Preparing for the Mystery of Crowning
|(Sacrament of Marriage)
Norms for Marriage
The pastor of a parish is the father of his spiritual
family and has certain responsibilities toward his
children. That is why the faithful call their parish
priest “Father” (Abouna). As such, it is the
priest’s duty to remind the engaged couple that
among their other responsibilities, spiritual ones
must play a major role. For this reason, the following
norms have been established.
1. The couple makes an appointment with the
priest to schedule a meeting with him at least six
months before they plan to marry.
2. At that initial meeting, the priest will determine
if both parties are able to have the Mystery of
Crowning (Sacrament of Marriage) celebrated in
the Catholic Church. He will also determine if
they are eligible to be married in the parish. At
least one of them much be a registered parishioner.
He must make his determinations based
on what he has witnessed and on information to
which he has access. More specifically, he must
see if both parties (or at least one of them) are registered parishioners of his parish. In and of itself that shows at least, that they have the intention
of being a part of the local “family of Faith.”
Through parish registration, parishioners have
the privilege of receiving all of the spiritual
benefits offered by the Church through their
parish priest. Of those, the most important, of
course, is the reception of the Mysteries
(Sacraments). On the other hand, a registered
parishioner is also bound by certain other
obligations: attending the Divine Mysteries at
the parish church on a regular basis, thereby
contributing to the spiritual bond which ties
the parish family together; and using the weekly
offering envelopes thereby contributing to the temporal responsibilities of the parish.
3. Seeing that a Marriage is a celebration of a
Sacrament, the Church prescribes that it is to be celebrated in a sacred place, that is, in the parish
church (not in a private home, reception hall,
garden, etc.). Marriages are usually celebrated on
Saturdays but arrangements for weekday
Marriages can also be made with the priest. It is
customary that an appropriate donation, according
to the means of the couple, be made to the
parish church and a stipend given to the priest
who celebrates the Marriage.
4. If the priest sees that the couple is able to be
married in the parish church, at the end of that
meeting, and not before, a tentative wedding date
can be established. The date is tentative because it
depends upon the fulfillment of all of the marriage
requirements listed below:
||1. Both parties must present an original Certificate of Baptism. This certificate cannot
be more than six months old and can easily be obtained by contacting the church of
2. If one of the parties is not a member of the
parish, a letter from their parish priest must be
presented stating that they have never been
married. If the party is unknown to the parish
priest, then two witnesses, who have known
the party for several years, must come to the
priest to sign affidavits that the party has never
been married before, either in a Catholic ceremony, another church ceremony, or by the civil authorities.
3. The couple must attend together the marriage preparation classes required by the
Church. Information regarding these classes will be given to the couple by the priest.
4. A civil marriage license from the civil
authorities, must be given to the priest at least
seven days prior to the celebration of the
1. Music for the ceremony must be liturgical
in nature (no pop tunes or movie themes) and
must be approved by the celebrating priest.
Recorded music may not be used in the
2. Wedding dresses for the bride and her
attendants must be modest (no bare shoulders
or plunging necklines), or include a jacket.
3. Flowers for the church should be appropriately
placed in consultation with the celebrant.
4. Confetti, rice, balloons, bubbles, doves,
unity candles and anything else that detracts
from the sacredness of the Sacrament are not
permitted in or outside the church.
5. The Parish schedule is usually very tight so
the parties must be on time for the celebration
of their wedding. In consideration of practical
circumstances and as a matter of courtesy, the
priest and the guests should not have to wait
more than 10 minutes for the bride to arrive.
6. Marriages are never celebrated during Lent,
unless there is a very serious reason to do so.
1. Photographers (both still photos and
videography) are to contact the celebrant at
least two weeks prior to the ceremony for
2. The church does not prepare service
leaflets/programs, but arrangements for
such may be made with a professional
3. All musicians, including soloists/choir,
for your ceremony must be approved by the
celebrant. We can provide an organist and
cantor for your ceremony if you wish (SEE
Stipends & Offerings on the back page of this
4. The Cathedral of Our Lady of Lebanon
is happy to offer you the use of our Parish
Hall for your reception. Outside caterers
may be used. The Hall seats 250 for a
formal dinner; 300 for a stand-up reception.
Please call the Cathedral Office for further
Stipends & Offerings
Use of the Cathedral for your Wedding:
Registered & active parishioners $250 (suggested),
Non-active parishioners $500,
Outside parties (non-members) $750.
Suggested stipend for the celebrant $100.
$200 (which includes prelude and postlude music,
the processional and retiring procession). $75 is
required for accompanying a soloist, or rehearsal of any kind. All fees should be submitted to the Cathedral office one week prior to your wedding.
Parish Hall Rentals:
Active parishioners: $1,000
Non-active parishioners: $1,500
In all cases, the use of the hall is limited to six hours (including set-up time).