God, who is love and who created man and woman for love, has called them to love. By creating man and woman, he called them to an intimate communion of life and of love in marriage: “So that they are no longer two, but one flesh” (Matthew 19:6). God said to them in blessing “Be fruitful and multiply” (Genesis 1:28). (Compendium of the Catechism, 337)
The sacrament of Matrimony establishes a perpetual and exclusive bond between the spouses. God himself seals the consent of the spouses. Therefore, a marriage which is ratified and consummated between baptized persons can never be dissolved. Furthermore, this sacrament bestows upon the spouses the grace necessary to attain holiness in their married life and to accept responsibly the gift of children and provide for their education. (Compendium, 346)
Requirements prior to the Celebration of Marriage:
The parish priest or a priest or deacon delegated by him will preside over the wedding ceremony
If the couple invites another priest or deacons to preside, he must be approved by the pastor prior to scheduling. He must contact the parish in writing informing of his disposition
In cases when the family invites another priest, the family must decide for traveling expenses, hospitality and stole fees for the invited clergy. If he is not from the Diocese of Tucson, he must be approved by the Bishop of Tucson through the Chancery office prior to scheduling.
Since Matrimony establishes spouses in a public state of life in the Church, its liturgical celebration is public, taking place in the presence of a priest... and other witnesses. (Compendium, 343)
The Weddings must take place in the parish of residence of either party. If neither of them resides within the geographical area of this parish, they must provide a letter of permission from one of their pastors.
Regarding attire, all members of Christ’s faithful are welcomed to dress modestly inside the Church. Members of the Wedding Party and Guests are asked to be garbed in reverence, propriety and decency as befitting the House of God. To keep a respectful atmosphere in the church those NOT dressed in a modest fashion might not be admitted inside the building or escorted outside.
The following standards not only call for the covering of intimate areas of the body, but also obscuring their shape, by wearing non form-fitting clothing.
For men and women: shirts or dresses without sleeves are not permitted. The back, chest and torso must be fully covered.
Men may wear a tie or a jacket depending on the weather or degree of the celebration. They are encouraged to wear a belt and casual or dress shoes. Laymen do not wear hats inside a church.
Men may NOT wear shorts, tank tops, sandals or pants that hang below the waist or too loose.
The Bride, bridesmaids and all women guests are invited to wear conservative and modest full dresses, skirts, pants or caprice with shirts that fully cover the shoulder areas.
Women's skirts must reach to the knees or below. Women may wear mantillas, veils, or hats if they choose.
Women may NOT wear shorts, spaghetti straps or strapless.
Music: The couple is responsible for music arrangements. All musicians must be approved by the parish prior to the wedding. For any questions about music, please contact the office at 520.466.7258
Photography and/or Videotaping: The couple is responsible to contact a photographer or video professional. If they have not been previously approved, they must contact the priest or sacristan prior to the ceremony for instructions. After the ceremony, the church may be made available for posing pictures.
Altar Servers:Only Altar Boys from St. Helen of the Cross are permitted to serve the altar during the Wedding Mass. Only the pastor may authorize a server from another parish if they fulfill the requirements for serving at the altar.
Flowers: Only natural flowers are permitted in the Sanctuary. There is no limit on the number of arrangements. The church may change the location if deemed appropriate. All flowers placed on the Sanctuary must remain there as an offering (They cannot be removed after the ceremony).
Decorations for Pews: Flowers or ribbons may be affixed to the pews. No tape or wire should be used. Decorations must not obstruct access to the aisles.
NOT ALLOWED AT ANY TIME: It is not allowed to throw rice, flower petals, bubbles (or anything else). Aisle Runners or added carpeting and arches are not permitted.
Option 1: The Priest, accompanied by servers, may greet the Bride and Groom at the door of the church. The Priest may bless them, their families, and guests, then lead in procession to the altar.
The Order of Procession:
Servers carrying Cross, Candles, and incense (depending on the number of servers available)
Parents (in couples)
Godparent (if present), witnesses, or Best Man and Maid of Honor (if no Godparents)
Bridesmaids and Ushers (optional)
Flower Children (optional)
Bouquet for Virgin Mary (Optional)
20 Decades Rosary, Large White Veil or Lazo (optional)
Bride and Groom
Option 2: The Bride and Groom process to the Altar without the Priest or servers in the same order as mentioned in Option 1. Once they take their places, the priest enters the Sanctuary from the sacristy and greets them at the place prepared for them.
If option 2 is selected, the groom may wait for the bride at the first pew accompanied by his godfather or Best Man. If so, the bride may be accompanied by her godparents, parents, or one person of her choice.
After the “Our Father”, the couple will kneel before the Main Altar. The Rosary or Lazo will be blessed and placed on the Bride and Groom. If instead of Rosary or Lazo, the couple can choose to use a veil. The veil is placed over both of their shoulders. If the bride is already wearing a veil, and it is long enough, that veil will be pulled to cover the groom’s shoulders. The priest will then impart the Nuptial Blessing.
After the Sign of Peace, the Rosary, Veil or Lazo, will be removed and the spouses return to their place.
The Church recommends that all Catholics receive Holy Communion during the ceremony. There is no better gift for the couple, than to receive Communion on their wedding day!
No one should receive communion if they are in grave sin without prior going to confession.
In order to receive Communion worthily, the bride and groom, the witnesses, bridesmaids and ushers and all the Catholic guests are expected to seek the Sacrament of Reconciliation (Confession) prior to the ceremony.
· Those who are not Catholic, cannot receive Holy Communion or go to Confession.
Review schedule for confessions in the church or make an appointment with a priest.
· The spouses receive communion under both kinds (Body and Blood) from the priest. It is preferred that they kneel when receiving Communion.
A non-refundable deposit of $50 is required to save the date. Donations may be given in installments and must be paid in full 30 days prior to event. The pastor may request another amount if he deems it necessary.
Hall and Kitchen Rental for Wedding Party:
Hall Rental donation for wedding parties is $50 /hour (4 hours minimum rental)
The kitchen may be rented separate if a caterer or licensed persons will be using it. Kitchen equipment is not available without renting the kitchen.
See the Hall Rental Agreement for More Information
We, the Parish Community of St. Helen of the Cross, Roman Catholic Church, empowered by the Holy Spirit, and our love for one another, as Jesus loves us, are called to serve all the people of God in our community through our corporal and spiritual works of mercy.
We, as a worshiping parish community, will continue to expand the works of Jesus' saving grace through respect, outreach, evangelization, teaching, ministering to the sick and the poor, and serving the least and the most vulnerable among us, as Jesus taught us.