Wedding Guidelines

Congratulations!  You have reached a point in your lives where you wish to commit yourselves to each other before God in the sacred bond of matrimony. We rejoice with you and want your wedding day to be truly special, the foundation of your life together.

A Sacred Commitment

In the Catholic Church, the exchange of vows between two people is not a private affair, but a public act of believers in the presence of God’s church. The readings and music you select and the various ways in which you choose to involve your family and guests will make your ceremony all the more memorable and meaningful. Since you are preparing to celebrate a Sacrament of the church, we encourage you to use this time before your wedding not only to take care of practical details, but also to deepen your love for each other and renew your relationship with God through personal prayer and regular participation at the Sunday Mass.

To be considered a member of Saint Jean Baptiste Parish, you need to have registered with the church no less than six months in advance of your marriage and be a member in good standing, i.e., actively involved in the parish and be a contributor.

 

First Steps in Arranging for Your Wedding

  1. Contact the Pastor to arrange for an appointment no less than six months in advance for your Please call the Parish Office at 212.288.5082 ext. 10 to speak with the Pastor.
  1. At the meeting, the Pastor will discuss the necessary documents needed for your wedding: a certificate of baptism for each person; First Communion and confirmation documents for each person; and Letters of Freedom to Marry if you are not a registered member of Jean Baptiste Parish.
  1. Contact Richard Owen, , the Director of Music Ministries, at 845-729-4986 or owenrick@aol.com to advise him of the date and time of your wedding.
  1. Make sure you explain Saint Jean Baptiste Church’s policies regarding the use of cameras, video equipment, and flowers to your wedding planner, photographer, videographer, and florist prior to making your This information follows below.

The following guidelines have been drawn up for your information and assistance as you consider having your marriage here and as you plan the details of your wedding.

 

Church Requirements

The marriage covenant, by which a man and a woman establish between themselves a partnership of their whole life, is by its nature ordered toward the good of the spouses and the procreation and education of offspring; this covenant between baptized persons has been raised by Christ the Lord to the dignity of a sacrament. (Code of Canon Law, 1055)

Freedom to Marry: For a marriage to be validly celebrated in the Catholic Church, both parties must be free to enter into marriage. If either of you has had a previous marriage (and the spouse of that marriage is still living), it will be necessary to discuss the details of the marriage with the Pastor to determine not only whether your plans to be married here can proceed but also whether you can be validly married in the Catholic Church. If a previous marriage was terminated by the death of a spouse, the death certificate will have to be included among the documents requested as part of the preparation of your marriage.

Differing Faiths: If either of you is a baptized member of a Christian Church other than the Catholic Church, proper permission (Mixed Religion) must be obtained by the Pastor from the archbishop through the Chancery. If either of you is a member of a religion other than Christian or has no religious affiliation, the proper dispensation (Disparity of Worship) must be obtained by the Pastor.

 

Marriage Preparation

Certificates: The Pastor will explain the various certificates, letters, and documents that must be obtained (cf. number 2 above). Among the certificates required is a baptism certificate issued by the church of baptism within the six months previous to the marriage.

Preparation Program: Three marriage preparation programs of differing formats are offered by the Archdiocese of New York. You are required to attend one of these programs.

The Pastor will briefly describe the programs and the manner of registering. You can also register online at http://nyfamilylife.org/. To insure attendance at the program of your choice, registration should be done as early as possible.

Pre-marriage Inquiry: A few months before the wedding and once the required certificates are obtained; the Pastor will conduct the pre-marriage inquiry. This seeks essential information regarding your background and your preparedness for marriage.

 

Seasons, Days, and Times for Weddings

Marriage may be celebrated throughout the year. However, because Lent is a penitential season, we do not generally schedule weddings between Ash Wednesday (usually around the middle of February) and Easter Sunday (usually around the beginning of April) except for a serious reason, e.g., the serious illness of a parent. Church norms suggest that weddings during Lent should be simpler in nature.

Weddings at Saint Jean Baptiste Church take place on Friday afternoons, on Saturday at 10:00/10:30 AM, 1:30/2:00 PM, 3:00/3:30 PM, and Sunday afternoons at 2:00/2:30 PM and 3:00/3:30 PM. Be advice that because there is a 5:30 PM Mass most days of the year, we are not able to schedule weddings at 4:00 PM.

The day and time for the wedding rehearsal, usually on the day or evening before the wedding day, is arranged with the Pastor. The church closes at 5:30 PM. If your rehearsal is scheduled after that, please come to the Parish House at 184 E 76th Street. Only the wedding party needs to attend the rehearsal.

Note: Please be considerate of your guests and of the possibility that another ceremony may follow your wedding, and start your wedding on time.

Officiant

The priest who officiates at your marriage acts as the witness who accepts your vows in the name of Christ and the church. Ordinarily, the officiant is the person who assisted your preparation for marriage. A priest who is a relative or a close friend may concelebrate or officiate.

Music

Six weeks, at the minimum, before your wedding, you should arrange to meet with Richard Owen (Contact information: 845-729-4986 or owenrick@aol.com), the Director of Music Ministries and organist, to determine the music for your wedding. You have at your service a full complement of staff singers and instrumentalists to choose from at Saint Jean’s

 

Flowers, Decorations, and Assorted Items

Flowers can accentuate the beauty of the church for your ceremony. Most often, these are placed in the sanctuary and/or on the ends of the pews. However, your planning should provide adequate time for these to be removed immediately after the wedding unless you intend to donate the floral arrangements to the church. Insurance and fire code restrictions do not allow anything with a lit flame or glass in the seating area and center aisle. A good location for candelabra is in the sanctuary. Please do not move anything in the church environment.

Because Saint Jean Baptiste Church is a place of prayer open to the public and has no facilities for cutting and arranging of flowers, floral arrangements and decorations should be assembled offsite in advance.

Runners of any sort are not permitted because it can be a safety hazard due to tearing or tripping. Also, for safety reasons, the throwing of rice and rose petals on church property is not permitted.

 

Photography and Videography

Photographing and videotaping the ceremony is permitted. However, so that the photographer and the videographer not be a distraction to your guest or detract from the reverence appropriate to the wedding liturgy, we request that you familiarize them with the following:

  1. The photographer and videographer must not interrupt the progress of the entrance procession or position themselves where they will impede the movement of the members of the wedding
  2. Photographers must exercise discretion both in the number of photos taken and in where they place themselves to take Photos are not permitted during the homily or the period following the Presentation of the Gifts until the distribution of Communion begins. Also, photographers must not delay the wedding from starting at the scheduled time.
  3. Videographers are to take a stationary position outside the sanctuary (the altar area). Since the church lighting provided for the wedding liturgy is sufficient for video recording, additional lighting is not

Please note: Since Saint Jean Baptiste Church is not only a parish but also a Eucharistic shrine, exposition of the Blessed Sacrament will normally resume immediately after your wedding. Therefore, please advise your photographer that it may not be possible to have a photo session in the church after your wedding, unless permission is given by the Pastor.

 

Wedding Stipend

An offering of $3,000 is required of all couples who wish to celebrate their marriage at Saint Jean Baptiste. This includes the liturgy itself, the cost of utilities, and the use of the church, and the fees of the organist, cantor/vocalist, and custodian. This stipend is in line with what other churches on the Upper East Side ask. Exceptions due to financial considerations are possible, but must be approved by the Pastor.

Please Note: A deposit of $1,000 is necessary to reserve a date in the church calendar. This deposit will be applied to your offering, the balance of which is due four weeks prior to your wedding. Failure to do so will regarded as cancellation of your wedding. Should you be obliged to cancel your wedding after handing in your offering, it will be returned minus $500 of the deposit which is non-refundable.

 

Etiquette

Every effort should be made to begin your wedding liturgy at the time scheduled. Late arrival of the wedding party through negligence inconveniences a great many people: your guest, the officiant, the musicians, the sacristan, etc., and may interfere with a church service scheduled to follow your wedding.

Insurance liability prohibits the throwing of rice, confetti, bird seed, or flower petals on the front steps and sidewalks of the church. Be sure to communicate this to any guests who might be inclined to observe this custom. Alternatives include small bells or bubbles or music as the couple exits the church.

In the sacrament of marriage, a man and a woman—who at baptism become members of Christ and hence have the duty of manifesting Christ’s attitudes in their lives—are assured of the help they need to develop their love in a faithful and indissoluble union, and to respond with generosity to the gift of parenthood. As the Second Vatican Council declared: through this Sacrament, Christ himself becomes present in the life of the married couple and accompanies them, so that they may love each other and their children, just as Christ loved his Church by giving himself up for it. (Gaudium et Spes, 48; cf. Eph 5:25).

 

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

SAINT JEAN BAPTISTE CATHOLIC CHURCH 184 E 76TH STREET

NEW YORK, NY 10021

Lexington Avenue at 76th Street

Phone: 212.288.5082 Ext. 10

Fax: 212.717.8397

 

Pastor
Fr. John A. Kamas, S.S.S Tel: 212.288.5082 Ext. 10
Email: Jkamas@aol.com

 

Director of Music Ministries Richard Owen, Jr.

Tel: 845.729.4986

Email: owenrick@aol.com

 

SAMPLE PROGRAM

Prelude                       Concerto Johann Sebastian Bach Processional              Trumpet Voluntary Henry Purcell

First Reading             The creation of man and woman Genesis 1:26-28,31A

Readings should be chosen from Together for Life B1-B8. A friend or family member comfortable with public speaking may read this.

Responsorial Psalm  Psalm 103:1-2, 8, 13, 17-18a

Responsorial psalms should be chosen from Together for Life C1-C7. Normally, the soloist/cantor of the church will sing this. It can be read if you prefer.

Second Reading        The greatest of these is love 1 Corinthians 12:31-13:8A

Readings should be chosen from Together for Life D1-D10. A friend or family member comfortable with public speaking may read this.

Gospel Acclamation 1 John 4:8, 11

The Gospel Acclamation should be chosen from Together for Life E1- E4. Sung by soloist/cantor of the church.

Gospel                          Love, the greatest commandment Matthew 22:35-40

Readings should be chosen from Together for Life F1-F10. The Gospel is read by the priest/deacon.

Homily                         Rev. John A. Kamas, S.S.S.

Rite of Marriage

General Intercessions

Presentations of the Gifts      The Gift of Love

Sung by the soloist/cantor of the church.

Holy, Holy, Holy,

Sung by the soloist/cantor of the church.

Memorial Acclamation        Sung by the soloist/cantor of the church.  Great Amen                                    Sung by the soloist/cantor of the church.

The Lord’s Prayer    Led by the celebrant.

Lamb of God             Sung by the soloist/cantor of the church.

Communion                 Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring Johann Sebastian Bach

Sung by the soloist/cantor of the church.

Final Blessing             Led by the celebrant.

Recessional                 Water Music Suite (Hornpipe) George Frederick Handel. Played by the Organist.

Note: In preparing a program for your wedding, only a general overview of the order of worship needs to be given. The text under each heading above is for your planning. This gives an idea of the format of a Catholic wedding Mass or ceremony.