There is no better way to build a foundation for the life ahead of you than to celebrate not just the legal union of matrimony – but also the sacramental union of matrimony in the Catholic Church.
There could be no setting more beautiful than our church for a wedding ceremony. However, St. Mary’s is not a “venue” among a list of others. Couples choose to marry at St. Mary’s not just because it is beautiful, but because it expresses their deepest values and beliefs.
Couples who wed here receive intensive spiritual preparation for the Sacrament of Matrimony, involving multiple meetings with a priest or deacon, a formation session with a couple who has been married for 40 years and often a session at the regional Catholic center in Albany
(Diocesan Pastoral Center) where they gather with other couples who are planning to celebrate the sacrament of marriage this year.
Who is eligible to get married at St. Mary’s?
Any Catholic is eligible to possibly wed in our Church. At least one of the partners must be Catholic.
Do we need to be parishioners of St. Mary’s to get married here?
St. Mary’s parishioners have a right to be married in our church according to Church law. Couples from outside the parish are also welcomed to wed here, based on our availability and
their reasons for wishing to be married at St. Mary’s. When availability is limited, priority is given to registered parishioners.
What if my fiancée is not Catholic? Or not Christian?
A Catholic can marry someone who is not Catholic or someone who is not Christian as long as they have permission to do so (which comes from the Bishop of Albany) and are open to having children and are willing to raise their children in the Catholic faith. You can secure the bishop’s permission through the help of a priest or deacon during the preparation process.
Will my wedding be a Mass or a service?
The choice is yours. A Mass always includes the Consecration and the distribution of the
Eucharist. If both spouses are Catholic, there could be no greater blessing for your marriage. If your fiancée is not Catholic, it is often a better idea to have a service featuring the reading of scriptures and the vow ceremony, but without the Eucharist. Otherwise, many of your guests would not receive communion, which is not a hospitable way to celebrate such a holy day.
What is the preparation process for marriage at St. Mary’s?
We try to support each couple with a thorough process to prepare them for their lives together. It involves multiple meetings with the priest or deacon who will preside at your wedding in order to: plan the ceremony, complete the paperwork required for the legal and sacramental validity of the union and give some spiritual coaching for the vocational transformation you both are undergoing. In addition, you will have the chance to meet with a couple married more than 40 years about the spirituality and practicalities of marriage and the chance to be part of a master teaching session with other couples preparing to wed (traditionally known as “Pre-Cana.”) Only the master teaching session involves a fee (for materials and process costs).
What does it cost to get married at St. Mary’s?
Because we heat and cool the church, we ask for an offering of $100 to offset those expenses. Our music director will coordinate the music and asks a fee of $150 for her services. The priest or deacon officiating the service expects no compensation, but many couples wish to show their appreciation for the care they put into the preparation process and the details of the ceremony with a gift similar to the fee of the music director.
Does this sound like a Sacrament and a process that speaks to the hopes in your heart and the heart of your future spouse? We hope it does! If so, please call us at 731-8800 or fill out the form below, and let’s have a conversation as a way to begin.