Be Married Here
Who may celebrate their wedding at Saint Richard Parish?
Both the prospective bride and groom must, above all, be free to marry in the Catholic Church. This means that no impediments exist according to Canon Law, which would prevent the valid celebration of this sacrament. The most frequently encountered impediment is that of a prior marriage for which no declaration of nullity (often referred to as an “annulment”) has been granted. The initial conversation with the priest or deacon will ascertain whether or not any impediments exist.
Furthermore, one of the following must apply:
•At least one of the engaged couple is currently a parishioner of Saint Richard Parish;
• At least one of the engaged couple has a parent or grandparent who is currently a parishioner of Saint Richard Parish;
• At least one of the engaged couple was a member of Saint Richard Parish at one time and has celebrated other sacraments in this parish in the past as established in our records.
• Saint Richard Parish does NOT accept requests from non-parishioners to celebrate weddings here for the sake of proximity to the location of the wedding reception or other similar reasons.
Setting a Date and Time
Only when it has been established that both the prospective bride and groom are free to marry in the Catholic Church and that they fulfill the other applicable requirements stated in the section on “Who may celebrate their wedding at Saint Richard Parish?” will a wedding date be set.
The wedding date will be set by a priest or deacon of Saint Richard Parish in conversation with the bride and/or groom. In NO case will a wedding date and time be booked through a third party. You must make an appointment with a Priest of Deacon first. No dates will be discussed prior to this appointment.
Weddings may be celebrated at the following starting times, subject to prior commitments of the facilities:
• Fridays from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm
• Saturdays from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm (the church must be vacated by 4:00 pm for cleanup and the beginning of the regularly scheduled time for confessions) or at 6:00 pm
• Sundays at 2:00 or 3:00 pm only
• Requests for scheduling weddings at other days and times (such as on legal holidays) are considered on a case-by-case basis.
In all cases, the minimum of a two-hour time slot is required for weddings so as to allow for set-ups by the florist and maintenance staff; for preparations by the clergy and musicians; for a receiving line and photographs after the wedding and for cleanup and set-up for the next scheduled parish event.
Timeline for Preparation
In order to fulfill the canonical requirements that they be properly prepared for marriage, the couple should make the initial contact with a priest or deacon of the parish a minimum of six months (ideally, one year) in advance of the wedding date desired.
Who officiates at the Wedding?
With the exception of a wedding in which the couple is required to obtain the services of their own priest, a priest or deacon of the parish ordinarily officiates at weddings of parishioners celebrated at Saint Richard Parish.
A priest or deacon (in good standing in their own diocese or religious order) who is a friend or relative of the bride, the groom, or one of their families is most welcome to officiate at the wedding of a parishioner. Clergy from outside the Archdiocese are asked to present documentation of good standing. (In addition, if from out of state, must secure legal permission from the Massachusetts Secretary of State). In such a case, a member of Saint Richard’s clergy staff will complete the necessary paperwork with the couple; the guest officiate will be responsible for working out the details of the ceremony with the couple (subject to the requirements for music and liturgy found elsewhere in this information), the wedding rehearsal and the ceremony itself.
Clergy officiating at the weddings of non-parishioners are also responsible for conducting the pre-matrimonial investigation and sending the paperwork to Saint Richard Parish for inclusion in our records, well before the wedding date.
Arranging for Music
Once the wedding date has been set and entered in the parish schedule, the couple should contact Ms. Maura Lynch, the parish Music Director, to make arrangements. Since our Catholic understanding of marriage is founded on its being a reflection of the irrevocable love of Jesus Christ for his Church, all music used at weddings must reflect the sacredness of marriage and the church in which it is taking place. Ms. Lynch will be happy to guide couples in the selection of appropriate music. Click here for more information on our music ministry.