We at Pope John XXIII want your wedding to be a faith-filled, beautiful and memorable occasion. Our wedding preparation program has been designed to assist you in preparing your wedding Mass or ceremony in our parish. This document is your first source of information about the wedding preparation process and for planning your wedding liturgy. Please read these pages carefully as they are designed to assist you in the process. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call.

Church law guarantees active, registered members of the parish, who are in good standing with the faith and morals of the Catholic Church, the right to marry in their proper parish church.
An Active-Registered Member of Pope John XXIII is:
Someone who is a registered member in our parish, and has been attending Mass regularly.

Children of long-time "active" and "registered" parishioners are considered regular members for the purpose of marriage and are eligible to be married in Pope John XXIII Church. They may be asked to get permission from the pastor of the parish in which they are presently registered.

You should make an appointment with a priest or deacon at least six months prior to the anticipated wedding date. Due to the number of weddings at our parish, it is advisable for you to contact the priest or deacon as soon as possible in order to ensure the desired date and time of your wedding.  If either of you have been married previously and divorced, you will have to pursue the possibility of an annulment of your previous bond. An annulment may take a year to complete. No wedding date can be scheduled until the annulment is obtained.  A date may be placed on the parish calendar after your initial interview with a priest or deacon.

1. Baptismal Record
A copy of your baptismal certificate issued in the last six months is required for the wedding file. You will need to contact the parish of your baptism and ask them to send a copy of your baptismal certificate with the parish seal. This seal is required to produce an acceptable baptismal certificate.

2. Pre-Cana or Engaged Encounter Certificate
We require your certificate of attendance at the Pre-Cana Weekend or an Engaged Encounter for the wedding file.

3. Marriage License
The civil license for the marriage is to be presented to the officiating clergy at the time of the rehearsal. You must apply for a marriage license in the county of your residence. Marriage licenses are valid throughout the State of Ohio beginning five days after the date of application until sixty days from the date of application.

4. Completed Wedding Planning Sheet
At the Pre Cana or Engaged Encounter, you should receive a booklet containing all the options for prayers and readings for your wedding ceremony. You will need to fill out the planning sheet in the booklet and bring it for discussion with the priest or deacon at the last session before the wedding.

A Church wedding is a personal event, but more importantly, a sacred ritual of the Church. As such, the religious nature of the ceremony must be carefully preserved.

Your wedding is a part of the faith life of our parish. You, as the ministers of the Sacrament, have chosen freely to express your love and commitment to each other. The Rite of Marriage is centered around your exchange of vows, and the Church’s blessing, and witnessing of those vows. This special blessing is meant to strengthen your fidelity to your vows, and to support you prayerfully in your life together. As with all liturgical celebrations, the full and active participation of all those present is desirable. Ordinarily, the Rite of Marriage takes place in one of two contexts: within Mass for two baptized Catholics or outside Mass if either the bride or groom is not Catholic. If the wedding is a ceremony outside of Mass, a deacon normally would be invited to preside and officiate.
If the marriage takes place within Mass, a deacon may be invited to assist the priest celebrant.

1. We welcome photographers and videographers, both professional and amateur, for still pictures and videotapes. The Church itself is not a studio but a sacred place in which a community of believers worship. The photographer and videographer should keep this in mind before, during and after the celebration of Marriage. We ask that photographers talk to the Priest of Deacon before the ceremony.

Receiving Line
Receiving lines are to be held at the reception only, not at the Church. Please relay this information to your invited guests via the wedding program. The wedding party must vacate the Church by 3:45 p.m. for an afternoon wedding on Saturdays, because of Confessions and Mass

The Unity Candle
The unity candle is not a part of the Catholic wedding liturgy and is prohibited. It is best used during the reception.

Elements for the Celebration
No rice, flower petals, bird seed, balloons, confetti, butterflies or birds may be used as part of the wedding celebration inside or outside the Church, other requests should be discussed with the priest or deacon.

At least one party to a Catholic marriage must be an active, practicing Catholic. Sometimes a couple that does not regularly practice their faith approaches the Church requesting a wedding date. Often the preparation period for marriage will be extended so that the couple may demonstrate their good intentions, begin active practice of the Catholic faith, and restore their connection to the community of faith.

An annulment is required for anyone who has been previously married. This applies to both Catholics and non-Catholics. If either one of you has been married before, you need to inform the clergy at the first meeting. The priest or deacon will be happy to explain the process and will be ready to help you begin the application for the annulment.