A Message to Our Engaged Couples,

The Cathedral of Saint Raymond wishes to congratulate you on your engagement and desire to be married; a desire entered into with a great deal of thought and prayer. To assist you during this exciting time, we present the following guidelines intended to insure a joyful, reverent and prayerful celebration of the Sacrament of Marriage within the context of the Church’s prayer.    It is our hope that the following information will make these days of preparation joyful for everyone.

The Sacrament of Marriage is an invitation from God for a man and woman to deepen their experience of the love of God by joining in a covenant relationship with each other.  The vocation of marriage requires that you enter into this sacrament with freedom and with full knowledge of the challenges, responsibilities and joys of married life.

Your wedding liturgy is an act of worship.  Every Sunday and Holy Day liturgy will be a point of strength as you continue your journey together as husband and wife. In choosing to celebrate the Sacrament of Matrimony, you are proclaiming God’s place in your spousal covenant.  Your marriage becomes a sign of the Blessed Trinity...God, husband and wife.  As such, your wedding liturgy will call all of your witnesses to a deeper encounter with God. It will remind everyone that marriage is a great sign, “the mirror of God’s everlasting love” (Rite of Marriage).

The prayers and best wishes of Saint Raymond Parish community are with you as you prepare to celebrate this Holy Sacrament before God and His people. 

                                                        The Cathedral of St. Raymond Nonnatus

General Information
Registered parishioners, sons and daughters, and grandchildren who have been registered and are active parishioners of the Cathedral for a minimum of six months may reserve a wedding date.

Scheduling of Wedding Date and Time

·  The Diocese of Joliet requires that arrangements for a wedding be made at least (6) months prior to the desired wedding date.

·  Due to other regularly scheduled services and Diocesan events at the Cathedral, weddings can only be scheduled at certain times.  Those times are:  Friday evenings at 4:00 p.m. or 5:00 p.m. and on Saturdays at 12:00 p.m. or 2:00 p.m. 

Because there are seasons of the Church Liturgical Year set aside for penitence and spiritual renewal, wedding celebrations are discouraged on Sundays, Holidays, and during Advent and Lent, without  the Pastor’s approval.  If approved, the level of the festivity should be somewhat subdued.

·  The date you have chosen for your wedding is a tentative reservation based on the couple and priest/ deacon arriving at the decision to proceed with plans understanding that each person is free to marry in the Catholic Church.

·  For persons under the age of 19, an interview with a Catholic Charities counselor, and the priest/deacon handling the arrangements is required.

·  For those previously married, a Declaration of Nullity or must be provided at the time of your booking in order to demonstrate that you are now free to re-marry in the Catholic Church.  This applies to all forms of previous marriage, whether by a judge, religious leader in another faith tradition, or a civil union. Please contact the Tribunal at 815.221.6169 for further information.

Scheduling of Rehearsal Date and Time

·  The rehearsal time will be scheduled at the time the wedding is scheduled.  The rehearsal is generally scheduled for the Thursday or Friday evening before the wedding.  Rehearsal times may  vary due to other scheduled services and Diocesan events.   The rehearsal lasts approximately 45 minutes depending on the type of liturgy and size of the wedding party.  In order to avoid interfering with other rehearsal or events, please be sure that you and your wedding party arrive on time.

Wedding Fees
Your wedding fee assists in covering the expenses incurred by the parish in helping you to celebrate your wedding day, such as the maintenance (including heating and air conditioning), cleaning of the church and grounds before and after your wedding and rehearsal, and the many staff hours needed to prepare the many aspects of your wedding.

     FEE SCHEDULE FOR WEDDINGS AT THE CATHEDRAL (all fees subject to change)

Fee Includes:        
(as a gift to our couples, wedding coordinators will be present to help assist on the day of the wedding and rehearsal.  Please take time to thank them.)

·  $ 1,000.00

          A $500.00 non-refundable deposit is required 30 days following booking. Remainder           of balance ($500.00) is due 30 days prior to scheduled rehearsal date.

· It is a customary and thoughtful gesture to provide the Priest/Deacon for your wedding with a stipend for officiating at your wedding.  While  there  is  no  set  fee, please remember that the Priest/Deacon of this most joyous celebration has devoted much time and energy in preparing to make this a memorable and beautiful service. As a sign of gratitude to him, a stipend is very much appropriate and most welcomed. The amount is at the discretion of the couple and is usually presented at the rehearsal.

· In addition two altar servers will be assigned to your wedding.  It is customary to provide a stipend for their services.  Please place altar server stipends in an envelope marked "altar server" and give to your wedding coordinator the day of your rehearsal.

Fees can be dropped off at the Parish Office during office hours , mailed to 604 N. Raynor Ave., Joliet, IL 60435 or paid online.


Required Documentation
You have chosen to witness the Sacrament of Marriage in the Catholic Church.  The Church is responsible for discerning your intentions and capacities for making this promise, and is required to assemble various documents.

Approximately three to four weeks prior to your wedding, you will both meet with a priest or deacon to assemble your file, complete the “Together for Life” liturgy form (located in the back of your booklet ), Prenuptial Questionnaire, witness affidavits, and be interviewed to determine you freedom and intention to marry.

You will need to submit:

1.   BAPTISMAL CERTIFICATES newly issued from your church of baptism and dated within six       months of the date you are to be married.
      · Photocopies of originals certificates cannot be accepted .
      · Non-Catholic Christians need to supply a record of baptism.

2. CONFIRMATION CERTIFICATES (for Catholics) newly issued and dated within six months of the date you are to be married.  Please note that records are oftentimes kept at the church of baptism, so one certificate frequently has both baptism and confirmation dates on it.

3. WITNESS AFFIDAVITS testifying to y our freedom to marry are required from both the bride and  groom.  The consulting priest or deacon will advise.

4. PRENUPTIAL QUESTIONNAIRE completed by the bride and groom with consulting priest or   deacon.

5. A CATHOLIC MARRYING A NON-CATHOLIC needs to complete an additional form which we will supply: Permission for Marriage of Mixed-Religion, completed by consulting priest.

6. COMPLETION OF PRE-CANA WORKSHOP AND FOCCUS INVENTORY the Facilitating Open Couple Communication, Understanding and Study Inventory - is a tool to help couples explore the many dimensions of their relationship and married life together.  This is not a test, but rather a tool for couples to explore areas of compatibility in incompatibility.  The FOCCUS Inventory will be distributed during your scheduled Marriage Prep Workshop.  This workshop is designed to deepen your awareness of the challenges of living together in Christian marriage. 

7.  A CATHOLIC MARRYING A NON-CATHOLIC needs to complete Permission for Marriage          of Mixed-Religion with consulting priest/deacon.

8.   PREVIOUS MARRIAGE if either party was previously married, documents must be submitted which prove the person is free to marry in the Catholic Church.  If widowed, a death certificate of the deceased spouse is needed.  If divorced, a copy of the Declaration of Nullity from the Church Tribunal must be submitted.  No wedding can take place until annulment proceedings are completed.

9. MARRIAGE LICENSE—obtained from the Will County Clerk’s Office located at 302 North Chicago St., Joliet, IL 60432, 815-740-4615.  You must show two proofs of age - one must be a certified copy of a birth certificate.  If previous marriage was dissolved by divorce, certified copies of the Final Judgment of Dissolution is required.  If previous marriage has been dissolved by the death of a spouse, a certified death certificate is required. Both parties must be present to obtain a license. Marriage license is valid the day after it is issued and remains valid for 60 days.  After you are married, the priest will sign your marriage license, and mail it to the County Clerk’s Office.  You can obtain a copy of your marriage license by contacting the County Clerk’s Office 15 business days after your wedding.

Because of the sacredness of the wedding ritual, and out of respect for God and the Church, you are agreeing to all parish wedding policies as presented by choosing to be married at the Cathedral.

· There are no facilities at the Cathedral for the wedding party to dress before the ceremony.

· The tradition of an aisle runner was developed to protect a bride's gown when church floors were often dirty.  That is hardly the case at the Cathedral.  An aisle runner can present a hazard to those who come to Communion during the wedding and as guests are leaving due primarily to the marble floors.  For this reason, it is preferable not to have an aisle runner, but if you choose to have one,  arrangements should be made with your florist to provide one.  The length of the aisle is 90 feet.

· While not a part of the official Catholic Rite of Marriage, couples may choose to light a Unity Candle at the wedding.  If a Unity Candle is to be used, it must be provided by the couple and the couple should take it, as a memento, after the ceremony. 

· At the Cathedral, we ask that brides and use prudence when choosing a wedding or attendant’s gown.  We appreciate your cooperation in this matter.

· The consumption of alcohol on Cathedral property before or after weddings is strictly prohibited.  If consumption is discovered, those violating this policy will not be allowed to participate in the Wedding.

· All weddings are expected to start at the announced time.  (Note: Any delay in starting will lessen the amount of time for pictures afterwards.

· If choosing to have an outside professional wedding consultant, their responsibilities do not pertain to the liturgy and they are not to interfere in any way with the responsibilities of the Cathedral wedding coordinators who has complete oversight of the rehearsal, ceremony, sanctuary and celebration of your wedding.

· Wheelchair seating is available the south east corner of the Cathedral.  

· Receiving lines and guest books are not permitted.  Please keep in mind your time constraints. 

Flowers and Environment
A basic rule for the Cathedral regarding your wedding environment is that “less is better.”  Keep in mind the grandness of the Cathedral.  In many cases floral arrangements tend to get “lost” within the Cathedral environment.

· Flowers may not be placed on the main altar itself. 

· For safety reasons, we cannot allow the strewing of flower petals or the use of a runner down the aisle. These items represent hazards that make our marble floors quite slippery and dangerous.

· Unfortunately the throwing of any items over the wedding couple as they exit the Church cannot be allowed for safety and sanitary reasons. This includes, but is not limited to; rice, birdseed, confetti, balloons, feathers, streamers, flower petals, and any other confetti-like substance/s. Your regard for the safety and maintenance of the church as well as for those attending the service is greatly appreciated. This is for the safety of your guests, parishioners and other visitors of the Church. 

· The use of wagons, signs, or pets during the wedding procession or recessional are not permitted.

· Lent begins on Ash Wednesday and remains until Good Friday. Due to the special nature of the  Lenten liturgical Season, flowers, pew decorations and any additional decorations need to be minimal in nature. Easter flowers are on display for six weeks following Easter Sunday. Christmas decorations are on display approximately two weeks prior to Christmas Eve until the second Sunday in January.  Please note that our Christmas Trees are not illuminated until Christmas Eve. The color of the environment in the Cathedral  follows the appropriate liturgy season and cannot be changed or removed.  We will not be able to move or remove any of the parish’s environment such as flowers, Lenten, Advent or Christmas symbols.

· When flower stands are used, they must be placed only toward the back corners of the altar platform to preserve necessary sight lines between priest, cantor, lectors and congregation.   Your florist must provide pedestals.  The Cathedral is not responsible for pedestals left behind.

· To prevent damage to the pews and other surfaces in the church we ask that nothing be attached with tape, sticky tack, push tacks, glue, wire or paperclips.  Plastic pew clips are preferred. Local Florists are aware of these restrictions.

· Flowers may only be delivered 30 minutes before the wedding ceremony.  The florist may deliver earlier if there are no weddings or events prior to your celebration.  Please have your florist call ahead.

· All flowers and decorations must be removed from church immediately following the ceremony.  You may present any donated flowers/plants to the Blessed Mother Shrine or
St. Joseph Shrine.

Photographer and Videographer are welcome to film the liturgy but may not impede or interfere with the ceremony. They will respect the sacredness of the religious event, and the church as a house of worship.  The will act and behave discreetly and reverently, taking care not to damage the environment by standing on pews or with their equipment.  Please give copies of these guidelines to each photographer and or videographer. 

·  Picture  taking  is to be discreet, with a minimal amount of movement during the liturgy.  Photographers and video cameras may not be on or near the altar, the altar steps or in the sanctuary.

·  Videographers are to bring their own electrical equipment. Any use of extension cords need to be positioned and taped down in such a way that they do not create a safety hazard.

·  Photographers and videographers are responsible for their own equipment. Please make sure you have not left any equipment in the pews after you are finished.

·  Church furnishings and /or any plant or flower arrangements may not be moved.

·  Photographers and videographers are not to interfere with the movement of the                     procession or recession by having the couples stop in the aisle,  or walk in front of the couple during the procession. 

·  Because of the Cathedral’s schedule, picture taking after the wedding is limited to 30 minutes.  This is especially so if there are 2 weddings scheduled for the day.  A late start your wedding will result in shortened or no photograph opportunities.

The Wedding Liturgy

The celebration of the Sacrament of Marriage, which is rooted in the Church’s regular worship life, is not a private family function, nor is it merely a social affair or a personal expression of you love for one another.  Rather, it is an action of the entire church in whose presence you commit yourselves to one another.  Every effort should be made to enable the assembly to participate in a full and active manner.  The liturgy is neither a show nor a performance and it is not enhanced by any design that creates passive observers.  Everyone present should be encouraged to participate by being able to hear, see speak, sing and pray.


The Sacrament of Marriage is a religious celebration that focuses, not only on the couple, but also on the entire community gathered.  The community of family and friends then, are not mere spectators but active participants in the liturgy.  Raising the question, of should you or should you not celebrate your marriage in the context of Mass (the Eucharist) or outside of Mass?  Normally, when either the bride or groom are not Catholic, the celebration of the wedding occurs outside of Mass.  To celebrate the Eucharist in a situation where a large number of those present cannot share in it, especially where the bride or the groom is noticeably unable to share in it, runs the risk of turning this very sacrament of communion into a sign of something that divides instead of uniting us. Remember to keep in mind that your wedding is liturgy, it is very important to make choices that are welcoming, hospitable and respectful of all that will gather for the communal prayer.

You will be provided with the book Together for Life , which, along with various prayers and blessings, contains those scripture readings most appropriate for use at weddings.  In consultation with the priest who will priest who will preside at the wedding, you will select usually three passages from scripture.  Non-scriptural readings or poems are never permitted in place of the scripture.

Music for the Wedding
Music for the wedding should be planned jointly by the couple utilizing the Cathedral Music Selection Form. emember that the Sacrament of Marriage is a liturgical celebration.  Therefore, one of the basic principles that should underlie your selection of music is whether the music is indeed liturgical music.  Popular songs and secular music, no matter how meaningful they may be to you, have no place in the liturgy.  They may be appropriately performed at your wedding reception.  For the wedding liturgy you’ll want to ensure the emphasis is on sacred music, which derives its context from scriptural and liturgical sources, and by its very nature enhances your union within the liturgical rites being celebrated.

The parish Director of Music serves as organist and/or principal musician at all Cathedral weddings.  As principal musician for the wedding, the Director of Music is entrusted with the responsibility of determining the suitability of musical selections within the context of the Roman Catholic wedding liturgy, and must approve all music and musicians chosen for the ceremony.  The Director of Music also bears the essential responsibility of ensuring the proper performance and timing of the various musical portions of the wedding liturgy. 

If you are planning a full mass with communion, a cantor is required, and only experienced Cathedral cantors are permitted to serve in this capacity at weddings.  This helps to avoid disappointment to the couple and their families since it ensures a desirable continuity with the church’s regular worship life, and protects the parish’s mission in terms of high quality liturgy.  It also helps guarantee that the service will go smoothly because presider, cantor, organist and instrumentalists are accustomed to working with each other as well as with the specific acoustical demands of the liturgical space.

Instrumentalists (trumpet, violin, oboe, flute, harp, trio, quartet, etc.) may be used upon approval of, and arrangement with the Cathedral.  Due to musical and liturgical requirements, only experienced Cathedral instrumentalists may play for weddings at the Cathedral.  If individual instrumentalists are desired, the Cathedral will secure their services. 



The Sacrament of Marriage
The sacrament of marriage is a visible sign of God’s love for the Church. When a man and a woman are married in the Church, they receive the grace needed for a lifelong bond of unity.

Marriage is a Covenant
The Sacrament of Marriage is a covenantal union in the image of the covenants between God and his people with Abraham and later with Moses at Mt. Sinai. This divine covenant can never be broken. In this way, marriage is a union that bonds spouses together during their entire lifetime.

The sacrament of Matrimony signifies the union of Christ and the Church. It gives spouses the grace to love each other with the love with which Christ has loved his Church; the grace of the sacrament thus perfects the human love of the spouses, strengthens their indissoluble unity, and sanctifies them on the way to eternal life. (CCC 1661)

The love in a married relationship is exemplified in the total gift of one’s self to another. It’s this self-giving and self-sacrificing love that we see in our other model of marriage, the relationship between Christ and the Church.

Marriage is based on the consent of the contracting parties, that is, on their will to give themselves, each to the other, mutually and definitively, in order to live a convenant of faithful and fruitful love. (CCC 1662)


Marriage Reflects the
Holy Trinity

We believe that God exists in eternal communion. Together, Father, Son and Holy Spirit are united in one being with no beginning and no end. Human beings, likewise, were created by God in God’s image for the purpose of communion with another human being.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church states, “The Christian family is a communion of persons, a sign and image of the communion of the Father and the Son in the Holy Spirit” (CCC 2205). The Sacrament of Marriage is “unitive, indissoluble and calls us to be completely open to fertility.” Christian marriage at its finest is a reflection of God’s self-giving love expressed between the love of two people.

God created man and woman out of love and commanded them to imitate his love in their relations with each other. Man and woman were created for each other…Woman and man are equal in human dignity, and in marriage both are united in an unbreakable bond.
(United States Catholic Catechism for Adults, Ch. 21, p. 279)

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