Marriages

WHO MAY MARRY AT HOLY TRINITY ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH?
Holy Trinity Parish welcomes couples who understand Christian Marriage to be a sacrament and would therefore wish to have their marriage celebrated according to the rites of the Roman Catholic Church. At least one of the parties should be a committed Catholic. Both parties should be free to marry in accord with the norms of canon law; i.e., neither party should have been married before, nor if one nor both have been in prior marriages, need these marriages to have been declared null and void by a Church Tribunal.

 

HOW IS A WEDDING DATE SCHEDULED?
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Fall River asks couples to schedule the wedding date at least six months in advance (but not more than 12 months in advance) in order that ample time is allowed for the completion of all paperwork, and that proper preparation is given prior to the celebration of the sacrament of marriage. Please complete the wedding information form after you have called to pencil in a date.

 

WHEN ARE WEDDINGS USUALLY CELEBRATED?
Weddings at Holy Trinity may be scheduled on:

  • Friday afternoons or evenings between 3PM and 6PM
  • Saturdays between 11:30 AM and 2PM
  • Saturday evenings at 6PM
  • Sunday afternoons at 3PM

The secretary of the parish is able to pencil in a date that will not become official until the couple is able to meet with a priest who will ascertain that both parties are indeed free to marry in accord with Church Law.

Priority in scheduling weddings must be given to those families who have a home within the parish boundaries and who are registered, contributing members of the parish. Those who are not registered or not living within the parish boundaries can request specific dates, but these cannot be confirmed any sooner than 12 months in advance. All confirmed dates require a deposit of 50% of the Church offering.

 

WHAT ARE THE REQUIREMENTS FOR MARRIAGE PREPARATION?
The couple will meet with a priest at Holy Trinity and discuss the necessity for further meetings for instruction and completion of required paperwork. It is recommended that the couple completes the FOCCUS Survey and review its results with a priest or a deacon of the parish as part of their preparation. Participation in a formal program of marriage preparation sponsored by a Roman Catholic diocese or parish is required. Couples who do not live locally should consult with their local parish to identify and register for such a program in their area. A certificate of completion should be obtained and given to the priest at Holy Trinity Church who is assisting the couple to prepare for marriage.

Please refer to the Office of Faith Formation for the Fall River Diocese for the schedule of Marriage Preparation Classes.

IF A VISITING PRIEST DOES THE PAPERWORK, HE MUST SEND A LETTER STATING SUCH TO HOLY TRINITY

 

WHAT DOCUMENTS ARE REQUIRED IN ORDER TO COMPLETE PAPERWORK?
Guests and unregistered couples must have these documents in hand before a meeting can be scheduled:

  • Baptism and Confirmation records: Roman Catholics are required to obtain a recent (not older than one year) copy of the record of their baptism and of their confirmation from the parish in which they were baptized and confirmed. Those baptized and/or confirmed in other Christian denominations should also present documentation of their baptism and/or confirmation, if it is available.
  • Declaration of Nullity: Those who have been in prior marriages must provide a Declaration of Nullity for each of the prior bonds of marriage, even those that were only civil in nature.
  • Letter of Permission: Those who are not members of Holy Trinity Parish must obtain a letter of permission from their pastor to be married in this parish.

 

WHAT IS THE COST OF A WEDDING AT HOLY TRINITY PARISH?*
Because marriage is a sacrament of the Church, it is not proper to “charge” for it. However, if the marriage is celebrated in the context of a formal wedding ceremony, which requires the services of musicians, wedding coordinators, and sextons, then in justice these must be compensated. Additionally, if the couple or the family is not officially registered in the parish and therefore not present to make consistent, traceable contributions for the support of the clergy and the maintenance of the church, then a generous donation is in order when asking for the privilege of celebrating a wedding in our parish church. The following offerings are requested:

  • Registered, Contributing Parishioners – $750
    Includes organist, cantor and wedding coordinators.
  • Registered Seasonal Parishioners, Unregistered Residents – $900
    Includes organist, cantor and wedding coordinators.
  • Guests (Unregistered Non-Residents) – $950
    Includes organist, cantor and wedding coordinators.

50% of the requested offering should be given to confirm a scheduled wedding date, and the remainder should have been given no later than one month before the wedding. All offerings should be made by check to Holy Trinity Parish.

*Please note that no parishioner or resident who is entitled to be married in the parish will be prevented from doing so due to financial hardship.

 

HOW WILL WE ARRANGE MUSIC FOR OUR WEDDING?
Because a wedding is a liturgy of the Church, appropriate liturgical music is required for its proper celebration. The services of a parish organist and cantor who are well-prepared to understand all aspects of the Church’s liturgy and the place of music within it are therefore required, and their stipends are included in the offering to the Church. Please be aware that secular music, which often overemphasizes romantic notions of love, is generally not appropriate for the celebration of a sacrament that commits a couple to grow in the love that has been modeled for us by Jesus Christ, one that is self-sacrificing and unconditional. Please refer to the Wedding Music Suggestions.

Please complete the appropriate Wedding Liturgy Planning form for either a MASS or a WORD SERVICE OUTSIDE OF MASS.

Additional instrumentalists and vocalists may be acquired at your expense to enhance the music at your wedding liturgy, but these will have to work in cooperation with and under the ultimate direction of our parish Director of Music, Steve Grubiak. Contact.

 

WHEN WILL THE WEDDING REHEARSAL BE HELD?

Friday Weddings: Rehearsals are held on Thursdays between 3PM and 7PM.

  • Saturday and Sunday Weddings: Rehearsals are held on Fridays between 3PM and 7PM.

Rehearsals are conducted by the parish wedding coordinators and usually require about 45 minutes. Specific times for Rehearsals should be scheduled as soon as possible by calling the parish office at 508.432.4000.

 

WHO SHOULD ATTEND THE WEDDING REHEARSAL?
A rehearsal is simply that: a practice for those who will play principle parts in the Wedding Liturgy. Parents, grandparents and others who will be formally escorted into the church for the ceremony, attendants and all who will be in the wedding procession, those who will proclaim the scripture readings, and those who will take part in the offertory procession are expected to be present. For the good order of the rehearsal and maintenance of the respectful deportment that is appropriate within a church, other friends and relatives who may be attending a social gathering after the rehearsal should not be encouraged to attend the rehearsal itself.

 

WHAT SORT OF DECORATIONS MAY BE USED FOR OUR WEDDING?

Floral arrangements for the sanctuary are customary for weddings. However, any floral arrangements placed in the sanctuary to enhance the liturgy are more than a temporary decoration but instead must be considered an offering to God through the church and should not be removed after the wedding. Other decorations such as pew bows and arrangements may be used so long as the means of attaching these to the pews does no damage to the finish.  And under no circumstances can anything breakable or containing liquids be affixed to the pews. These decorations should be removed after the wedding by relatives or friends designated by the couple, or by specific arrangement with the parish wedding coordinators.
     Out of respect for the sacred space in which the wedding takes place, the strewing of floral petals or rice, the use of bubbles, or the release of doves cannot be permitted inside the Church.

 

ARE THERE RESTRICTIONS ON PHOTOGRAPHY DURING THE WEDDING?
Photographers and videographers are welcome to create a record of this important day in your lives. That being said, all professional photographers should consult with the celebrant prior to the wedding in order to be clear about how this might be done in a way that is unobtrusive and does not interfere in any way with the wedding liturgy.

Photography in the church after the wedding is not encouraged and, if inclement weather prohibits outdoor photography, a very limited number of shots may be arranged in the sanctuary, but only with the express permission of the celebrant and within the time constraints of the church’s schedule. Photographs on the parish property are allowed for a reasonable time after the wedding, but arrangements should be made in advance to be sure that access to the church is not obstructed for liturgies that may be taking place after your wedding.


Please refer to the Together for Life Form for your reading selections, complete and return two weeks before your wedding.