy. This will help keep good order and respect the needs of the people who come to worship. The liturgy during which the sacrament of matrimony is celebrated is a sacred time of rejoicing in prayer, song and gesture. While we understand the desire to record this moment, we ask that you observe the following, so that the sacredness of this day will not be marred by photo and taping equipment: We have experienced the different locations from which pictures might be effectively taken as well as the resulting impact on the assembly’s prayer. By way of this experience the wedding coordinator will advise the professional photographers of the locations within the church from which they may take pictures and in which videotaping equipment may be set up. Photographers and Videographers should limit moving around the Church as much as possible once the liturgy has begun. Only the lighting already available in the church may be used. No additional lighting may be brought into the church. Posed photos after the ceremony are an exception. g) RUNNERS Runners may NOT be used for the ceremony. h) TIMELINESS “PLEASE BE ON TIME!” The rehearsal and wedding need to begin on time. Set realistic times and inform everyone involved in the ceremony to plan accordingly. Courtesy demands that you should not keep your guests, photographers, or priest waiting.
FURTHER INFORMATION F.O.C.C.U.S. Facilitating Open Couple Communication, Understanding, and Study. A standardized questionnaire used to evaluate the couple’s level of effective communication in several important areas. ENGAGED ENCOUNTER WEEKEND A weekend away with other engaged couples in order to discover a deeper appreciation of their relationship and God’s call to unite them in a permanent union. The purpose of this weekend is to give engaged couples the opportunity to talk honestly and intensively about their prospective lives together, their strengths, weaknesses, desires, ambitions, goals, and their attitudes about money, sex, children, and the extended family. They also look at their role in the Church and society. This is all done in a face-to-face way. The weekend creates an atmosphere in which each couple can concentrate exclusively on one another, free of tensions, pressures, and interruptions. Through a series of ideas presented by a trained team of married couples and a priest, the couple is encouraged to dialogue privately with each other on all aspects of married life, always from the viewpoint of their own relationship. Personal reflection and dialogue are the main thrust of the weekend; meals are taken as a group. The weekend ends with the celebration of the Eucharist. Pre-Cana I is a shortened version of the weekend experience. The Engaged Encounter weekend is preferred and highly recommended.
FEES USE OF THE CHURCH, LIGHTING, AIRCONDITIONING, CELEBRANT, WEDDING COORDINATOR AND MUSIC DIRECTOR Members of Divine Mercy Catholic Church: $600.00 check to Divine Mercy Catholic Church at least one week before your wedding date with required paper work. Ex. Marriage license, etc. Non-Members of Divine Mercy Catholic Church: $800.00 check to Divine Mercy Catholic Church at least one week before your wedding date with required paper work. Ex. Marriage license, etc. MUSICIANS Any additional instrumentalists or singers will require an additional rehearsal fee to be negotiated. Cash or Check made payable to Divine Mercy Music Director. Please pay on the wedding day before the ceremony begins.
CONTACT INFORMATION Divine Mercy Parish Office 321-452-5955 tracey@divinemercychurch.org Diocese of Orlando (Family Life Office) 407-246-4866 Herb and Vicki Briesacher (FOCCUS support couple) 321-459-0460 Wedding Coordinator, Vilma Williams at DM Parish office 321-452-5955 Music Director at DM Parish office 321-452-5955
SPECIAL CASES INACTIVE CATHOLICS In the event that one or both of the parties are not active in the practice of their faith, additional instructional sessions may be required to help them become active practicing Catholics. YOUTHFUL MARRIAGES When either party has not yet reached his/her nineteenth (19) birthday, the Church will show special concern for the proposed marriage and will require additional steps in the preparations process. The priest may interview both sets of parents. The couple will also be referred to Catholic Social Services for evaluation by a professional counselor. PREGNANCY If a pregnancy exists, the Church will express care for both the couple and the expected child. Every effort will be made to insure that each person is truly ready for marriage. Pregnancy of itself is NOT considered reason enough to omit the usual six months waiting period and the normal preparation process. As with youthful marriages, the couple will be referred to Catholic Social Services for professional evaluation. BLESSING AN EXISTING MARRIAGE If a couple has entered a marriage outside the laws of the Catholic Church, a validation of the marriage is permitted after the couple has completed the full assessment process. PRIOR MARRIAGE In the case of any prior Catholic marriage, which was not terminated in death, an annulment needs to be sought before remarriage in the Catholic Church. Please contact the parish priest for further information on annulments. One of the requirements for those entering a second marriage is attendance of the Diocesan Pre-Cana II program. In the case of a previous marriage ending in death, the death certificate of a former spouse needs to be provided.
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