The Catholic Church desires couples enter the vocation of a joyful marriage equipped to weather the challenges of life and share the meaning of a loving, Christ-centered relationship. When a couple recites their marriage vows before God and the community of faith, they are entering into a covenant with each other, God and the Christian community. Thus, the Sacrament of Marriage is, as St. Paul teaches, a mystery symbolizing Christ’s own love for His Church.
Before you can begin the process of planning a marriage ceremony at St. Peter’s, we will need to ensure a few things. First, either the bride or groom must be a practicing Catholic and have been a registered participating member of St. Peter’s for at least six months. More specifically, this means that the Catholic party regularly attends Mass on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation and uses the envelope system or online giving in order to financially support the Church and her ministries. This active participation in the life of the Church helps us to know you both take your faith seriously and truly desire to enter into a lifelong, intimate, and sacramental partnership of love with God and each other.
Once the above is established, the first step for the engaged couple is to make an appointment with our Pastor, Father Gary Linsky, through his assistant, Mrs. Lesley Stuart. Lesley may be reached by calling the Church office at (803) 779-0036 or via email, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Father Linsky is personally involved with marriage preparation. He will help discern the couple’s freedom and readiness for marriage. For example, prior marriages are a very real concern and need to be addressed before you can proceed. This means that persons having a prior marriage—civil or religious—must have obtained an annulment from the Catholic Church before a wedding in the Church may be contemplated. Many people are confused about this which is why it is important you speak with Father Linsky about prior marriages during your first meeting.
Additionally, Father Linsky will help you spiritually prepare for the wedding and marriage and assist you in fulfilling all the necessary administrative requirements of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Charleston. As information, the Catholic Church generally requires a preparation period of at least six months prior to the wedding to take care of necessary paperwork and marriage preparation. Our Parish requires that all engaged couples participate in the pre-marriage counseling taught by Father Linsky.
In addition to our Pastor, once you have an approved wedding date on the Church calendar, you will be expected to meet both with our Wedding Coordinator and our parish Organist/Choirmaster. The Wedding Coordinator will help you plan the ceremony and address logistical issues. The Organist will aid you in choosing the appropriate music for your wedding Mass or ceremony.