Welcome to St. Gertrude’s Parish, we thank you for considering to celebrate your wedding at either St. Benedict’s Smithfieled or St. Therese’s Fairfield West. 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. What is Marriage Christian Marriage is the making of a life-long covenant of love between two baptised persons. It is the making of a true partnership of the whole of life recognised, celebrated and blessed by the Church in the sacrament of Christian Marriage. In virtue of the sacrament of marriage, married Christians signify and share in the mystery of the unity and fruitful love that exists between Christ and his Church; they thus help each other to attain holiness in their married life and in welcoming and rearing children; and they have their own special place and gift among the people of God. A marriage is established by the marriage covenant the irrevocable consent that the spouses freely give to and receive from each other. This unique union of man and woman and the good of the children impose total fidelity on each of them and the unbreakable unity of their bond. To make the indissoluble marriage a clearer sign of this full meaning and a surer help in its fulfillment, Christ the Lord raised it to the dignity of a sacrament, modeled in his own nuptial bond with the Church. Christian couples, therefore, are to nourish and develop their marriage by undivided love; in a merging of human and divine, they remain faithful in body and in mind, in good times and in bad. Planing your Wedding Both of our Churches are popular venues for the celebration of Marriages. To avoid disappointment, you should check the availability of the Church before you book your reception venue. Our Churches are only available for the celebration of marriage according to the Rites of the Catholic Church (that is, with a Catholic Priest as Celebrant). The Churches are not available for civil weddings or weddings celebrated by ministers of other religions or according to the rites of other religious traditions. If you have been married previously, you will need to contact the Parish Office before you make any firm arrangements for your wedding. We will do everything we can to assist you. Wedding Preparation List Couples can download our marriage information booklet to print or they can refer to the following: Couples planning to be married in St. Benedict’s Church or St Therese’s Church are kindly requested to follow these requirements. Book the church well in advance, at least six months. Send Wedding Booking Form together with the $55 for the Administration & Booking Fee. Meet the priest who will celebrate your wedding, (six months before your wedding date) and discuss all the necessary requirements with him. Attend a Pre marriage course for the Engaged Couples, sponsored by the Catholic Church. You should attend at least one of these courses several months before the wedding and preferably before you meet with the celebrant. Present the required documents when you meet with your Celebrant: BIRTH CERTIFICATE The law requires Australian born persons to present a Birth Certificate original. If not born in Australia, then you need to bring your overseas passport or overseas birth certificate and a Statutory Declaration regarding birth. BAPTISM CERTIFICATE A recently issued certificate is required in the case of all Baptised persons (6 months). This can be obtained by contacting the church where the baptism took place. If you were baptised overseas please ensure the name and address of parish is legible. CONFIRMATION CERTIFICATE Date and place of Confirmation Others (if necessary) Fill in the prescribed forms. These forms must be completed before the officiating celebrant from 6 months to 31 days before the marriage is celebrated according to the “Marriage Act”. The ideal time would be between four and five months before the actual Wedding day. Mixed Marriages At least one party has to be a baptized 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 you power to share your faith with your children by having them baptised and brought up in the Catholic Church?” The marriage ceremony is the same in all cases. 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 the 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 should be supplied. Those who will sign the Marriage Certificate must be over 18 years of age. A copy of the Marriage Certificate may be applied for from the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages as soon as you wish and usually is available within 7 working days after which the Registry will send to you. Plan the marriage ceremony with the Priest who will celebrate your wedding. The couples usually prepare their own wedding booklet. Attend the wedding practice in the church together with the celebrant and the wedding party. Ideally this should be done just a few days before the wedding. Sacrament of Reconciliation: It is strongly recommended that Catholic parties receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation/Confession prior to their wedding. The usual organist/singers approved for our church are Anna Kleibert (singer/organist) Albino Cotellazzi (organist) Lycia Manche (organist) Tania Rashidi (organist) Recommended offerings: (to be paid one month before Wedding) Church – from $300 – $500 Celebrant – $300 Please be aware that if you have booked your wedding during special liturgical times e.g. Easter or Christmas Seasons etc. the church will be decorated accordingly. Flowers and ribbons along the aisle are to be organised by the couple. (Please organize to have a friend remove these decorations after the ceremony.) Videographers and photographers are allowed, but they should be at all times aware of the sacredness of the place and the solemnity of the ceremony, especially while the Eucharist is celebrated. No rice or confetti of any kind are allowed in the church premises. The Bride together with the Bridal party must make sure to arrive in time at the Church. Failure to arrive on time could incur a fee! Mobile phones are to be switched off within the proximity of the Church during the ceremony and ask that you inform your guests of this requirement. No revving of motorcars or bikes around the church or neighborhood! If you require additional information to that provided in the brochure, please contact the Parish Office. Marriage Resources To assist you with preparing a Mass booklet for your wedding, including appropriate readings and prayers, we have prepared a few resources. These are available for download using the links below. You may use this as a bases for putting together your own wedding boolet. Booklet New Rite of Matrimony With Mass Booklet New Rite of Matrimony Without Mass Booklet New Rite of Matrimony Without Mass and a Non Baptised 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 Our priests would be more than happy to assist you in planning the perfect Mass for your day. To discuss any part of the ceremony, please contact them via the Parish Office. 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.