II. PLANNING THE WEDDING
The Pastor of St. Peter’s, Father Linsky, is responsible for all celebrations that take place at the church and is normally the celebrant for weddings. In rare circumstances, he may delegate another Catholic priest to celebrate Nuptial Masses or a Catholic deacon to officiate at Wedding Ceremonies (outside of Mass).
Will Ours Be a Wedding Ceremony or Mass?
A wedding ceremony at St. Peter’s may be either a Ceremony (without Communion) or a Nuptial Mass. The Nuptial Mass takes place between two Catholics. A ceremony outside mass is appropriate when one party is Catholic and the other is a baptized non-Catholic Christian or unbaptized person.
Every Nuptial Mass consists of a LITURGY OF THE WORD (Introductory Rites, Readings, the Homily, and General Intercessions/Prayer of the Faithful) and LITURGY OF THE EUCHARIST (when the bread and wine are consecrated and become Christ’s Body and Blood, followed by distribution of Holy Communion). The RITE OF MARRIAGE takes place after the Homily. For a wedding outside of Mass, the liturgy moves from the General Intercessions directly from the Nuptial Blessing, the Lord’s Prayer, and the final blessing.
Planning the Liturgy
By requesting to have your wedding at St. Peter’s, you are choosing a Catholic Christian wedding liturgy—not a civil ceremony or social event. Your wedding celebration will therefore be a public action of your faith as well as that of wider Church, which provides the basic form of the wedding liturgy.
The bride and groom may select the first (Old Testament) and second readings (Epistles) and the Gospel from a set of options given by the church. No other readings are permitted.
In keeping with Catholic tradition, the bride may leave a flower or bouquet at the Blessed Virgin Mary, asking the intercession of Our Lady as the bride and groom did at the wedding feast of Cana (see St. John 2:1-11).
The “Unity Candle” is not part of the wedding liturgy or tradition of the Catholic Church, and therefore is not used at St. Peter’s.
Planning the Music
All music at St. Peter’s is planned and coordinated through our Organist/Choirmaster, Andrew Kotylo. He serves as the organist for the wedding, guides in choosing appropriate music, and arranges for a cantor from among the church’s staff of professional singers. The cantor helps to lead any congregational singing during the ceremony and is generally available to sing solos.
Additional instrumentalists—trumpet, violin, harp, flute, etc.—can be procured by request and are subject to availability. In all but the rarest of circumstances, guest instrumentalists and singers (i.e. friends or relations of the wedding party) are not permitted.
Only music that is specifically sacred or otherwise deemed to have an appropriately reverent tone will be allowed. A separate list of suggested hymns, responsorial psalms, and organ music (with audio links) is available by clicking here.
No recorded music or accompaniment is permitted before, during, or after a wedding or rehearsal.
Order of Worship
A printed Order of Worship (program) is necessary for the congregation to follow the ceremony. It should include at least the words to the responses and hymns that the congregation will speak and sing. The members of the wedding party and other participants may also be listed. If you desire, for a fee of $100, the Organist will work with you to create a beautiful, functional program. This is strongly recommended if the ceremony is to be a Mass, with its liturgical complexities.
We ask the wedding party to provide two tasteful floral arrangements to flank the Tabernacle. If desired, an additional arrangement may be placed in front of the Altar.* These arrangements will serve as the flowers for that weekends Masses.
*While additional decorations may be placed on the ends of the pews, your wedding party must remove them immediately following the wedding ceremony. Should there be two weddings on a given weekend, we would encourage the bridal parties to mutually agree on arrangements and share costs accordingly.