Marriage and Weddings

MARRIAGE and WEDDINGS
Policies and Procedures


Frequently Asked Questions
 

 1) Can I be married at St. Thomas the Apostle Parish (STA)

 2) Setting a Date for Marriage.

 3) Marriage Preparation.

 4) Music Arrangements for the Wedding.

 5) General Rules Concerning the Use of the Church.

 6) Obtaining a Marriage License.

 7) Wedding Rehearsals.

 8) Priest or Deacon who is Not on the Staff of STA.

 9) Church and Related Expenses.
10) Parish Boundaries

 

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1) You can be married at St. Thomas the Apostle Parish if you either:


a) Are a registered and contributing member of the parish for at least one year before the wedding date is set.


b) If the Catholic party (if both are Catholic then at least one of them) lives within our parish boundaries.


c) If the parents of one of the Catholic parties have been registered and contributing members of the parish for at least one year.


d) The Pastor has waived, due to special circumstances, the requirements set forth above.

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2) Setting a Date for Marriage.


a) The parties must contact the parish at least six (6) months before the date set for the wedding.


b) Only one date at a time will be reserved by the parish for a wedding.


c) Weddings are normally celebrated on Saturdays at either 11:00 a.m. or 2:00 p.m.


d) It is possible that there may be two weddings on a Saturday. This will require that the photographs for the first wedding be finished by 1:00 p.m. and that the second wedding party will have access to the church at 1:00 p.m. All afternoon weddings on Saturday must be completed (including photographs) by 3:30 p.m.


e) All marriage dates are contingent upon the completion of the marriage preparation and the freedom of the couple under canon law to be married.

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3) Marriage Preparation.


a) It is expected that all couples who wish to be married at STA will participate in an Engaged Encounter Weekend at their expense.


b) Each couple will meet with the priest witnessing the marriage for such other preparations as may be required. c) If the couple is being prepared elsewhere, the program must be approved by the Pastor of STA.


d) STA will prepare couples that qualify under the Rules of Paragraph 1 for marriage at another parish.

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4) Music Arrangements for the Wedding.

a) Part of the stipend for the wedding includes the fees of the organist and soloist. Arrangements for the music must be made with Gregg Reynolds, the organist for STA, at least three months before the wedding.  Contact information will be given to the couple at the time of the initial interview with the Pastor.  Gregg’s use of a harp will involve an additional fee.


b) Any other person who is to provide music must be approved by the Pastor. Any expense related to that person will be borne by the couple themselves.


c) Any music played or sung at the wedding must be of a religious nature. Any questions concerning the appropriateness of either the music or the words must be addressed to the Pastor.

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5) General Rules Concerning the Use of the Church.


a) No type of tape may be used on any of the pews. Hangers may be used, but bows are recommended.


b) No rice, birdseed, flower petals, bubbles or, for that matter, any object or item that may be thrown either in the church or outside of the church may be used. There are no exceptions to this rule.


c) If a wedding is to take place during either Lent or Advent, the decorations (including flowers) must be appropriately subdued.


d) With the exception of the Unity Candle (if used), no candle may be used in the church other than those provided by STA and normally used in the celebration of parish liturgies.


e) The couple, after consulting with the priest, may use a Unity Candle.  A Unity Candle set must be dripless and may be purchased at wedding or religious stores.  Under no circumstances may these candles be placed upon the altar.


f) During all rehearsals and wedding photo sessions, the church must be treated with respect.


g) If photographs or videos are to be taken, the person taking them must consult with the priest who is witnessing the wedding.

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6) Obtaining a Marriage License.


a) It is the responsibility of the couple to obtain the Marriage License.


b) This must be an Arizona Marriage License, which may be obtained from any Clerk of the Superior Court of any Arizona county.


c) The Marriage License must be brought to the church on the day of the wedding and presented to the priest before the time set for the wedding.


d) If no Marriage License is presented to the priest, the wedding will not be performed. (Note: If the couple has previously been married civilly and is now having that marriage convalidated in the Church,

then there must be a copy of the Marriage License which was used in the civil ceremony).


e) The lower portion of the Marriage License will be filed by STA with the appropriate Arizona county and the upper half will be given to the couple.

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7) Wedding Rehearsals.


a) The normal time for the wedding rehearsal is 5:00 p.m. on the Friday before the wedding. Due to parish matters or other scheduling conflicts, this time may be changed.


b) It is the responsibility of the couple to contact the priest performing the wedding to reserve the rehearsal date.


c) It is expected that all parties who wish to take part in the rehearsal will be present at the time designated. Rehearsals will not be delayed beyond 10 minutes.

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8) Priest or Deacon who is Not on the Staff of STA.


a) Permission of the Pastor is needed for any priest or deacon not on the staff of STA to witness a marriage.


b) If the priest or deacon is in good standing in the Diocese of Tucson, then he will be responsible for the preparation of the couple.


c) Any priest or deacon approved by the Pastor must also obtain permission of the Diocese to witness the marriage.

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9) Church and Related Expenses.


a) The stipend for the wedding is Five Hundred Seventy-Five Dollars ($575) payable as follows: $300 upon setting the date for the wedding and the remaining $275 no later than two weeks before the wedding. The check should be made payable to St. Thomas the Apostle Parish with a notation in the memo line indicating the last names of the bride and groom.


b) As noted above, this stipend includes the fees for the church, organist and soloist.


c) The couple may give whatever amount they decide upon to the priest officiating at the wedding.


d) Flowers are provided by the couple at their expense. As stated above, if a wedding is to take place during either Lent or Advent, the decorations (including flowers) must be appropriately subdued.

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St. Thomas Boundaries:

North – The Santa Catalina Mountains

South – The Rillito River/Tanque Verde Wash

East – West side of Sabino Canyon Road

West – East side of Campbell Avenue