Indeed, so important is marriage in Christian life that it is called a sacrament.
We take great care that the prayer for this special moment is reverent, graceful, beautiful and open to the movement of God’s Spirit among us. Our celebrations of the sacraments, marriage included, are always rooted in listening to the scriptures so that we can be nourished and strengthened by God’s word.
Always we celebrate the sacraments as a community. We gather our brothers and sisters in faith and ask for their prayerful support. These celebrations are incomplete unless they are filled with song, with prayerful gestures and with the silence in which we hear the voice of God in our lives.
In this spirit, Saint Lawrence Parish provides the following guidelines for celebrating marriage in the building which shelters the prayer of our community.
Preparing for the wedding ceremony is just part of the preparation that needs to be done. This booklet will provide you with the information you need to begin preparing for your married life.
Who may marry in our Parish Church?
The answer to this question is governed, in part, by the Code of Canon Law of the Roman Catholic Church. Generally, Roman Catholics living in parish territory or registered parishioners of Saint Lawrence Parish may celebrate weddings within the church. Those having no formal relationship with the parish community may speak to a parish staff member about establishing a relationship with the parish—with an eye towards celebrating a wedding in the future.
Former members of the parish need to speak both to a priest of their present parish and to one of the priests of Saint Lawrence Parish if they wish to solemnize marriage in this church.
We tend to discourage couples who choose Saint Lawrence because it is located, “near where we’re having the reception,” “it’s near the freeway,” etc.
We are prepared to work with couples who intend to marry elsewhere, to assist them with preparation, and maintain contact with the minister who will witness their ceremony.
It is customary to make an offering to the church on the occasion of the celebration of marriage.
When the priest gives a tentative date for your wedding date please make a
non-refundable deposit of $250.00 to the Parish Office Assistant.
When Saint Lawrence Church receives this deposit we reserve the Church for your wedding.
It is customary to give a gift to the altar servers at the wedding. $10.00 is the usual gift.
If a member of Saint Lawrence staff prepares you for your marriage,
and your wedding celebration takes place elsewhere, we encourage you to make a $250.00 donation to Saint Lawrence the Martyr Church to reflect the time and effort expended by the priest and parish in the preparation process.
Setting a Wedding Date!
Couples are requested to contact one of the priests at least six months in advance of the date on which they hope to celebrate their wedding. However, if you can contact us a year ahead of time, it will give us a better opportunity to work with you in the preparation process.
Only the priest may authorize the date for the celebration of a wedding. When you meet with him, a tentative date may be set. However, this date will not be confirmed until he has had sufficient opportunity to meet with you, to take care of necessary paperwork, do some counseling with you and to arrange for your participation in a marriage instruction program. This will involve either participation in an Engaged Encounter weekend or enrollment in the Parish Marriage Preparation Program. This parish-based program consists of sessions given at the home of parishioners. In addition to this, you are required to enroll in a Natural Family Planning session offered through the Diocese of San Jose.
It is your responsibility to secure the date with the church before making commitments with caterers, reception halls, and other wedding services. When scheduling a tentative date, you will be required to make a deposit of $250.00 as a sign of good will. This deposit is not refundable.
Scheduling the Time of the Celebration
We schedule weddings based on the couple’s wishes and the availability of the church building and parish ministers.
Weddings are scheduled on Saturdays,
at 10:00 A.M.
and 2:00 P.M.
(You are allotted access to the church 1/2 hour prior to your scheduled time and you are required to vacate the church 1/2 hour after the hour alloted. For weddings scheduled at 2:00 P.M., to allow sufficient time for the Sacrament of Reconciliation and the 5:30 Saturday evening Mass, the church and parking lot needs to be cleared by 4:00 PM.)
We do not schedule weddings on Sundays. On occasion, a wedding may be celebrated on a Friday evening or another week night.
Out of courtesy to the parish community and to your guests, weddings will start at the appointed hour. Bride and groom must be in the church in sufficient time to start the ceremony promptly at the proper time. Guests should also be encouraged to arrive before the celebration begins.