The marriage covenant, by which a man and a woman form with each other an intimate communion of life and love, has been founded and endowed with its own special laws by the Creator. By its very nature it is ordered to the good of the couple, as well as to the generation and education of children. Christ the Lord raised marriage between the baptized to the dignity of a sacrament. 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 (cf. Council of Trent: DS 1799). 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 covenant of faithful and fruitful love. Since marriage establishes the couple in a public state of life in the Church, it is fitting that its celebration be public, in the framework of a liturgical celebration, before the priest (or a witness authorized by the Church), the witnesses, and the assembly of the faithful. (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1660-1663)
Congratulations on your decision to marry!
It was not a decision entered into without a great deal of thought and, hopefully, not without prayer. Now that you have decided to marry, you will undoubtedly be putting a great deal more time and effort (and again, hopefully, prayer) into planning and preparing for the wedding ceremony. Since you are planning to make the cathedral the place for the celebration of your wedding, everyone at St. Peter in Chains would like to be as helpful as possible.
That is the purpose of our Wedding Guidelines. Because we schedule many more weddings here at the cathedral than the typical parish church, we have found that it is helpful for everyone concerned - you, your families and guests, if we put our expectations in written form.
It is our experience that everything will go much more smoothly, both in preparation and in the ceremony itself, if everyone knows what is expected of them and adheres to those expectations. Please understand that because of the number of weddings taking place at the cathedral, we cannot begin making exceptions to the policies we have established.
Additionally, we have the responsibility of assuring that weddings celebrated at the cathedral adhere to liturgical standards. In choosing the cathedral as the place for the celebration of your wedding you also choose to abide by the policies governing the use of the facility.
The information in our Wedding Guidelines is designed to help you with your wedding ceremony. If there are any additional questions or if you would like to check available dates, please call the Parish Office or email the Cathedral Secretary.