Gaudeamus omnes in Domino
St. Benedict Catholic Church wishes to congratulate those parishioners who wish to celebrate their impending nuptials. Please keep in mind that these guidelines apply only to parishioners of St. Benedict Parish. At St. Benedict we will make every effort to set a wedding time that is convenient for you and your family. We suggest that the groom, or other designed person, serve as the primary contact for the parish.
As Catholics, we celebrate the rites of matrimony between one man, and one woman in the sight of God. In so doing we are reminded of the sacramental and irrevocable nature of the marriage bond and the great call to holiness of life which the marriage state should inspire. Historically the Church identifies three principal marriage rites, with the customarily flexibility to choose the rite and/or rites that best mark the situation of the engaged couple.
The Betrothal Ceremony – usually takes place immediately after the brides’ father has given his consent and before the public announcement of the engagement, and before a wedding date is set. This ceremony generally includes prayers for the couple, and the posting of the marriage banns in the parish bulletin (although this is no longer required by law). The Rosary may be recited since it helps us to reflect upon the sacrificial nature of married life and the relation between Christ and His Church. The Betrothal Ceremony is available only to registered Parishioners of St. Benedict and where both parties are Baptized Catholic.
The Marriage rite – the essential liturgical Rite, which takes place in the church, with a priest witnessing, on behalf of the Church, the vows made by the couple. This Rite may be followed by the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass but in the case of a mixed marriage this is left to the discretion of the couple. The date of the Marriage rite cannot be less than 6 months after the announcement of the engagement. The Pastor’s consent is necessary for another priest, or deacon, to perform the Marriage rite at the parish of St. Benedict. The Pastor must also be consulted as to the necessary marriage preparation and the completion of the required Diocesan investigation. Please note that couple who live outside of the Diocese of Fort Worth will need the express permission of their own Bishop to receive the sacrament of matrimony at St. Benedict even if registered as parishioners.
Nuptial Mass – celebrated in the church immediately after the Marriage rite with a priest offering the Holy Sacrifice of Christ for the newly married couple. The nuptial liturgy includes the special blessing of the couple during the Canon of the Mass, and a final admonition calling them to holiness of life. Holy Communion may be distributed at this Mass subject to the dispositions of the married couples’ families otherwise Holy Communion will be distributed to the married couple only.
The Reception of Holy Communion
Holy Communion is the summit of our belief in Jesus Christ. The Real Presence of Christ in our midst inspires us to remember our own sinfulness and the rules regarding the reception of the Sacrament. Only those who are practicing Catholics, NOT conscious of grave (mortal) sin, should consider themselves disposed to receive worthily. The mode of reception is in keeping with our humble attitude in the presence of our God. Therefore at St. Benedict Holy Communion is received upon the tongue while kneeling at the altar rail. An announcement to this effect will be made before all Nuptial Masses. Should, for any reason, the couple choose not to have Holy Communion distributed to their guests this should be agreed with the Pastor during the marriage preparation.
Flowers - We welcome flowers as part of the Marriage rite. Flowers in the traditional rites of the Church may be placed behind the Main Altar. The responsibility for coordinating and arranging flower deliveries belongs to the wedding party and must be agreed with the Pastor. Couples are asked to arrange for flowers at least two months in advance. The cost for flowers and decoration is the sole responsibility of the engaged couple so also is any tidying or cleaning required afterward.
Reception - St. Benedict Parish Hall is not a suitable venue for wedding receptions. Couples are therefore asked to make alternative arrangements for a venue where family and friends can gather for a time of refreshment and celebration. The hall is however available for bridal preparation before the wedding.
Donations and Fees - There is no charge for a Wedding at St. Benedict. It is customary to give a donation to the parish to help defray the cost of lights, air conditioner, cleaning, and maintenance of the facilities. We recommend $500. There is no charge for the services of the priest, or altar servers. However, it is a discretionary decision.
St. Benedicts regrets that currently it is unable to provide musicians and singers for weddings. Therefore, all ceremonies will take the Low Mass form. However, should a couple wish to have music in the church during the wedding service they are welcome to arrange this privately in consultation with the Pastor.
A Final Thought on Catholic Marriage
As a vital part of the Body of Christ, a married couple is called to be open to life. The procreation and Catholic education of children is the greatest blessing bestowed by God. Therefore, we are called upon as a Catholic community to create an environment, in our homes and our parish, where the next generation of Catholic souls can flourish. Prayerful preparation and planning of the marriage rites will help you deal successfully and gracefully with the trials and tribulations, the joys and blessing of the married state. The pastor is always available to address any issues or questions.