The staff and parishioners of the Church of the Assumption congratulate you on this most important time in your life. We will do all that we can to make your wedding as beautiful and as meaningful for you as we can. We want this time of preparation to be a positive experience.
As Catholics we have certain structures and rituals that are to be respected. These guidelines are meant to inform and aid you in planning a nuptial ceremony that is in accord with these respective structures. Please pay particular attention to the guidelines for music, bridal/maid gowns, and church decor. For the sake of consistency, please do not ask for exceptions to these guidelines. If you agree to fully cooperate with the requests below, you may call the rectory to set up an appointment to begin the marriage preparation process.
The Marriage Course - Remember, Marriage is a lifetime, not a one time ceremony!
Adhering to the norms of the Diocese of Lafayette regarding marriage preparation courses, and as participants in a diocesan sponsored program to teach Natural Family Planning to engaged couples, the Church of the Assumption offers the following marriage preparatory course. There are four elements to Assumption's marriage course:
*Initial meeting with the Priest of the Church of the Assumption
a) confirmation of wedding date b) recording of sacramental records - must bring to this first meeting, a recent copy, within the last six months, of baptism record with confirmation information on the back. c) payment of cleaning fee ($35.00 cash only) d) set up dates for classes
*Participation in a diocesan sponsored Catholic Engaged Encounter from Friday 7 p.m. in Lafayette. *Attendance at the first class of a local Natural Family Planning Course. (All four classes are recommended but not required under option A). *Closing meeting with priest who will officiate at your wedding ceremony to conclude paper work and to discuss rehearsal. The price of this course is $150.00 to cover the weekend Engaged Encounter. A $75.00 non-refundable deposit is to be paid at the time of the first session with the priest.
This option is made available to those whose working schedules would prevent participation in the weekend Engaged Encounter. *Initial contact with priest (must always be a priest of Assumption Church). *Attendance at a diocesan Engaged Couples Conference - Sunday workshop, 8:45 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., held in Lafayette. Mass is included. *Participation in a diocesan approved Natural Family Planning course (four classes). *Closing meeting with the priest who will officiate at your wedding ceremony.
The price of this course is $100.00 to cover the cost of the one day Engaged Couples Conference. Also, the price of the NFP kit is $40.00, to be paid at the first class session.
CLOSING SESSION WITH THE PRIEST who will officiate at your wedding ceremony to conclude paper work and to review wedding rehearsal details.
WHAT TO BRING TO THE FIRST SESSION WITH THE PRIEST? You are to bring your sacramental records: recent copies of certificates of baptism and confirmation (to be obtained at the church of your baptism), and copies of paperwork in reference to any previous marriage, divorce, annulment. Also, plan to bring the $35.00 Church cleaning fee (cash only).
NOTE: Some couples may be turned off by the above requirements, thinking that this is too much to do; complaints about the cost may also be a factor. Think about it! The only Church fee parishioners are required to pay to have your wedding in one of the most beautiful churches in the Diocese is a $35.00 cleaning fee. Cost for Engaged Encounter session is a bargain, as well as the NFP sessions. These occasions will provide you with important tools to help you stay married and will help to prevent major heartache and unhappiness down the road. Isn’t it worth the effort? Considering what couples pay for all the other “trappings” that surround a wedding, any “protest” regarding cost is not legitimate. We live in a society where one out of two marriages ends in divorce. There is a 50% chance that your marriage will not make it. For this reason alone, be eager to invest in doing all that you can NOW to beat the statistic. The Church wants to help you. She has much experience in the area of marital relationships. Be open to learn from her.
We warmly welcome any visiting priest whom you may desire to officiate at your nuptial ceremony. To avoid schedule conflicts, your first contact must be with the priest of Assumption Church. While priests vary with ceremonial and rehearsal procedures, guidelines for music, church decor (flowers, candelabra), and bridal gowns are to be adhered to in all wedding ceremonies at the Church of the Assumption. We ask that you do not embarrass a visiting priest by asking him to make exceptions in these areas.
The criterion here is simple. We ask that you practice Christian modesty. Please understand that plunging necklines, bare backs, halter tops or spaghetti straps are inappropriate for sacred worship. Feel free to bring in a picture of a dress or gown should you have any questions. A detailed diagram is provided for you for bridal and maid gown guidelines.
For parishioners of the Church of the Assumption, there is only a $35.00 cleaning fee. This payment is to be made at the time of your first session with the priest. For non-parishioners, written delegation is required by the pastor of your Church. The parish council of the Church of Assumption has designated the cost for use of the Church (heating, air, electricity) for non-parishioners to be $250.00. This is in addition to the $35 cleaning fee. A gratuitous gift may be given to the priest on the day of the ceremony, but this is not required.
One hired photographer and one video camera person is allowed. Set up is never in the sanctuary, but to the side. This location is to be approved by the priest before the ceremony. An additional photographer or video camera person may be situated in the choir loft. A separate copy of photography guidelines will be given to your photographer before the nuptial ceremony.
Due to 3 p.m. confessions, wedding pictures in Church are not allowed after Saturday afternoon wedding ceremonies.
To prevent an overcrowded environment, and not to impede movement in the sanctuary, flowers may be situated in the following places:
1. On the High Altar 2. On the two Side Altars (Blessed Mother and St. Joseph)
*No arrangements are to be placed on or near the steps at the Communion rail. The use of flower petals or rice inside or outside of Church is not allowed. You may be able to save money on your floral arrangements, depending upon the liturgical season, by enhancing and/or building on or around existing Altar decorations. However, it is very important that you contact Mr. Perry Lowery at 337-828-3869 during regular office hours several weeks before the wedding to discuss your floral decisions.No changes are allowed without prior contact.
Church decor should never distract from the primary action at the Altar. For this reason the archway is not allowed in Church as it takes focus away from the Altar and hinders the view of the sanctuary. These types of things are best set up at the reception.
Candelabra must have tubes or globes on them. Open candles are not allowed because they tend to drip on the floor. Candelabras are allowed in the back sanctuary area and may also be placed along the pews, though this is discouraged, particularly if there is a long procession. Hard wiring and/or tape to secure the candelabra is not allowed on the pews since they tend to destroy polished wood.
PEW MARKERS - CHURCH AISLE
There are thirty-three pews on either side of the Church. In most cases the runner pulls up and becomes a safety hazard, particularly during Mass when the faithful process up for Holy Communion and when exiting the church after the service, therefore the use of aisle runners are not to be used.
Pew markers are to be assembled with ribbon and/or rubber bands only--no tape. Pew markers are never to block the entrance in and out of the pews. There have been occasions when the above instructions were not followed, causing wax spill and damage to the pews. Please help us to avoid unnecessary confrontation by following these instructions.
OUTDOOR WREATHS are not allowed on the doors of the Church for paint preservation purposes.
CHOICE OF MUSIC
Liturgical music should add solemnity and joy to the celebration and serve primarily to help people pray. Certain secular pieces that are in accord with Christian principles may be played before the bride processes to the Altar (when parents are escorted to seat, etc.) However, these types of pieces are to be kept to a minimum. If the musical selection is secular, it is more appropriate that it be instrumental only, not vocal. Music during the Mass may be sung at the following times:
Gathering music before the ceremony Entrance procession Responsorial Psalm Gospel Acclamation Offertory *The Mass Propers: Holy, Memorial Acclamation, Great Amen, Lamb of God Holy Communion Flower to the Blessed Mother Statue Recessional
CHOICE OF MUSICIANS
The musician below is to be used at all wedding ceremonies at the Church of the Assumption. He is well trained and capable of providing instrumental and vocal selections. We strongly recommend your calling the musician as soon as possible to ensure scheduling:
Mr. Dexter Thibodeaux — 337-304-2198
Other instruments such as a trumpet/flute are allowed. If chosen, please inform the priest. The use of cassette tapes is not allowed for nuptial ceremonies. Why the mandate to use only the musicians listed above? Music during the Mass is meant to give glory to God, not ourselves. Church music is not a performance; it must foster prayer. Our musician has been trained to ensure a prayerful setting in which the priest can lead others in prayer. Also, he is familiar with the Church instruments and the proper volume, sound, etc., so important for proper effect. In the past, allowing outside musicians has resulted in serious damage to the musical instruments, costing the Church expensive repair fees. Again, please do not ask for exceptions to this policy.
The rehearsal should be completed within a 30 minute time span. The priest alone is the principle talker and director of the rehearsal. Hired persons to help coordinate your wedding are to be informed that they do not run the rehearsal. To allow for a smooth and quick rehearsal, we ask that you decide the following before arriving in Church for the rehearsal.
1. Bridesmaids/Groomsmen--Assign partners and the order and manner in which they are to walk up.
2. Bring marriage license/certificate to the rehearsal. The couple and the witnesses will sign these at the rehearsal.
3. Make a list of the readings you have selected for the ceremony. The readings will be read from a lectionary (special book). The lectionary will be properly marked before the nuptial ceremony. Readers are to report to the sacristy fifteen minutes before the wedding to check the lectionary and to address further questions. At times, readers have been dressed inappropriately for the sanctuary. Immodest attire will not be allowed. Thanks for your cooperation.
NOTE WELL: Church law does not permit a non-Catholic to participate in the Liturgy as a Reader. Number 56 of the document Ad Totam Ecclesiam states: A separated brother is not to act as a scripture reader.......
It is important that you remind your wedding party that the Church building is a sacred one. For this reason, when coming into Church for the rehearsal, talking should be minimal. Out of respect for the Blessed Sacrament, no caps, no gum chewing, no shorts.
- If you desire family members to bring up the offertory gifts, please inform the priest at the final meeting session.
FLOWER GIRLS AND RING BEARERS
- Flower girls and ring bearers must be at least 3 years old and able to walk up the aisle unassisted. Flower girls may carry baskets with flowers in them, but is not allowed to drop petals on the floor, also a pillow for the ring bearers is recommended for the ceremony. The best man will carry the bride and groom’s rings in his coat pocket. At a designated time in the ceremony, he will transfer the actual rings onto the pillow which he will later carry into the sanctuary for the exchange of rings.
- Liturgists discourage its use. In the Roman Catholic faith, the primary symbol of unity is the Eucharist, not a candle. However, if used, it is to be provided by the couple.
- While a designated staff member will do the major clean up work after your wedding, you are responsible for collecting any personal items to ensure that the Church is returned to its original setting. Flowers, pew markers, runners, etc., must be picked up. Your wedding is one of several other activities for which the church is used on a given weekend (Masses, Baptisms, Confessions, etc.) Please respect these other activities.
WEDDINGS DURING THE LITURGICAL SEASONS
In accord with the ancient tradition of the Church, and in order for us to live out the themes of the Church’s Liturgical year, no Nuptial Masses are allowed during the penitential season of Lent. Nuptial Masses are also discouraged during the Season of Advent, since this season has a penitential tone as well.
SATURDAY WEDDING TIMES
1:00 p.m. is the latest time a Saturday wedding can be held at the Church of the Assumption. This is due to 3:00pm confessions on Saturday afternoon. If you desire a Saturday evening ceremony, you may have a Service of the Word.
MARRYING A NON CATHOLIC
For pastoral reasons it is best that a Nuptial Mass not be celebrated when a large number of the congregation is not Catholic. A Service of the Word is recommended on these occasions.
In St. Mary Parish, marriage licenses are issued by the Clerk of Court's Office in the Franklin Court House from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. The cost is $25.00, and couples must bring birth certificate (or driver's license if birth certificate is not available). Social Security number, birth place, and knowledge of parent's birthplace is required. Licenses must be issued at least 72 hours prior to the marriage, but not more than 30 days in advance of the wedding ceremony.