The Sacrament of Marriage, or Holy Matrimony, is a public sign that one gives oneself totally to this other person. It is also a public statement about God: the loving union of husband and wife speaks of family values and also God’s values. If you are interested in getting married at Holy Rosary Church, arrangements should be made at least one year in advance BEFORE your book your wedding venue. Please contact the parish office to set up an appointment with a priest.
Parish Policy on Weddings
1. The Officiating Priest or Minister:
The officiating priest is responsible for the paperwork for your wedding. If you intend to request a priest other than one from Holy Rosary Parish, or the presence of a non-Catholic minister, you must secure prior approval from the pastor. If the officiating priest or deacon is not from Holy Rosary Parish, all the paper work for your wedding must be completed and returned to the Rectory office at least two (2) weeks prior to your wedding date.
2. Pre-Marital Formation Sessions:
The engaged couple will have at least three (3) or more meetings, as necessary, with the Priest from Holy Rosary Parish who will witness your marriage or with the priest who is preparing you for marriage. The pre-nuptial investigation will be conducted during the first of these meetings.
3. Pre-Marital Information Sessions:
The pre-marital instructions required by Archdiocesan policy are fulfilled through attendance at God’s Plan for a Joy-Filled Marriage, Natural Family Planning, and Pre-Cana sessions. A schedule for these sessions is available on the Archdiocese of Newark website, www.rcan.org or you can contact the Rectory office. You should make arrangements for these instructions as soon as possible, since the pace of your lives will begin to get more hectic as the date of your wedding approaches.
4. Documents Required by Church Law:
- 1. A new updated copy of your Baptismal certificate must be obtained from your Church of Baptism (not dated more than six months prior to your wedding date and not a photocopy) for each Catholic party. The Baptismal certificate must have a raised seal. The original or a new copy is acceptable for a non-Catholic party.
- 2. A Certificate of Attendance at the instructional sessions which is issued after you attend Natural Family Planning, Pre-Cana Session and God’s Plan for a Joy-Filled Marriage.
- 3. There may be other paperwork needed depending on any special situations pertaining to your marriage. The priest handling your paperwork will notify you of this during the initial meeting.
5. The Marriage License:
The marriage license is usually applied for in the municipality where the bride resides. In a case where the couple resides out-of-state, the marriage license must be obtained in the City of Jersey City. Wherever it is applied for, it should be done at least two weeks before the scheduled wedding, since it will not be issued until after seventy-two (72) hours. Once granted, it is valid for thirty (30) days, and it will be filed by the priest at the office of the Registrar of the City of Jersey City.
There are two types of witnesses:
A. For the Ceremony: The Best Man and the Maid (Matron) of Honor are the legal and canonical witnesses of your marriage.
B. For Your Freedom to Marry: If the priest does not know you personally, you will be required to provide witnesses who can testify to your freedom to marry. Two witnesses for each
party are required.
7. The Wedding Liturgy:
There are two (2) wedding liturgies to choose from:
A. The Nuptial Mass (Highly recommended for marriages of two active Catholics).
B. The WEDDING CEREMONY (without Mass). (For Marriages involving a
While certain elements of either liturgy are strictly necessary, there is great flexibility allowed in the planning of your wedding. You will be given a booklet called “Together for Life”, which is designed to help you to prepare for your wedding.
8. Dates and Times:
- Saturdays: No later than 3:00 P.M.
- Other days: Depending on availability
Please realize that in the case of Nuptial Masses there are some days where liturgical law would prohibit the celebration of the Nuptial Mass. Most likely you would not think of marrying on these days anyway (Christmas, Easter, e.g.).
Music for your wedding must reflect the sacrament in which you are participating. The following is quoted from The Vatican document, “Music in Catholic Worship” #82. “Great care should be taken, especially in marriages, that all the people are involved in the important moments of the celebration, that the same general principles of the planning worship and judging music are operative as other liturgies, and above all, that the liturgy is a prayer for all present, not a theatrical production.
Our Parish Music Director is Mr. Jakub Pasierb. You may call Jakub directly at (201)-893-0180. Please contact him at least three months prior to your wedding.
The Parish Music Director is responsible for the music at all weddings. It is preferred that soloists/cantors who work with the Music Director, be contracted for your weeding. All instrumentalists should also be contracted. If you wish to have your own organist, they must have an audition with the our Music Director, who will approve the music. In this case, our Music Director is to be paid a bench fee (his usual fee).
Your florist is welcome to call and speak to a staff member in the Parish Office for guide lines regarding floral pieces. Be mindful of how the church may already be decorated, i.e. (Easter, Christmas, Lent, Advent, Pentecost, etc.).
FYI- Runners are optional and are not required. Your florist can provide a runner for the aisle at his own price. Paper runners rip easily and can catch heels, therefore, a cloth runner is highly
If you wish to use the Wedding Candle, sometimes called the “Unity Candle”, this is fine. Please, note that the Wedding Candle is an option and is not required for the wedding. Speak to the celebrant for details.
The couple will naturally make their own arrangements with a photographer of their own choice. In the process of photographing your wedding it is most important that the dignity of the Sacrament of Matrimony be maintained. Therefore, the following points should be made known to your photographer.
- No one is allowed in the sanctuary or near the altar for the
purpose of taking pictures.
- No bright lights are needed in the church for the purpose of
video photography; the church lighting is sufficient.
- Before the ceremony begins, the photographer should consult
with the priest or deacon who will officiate the ceremony.
13. After the Wedding Ceremony:
A. Usually the photographer will not be allowed back into the Church after the wedding.
B. The Reception Line: Since most of those attending the wedding at the church will be going to the reception and will be offering congratulations there, a “reception line” in the Church vestibule may not be possible depending on the time of the next wedding or Mass. If there are people who are not going to the reception, they of course will be free to express their congratulations at the Church.
C. Other Items:
- Rice throwing, etc.: For safety reasons and tidiness in and around the church is not allowed. (We ask the couple to discourage their guests from throwing rice, confetti, bird-seed, etc.). There are many ways of expressing joy at your celebration other than rice throwing, such as bubbles, ringing bells.
2. Alcohol: Your wedding is the occasion of celebration of a Sacrament of the Lord Jesus Christ. Drinking alcohol before coming to the church is irreverent and can invalidate your marriage. Drinking in moderation after the wedding is a valid way of celebrating the social aspect of your marriage, but it must be confined to the place where the reception is held and should never be done on the Church premises or anywhere in the vicinity of the Church.
3. Departure: On Saturday afternoons, there may be two weddings, and there is always a 5:00 P.M. Mass, therefore, we ask that all limousines leave the Church area as soon as possible.
14. Offering to the Church
- For active, registered parishioners we suggest a Church offering of $325.00. 50% payment is due at the first meeting with the Priest.
- If neither the bride nor the groom are registered with Holy Rosary Parish we suggest a Church offering of $1,000.00. 50% payment is due at the first meeting with the Priest.
- It is customary to offer a tip to the Altar Servers, according to your good will.
- There is a fee of $50.00 to the custodian to set up and clean up the Church.
- The Music Director’s fee is $250.00, made payable to Jakub Pasierb.
Payments to each of the above should be made separately.
NOTE: The marriage license must be brought to the rehearsal. Please, make sure you receive the pink copy of your marriage license.