Wedding Liturgy Preparation

The Wedding Liturgy Preparation Process

The wedding liturgy celebrates the sacramental love of the couple. It is both deeply personal, but it is also profoundly a community celebration. The liturgy is an act of worship offering praise and thanks to God for the gifts and blessings God as bestowed. There are many elements to consider when planning this important gathering of your family and friends and you will have many significant decisions to make related to the liturgy. Parish staff stand ready to assist you explaining Church guidelines for liturgy, and to help you put together a service that reflects you, the values of the parish, and the expectations of the wider liturgical considerations.

1. TYPE OF LITURGY (Mass or not):    Generally, if both parties are Catholic, the celebration of the sacrament of marriage takes place during Mass and a priest presides. If one party is not Catholic, the celebration takes place without a Mass and either a priest or deacon presides. It is possible to have a priest or deacon from another parish preside at your wedding. These clergy will need to be registered with the State of Minnesota (if from another state) and verified by the Archdiocese of Saint Paul/Minneapolis (if from another diocese). Have your priest or deacon contact the Chancery Office, 651-201-4400, for more information.

2. MINISTERS FOR THE WEDDING LITURGY:    In addition to the presider (priest or deacon), couples will need to select others to serve as musicians, readers, servers, Eucharistic ministers, and hospitality.

3. SCRIPTURE FOR THE WEDDING LITURGY:    Couples are strongly encouraged to select the scripture readings for the wedding liturgy first before making other decisions. The scriptures serve as a source of prayer and reflection during your marriage and wedding preparation, but can also serve as a point of reference for making choices of music and prayers. Pax Christi will provide a book of suggested scripture readings to assist you.

4. MUSIC CHOICES FOR THE WEDDING LITURGY:    Music plays a very important part in the wedding liturgy. This sung form of prayer helps enhance the sacred character of the gathering, and strengthens those present both personally and communally. Therefore, the wedding music must be appropriate and prayerful. The parish worship staff will assist you in identifying musical selections that affirm your values about Christian marriage, invite and encourage participation in the liturgy by all of those gathered, and celebrate the sacramental nature of the liturgy. ALL MUSIC AND LITURGY DECISIONS FOR YOUR WEDDING LITURGY MUST BE SUBMITTED TO WORSHIP STAFF FOR APPROVAL AT LEAST FOUR (4) WEEKS AHEAD OF THE SCHEDULED DATE.

5. PROGRAM/WORSHIP AID:    Please keep in mind that your guests are more than spectators. They are invited to be active participants in the prayer and music of the wedding liturgy. Accordingly, Pax Christi expects you to include the assembly music and prayers, along with other information you may want to provide, in a program/worship aid for all guests.

To avoid disrupting the spirit of your wedding prayer, please consider including this or a similar request in your wedding program.

The bride and groom request that you do not take any flash photographs
until after the ceremony is over.  Please help us to keep this a
sacred and beautiful occasion, unspoiled by cameras and flashes.
Thank You!

Couples should submit the program/worship aid draft along with the liturgy plan at least four weeks before the wedding date and prior to printing.

6. MUSIC HIRES FOR THE WEDDING LITURGY:    To ensure the quality and prayerfulness of the wedding liturgy, and familiarity with equipment (sound equipment, instruments), it is the policy of Pax Christi that couples hire one or more musicians from the parish provided list of approved musicians. This does not exclude other musicians from participating. If you are having other musicians in addition to a keyboard player and cantor, you may also need to hire a parish sound tech on order to ensure the proper sound quality and equipment performance.

7. REHEARSALS:    Wedding rehearsals take place on Thursday or Friday afternoons/evenings and will be conducted by a parish wedding coordinator.  Listed below are several items that will help your rehearsal (and your wedding liturgy) run smoothly.

a.    The priest or deacon presiding for your wedding will likely not be at the rehearsal.  He will meet with you ahead of time to go over your liturgy. Thus, if you have any questions for him, they should be settled prior to the rehearsal.
b.    Please enter the church through the main entrance (#3) and have your wedding party gather near the baptismal font. Please ask everyone to be on time!
c.    Your rehearsal is only 45 minutes—1 hour long.  Early arrival is encouraged to allow time for introductions of your guests.
d.    The rehearsal is not a time for musicians, readers, etc. to practice.  (Those rehearsals must be scheduled at a separate time.)
e.    If you have not yet given your marriage license to the priest or deacon, please bring it to the rehearsal.
f.    We hold you responsible for all of your invited guests and the wedding party.  Please inform your wedding party that use of alcohol/drugs in or around the church, whether at the rehearsal or on the day of the wedding, is not allowed.  Use of alcohol/drugs may lead to cancellation of your wedding or may compromise the validity of your marriage.  See the Presider for details.
g.    Pax Christi assumes no liability for lost, stolen, or damaged items.
h.    Please inform your guests that for safety, health and maintenance reasons we do not allow rice or birdseed to be thrown.  Please shower the newlyweds with your best wishes instead!

8. PHOTOGRAPHER/VIDEOGRAPHER GUIDELINES: Please share the following photographer/videography guidelines with the person(s) providing these services for your ceremony. Questions can be directed to the wedding coordinator during the rehearsal or before the ceremony.  

a.    Please be respectful of the sacred places and furnishings.
b.    Pictures during the ceremony are permitted as long as no flash is used and the wedding prayer is not distracted.
c.    Please limit movement during the ceremony and remain behind the guests.  People are seated on all three sides of the altar; movement by the photographer can be very distracting.
d.    We have designated locations for videotaping weddings.  A tripod is required for taping during the ceremony and the camera must remain stationary.  Please inquire as needed to facilitate planning requirements.
e.    Please do not move microphones, plants, etc. for wedding pictures.
f.    The outside grounds and the elevated deck are open for your use as background for pictures.  The St. Francis Shrine and gardens to the west of the building are very attractive outdoor settings.
g.    Pax Christi assumes no liability for items lost, stolen or damaged.

9. FLORAL/DECORATION GUIDELINES:    Please share the following floral/decoration guidelines with the person(s) providing these services for your ceremony.

a.    Please be respectful of the sacred places.  Church decorations, i.e. plants, candles, altar cloth, etc. cannot be removed.
b.    Decorations may be attached to the chairs with ribbon or string only.  
c.    An aisle cloth is not allowed due to the stairs on the main aisle.  
d.    The Mother Teresa Room, 245, is located to the right after entering the southeast (main) entrance (#3).  It is designated for the bride’s use.  When delivering flowers to the bride’s room, please enter the building using the southeast entrance (#3).
e.    A custodian is on duty.  If you need assistance, the custodian may be reached by calling x233 or x234 from a building phone.
f.    If plants, stands, etc. are not picked up right after the service, they will be locked in the custodial office and may be picked up weekdays by calling the parish office.
g.    Pax Christi assumes no liability for items lost, stolen or damaged.

The priests, deacons, and staff look forward to helping you prepare for marriage and celebrate your wedding. Please do not hesitate to contact the parish with questions or concerns. Your active participation in this process supports you and the parish. Thank you for sharing this experience with Pax Christi Catholic Community.

Questions? Contact Sally Bergum, Wedding and Liturgy Coordinator, 952-405-7229, or

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Pax Christi Catholic Community

12100 Pioneer Trail
Eden Prairie, MN 55347


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