The Sacrament of Matrimony
Congratulations! The Catholic community of Holy Spirit Catholic Church Lake Wales rejoices with you on your decision to be married in the Catholic Church. To help you prepare for the celebration of your wedding, we have some guidelines for you to remember to keep the sacredness of the Sacrament of Marriage and enhance the significance and sentiment of your wedding day. Likewise, the Canon Law of the universal Catholic Church and Diocesan regulations have to be observed.
Foremost, Church law requires that both of you must be free to marry, that is, neither of you was married before. If there has been a previous marriage, be it Catholic, non-Catholic, or civil, annulment must be completed before a wedding date can be scheduled. The priest will assist you in starting this process. Other documents, in addition to the decree of annulment, may be required, namely, death certificate (of previous spouse, if applicable), canonical dispensations and permissions (if necessary).
The whole preparation process generally takes four to six months during which period the following requirements have to be done and complied with:
- Bring an updated certificate of baptism issued within a month after the initial meeting with the priest. This certificate includes dates and places of your First Communion and Confirmation, respectively.
- Schedule an appointment with the priest. Four forms called B-form will be given by the priest at the initial interview. This form requests the couple to name two witnesses (usually parents or close relatives) each who know you sufficiently well and to state that you are free to marry. This document must be filled out and be signed before a notary public or a priest.
- Attend a retreat/workshop. A list of upcoming workshops indicating time and location can be accessed in the Diocese of Orlando website.
- Complete the on-line Fully Engaged Inventory/Questionnaire. The session will be created by the Parish Office staff. You will be notified via email the code you will use to start the inventory session.
- Come to discuss the evaluation results with the trained mentor to discuss with you the results of the completed inventory tool. This may take several meeting times.
- The Wedding date may ONLY be reserved after the Fully Engaged questionnaire have been completed and results have been discussed with the priest.
(Note: All required documents must be completed and submitted to the priest or to the Parish Office at the required time).
The Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist
Time and date for the wedding depends on the availability of the church and the priest. Weddings in general are held on a Saturday at the latest at 1:00pm.
The couple is required to obtain a marriage license at least a month before the ceremony.
Generally, rehearsals are scheduled the day before the wedding but other arrangements can be arranged with the Parish Office.
Holy Spirit Catholic Church does not charge for the sacrament but appreciates donations from couples. For more details, please contact the Parish Office at tel. # 863 676 1556
Guidelines for the Wedding Celebration
- Music selected for the wedding should be appropriate for a liturgical celebration
- Readings suggested by the Church are found in the “Together for Life” booklet which will be given to the couple. The Roman Catholic Liturgy of the Word consists of three readings: one from the Old Testament, one from the New Testament, and one from the Gospels. You may choose any from these three options. It is also fine to have someone read the Prayers of the Faithful. Once selected, please advise the Parish Office by email or phone call of your selections as these will be prepared for your designated readers.
- Flowers to decorate the church are allowed. We, however, request that no fresh flowers are strewn in the aisles. These are slipping hazards and difficult to clean up before the next church event. The tossing of flowers, confetti, rice or birdseed is strictly prohibited for the same reason. The same request applies to the use of floor runners.
Photographers at your wedding are welcome. They are, however, not allowed to take pictures from the altar area of the sanctuary and should not be intrusive during your celebration.