Marriages

Marriages

The following information is intended to answer practical questions concerning the arrangement of your wedding. Please read it carefully so that there is no confusion about your use of the St Benedict’s Church.

Marriage celebrant

Couples who are not parishioners need to arrange for their own Catholic priest or deacon. A definite booking will not be taken until these details are provided. We are able to assist with advice about possible celebrants.

Bookings

The sacrament is normally celebrated on Saturdays, between 10.00–11.00 am. or 2.00–3.00 pm. Enquiries about bookings can be made by phoning the Parish Secretary on 8204 4378 on Mondays, Tuesdays or Thursdays during office hours.

Preparation

Before you begin planning your wedding, you will need to take part in a marriage preparation program which is available at:

The Catholic Adult Education Centre
3 Keating Street
Lidcombe, NSW 2141
Phone: 9643 3660
Email: info@caec.com.au
Web: www.caec.com.au

What Faith must I be?

At least one party must be a Catholic and in the case of mixed marriages the non-Catholic party needs to accept that the Catholic party has the responsibility of doing all that (s)he can to pass on the faith tradition.

Should Catholics who want to get married in the Church be going to Mass every Sunday?

Catholics preparing for Marriage do well to participate in the life of the Church because by doing so they exemplify the purpose of getting married. They do this because marriage is not only a commitment to God and one another but a public witness to their faith.

What dates are suitable for weddings at St Benedict’s Church?

Weddings take place on Saturdays, or, if I am available, on other days of the week, but please note that due to the number of Masses that take place every Sunday it is not possible to have weddings on Sundays.

What is the difference between a Nuptial Mass and a Wedding Ceremony?

A Nuptial Mass is where a Wedding Ceremony takes place within the celebration of the Mass which means that it includes the Liturgy of the Eucharist. It is about one hour in duration. A Wedding Ceremony is about forty minutes in duration as it does not take place within the celebration of Mass. It still includes the wedding ritual of the Church during which you express your consent (that is, exchange your wedding vows). Both services also include readings from Scripture and a homily.

How do we plan our wedding?

We hope your wedding will be a prayerful, faith-filled expression of your commitment to each other. To that end, assistance will be provided to help you and your guests to participate in a full active and conscious way that is appropriate. Resources will also be given to you to enable you to tailor your wedding according to your preferences as there are a number of Scripture Readings, prayers and other elements that you can choose from.

What is the church’s seating capacity?

The church comfortably seats 200 people. Space is available for additional seating, however, it will be up to you to hire additional chairs if you require them.

What is the car park’s capacity?

There is room in the grounds of St Benedict’s Church for only four or five cars.  For this reason only cars for the bridal party and for the disabled may park in the church grounds. Guests can park in the surrounding streets or the nearby Broadway Shopping Centre which allows for free parking for those who park their car for less than three hours.

For further information about Marriage in the Catholic Church – frequently asked questions, please go to  http://www.acmfc.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/MarriageFAQsweb.pdf

Terms & Conditions

Use of St Benedict’s Church

St Benedict’s Church is a sacred place of worship. For this reason it is not merely a venue for hire. We request you to respect this. Furthermore, the Church’s Liturgical Calendar often requires changes to the dressing of the Sanctuary and other places (such as the veiling statues for Lent), and that this dressing cannot be changed for the sake of convenience. We would be happy to advise people of any likely clashes to what they might expect the Church to look like when planning a date.

Celebrant

St Benedict’s Church receives a very large number of requests from couples who want to get married here.  The Parish Priest is unable to do all of the weddings because he has been appointed by the Archbishop of Sydney to do other work outside of this parish.  He only celebrates the weddings of couples who reside in the parish while couples who do not reside here need to provide their own celebrant.  The parish can provide you with some assistance to find a celebrant, however, since we receive a very large number of requests, we cannot guarantee that our efforts will be successful.

Booking fee

The church hire/booking fee is $700. This booking fee helps St Benedict’s Parish maintain the church given that it is the oldest consecrated church in Australia. Your booking cannot be confirmed until:

(i) you have either paid a 50% of the booking fee or the full amount;

(ii) the priest you have asked to be your celebrant has confirmed his availability to the Parish Secretary; and

(iii) your wedding papers are complete.

To finalise your booking all fees must be paid no later than one month prior to your wedding ceremony date. The church hire/booking fee is payable by cash, or cheque made out to St Benedict’s Catholic Parish. For further details please contact the Parish Secretary, on (02) 8204 4378. You are welcome to provide a donation to the Celebrant to thank him for his services.  Please note that the fees paid to the Organist, Bell Ringers and any other musicians are not included in the church booking.  Please also note that these fees are Goods and Services Tax (GST) free and the receipt is not tax-deductible.

No refund of deposit

No refund will be given for your deposit if you chose to cancel your wedding booking. However, if you cancel your wedding after you have paid for it in full you will receive a complete refund, except for your deposit.

Church bells

If you want the bells in the bell tower to be rung you will need to make a private arrangement between yourselves and St Benedict’s Bell Tower Captain through the Parish Secretary. If you would like to make arrangements for anyone other than St Benedict’s Bell Ringers to ring the bells please do not do so without contacting him first as I have asked him to be responsible for the bells.

PA System

You must not change any of the church’s PA settings. Much effort has been made in adjusting the PA system so that the sound in the church is at its optimum setting.

 Music (live or recorded)

It is only permitted to play music which is appropriate to the Sacrament of Marriage in a Christian setting at St Benedict’s Church. Some people have a particular desire to play a popular song from a secular artist which has some sentimental value to them, which while good in itself, is not suitable for use in a church. “Why can’t I have this music played at my wedding?” is a question that is sometimes asked. While you have every reason to be excited about your wedding, the music which is played needs to be sympathetic to the sacrament which you will be receiving not only as an individual, but within the faith community’s public act of worship.

A good solution for those who request to play popular and/or secular music at their wedding is to make arrangements to have it played at their wedding reception.

If you would like an organist to play music, we do ask that you give preference to the Parish Organist and our pipe organ. Likewise, if you would like a choir or cantor to sing at your wedding, preference should be given to St Benedict’s Parish’s Choir or one of its cantors.

Church Organ and Choir and/or cantors

The Parish Secretary can put you in touch with St Benedict’s Organist. He will be able to assist you with any inquiries you have about the use of the church’s pipe organ. If you would like to make arrangements for anyone other than the Parish Organist to play the organ you must first contact him as I have asked him to be accountable for the parish organ. For information about St Benedict’s Choir and/or cantor(s) and the choice of music in the church in general you will need to contact the Director of Music. This you can also do through the Parish Secretary. He will assist you to make arrangements for the Choir and/or cantor(s) to sing during your wedding if you would like such vocal accompaniment. In doing so you will be asked to give St Benedict’s Choir and/or cantor(s) the first right of refusal as their service in music is part of this Parish’s identity and heritage.

 

Non-Scriptural Readings in the wedding ceremony

The General Instruction of the Roman Missal, No. 57 states “It is unlawful to substitute other, non-biblical texts for the readings and responsiral Psalm, which contain the word of God.”  It may  be possible, however, to include non-Scriptural readings in other parts of your wedding ceremony (i.e. outside the Liturgy of the Word) provided it is approved by the celebrant of your wedding.

Flowers

There is no restriction on flower quantity or colour at St Benedict’s Church. However (i) no flowers can be placed in the church during the Season of Lent (Lent begins on Ash Wednesday and concludes with the Easter Vigil); (ii) flower arrangements are not permitted to be placed directly on the altar. It is permitted to place arrangements directly in front of the altar on the floor. Otherwise floral arrangements are permitted to be placed anywhere else in the church; (iii) it is regretted that pew decorations are not allowed unless tied to pews (that is, no adhesive substances, pins, tacks, etc); and (iv) it is the usual practice within Church tradition to leave the flowers that are placed near the altar in the church after a wedding.

Confetti

These are not permitted in the church or church grounds as it causes great inconvenience to others, especially in wet weather and it time consuming to clean.

Photography

Photographers and Video Recorders are permitted providing they are unobtrusive.  Being unobtrusive means they must not: (i) enter the sanctuary; (ii) move across the middle isle (i.e., move from one side of the church to the other), unless they walk behind the congregation; or (iii) go up to the choir loft without the written permission of the Parish Priest.  As a courtesy, all photographers must see the celebrant before the wedding starts.

Security

Please ensure that all vehicles are locked and valuables are kept out of view. St Benedict’s Parish will not be responsible for any loss or damage due to criminal activity.

All those who are involved in your wedding

It is your responsibility to make all the individuals who are involved in planning, assisting and celebrating your wedding aware of these terms and conditions.

Family History Research

For information on family history research, click here.