Congratulations on your engagement! We are excited for you and look forward to helping you to prepare for your wedding day and, especially, a long and happy married life together. Because marriage in the Catholic Church is a sacrament, it is a community as well as a personal celebration. For this reason, Catholics should normally be married in their home parish church. Marriage preparation is a six-month process. Please contact us before scheduling or reserving anything else.
Finally, in the virtue of the Sacrament of Matrimony, by which they signify and share (cf. Ephesians 5:32) the mystery of the unity and faithful love between Christ and the Church, Christian married couples help one another to attain holiness of life in their married life and in the rearing of their children. Hence by reason of their state of life and of their position they have their own gifts in the People of God.
~Lumen Gentium, #12
The information listed here is provided to help you celebrate the Sacrament of Marriage here at Blessed Sacrament. We look forward to working with you as you make this step within the Christian community and in your Christian life.
I. Necessary Certificates
- A Baptismal certificate dated within six (6) months, and if you are a Roman Catholic, including the date of your Confirmation.
- A Marriage license from the City Clerk’s office, obtained by you prior to the wedding date.
- Room 202
Albany, NY 12207
- Room 202
- If you were married before, and the previous marriage was annulled, you will need to bring a copy of the decree of nullity.
II. Immediate Preparation
- You both will be asked to meet with the priest or deacon witnessing your marriage a certain number of times before the wedding. These meetings will cover the Catholic Christian concept of Marriage, include time complete the appropriate records and ask for any appropriate permissions from the Bishop’s office, and are an opportunity to look seriously at this important step you are about to take.
- You will both be asked to attend Pre-Cana or Engaged Encounter. You will be given information on this. It is up to you to make the reservations.
- We also encourage you to make the Sunday Eucharist a part of your preparation. It is from the Lord’s Table that you will be able to grow in faith and it is from this Table that your married life together will be strengthened.
- If either of you have been married before and the marriage was not annulled, no date can be set until there is a determination of your freedom to enter into a sacrament of marriage.
Please contact our organist, Mr. Ed Savoy, through the rectory to arrange the music for your ceremony at least two (2) months before the wedding. Please remember that this is a sacred celebration praising God for the love that you have for each other. Therefore, the music should reflect the sacred nature of the celebration. You may have a soloist or other instrumentalists of your choice; however, it is up to you to make these arrangements with Ed.
You are free to hire any florist you wish. Our aisle is 75 feet long, though a runner is strongly not recommended. If you are getting married during the Easter Season or around Christmas, you may want to choose flowers appropriate to the season. However, during Lent, we would ask you to respect the penitential nature of the season. In order to respect the sacredness of the altar, we ask that no flower arrangements be placed on it.
V. Time & Rehearsal
Weddings are usually scheduled any time Friday evening and on Saturday up until 2:00 P.M. or at 5:30 P.M. This is done in consultation with the priest. Rehearsals are scheduled by the priest and the couple. You are responsible for bringing the marriage license with you to the rehearsal. Your witnesses will be asked to sign it at this time. There can be no marriage without the license. The opportunity for the Sacrament of Reconciliation will also be offered after the rehearsal.
VI. Photographer and Picture
It is up to you to inform the photographer to see the presiding priest before the ceremony. The photographer or videographer is not to go into the altar area or use any additional lighting. Whoever is taking pictures or video is to remember that this is a sacred place and a sacred celebration he or she should also be aware of the time after the ceremony.
VII. Wedding Videographer
- Please arrive at least one half hour before the wedding to set up. Set up should be completed no later than 10 minutes before the wedding. Check with the pastor or associate pastor to set up camera(s) in designated areas.
- The use of special or additional lighting, including flashes, is discouraged.
- Once the Mass/Ceremony has begun, the videographer should not wander around. They are to stay in one spot.
- Furniture, i.e. chairs, tables, plants, etc., are not to be moved for the convenience of the videographer.
- At no time should the videographer walk across the altar area.
- No one is allowed in the choir loft (balcony).
- At no point should the videographer become a distraction or focal point for the congregation. The use of a video camera should not interfere with the flow of the Mass/Ceremony or the liturgical ministers, i.e. priests, deacons, altar servers, musicians, lectors, Eucharistic Ministers.
- When photographing the bridal party, either before or after the wedding, you are to be aware of the church’s time schedule. At no point should you interfere with other scheduled events.
- It is the responsibility of the videographer to pick up his/her equipment and supplies after filming.
- We appreciate that you will understand and respect these guidelines which have been set in order to make this a prayerful and special worship space.
VIII. Rice, Confetti, Balloons, etc.
Due to insurance reasons, to protect the environment, and for the safety of our parishioners, no rice, confetti, bird seed, etc. is to be thrown in the Church or on the steps. There will be no one available to clean up afterward. It is your responsibility to inform your guests of this policy.
- It is of extreme importance that all of you be on time. It is not fashionable to be late.
- Ushers should arrive half an hour before the ceremony to seat guests.
- The groom and the best man should arrive at least 15 minutes beforehand and wait in the sacristy.
- The bride and her party should arrive at least 15 minutes before the ceremony and wait in the back of the church.
- The entire wedding party is asked to respect the sacred nature of this ceremony. Therefore, the use of alcoholic beverages, etc., directly before the actual wedding is highly discouraged. This will avoid embarrassment to you and will avoid situations that could ruin your celebrations.
- If you decide to have a priest other that one of the parish priests witness your marriage, it is up to you or him to arrange the time, take care of all the paperwork, and take care of any other necessary items.
_____ Baptismal Certificates
_____ Marriage License
_____ Scheduled Rehearsal
_____ Contacted Organist
_____ Pre-Cana/Engaged Encounter
_____ Prepared Liturgy
You may live here, and so need to have the marriage preparation here at Blessed Sacrament, even though you are planning to be married in a ceremony elsewhere. Call us.
You nay live elsewhere, and will receive marriage preparation at your local parish, but would like to have your marriage ceremony here. Call us.
You and your fiancé may not be of the same religion. If you are:
- Catholic & non-Catholic Christian (Orthodox, Protestant, Evangelical)
- Catholic and not Baptized (perhaps Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, etc.)
then you may request a Dispensation for Mixed Marriage from the Bishop through the Diocesan Tribunal. Call us.
If you are looking for permission to be married in a non-Catholic ceremony, in a non-Catholic lace, or by someone other than a priest, deacon, or bishop, you may request a Dispensation from Canonical Form from the Bishop through the Diocesan Tribunal. Call us.
Perhaps you are already married civilly, in the state of NY or elsewhere, and would like your marriage “blessed”, what we call “Convalidation“, where your marriage vows are made again in the presence of a priest or deacon and receive the Church’s blessing. Obtain a copy of your Marriage License and call us. Also, please remember that in this circumstance it is best to refrain from receiving communion (unless you are living as brother & sister) until married “in the Church”.
If you are looking to obtain a Decree of Annulment from the Tribunal of the Diocese of Albany of a marriage or marriages, call us.
As marriage is until the death of one of the spouses, until it can be shown by the Tribunal that a marriage is null from the beginning, it will not be possible to attempt marriage again.
If your marriage was merely civil, and wasn’t officiated (or blessed later on, after the fact) by a priest or deacon, you will most likely require the shorter form of annulment. Call us.
If your marriage is a fully Catholic marriage, the investigation will need to go a bit deeper into your intentions and preparations for that marriage. Call us.