The sacrament of Matrimony 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.
Registered parishioners should make arrangements one year in advance.
Please note that there are no Sunday weddings.
For more information email Kathleen Donnelly in the Parish Office or call her at 203-255-6134.
Checklist to Help You Plan to Celebrate the Sacrament of Matrimony at Saint Pius X Parish
On behalf of the parish community of St. Pius X, congratulations on your engagement and upcoming wedding! Like any other important event in life, the Sacrament of Matrimony calls for thorough planning and preparation. We encourage you to realize the centrality of spiritual preparation for the covenant of marriage so that the material preparation for your wedding does not eclipse the religious preparation. Spend time in planning your wedding ceremony, selecting the readings and prayers, etc. and you will be able to enter into marriage in a religious way. We are more than willing to help!
Below is the checklist of requirements that need to be fulfilled prior to the wedding ceremony. We hope that you find them useful in planning your wedding.
- In order to allow ample time for scheduling and other necessary preparations, and to minimize scheduling conflicts, the Diocese of Bridgeport and St. Pius X recommend the wedding to be scheduled at least one year in advance of the desired wedding date. It is important not commit to or enter into a contract for the reception before contacting St. Pius X.
- Diocesan policy requires that all engaged couples attend a marriage preparation (Pre-Cana) retreat. The Diocese of Bridgeport offers regularly scheduled one-day classes at the Catholic Center (238 Jewett Avenue, Bridgeport). Visit the Pre-Cana Marriage Prep website for more information.
In addition, Engaged Encounter Weekends also are available, visit the Engaged Encounter website.
Note: A certificate stating that you have completed some type of Pre-Cana instruction is required prior to the wedding.
- Make an appointment with the priest who will be handling your wedding in order to further discuss your forthcoming marriage. During that first meeting, the priest will conduct a general interview with both of you. This meeting helps him to get to know you better and allows you to talk a little about marriage, the relationship you have with one another, and why you want to get married. He will inform you about the documents you will need to bring with you to further meetings and answer any questions.
- The priest will interview each of you individually and will complete what is known as the Pre-Matrimonial Investigation (PMI). This interview gathers certain statistical information and again explores whether or not any conditions exist that would prevent you from getting married in the Catholic Church. In certain situations, special dispensations are required; e.g., for marriages between people of different religions (Catholic-Jewish or Catholic-Protestant). The priest will review the dispensation requirements with you, if needed, and will explain whatever steps you will need to take.Documents required for the PMI are:
- Newly-issued Baptism certificate
- First Communion certificate (copies accepted)
- Confirmation certificate (copies accepted)
Note: if you were baptized at St. Pius, it is not necessary to bring a newly issued baptism certificate. We already have your record.
- The priest will review the form of the wedding ceremony with you and will discuss the options you have in planning the ceremony. He will schedule the wedding rehearsal and advise you about the legal requirements you will need to fulfill, such as applying for the marriage license.
You apply for your marriage license from the office of the Town Clerk in Fairfield. The fee is $30 and photo identification is required at the time of application. There is no waiting period for the license which is valid for 65 days from issue. For information, call the Town Clerk in Fairfield at 203-256-3090.
The license can be brought to the priest or deacon witnessing your marriage as soon as you receive it. At the latest, the license can be brought to the wedding rehearsal. Without the license, the wedding cannot happen. If you are creating/printing a program for your Mass, then it is helpful to ask the priest to review your final draft. You can email Kathleen Donnelly, pastoral assistant at St. Pius X, for assistance with your program.
- Music is a very important and integral part of every wedding. Our policy is to use liturgically appropriate music at your ceremony. We encourage you to carefully select music that will be fitting for a religious ceremony. If there is any question about music, please discuss it with the clergyman celebrating your wedding.The Parish Music Director Michael Lantowski will consult with you regarding your music. You may email Michael to discuss the details. The base fee is $300 for the organist and $200 for the soloist. Rehearsals for extra instruments may engender an extra fee.
- The parish requests a donation for the wedding: $300 for parishioners and $500 for non-parishioners. We ask that this be paid prior to the rehearsal. It is customary to make a small remuneration to the altar servers: $20 each is appropriate.
- If you will be having a nuptial Mass, we encourage all Catholics in the bridal party to receive Holy Communion. While the Sacrament of Reconciliation can be made available on the night of your rehearsal, we encourage all to receive the Sacrament before this time.
Other Important Notes
- Flowers. As at any Mass, the altar is the focal point; for it is there that the bread and wine become the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ. Couples are asked to refrain from ordering excessively large floral arrangements and an extensive number of arrangements because these overwhelm the altar and detract from the Eucharistic celebration and from the marriage ceremony itself. Pew decorations are permitted, but should be modest in size and number. Any decorations or other items that are the property of the florist must be removed immediately after the ceremony.If there is another wedding on the same day, you may wish to share the cost of flowers for the church. Please note that during the Christmas and Easter seasons the sanctuary may already have flowers, so additional arrangements may not be necessary.As a gesture of thanks, please leave floral arrangements at the Church. They will serve as a visible reminder to the parish community that the sacrament of matrimony has just been celebrated, and will enhance the beauty of our parish celebrations, just as your marriage enhances the beauty of our parish life.
- Punctuality. Make every effort to make sure the ceremony and rehearsal begin at the scheduled time. There are often multiple events taking place on the same day and if one runs late, it will impact the other liturgies. Weekend wedding times at Saint Pius X are 11AM-2:30PM, Saturdays. Weeknight or Friday evening weddings can be scheduled. No Sunday weddings.
- Altar Servers. Two altar servers will be assigned to your wedding Mass. If you have relatives or friends who are servers in their home parishes, and you would like them to serve, then let the priest know during one of your interview sessions.
- Photographs and Video Tapes. We request that professional photographers and videographers check in with the celebrant concerning policies. Bright lights are not allowed. Very little movement should take place in church. Please inform your professionals of these guidelines.
- Receiving Line. Many couples find it convenient to have their receiving line in the vestibule or outside on the sidewalk in front of the church steps. Please advise the priest if you wish to have a receiving line.
- Rice, Confetti, Rose Petals, Birdseed, etc. We do not permit tossing rice, confetti, rose petals or birdseed as the couple is leaving the church. This is for safety and environmental reasons and to prevent these materials from being tracked back into the church.
- Runners. Runners are allowed in church.
- Unity Candles. Unity candles are not envisioned in the Rite of Marriage and are therefore strongly discouraged.
- Liquor. The distribution or consumption of alcoholic beverages on church property before, during or after the rehearsal or wedding ceremony is not permitted. Please apprise members of the wedding party, guests, and the limousine operator of this important guideline.
- Cleanup. Arrange to have any pew decorations, stray flower petals, leftover programs, etc. cleaned up immediately after the wedding. Most weddings end shortly before the Saturday evening Mass so your assistance in tidying the Church is greatly appreciated!