To set a date, please contact the parish office at 615-794-4004. Please contact Fr. Jerry at LEAST 4 months before the date of a proposed marriage. To obtain our Marriage Preparation Guide, please contact Barbara Schee at 314-324-1686 or [email protected].
Procedures are as follows:
The Catholic Church of the Nativity welcomes your interest in celebrating the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony in our church. The Diocese of Nashville requires a preparation period of, at least, four months for couples who wish to be married in the Church. The Priest or Deacon will ask you to meet with him as many times as he deems necessary in the preparation of marriage. These sessions address the spiritual and theological significance of the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony. He will assist you in completing the necessary premarital paperwork.
- Initial meeting to fill out necessary forms/contact information/dates and wedding procedures, acquire necessary documents, permissions and dispensations.(1 meeting)
- Fill out Prepare and Enrich survey on line.
- Meet with priest/deacon to review findings from the Prepare and Enrich survey (may be more than 1 meeting)
- Read Theology of the Body (St. John Paul II)
- Meet to discuss Theology of the Body, Natural Family Planning, dignity of the body/marriage. (1 meeting)
- Meet with married Sponsor couple to discuss issues from Prepare and Enrich (May be more than 1 meeting)
Choosing a Priest or Deacon
Catholic Church of the Nativity parishioners planning to marry may contact the Pastor to determine which Priest or Deacon would be available to provide marriage instruction and/or preside at the ceremony. Officiants must be a Catholic Priest or Deacon. Officiants who are not assigned to our parish must be approved by the Pastor. Officiants, who are not of the Diocese of Nashville, must provide the appropriate documentation to the Diocese and Pastor. Note: Clergy from other Christian denominations and other religious faiths are welcome to participate in the Catholic wedding ceremony. They may proclaim the readings, address the couple, sing songs and pronounce a blessing. However, Only the Catholic Priest or Deacon may receive the wedding vows of the couple and only the Priest or Deacon can preside at the altar.
To schedule the proposed date of the wedding ceremony and rehearsal, please contact the calendar committee at [email protected], After review of the proposed date, you will be contacted by the Pastor or calendar committee. Additionally, you will also be contacted by the wedding coordinator at [email protected] You are strongly advised to schedule your wedding date and priest availability before scheduling a reception venue.
The wedding party has use of the church facilities for two hours before the start of the ceremony and one hour after the wedding has concluded. The church seats approximately 300 people.
Weddings scheduled on Saturdays must begin no later than 2:00 P.M. and the Sanctuary must be vacated by 4:00 P.M. A wedding rehearsal in the Sanctuary will be scheduled to practice the ritual action of the ceremony. Those attending this rehearsal should include the bridal couple and entire wedding party including lectors. The rehearsal is usually scheduled the day before the wedding, depending on the availability of the church. One hour is allotted for each rehearsal; therefore, please emphasize to everyone attending the rehearsal to be prompt.
Music and Musicians
Music for weddings is planned with our designated parish Music Minister. You are encouraged to gather ideas regarding music for the wedding liturgy. Music may begin 30 minutes prior to the ceremony. Before any musical decisions are finalized, the wedding couple must meet with the Music Minister. They will discuss musical options and help coordinate the musical elements of the liturgy. The Music Minister is aware of the general policies of the Catholic Church as well as specific music protocols of the parish. Please advise the Music Minister if you desire the use of any outside musicians or singers. Nativity can provide musicians of which a fee is required. To avoid misinterpretations, you are advised to contact our Music Minister, Nancy Martinez at [email protected] when your date is scheduled.
Prayers, Readings and Other Ministers for the Wedding Liturgy
Couples may select scripture readings for their ceremony. Appropriate readings will be provided from which to choose. The psalm will be sung and should be coordinated when planning the music.
You may select friends or family members for different roles in the ceremony, such as readers and gift bearers at the Offertory. Persons chosen for these roles should attend the rehearsal to ensure a smooth wedding liturgy.
If a family member or friend attending the wedding has been mandated by the Church as an Extraordinary Eucharistic Minister, they may serve at the wedding. If needed, the parish community is also able to provide lectors and Extraordinary Eucharistic Ministers.
When planning the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony; we advise tasteful selections of gowns for yourself and your wedding party. Please avoid dresses that are low cut or very short in length.
If the wedding party plans to dress at the church, rooms on the lower level will be provided. Restrooms are available on the lower level. Dressing rooms will be available 2 hours before the ceremony and 1 hour after the ceremony. If you will be using these facilities, we will need a 30-day advance notice to ensure availability.
Food and Drink used in the lower level must remain in the lower level. The entire church is a smoke free campus. No alcohol is permitted. Note: If anyone in the wedding party, including the bride and groom, is under the influence before the ceremony, the wedding will be cancelled.
Aisle bows or flowers on the pews may be attached with ribbon, string or other non-adhesive material.
Floral arrangements should be constructed before arrival at the church. Artificial flowers and greenery are not permitted. All floral arrangements must be placed in containers. Floral arrangement should not obscure any of the symbols in the church nor impede the necessary movements that occur around the altar during the Liturgy. Flower petals may be scattered, if desired; however, no glitter or confetti is allowed in the Sanctuary or the Narthex. Please inform the wedding coordinator if flower arrangements are to be left at the church.
Note: Our church worship area is decorated appropriate to the liturgical season. These items may not be changed for sacramental celebrations, including weddings. These items include, but not limited to, the wall hangings, altar cloths, etc.
Printed Programs A printed program, while appropriate for the wedding liturgy, is not required. The purpose of the program is to provide an outlined order of the service. Examples of Catholic wedding programs can be found on line. Due to copy write requirements, lyrics may not be copied in the programs.
Presentation of Flowers to the Virgin Mary is an option within the Catholic wedding rite and takes place after communion. Traditionally, a single rose or small bouquet of flowers are placed before the stature.
Rice, confetti and balloons may not be scattered inside or outside the church building. Bubbles may be used outside but bottles must be removed from the church property.
Photography and Videography
Since the Rite of Marriage is a sacrament occurring within Sacred liturgy, photography and videography must never detract from the sacred character of the ritual. Flash photography is prohibited during the ceremony. No photographs are permitted during the ceremony by anyone other than your professional photographer. Flash photography is permitted before and after the ceremony only.
Photographer and videographers are NEVER permitted on the altar and may only go halfway up the aisle during the ceremony or place themselves on the side ramps to the altar. The wedding coordinator will go over this before the wedding begins. It is acceptable to set up two or three video cameras from various vantage points in the worship space. Posed pictures taken on the altar before or after the ceremony must be confined to formal family and wedding party group shots.
Military swords used in the ceremony must be properly secured to prevent accidents and Military guests must respect the sacredness of the Catholic ceremony. Military shouts are prohibited in the Church Sanctuary and narthex but are permitted once outside.
Nativity requires a deposit of $100.00 for weddings which is returnable pending no damage to the facility and spaces are returned to a state of cleanliness in which originally found. To insure that all areas of the church are cleaned, it would be best to assign someone other than a member of the wedding party to handle this concern. For non-parish members, other fees will apply.