The Sacrament of Marriage
The marriage covenant prefigures the new and everlasting covenant between the Son of God and all mankind.
Through this sacrament, Christians signify and share in the mystery of the unity and fruitful love that exists between Christ and his church. Christian couples are to strive to nourish and develop their marriage by undivided affection in good times and in bad.
For every Catholic couple seeking the key to living a happy and holy married life, visit For Your Marriage – the perfect resources for living happily ever after. The site was launched by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) Committee on Marriage and Family Life.
Find daily marriage tips, quizzes, blogs, facts and figures, “must have conversations,” a personality audit, personal stories, the biblical roots of marriage, prayers, church documents, and information about marital sexuality and spirituality.
For more information regarding a Catholic marriage at St. Edward Parish, please contact the parish office.
Sponsor couples are married couples who belong to St. Edward Parish and are willing to share their experience while leading an engaged couple through a five session marriage preparation program. Training and material are provided. Please contact the parish office at 724-446-5197.
St. Edward Parish Marriage Guidelines
Congratulations and the blessing of almighty God to both of you as you enter upon the sacrament of matrimony. This sacrament is holy and sacred, worthy of much praise.
Matrimony is a covenant, by which a man and a woman establish a loving relationship between themselves, a partnership for life, and which of its very own nature is ordered to your well-being and to the procreation and upbringing of children. This holy covenant has been established between baptized persons and hence, Christ the Lord has raised it to the dignity and glory of a sacrament of his holy church.
We cordially invite you to read carefully and follow these guidelines for our parish.
Guideline quick links: Preliminary Information | Liturgy | Music | Other
I. Setting the Wedding Date:
A wedding date may be reserved by calling the parish office, but the date may only be confirmed after the pastor has met with the couple to establish their freedom to marry. It is advisable that the couples secure the date with the pastor before making further plans. In some cases, a Declaration of Nullity may need to be obtained. No wedding date can be reserved if a Declaration of Nullity is necessary.
II. Time of the Wedding:
If weddings are scheduled on Saturdays no later than 2:00 p.m. – No exceptions! Only one (1) wedding will be scheduled per Saturday. By diocesan policy, weddings are not scheduled on Sundays. It should be noted that there are some times during the Church year, such as Lent, when the celebration of a wedding is discouraged or not permitted.
III. Marriage Preparation:
It is the policies of the Diocese of Greensburg that every couple planning to celebrate marriage attends some form of marriage preparation. Couples can fulfill this requirement by attending the following (pre-registration is required):
- Sponsor Couples involve one married couple and one engaged couple. The couples meet in the home of the married couple over the course of several evenings that are scheduled at the convenience of those involved.
- Engaged Encounter is a weekend program that begins on a Friday evening and ends Sunday afternoon. This program takes place in the Greensburg area and is led by two or more married couples with up to twenty engaged couples in attendance.
- Attendance at a Pre-Cana session or sessions at a parish in or outside the Diocese of Greensburg.
In addition, the couple will take part in a process known as FOCCUS – Facilitating Open Couple Communication, Understanding and Study, which helps the couple deal with various issues prior to marriage.
IV. Meeting with the Priest:
A couple should schedule an appointment with the priest who will witness their marriage within six (6) months of the wedding. Prior to this meeting, the couple should obtain the following documents, which become part of the wedding file:
- Record of Baptism: All baptized parties must present copies of their baptismal record. The record of the Catholic baptism must be issued within six (6) months prior to the marriage date. A new certificate is required. If you were baptized in another parish, you must call that parish and request a copy of your baptismal record. Also, the non-Catholic party, if baptized, is required to obtain a copy of their baptism certificate.
- Declaration of Nullity: if one of the parties was married before, a copy of their Declaration of Nullity from the Catholic Church is necessary.
- Pastor’s Permission: If one of the Catholic parties is from another parish, they will need written permission from their pastor.
- Member of another Catholic Rite: If one of the parties getting married is a member of another Catholic Rite, (Byzantine, Maronite, Ukrainian, etc.) written permission from the respective diocese of that rite is necessary.
- Marriage Preparation Certificate: Received after a couple completes one of the marriage preparation programs.
Also, couples will fill out required marriage forms when meeting with the priest. These forms deal with biographical information as well as testimony of the intentions of the couples desiring marriage within the Catholic Church. If one of the parties is not Catholic, additional forms will be required.
|Church||$250 for active parishioners*|
$350 for non-parishioners
|Altar Servers (2)||$15 for each Altar Server|||
|Parish Organist/Soloist||$200||Robin Stahl, 724-446-1202|
* The term active is defined as someone who has been registered with the parish for at least one year and makes regular financial contributions to support the church.
Rehearsals are usually scheduled on the evening before the wedding liturgy. Rehearsals can be scheduled at a time mutually agreed upon between the pastor and couple. Rehearsals will be scheduled no later than 6:30 p.m. on any given day. All participating in the wedding liturgy must attend. The couple is to remind their wedding party that proper dress and conduct is required at the rehearsal. Rehearsals must begin on time. Since other events may be scheduled in the church before or after the rehearsal. If members of the wedding party are excessively late, the rehearsal will be conducted without them.
Sacrament of Reconciliation:
The opportunity to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation is provided for after the rehearsal.
The state of Pennsylvania requires a civil license for marriage. This civil license is to be obtained by the couple and delivered to the church office at least one week before the wedding.
- Liturgical Ministers:
The wedding is a liturgical celebration of the entire Church and Parish. The usual ministries should be represented. These include: lectors and altar servers. The parish will provide these liturgical ministers for the wedding. If a couple desires to have a member of St. Edward Parish who is trained in these ministries participate in their wedding liturgy, they are to simply inform the Pastor of their wishes. Lectors and altar servers from other Catholic parishes are permitted to participate in these roles as long as the Pastor of their parish verifies that they are currently serving in these roles.
Note: Those serving as flower girls and ring bearers should be of an age so as to be able to follow directions. We recommend, based on our past experiences that children be at least 7 years of age to participate in the wedding liturgy.
- Seasonal decorations in the Church may not be removed or altered.
- No decorations of any kind are to be attached to any candles or liturgical furnishings.
- Only fresh and natural flowers are permitted to be used in the sanctuary. Any flowers placed in the Sanctuary are to remain there after the ceremony as they are now considered thanksgiving offering to God. They are not to be removed! Two arrangements are expected, one on each side of the tabernacle. The arrangements are to fit inside the two white urns on the altar. (The vase height is 15″ and the vase neck is 9″ round).The parish will supply you with 2 plastic vases for you to take to your florist. These will fit inside our white urns.No artificial flowers and or greens are permitted. Please advise the Pastor or Parish Office who your florist is and what time they will be bringing the flowers to the Church.
- The throwing of or releasing of rice, bird seed, flower petals, balloons, butterflies, birds, etc., are not permitted on church property. (Bubbles will be permitted outside after the wedding.)
- Pews may also be decorated with floral decorations or bows, however, the use of tape, tacks, pins or wire is not permitted. Rubber bands work well for pew decorations.
Photography and Videographer:
- Those taking pictures or videotaping the liturgy are asked to remember that the wedding is first and foremost prayer and worship. The worship space is not to be treated as a photography studio.
- Photographers and videographers are to limit their movement and always be unobtrusive to the liturgical action. They should not enter the sanctuary at any time during the liturgy.
- Anyone other than the professionals taking the pictures or videotaping is asked to remain in their seat during the liturgy. We ask that this statement be placed in any wedding program.
- Videographers are not permitted to attach microphones of any kind to existing church microphones.
- Photographers or videographers are not permitted to move any liturgical furnishings.
- No photographs or videotaping is to occur in the sacristy prior to the liturgy.
- The priest will not do a “reconstruction” of the marriage rite after the liturgy.
- Any photographer or videographer is to consult with the presiding priest before the liturgy begins. There are specific requests that the pastor has that need to be clarified before the liturgy begins.
A Christian wedding is a liturgical celebration that in many ways is patterned after the Sunday Eucharist. Therefore, those present are an integral part of the celebration and not considered spectators but worshippers. They should be drawn into full, conscious and active participation in the wedding liturgy by prayer and song. The wedding liturgy is to focus on the sacramental encounter with our Lord. Because music is very important to this encounter, couples are asked to bear in mind the following:
- The Director of Music Ministry, Robin Stahl, will play for your marriage ceremony and must be contacted 4-6 months before your wedding to help you plan the music. She can be reached at 724-446-1202 or at the parish office 724-446-5197.
- Music texts must be consistent with Catholic teaching: “indeed they should be drawn chiefly from holy scripture and from liturgical sources.” (Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, CSL, 121)
- What an individual desires in the selection of music is not by itself the guiding principle in choosing music. Choices made must be based on sound liturgical, pastoral and musical judgments.
- Use of instrumentalists and soloists are permitted but they are limited to playing prelude music and music during the Preparation of the Gifts (for a Mass).
- The use of pre-recorded music is not permitted before or during the liturgy.
- Female members of the bridal party may arrive before the ceremony if they wish to dress downstairs in our parish meeting room. This room is available and should be cleared of all personal property immediately following the ceremony. St. Edward Church is not responsible for loss.
- Alcoholic beverages: absolutely no alcoholic beverages are permitted on church property. Limousine drivers are to be notified of this regulation.
- Drugs and Firearms: are absolutely forbidden on church grounds
- Programs/Worship Aid: permitted, but not required. They must accurately reflect the movement of the liturgy. They must be cleaned up following the liturgy.
- Following the liturgy, please remove all hangers, garment bags, boxes, pew bows, etc., from the church. The parish assumes no responsibility for them.