Congratulations! The decision to enter into the relationship of married life is the most important decision you will ever make, and serves as a wonderful sign of hope and strength to our faith community. While the decision to marry is reached only after much discussion and prayerful thought, it is but the first step in the process of building a successful marriage. The love that two people privately come to realize and share is now to be made public as their families, friends, and parish prepare to support and encourage them in the celebration of their wedding.
Engagement is a special time – a time of love and preparation. It should be a happy time, a time for the couple to enjoy each other and store up precious memories. It is a time of richer dialogue, greater trust and fuller sharing of the deepest and most personal values. It is a time for reflection and prayer.
St. Angela Merici offers a wealth of assistance, encouragement and talent to help in preparing for the celebration of weddings. Please understand that every wedding ceremony is a unique event, and that all final details are settled only after meeting with the St. Angela Merici staff.
It is our hope that this website will answer some of the questions you might have about your wedding ceremony. If not, be sure to check the FAQs area to see if your questions are answered. Also, the priests, deacons and staff at St. Angela Merici are always available to you.
The first thing you'll want to do before planning your ceremony is to schedule the date and time of your wedding with our parish secretary. In addition to scheduling the ceremony, you will want to speak with one of the parish priests or deacons to discuss premarital preparation classes and wedding planning.
We have prepared a booklet called Marriage Preparation at St. Angela Merici in which you will find all of our wedding policies, procedures and guidelines. You'll want to be sure to read this booklet very thoroughly. This booklet contains general information and guidelines on the wedding day schedule, church facilities, the wedding rehearsal, and the wedding liturgy. Also included are our parish policies and procedures with regard to music, photography and videotaping, flowers and decorations, wedding fees and necessary documentation. Church and civil requirements are outlined as well.
You may want to view this video prepared by the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops (USCCB):
St. Angela Merici offers a Pre-Cana Day Retreat, a program that helps those preparing for marriage within the Church. Married volunteer couples share their own experiences of spirituality, values, and practical matters to help engaged couples prepare for the Sacrament of Marriage.
Marriage is a sacrament and the music at the ceremony reflects the dignity and mystery of such a union. The Constitution on Sacred Liturgy (the Church document that guides all music used in Mass) states that “The texts intended to be sung must always be in conformity with Catholic doctrine; indeed, they should be drawn chiefly from holy scripture and from liturgical sources."
Sometimes couples want to include popular songs or theatrical instrumental works in a Wedding Liturgy. Music composed for social entertainment is not congruent with the nature of the liturgy. That you might have heard such songs at other churches is not sufficient, if the music does not have Church approval. We are celebrating God’s love for the Church, that forms the foundation for the love shared by man and woman. Many popular songs are more apt for social entertainment at the reception that follows the service, than for the sacredness of the marriage ceremony.
Before printing programs or scheduling any vocalists or extra instrumentalists, you must contact the Music Director, David Tidyman.
How far in advance of the wedding should a couple contact St. Angela Merici?
At least six months in advance.
Does the couple need to be St. Angela Merici Parish parishioners to be married at St Angela Merici?
St. Angela's requires that at least one member of the couple be a registered and active parishioner. You may register as a parishioner by contacting the Parish Office.
What is the fee for wedding liturgy at St. Angela Merici?
The wedding fee totals between $550-$750. The parish secretary will be happy to assist you in explaining the individual fees for the wedding. The fee includes a stipend for the priest, the services of the music director and all paperwork. Additional vocalists and musicians are not included in this fee. The Pre-Cana preparation course is not part of the fee. The cost of St. Angela's one-day Pre-Cana is $85. Other Pre-Cana courses are available throughout the diocese.
A non-refundable deposit of $100 is required at the time of booking the wedding date for registered parishioners (over one year); and $300 for newly-registered parishioners and non-parishioners.
What if one person being married is Catholic and their future spouse is not? Is that a problem?
Usually not, but a special type of Church permission called a "dispensation" is required. Contact a priest or deacon for additional information.
What if someone was previously married and is now divorced? How does this affect planning for the wedding?
There are a number of issues that must be addressed surrounding the matter of previous marriage. The couple will need to meet with one of the parish priests or deacons to discuss their situation.
Does the couple need to attend a Pre-Cana class before their wedding?
All couples will need to participate in some form of marriage preparation program, with no exceptions since it is required by the Diocese of Cleveland. St. Angela Merici offers its own Pre Cana program. Options will be presented by the priest or deacon and the couple will be asked to choose one of them.
Are musicians not affiliated with St. Angela Merici permitted to play and sing at weddings?
Accommodations for outside musicians can be made. However, do not make any musical plans without first consulting with the Music Director, David Tidyman.
Is the church air conditioned?
St. Angela Merici is fully heated and air conditioned.
May priests or ministers from other denominations participate in the wedding ceremony?
Priests from other Catholic parishes or ministers from other denominations are welcome to participate in the wedding ceremony. The presider for your wedding must be a Catholic priest or deacon and the liturgy must take place according to the Rite of Marriage within the Catholic Church. Please inform us in advance if other ministers or priests will take part in your liturgy and discuss the possibility with your priest or deacon.
What do I need to tell my florist, photographer and videographer?
All information regarding florists, photographers and videographers can be found in the booklet, Marriage Preparation At St. Angela Merici. Be sure to send this information to your florist, photographer and videographer in advance of your wedding.