THE SACRAMENT OF MARRIAGE
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.
*Recent (issued within 90 days) Baptismal Certificates for each Catholic
*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
*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
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
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.
With the understanding that any existing church decorations will not be
removed, you may provide floral arrangements suited to your wedding
Flower petals may not be scattered by flower girls during the entrance
PLEASE DO NOT USE: RICE, BIRD SEED or CONFETTI anywhere on parish
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.
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
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.
Runners may NOT be used for the ceremony.
“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.
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
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.
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
Divine Mercy Parish Office 321-452-5955 firstname.lastname@example.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
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.
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.
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.
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.