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 9660 1407.

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 they 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, but occasionally take place on weekdays and Sundays, according to the commitments of the University of Notre Dame Australia (on weekdays) and the Parish on these days.

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

A Nuptial Mass is one 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.

What is the capacity of the car park?

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 in parking stations nearby.

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). This cannot be changed. We are happy to advise couples of what they may 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 wish to get married here.  The Parish Priest is unable to celebrate weddings for couples residing outside of the parish, due to other work he has been appointed to and only celebrates the weddings of couples who reside in the parish.

Couples who do not reside here need to provide their own celebrant.  It is not the responsibility of this parish to find a celebrant for a couple being married here but residing outside of this parish. However, we will always be as helpful and supportive as possible whilst not being able to guarantee any efforts on our part, in assisting a couple to locate a celebrant for their wedding.

Booking fee

The church hire/booking fee is $800. 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 or via electronic funds transfer – the latter is the preferred payment method. 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. If you reside outside of the parish and have provided the celebrant for your marriage, your donation to your celebrant is a matter between yourselves and your celebrant.

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 would like the bells in the bell tower to be rung for your wedding, this can be arranged through the Parish Secretary who will be in touch with the Bell Tower Captain and bell ringers on your behalf.

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 the pipe organ in St Benedict’s Church for your wedding, this can also be arranged through the Parish Secretary. It is only organists appointed by St Benedict’s Church on your behalf who can play the pipe organ at your wedding here. A cantor (lead singer) can also be appointed to accompany the organist.

Should you wish to have a different kind of musical instrument (to the pipe organ) for your wedding (including an electronic keyboard) this is also possible and would be arranged directly by a couple but can also be discussed with the Parish Secretary.

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. The Director of Music or Parish Organist 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) first preference 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 responsorial 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

Confetti is not permitted in the church or church grounds due to the mess and staining it creates.

Rose Petals

Regrettably, rose petals are also not permitted, for the same reasons. The interior of St Benedict’s Church is carpeted.

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.