Matrimony

The matrimonial covenant, by which a man and a woman establish between themselves a partnership of the whole of 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.

(Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1601)

Sacrament of Matrimony

In the Latin Rite the celebration of marriage between two Catholics normally takes place during Mass because of the connection of all the sacraments with the death and resurrection of Christ.

The parties to a marriage covenant are a baptized man and woman, free to contract marriage, who freely express their consent. The Church holds "the exchange of consent between the spouses to be the indispensable element that 'makes the marriage'" (Catechism,1626). If there is no true consent, there is no marriage.

A couple wishing to marry should contact their parish priest one year prior to the anticipated date of the wedding. Couples are required to engage in a marriage preparation process provided or arranged by the parish. Such preparation allows the couple to come to a deeper knowledge of each other and of the sacrament they will receive, including the reasons for its indissolubility.

Music For Your Wedding - Frequently Asked Questions

  • Must we hire a cantor?

    A cantor is required when Mass is celebrated. A cantor is recommended for other forms of the celebration.

  • Which cantor will sing at my wedding? Whom do I call?

    After consultation with the Music Director, a parish cantor will be contacted by the Music Director.

  • May we hire a cantor other than those suggested by OLS?

    Yes. However, to avoid embarrassment to you and the parish, the Music Director must verify that they are experienced and competent before giving his approval.

  • May we hire other instruments in addition to the organ?

    Yes, after consultation with the Music Director, you may either hire musicians suggested by the Music Director or instrumentalists that are already known to you.

  • May we hire one of the parish choirs?

    Yes. However, the scheduling of choir members is the responsibility of the Music Director.

  • Must we have an organist?

    Occasionally couples decide on other musical arrangements for their wedding. The Music Director must approve these to ensure the musicians are experienced and competent and that the choice of music is appropriate for liturgical use. Recorded music is never permitted as an alternative to the musicians.

  • Must we hire the parish organist?

    Yes. If you wish to have the organ played, then the OLS parish organist must be the one to play it. Our organists are highly skilled and knowledgeable about the unique characteristics of the instrument. The organ at OLS is a rare mechanical action Casavant pipe organ requiring professional skills to play it. Exceptions to hiring an OLS organist sometimes apply at the discretion of the Music Director. In this case however, the resident OLS organist must also be paid a displacement fee.

  • Do we always need to meet with the Music Director?

    Yes. The parish is responsible for all music that occurs during liturgical celebrations. The Music Director's involvement ensures that liturgical regulations are met and that special requirements are communicated to your Marriage Liturgy Coordinator. The Music Director also ensures that the visiting musicians know when to play during the ceremony and that their choice of music is appropriate.

  • When do we pay the musicians?

    Bring the honoraria to your Marriage Liturgy Coordinator at your wedding rehearsal.

  Getting Married at Our Lady of Sorrows

 

Getting Married at Our Lady of Sorrows
A Wedding at Our Lady of Sorrows

 

Preparing for your wedding is one of the most important events in your life. It involves an incredible amount of care and planning by a great many people.

For Roman Catholic Christians, marriage is first of all a celebration of the love of God – the love that is manifested to the Church through the self-giving and committed lives of married couples. Marriage is first of all a religious event, modeling and celebrating the love of Christ for his Church. It is that religious context that is the primary concern of the parish and of those who minister in the parish on your wedding day.

Your wedding is a day of celebration for the entire parish community.

Spiritual Preparation

So that the sacrament of marriage may be fruitfully received couples should prepare themselves spiritually through prayer, reflection, regular participation in the Holy Eucharist, and the reception of the Sacrament of Reconciliation (Confession). It is the understanding of the Church that when two Catholics marry, they are practicing their faith: in inter-faith marriages (i.e. between a Catholic and a non-Catholic) the Catholic party is expected to be practicing his/her own religion.

One of the basic elements that the Church considers as practice of the faith is regular attendance at Sunday Mass.

  • Some thoughts for couples

    The telephone is a wonderful invention. It has helped our lives in so many ways. But in certain respects it is inadequate for full communication between parties.

    A frequent occurrence in Catholic parish offices is the "phone call" from a couple inquiring about the sacrament of Marriage. The phone is most likely answered by parish staff and probably not by the parish priest. This is not surprising: clergy today are assisted by dedicated and competent lay people who truly share in the ministry of the church. But, whether a couple speaks to a member of the parish staff or to a member of the parish clergy, the phone call can still be trying.

    It is important to understand that as a baptized Catholic without a previous marriage you are entitled and even expected to be married in the Catholic Church. The questions surface when couples approach a specific Catholic parish. Ultimately, the goal of the parish office is to be of assistance. The underlying pastoral principle is "How can we help you?" These thoughts may be of use to you.

    The center of our lives as Catholic Christians is the Eucharist. The Church teaches that the Eucharist is the "source and summit" of our faith. The early Christians who faced all sorts of threats simply by gathering for Mass were known for saying sine dominica non possumus which roughly means We cannot live without Sunday. In other words, "If you are going to deprive us of our Sunday Eucharist, you might as well deprive us of life itself."

    This is not simply an anecdotal point from church history but an important fact in a couple's request for marriage. Today's reality is that some young couples do not have an attachment to the Sunday Eucharist; they are sometimes called "non practicing Catholics". To be fair, there are non-practicing Catholics of all ages and, if truth be told, we all struggle to have greater and deeper love for our faith and for its central expression which is the celebration of the Eucharist.

    And so, if you are a couple who has "fallen away" from the Church and yet are approaching the Church for a sacrament, you should expect an honest and straightforward conversation about it. Your request for marriage may serve as an opportunity for you to assess honestly the place you have given to your faith. The telephone is hardly the best place for such a discussion.

    We do not marry strangers. From the earliest times, Christians gathered in communities: they knew one another; they lived alongside each other. These communities came together regularly for Sunday Eucharist. They were not strangers to each other: They welcomed new members at Baptism and Confirmation; they rejoiced as they came forward to receive the Lord in Holy Communion; they mourned the death of a loved one --- and they honored the religious dimension of Marriage. This remains the centuries-old model of Christian living -- and this model is called a parish.

    A member of the parish staff may ask if you are a "member" of the parish. This is not an insignificant question. Again, the telephone may not be the best place to discuss the answer to this question.

    The modern day parish is fundamentally the Christian community of antiquity; it is simply an expectation that responsible Catholics are faithful members of their parish family. If you are a couple with no parish attachment the parish staff will gladly assist you -- but this assistance may disappoint you.

    Church legislation requires that those who wish to be married in a particular parish have a real connection with that parish - either by living within its boundaries or through registration, practice and support. This Archdiocese further requires at least a year notice even for those canonically free to marry. In addition, each individual parish sets its own policies and practices touching the liturgical celebration. The parish staff may point out that since you do not live within the parish boundaries their best advice will be to direct you to your own parish community. While this may be a disappointment, it may also become a moment of honest awakening, an opportunity for you to become acquainted with your parish in your own part of town and to invest your time and goodwill with those Catholics who live alongside you and would worship with you in their/your neighborhood church. Should you find that the result of the phone conversation with the parish office is simply directing you to your own parish, please see this as an effort to be helpful.

    It may be appropriate here to add a few words about Our Lady of Sorrows as a church building. At times couples are taken by the "beauty" of the church and decide it would be a wonderful "venue" for their wedding. While we thank you for the compliment you have paid to our church building, all that has been said above should make it clear that the "look" of the church can never replace the real and living parish community that should be your home.

    Sadly, our culture does not provide much positive help to couples regarding the Christian celebration of their marriage. Never lose focus on the spiritual dimension. It is a true pastoral sadness when a young adult couple with no parish bond is simply "looking around for a Church" for their wedding. In such cases, expect to be directed to your own parish community.

Marriage Policy

The usual place for the wedding is the parish Church of the bride or groom, or in the parish of the Catholic party in an inter-faith marriage.

Who can be married at Our Lady of Sorrows Parish?

  • Those who live within the boundaries and support the work of the parish.
  • Those who do not live within the parish boundaries but attend Our Lady of Sorrows on a regular basis, are registered (for at least one year in addition to the Archdiocesan requirement) as parishioners, and support the work of the parish.

Booking a Wedding

Archdiocesan guidelines require that couples contact their parish at least one year in advance of the proposed date of the wedding. This provides adequate time to meet the extensive requirements set out in the booklet "Guidelines for the Celebration of Marriage", available from the parish office. Contact the parish office via this link. Marriage of couples who are under age or when there has been any previous marriage involve special considerations. These must be addressed prior to the consideration of any date.