St. Benedict Parish

The Sacrament of Matrimony

at St. Benedict's Parish

The Sacrament of Matrimony is a powerful response to God's vocation to love and a powerful invitation of God into your commitment to live as man and woman for the rest of your lives. (cf Mark 10:6b-8).

If you would like to celebrate your Catholic wedding here at St. Benedict parish please see the instructions below.

The first thing you need to do is to call the Pastor and arrange for you and your fiancé to meet with him personally in order to book a date for your wedding. Archdiocesan regulations forbid this being done over the phone.

During that meeting, the Pastor will help you select a date for the wedding. He will then explain what further steps must be taken to satisfy canon law and civil law. The date selected cannot not be less than six months from the day you meet with the Pastor. This too is an Archdiocesan regulation.

The Pastor will speak with you and explain to you what is needed in order to celebrate your wedding at St. Benedict Parish.

The following is a list of Questions and Answers to help you further understand what is needed to celebrate marriage at St. Benedict's Parish in Somerville.

Q. My Fiancé is not Catholic; can I still be married at St. Benedict's parish?

A. Yes, you may. However, you are asked if you are willing to do all that you can to bring the children up Catholic. You may want to ask your fiancé if he or she has any problems with this. How does your Fiancé feel about the Catholic faith?

Q. I have never been married before, but my Fiancé has been married before, can we still marry in the Catholic Church?

A. You will need to speak to someone at the Metropolitan Tribunal. Your fiancé will be required to enter into the process of an annulment. Only those affiliated with the Metropolitan Tribunal can give you a final answer to your question.

Q. What is the cost of a marriage at St. Benedict Parish?

A. The cost of the use of the church including the services of the priest is $200, of which $5, goes to the priest. The organist and the soloist each receive an additional $100 apiece. The total cost is, therefore, $400.00.

Q. We do not go to mass, but we would still like a Catholic wedding, may we still have one?

A. A Catholic wedding is one in which a man and woman come before God and proclaim their love and commitment to each other within the context of the Catholic faith. If you do not live your Catholic faith, you may want to ask yourselves why you want a Catholic wedding. If it is because a relative wants you to have a Catholic wedding, that is really not a sufficient answer for you to choose freely to marry in the Catholic Church.

We welcome anyone who wants to live their Catholic faith and, for whom there is no impediment to do so, to marry here at St. Benedict's Parish, but it is a serious choice to make to have a Church wedding instead of a wedding outside the Catholic faith. Please make sure you understand the seriousness of your choice if you are not presently living your Catholic faith.

Q. I understand that Catholic couples are not allowed to use birth control. Is that true?

A. Catholics are not allowed to use ARTIFICIAL birth control. There are several natural family planning methods that Catholics use. It is not Catholic teaching that a couple cannot plan to put off having children until they are in a more stable situation. However, every marriage must be open to having children.

Q. I understand that we must take a course to be married in the Catholic Church, is that true?

A. Interestingly, some state governments are planning to require married couples to attend a course on marriage. The Catholic Church has been doing this for decades. They are called (appropriately enough) Marriage Preparation courses. They are required. Most couples I meet speak positively of these courses.

Q. I have heard of some churches that do not allow a unity candle, we want one at our wedding, can we have one?

A. I have never understood the prohibition of the unity candle. Many Catholic cultures add similar such traditions in their wedding ceremonies. (Latinos, for example, have a rite in which they exchange coins with each other symbolizing their mutual support. Another is one in which they are bound in rosary-like rope symbolizing the marriage bond.)

The fact is the unity candle does symbolize well exactly what happens at a marriage. Jesus says that the man and woman leave their respective father and mother and become one flesh. This is symbolized well in the two flames that become one on the unity candle. Even more so that from that one flame comes an infinite list of possibilities that likewise bring the fire of the Holy Spirit, which is present in the marriage, throughout the world. This is symbolized well in the flame of the unity candle. However, it is important to note that this is a symbol of the work of the Holy Spirit in the marriage. The ultimate symbol representing the unity of that which defines the sacrament of marriage is the giving of the rings in the rite itself.

Q. We do not want children in our marriage; can we still marry in the Catholic Church?

A. No, refusal to have children is one of several impediments to marriage in a Catholic Church.

Q. I am only sixteen, but my fiancé is seventeen; can we marry at St. Benedict's parish?

A. Massachusetts Law requires that those who are under the age of 18, and who seek to marry, must first go before a judge and ask permission to marry. It certainly is not recommended to marry at so young an age. However, that question cannot be answered outside of the context of permission from a civil magistrate.

Q. How Long is the Church Aisle?

A. 62 feet