Celebrating the Sacrament of Matrimony at St. Procopius / Providence of God
Marriage reflects the covenant between God and his People; a covenant of love based on relationship and fidelity. If the marriage is lived in this context, the couple becomes a sign of Christ’s presence to one another, the community and the world. The marriage covenant is further strengthened and renewed whenever the couple gathers with the worshiping community to hear God’s Word and to share in the ongoing sacramental life of the Church. The Church joyfully celebrates every intimate partnership of married life and love. For we see in every Christian marriage a genuine call to holiness.
Marriage among baptized Christians constitutes a special sacrament. Lived faithfully and well, marriage between Christians is a real incarnation in the world of the never ending love of God for humanity, the unconditional love of Christ for his bride, the Church. The gift of the sacrament is at the same time a vocation and commandment for the Christian spouses, that they may remain faithful to each other forever, beyond every trial and difficulty, in generous obedience to the holy will of the Lord: “What therefore God has joined together let no one separate.”
This information will help you as you plan your wedding ceremony at St. Procopius/Providence of God.
You have asked to celebrate your marriage at St. Procopius/Providence of God. We welcome you most sincerely and offer our congratulations as you make a life-long commitment to each other. In celebrating your wedding at St. Procopius/Providence of God, you do so in faith, seeking God’s blessings on your wedded life. Keep upmost in your minds you are exchanging vows in a religious ceremony asking Christ Himself to witness your commitment. While there are many traditions and customs associated with weddings, we need to always be attentive to the religious nature of a church wedding and of God’s presence at your wedding. Nothing should detract from the sacredness of this holy event.
A. To celebrate your marriage at St. Procopius/Providence of God, it is normally expected that one of the parties, groom or bride, is a Catholic registered of St. Procopius/Providence of God, or that your family are registered members. Persons not members of St. Procopius/Providence of God and who, for good reason request marriage at St. Procopius/Providence of God, may be married in our church after review by the parish priest and with the permission of their proper pastor.
B. The guidelines of the Archdiocese of Chicago is a six month preparation program for this serious and life-long commitment. In asking to have your wedding at St. Procopius, you are accepting the requirements of this preparation which include:
1. Effort to attend Sunday Eucharist weekly.
2. Preparation sessions with the priest or deacon who will officiate at your marriage.
3. Participation in the Diocesan Pre-Cana or Engaged Encounter Program.
4. Completion of Premarital evaluation and discussion – The Catholic Couple Checkup or FOCCUS. (Both inventories are taken online). After you take the Catholic Couple Check Up or FOCCUS instrument online, you need to review the results. The results of the Catholic Couple Check Up are sent to you and your future spouse directly, and we ask that you have them forwarded to the priest or deacon who is preparing you for the Sacrament of Matrimony.
C. Special circumstances may require further preparation. (Examples: marriage of anyone under 18, marriage of those who were baptized but never raised as Catholics.) Every effort will be made to adjust to special situations and keep the preparation period to six months.
D. No wedding may be even tentatively scheduled if an annulment of a previous marriage is sought and/or in process. The final decree and completed counseling (if any) must be in hand before a date can be discussed.
E. Exceptions to the above norms can be made in cases of age, illness or usual pastoral circumstances as long as the intent of the guidelines is maintained.
A. Only a priest or deacon with faculties (permanent or temporary) from the Archdiocese of Chicago may officiate at your marriage. Normally it will be one of the parish priests.
B. Visiting priests or deacons in good standing are welcome to officiate with the explicit and written permission and delegation of the pastor of St.Procopius/Providence of God.
A. All planning must follow the norms of the Church and parish regarding the ceremony itself.
B. Saturday weddings can be scheduled at either 12:30pm, 2:00pm and 3:30pm. All scheduling is subject to previously scheduled events and the norms of the liturgical calendar (e.g. celebrations are not held on Good Friday or Holy Saturday).
A. Two official witnesses are required for valid celebration of Christian marriage. Normally, the best man and the maid/matron of honor serve as these witnesses. Witnesses should be at least 18 years of age.
B. The witnesses must meet with the priest prior to the wedding to complete the witness testimonial form. The completed form needs to be signed in the presence of a priest.
A. Music is an extremely important aspect of weddings and as such, must be planned thoroughly and thoughtfully.
B. We provide you with a list of musicians who have experience as music ministers at St. Procopius/Providence of God. You complete a contract with the musician, and you agree to the price to be charged by the musician. You are also responsible for paying the musician directly. Musicians: Daniel Roman (773) 225-0624; Melvin & Lissette Hall (773) 550-8854, Lucy Gamboa (708) 415-4207 and Alma Molina (312)259-2385
C. All music and hymns/songs must be church approved.
Photography and Video Guidelines
To maintain the religious nature of the marriage ceremony, the following guidelines apply to all picture and video taking at St. Procopius/Providence of God. The photographer should arrive early for the wedding and should check in with the priest to see what guidelines are to be followed during the ceremony.
1. Video cameras and operators are permitted in the choir loft.
2. Photographers must remain away from the center aisle at all times both before and during the ceremony. The only exception is during the entrance and exit processions.
3. The use of flash photography is discouraged except during the entrance and exit processions. Care must be taken by the photographer(s) not to block the entrances to the pews which will be occupied by the wedding party.
4. Picture taking after the ceremony is limited to 30 minutes. If another wedding is scheduled to follow, these photographs must be completed 40 minutes before the start of the following wedding. After taking pictures in the Church the wedding party can use the Guadalupe garden at the side of the Church to take more pictures.
5. The Sanctuary furniture and microphones must remain in place. The photographer will be responsible for any repairs needed if this rule is not observed.
A. The wedding couple is responsible for getting flowers for the altar.
B. You may put flower arrangements on the side of the pews but these must be removed by the party immediately after the wedding.
C. On the day of the wedding, the church is normally open one hour before the scheduled time, so it is expected that proper arrangements will be made with the florist for delivery within that time.
D. The florist and/or wedding party is expected to remove any boxes or containers used to cart flowers, programs, etc. from the premises.
E. If your wedding is scheduled to take place during a special liturgical season, such as Christmas or Easter, please note that any wedding arrangements must be planned around the decorations which are already in place for the season.
F. If there are special needs, please consult with the parish.
G. No birdseed, rice, confetti, etc. can be thrown inside the Church or on the sidewalk outside of the Church.
H. Use of natural flower petals as part of the entrance procession is not allowed.
The following is a list of offerings for St. Procopius/Providence of God Church.
1. The wedding offering for the Church is $700.
2. There is a non-refundable fee of $100 to reserve the time and date of your wedding.
3. Organist and music fees are contracted with the musicians and are paid directly to the musicians.
We recommend strongly that only those involved with the wedding ceremony come to the rehearsal (bride, groom, bridesmaids, groomsmen, readers of Holy Scripture, ushers, parents)
A. The rehearsal should be scheduled with the priest as soon as the wedding date is set. Since there may be more than one rehearsal that day, it is essential that everyone involved arrive at the church on time! With everyone’s cooperation, the rehearsal should last no longer than one hour.
B. If you have not already given the priest your marriage license please bring it to the wedding rehearsal.
C. Readers of Holy Scripture and Prayers of the Faithful will be provided the readings at the rehearsal.
As said in the beginning, all of these norms are meant to serve and emphasize the religious nature of your wedding and your marriage. The purpose behind them is to promote the dignity and respect of everyone involved in your preparations. When making any arrangements for your wedding, please speak to the parish office directly. Unless there is an emergency, do not ask family members to speak on your behalf.
Please plan to be an active member of St. Procopius/Providence of God or the parish community where you plan
to live. It will make your marriage more successful and will help the entire human family!
God our Father, in your own good care and wisdom we have come to know each other. We have come to discover something of the mystery of each other. We have come to love each other. Pour out your blessings on (name of spouse), whom I want to love for the rest of my life: blessings for safety, for strength, for joy. Help us as we form a family together to find a new way to love the families where we have been loved and nourished till now. In these hectic weeks and afterward, help us laugh when small plans don’t work out, and make us willing to support each other in real problems. Let us stay always secure in one another, secure in you and secure in prayer. Grace our relationship with the gift of your Holy Spirit, so that, day by day, our affection may grow into self-sacrifice, our passion into deep human care and our warm feelings into a lasting commitment. Bring to fulfillment the wonder of your ways which you have begun to reveal in us. We pray this through Christ Our Lord. Amen.
Living Faithfully The Sacred Scripture passage that many couples choose for their wedding ceremony is a marvelous blueprint for loving. Love is patient, love is kind. It is not jealous, love is not pompous, it is not inflated, it is not rude, it does not seek its own interests, it is not quick-tempered, it does not brood over injury, it does not rejoice over wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails. (l Corinthians 13: 4-8)
These words of St. Paul are worth daily meditation not only for their insight into the true shape of love but for strengthening our wills to follow this way of love. The love that he describes flourishes in faithful, stable relationships. This applies, first and foremost, to a woman and a man vow to be true in good times and in bad they are confirming a decision to love one another, but, as married couples have taught us, this decision to love is one we have to make over and over again, when it feels good and when it does not. It is a decision to look for, act on and pray for the good of the people we say we love.
It is a pledge of fidelity. Our world today needs living witnesses to fidelity. These are the most convincing signs of the love that Christ has for every human being. Couples who are living faithful lives of mutual love and support – though not without difficulties – have the gratitude of the whole Church.
-From A Pastoral Message; The U.S. Catholic Bishops to Families, November 17, 1992.