“As you know, you are about to enter into a union which is most sacred and most serious, a union which was established by God himself…requiring of those who enter into it a complete and unreserved giving of self.” (Exhortation before marriage, taken from the Old Roman Ritual)
The church takes seriously its commitment to you and the process of preparing you for this wonderful Sacrament. This is evidenced by the Church’s desire to provide a meaningful preparation to those seeking to exchange their vows within a Catholic Church.
For a wedding to be celebrated in the Diocese of Rockford, both individuals must be at least 19 years of age at the time of the wedding. In addition, in order to be married at the Newman Catholic Student Center, the bride, groom, or a parent must be a registered parishioner at Christ the Teacher University Parish or a student at NIU. Preparation for a Catholic wedding ceremony takes place in steps over a period of at least six months. These steps are outlined here and explained in detail on the following pages. If you have any questions, please contact Marcia Feltes at email@example.com
Newman Catholic Student Center also has a wedding coordinator to help you will your plans. The Newman wedding coordinator will not only meet with you to walk you through the basic planning for your wedding, but will assist at the rehearsal and the day of the wedding. Among other things, the wedding coordinator will meet with you to help choose the readings and answer questions, will be at the rehearsal, and will be at the church before your wedding takes place to accept flowers, show bridal party where to dress, and assist the priest in preparing for the wedding. Please email or call the wedding coordinator, Kathy Cebulski at firstname.lastname@example.org 815-895-4552) to set up a meeting.
The Steps of Marriage Preparation
Step One: Initial interview with the priest. (At the bottom of this page is a form to submit to request a meeting with Father Manno.)
Step Two: Participate in “FOCCUS”
FOCCUS (Facilitating Open Couple Communication, Understanding, and Study) will help to identify strengths and weaknesses in your relationship. This is administered by the priest and will take place on the first or second visit. You will discuss the results at a later date with your priest.
Step Three: The Educational Process
The Gift of Self Seminar is an opportunity for engaged couples to give meaningful insight into Church teaching on marriage and family, with an emphasis on human sexuality and family planning. Register by contacting the Diocesan Office of Family Life using the link below.
“A religious wedding ceremony indicates a religious commitment of faith. Since the bride and groom are the ministers of this sacrament, it is their faith which is deepened and shaped by this celebration of the sacrament. All the various choices allowed in the ritual should reflect the fact that the wedding ceremony is a public commitment (not merely a private action), a sacred covenant being entered into by this couple within the act of worship.” (Diocesan Marriage Preparation Policy)
In planning your wedding ceremony, great care should be taken to blend the uniqueness of your love for each other and the richness of the Catholic Liturgy. This can be accomplished if the priest, the musicians, the wedding coordinator and the couple work closely together in creating the wedding ritual. In preparing the ceremony, you are encouraged to choose the scripture readings, prayers, and blessings which will be used at your wedding from those approved in the Catholic ritual for marriage.
In selecting music which is appropriate for your Catholic wedding, it should be kept in mind that music must enhance the flow of the ritual. It must never impede the ritual’s rhythm. Please keep in mind that three judgments should be made: 1) the Liturgical Judgment – the music, and especially the lyrics, should be appropriate to a service of worship and should fit the moment in the ritual in which the music is used; 2) the Musical Judgment – the music should be technically, aesthetically, and expressively good; 3) the Pastoral Judgment – music should enable the people who gather for this occasion to express their faith through active participation in this celebration.
When applying these judgments, you will find that some songs – even some which have been widely and regularly performed at weddings in recent times – are unsuitable. Their lyrics are limited to a personal dialogue between two lovers, which in effect negates the communal dimension of worship. In addition, they neglect and ignore the fundamental nature of Christian marriage: the celebration of God’s love and the sacramental love a man and a woman share. Finally, the lyrics can violate the form of liturgical language, neither representing God’s speaking to human beings, nor human beings addressing God.
Step Five: The Celebration of the Wedding
The wedding rehearsal usually takes place on the Friday at 6:00 pm the day before the wedding date. Please schedule the time with the priest or wedding coordinator when you have finalized the wedding date. If you need the Knox room to hold your Rehearsal Dinner, please contact Marcia Feltes at email@example.com to reserve the room. To use this room, you would need a Certificate of Liability from your homeowners insurance company naming Christ the Teacher University parish as an additional insured to cover any injury or accident that may occur. If you plan on serving alcohol, you would need an additional Liquor Liability Insurance certificate.
The entire wedding party, parents of the bride and groom, and all others involved in the liturgy (readers, gift bearers, etc.) should be in attendance. This is an opportunity to walk through the ceremony and have any questions or concerns answered.
Since the Church is a holy place, please use the highest form of respect when present. Please make your wedding party aware of this expectation prior to arriving at the church. No food, gum, or beverage is allowed in the church, and men should remove hats/ball caps, etc. Alcohol and illegal drugs are not permitted on the Newman Center grounds. If these requests are ignored, the wedding will not proceed.
In the church:
- All photographers and video camera operators are asked to speak with the Priest or the Wedding Coordinator of the Newman Center regarding camera placement and other restrictions. - The professional photographer/video camera operator may take formal pictures prior to or following the ceremony. Due to time restrictions, pictures may be taken until twenty minutes before and must conclude by 3:30 pm. - Please do not move church furniture without prior permission. - During the ceremony, pictures may be taken of the processional and recessional only from the carpeted areas, not from the sanctuary steps. - For the remainder of the ceremony the photographer and video camera operator must remain near the rear of the church by the baptismal font, or along the aisles farthest from the altar. It is important that the sacrament of marriage taking place is notdistracted or disturbed by the photographer. - Flash photography is not allowed.
Floral and General Church Information
Flowers- - No dropping of real rose petals. Silk flowers may be scattered by the flower girls as part of the procession. - Altar flower may not be taller than the altar. - All ribbons, bows, trash, and food must be picked up and removed after the wedding ceremony; dumpsters are located behind the building. - Silk flowers may be scattered by the flower girl as part of the procession. - Altar flowers may not be taller than the altar.
General Info- - Please do not leave any of your belongings at Newman between the rehearsal and the wedding. If you do so, the Newman Center will not be responsible for any losses incurred. - Nothing may be moved without permission. - Nothing may be thrown (rice, confetti, birdseed, etc.) in the church or on the church property. Bubbles may be used outside. - If young children will be present at the rehearsal, please make childcare arrangements.
Use this payment schedule to assist you when you are paying fees. Please make each check payable to the appropriate person. Checks are due in the Newman office on the Monday before the scheduled wedding.
A payment schedule is included below for your convenience. The clean-up deposit will be refunded to you after the wedding coordinator has ensured that everything from your wedding has been picked up (trash, ribbons, bows, etc.); we will either shred the check unless you provide a self-addressed, stamped envelope for return.
Newman Catholic Student Center: $200 Refundable Clean-up Deposit: $100 Presider: $150 (suggested) Fr. Kyle Manno, Fr. Robert Gonnella, Deacon Jim Dombek Musicians: Contact Music Director Wedding Coordinator: $125.00