“The matrimonial covenant, by which a man and a woman establish between themselves a partnership of the whole of life, is by its nature ordered toward the good of the spouses and the procreation and education of offspring; this covenant between baptized persons has been raised by Christ the Lord to the dignity of a sacrament.” (CCC1601)
There are a few important steps to prepare for the Sacrament of Matrimony. To be married at Holy Ghost, either the bride or groom must be an active and practicing parishioner for at least one year before booking a date in our church or the parents of either must be an active and practicing members.
We know that many people from outside of our parish like to hold their receptions in Newport, however, with the shortage of priests, we do not accept non-parishioners for weddings.
Preparing for your wedding at Holy Ghost.
DO NOT book your reception before booking your wedding with the Parish Priest!
There are a few important steps to prepare for the Sacrament of Matrimony.
1. Appointment With the Pastor:
Make an appointment with the pastor 6 months to one year before your planned date of marriage. (DO NOT book your reception, before you meet with the pastor!)
2. Required Certificates
- Procure new copies of the following documents:
- Baptismal certificate
- First Communion certificate
- Confirmation certificate
- Birth certificate (for non-catholics)
Sacramental certificates may be obtained by calling the church where you received the Sacrament. If the church has been closed, call a nearby parish or the chancery of the diocese to enquire where the records for the closed church are kept.
3. Between Now and Your Wedding
One of the most important things you can do to prepare for the celebration of your wedding is to attend Mass faithfully each week and on Holy Days of Obligation. If you are not a practicing Catholic, we may postpone the celebration of your wedding until you are properly disposed.
After meeting with the Parish Priest
Now that you have met with the Parish Priest, you are ready to do more of your wedding preparations. The following information will help you prepare for your big day. Be sure to read and understand the guidelines for a wedding at Holy Ghost before the other steps.
4. Marriage Preparation Classes
If you have not done so yet, check out the latest Marriage Preparation Program Book for the classes required by the Diocese of Providence. We strongly suggest that you find dates that are good for the two of you and book them immediately. The marriage preparation classes fill up fast, so do not wait.
Meet with the parish music director, Fran Garrepy, to plan the music for your wedding. Our music director is contracted to play at all weddings at Holy Ghost. You can talk with Fran following any weekend Mass, she will help you to choose appropriate sacred music for your wedding.
6. Readings & Prayers
You may choose from the approved prayers and readings for the celebration of your wedding. The Mass consists of three readings. The first reading is taken from the Old Testament, the second reading from the New Testament and the Gospel. You may choose readers for the first and second readings. The Gospel is read by the Priest and the Psalm Response is sung by the organist.
As you select your readings and prayers, please note the numbers, so that you can fill out the Wedding Planning Request Form. Be sure to keep a copy for your records.
If your wedding is being celebrated outside of the Mass. You need to choose the Nuptial Blessing, which is listed with the Mass Prayers.
You may choose someone to read the First and Second Readings and the Intercessions. Please be sure that the person you choose is able to read clearly and with dignity. It is important that your readers have a copy long in advance so that they can prepare.
- Mass Prayers, Vows & Blessing of Rings (Note: we are updating, so the prayers are from the old translation)
Once you have chosen all of your readings and prayers, fill out the preparation form and eMail it to:
- Preparation Form (being updated)
7. Church Fees
As you have probably come to realize, weddings can become extremely expensive celebrations. Fortunately, one of the least expensive fees is that of the church. Our current fee is $200.00. This should be paid at lease one week before the celebration. This money does not go to the priest, checks should be made out to “Holy Ghost Church”. Altar servers should be given a gift of $10.00 each by the best man on the day of the wedding. The fee for our music director is $150.00. She should be paid directly prior to the wedding Mass.
8. Flowers & Decorations
Most couples wish to donate flowers to the church in order to decorate the sanctuary and to leave in God’s presence a symbol of prayerful thanksgiving for the gift of His love. Therefore, all floral decorations must be real flowers (no plastic, silk or artificial). Likewise, since the flowers are a gift of thanksgiving to God, they shall remain in the church after the ceremony. DO NOT remove any flowers brought into the church!
Flowers may be place on stands on either side of the altar, before the Blessed Virgin Mary, but never directly in front of the altar. The altar of sacrifice must always remain the focus.
If you wish to have a white runner in the main aisle, you may obtain one from your florist. The length of the main aisle is approximately 50′. Floral pieces at the end of pews are allowed, but due to fire hazards, candles along the main aisle are not permitted. Likewise, due to fire regulations, nothing can hamper a person’s access in and out of the pews at both ends. Therefore, it is forbidden to have ropes, ribbons or the like, that extends the entire length of the pews down the aisles. Individual bows or flowers are permitted on the pews as long as nothing is screwed, taped or tacked. You may tie or use elastic bands.
Although the Unity Candle is not part of the Catholic wedding ceremony, you may choose to have one. If you would like a Unity Candle, they may be purchased from Tally’s or many candle stores. If you have a unity candle, it may not be placed on or in front of the altar, a stand will be placed to the side.
Rice, confetti, etc…
Please be aware, we do not allow the throwing of rice, confetti, flowers or anything else. This is mainly out of concern for the safety of all people walking into our church. Also, we do not have weekend staff to clean the church and walks following your ceremony.
9. Pictures & Videos
Professional photographers/ videographers must meet with the Priest in the sacristy immediately before the wedding celebration. In order to maintain the sacredness of the Sacrament, photographers/ videographers are not to enter the sanctuary area and must be as inconspicuous as possible.
The rehearsal time and date for your wedding should be scheduled with the priest about two months before the ceremony. Many times, the priest has other appointments follow your rehearsal. Please be on time for your rehearsal. After the rehearsal is finished, it is customary for the bride and groom (if both are Catholic) to go to Confession in order to prepare properly and spiritually for the reception of Holy Communion at the Wedding mass. Other Catholics present at the rehearsal may also go to Confession, and certainly are strongly urged to do so.
11. The Wedding Day
Catholics are obliged to fast for one hour before receiving Holy Communion. Only water and medication may be taken during this time. It is never permissible to drink alcoholic beverages before the celebration of your wedding. Doing so may invalidate your vows. If we witness the bride or groom consuming alcohol before the wedding, the ceremony WILL be cancelled.
We request that your limousine driver not “pop” bottles of champagne in the front of the Church once the ceremony is over. It is highly inappropriate. It would be better if they simply serve you champagne in the car or pop the bottle at another place than the church.
If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact the pastor.