MARRIAGE

Wedding arrangements should be made at least six months in advance.  Contact Fr. António Ferreira da Silva or Fr. Joseph Simon DosSantos at 973-589-8433 to make an appointment.  Arrangements for pre-marriage instructions, date, time, place and other details of the wedding ceremony will be discussed.

For Weddings to take place in Portugal or Brazil (or any Castilian "Spanish" speaking country), please speak with Fr. Joseph DosSantos.

CASAMENTO

As preparações para a celebração do santo Sacramento do Matrimónio devem ser feitas com pelo menos seis meses de antecedência. Contate o Pe. António Ferreira da Silva ou o Pe. Joseph Simon DosSantos pelo telefone fixo 973-589-8433 para marcar reunião. Arranjos para instruções pré-matrimoniais, data, hora, local e outros detalhes da cerimônia de casamento serão discutidos no primeiro encontro.

Para casamentos a realizar em Portugal falar com o Pe. Joseph Simon DosSantos.

CELEBRATING YOUR WEDDING

AT OUR LADY OF FATIMA CHURCH

Weddings are joyous worship occasions at Our Lady of Fatima Church.  They are joyous because of the happiness and love which the bride and groom have found in each other.  Weddings are also wonderful times of worship due to the commitment the couple makes to live their lives within the grace of God in the presence of his people in the Holy Sacrament of Matrimony.

The Christian marriage ceremony (Liturgy) is a service of worship before God which is normally conducted within God’s house – the church.  Reverence is expected on the part of all present and the service shall be conducted under the sole direction and guidance of the officiating minister (the priest or deacon).

The staff of Our lady of Fatima Church is committed to assisting the couple in planning one of the most important events in their lives – their wedding.  A Wedding Coordinator is part of the O.L. Fatima Staff to assist those preparing for the sacrament of marriage.

The Wedding Informational Booklet is available by clicking here.

Wedding Brochure

Marriage Preparation

The usual custom for couples who wish to celebrant the sacrament of Matrimony is to begin to marriage preparation process with the priest or deacon who will assist in your preparation and witness your marriage vows. In the Catholic Church the bride and groom exchange vows - they marry each other. The Priest or deacon is the official witness for the Catholic Church and for the State of New Jersey.

If you are getting married in the Church outside the United States, please click here for more information.

Celebrant

It is expected that one of the Parish Clergy will officiate at all weddings.  All requests for visiting clergy to assist should be made known well in advance to the pastor. If requested, permission is easily obtained for any outside priest in good standing to officiate at the ceremony.

Clergy of the Parish

Very Rev. António F. da Silva
Rev. Joseph S. dos Santos
Deacon Rev. Mr. Albino Pina Marques

It is critical that the availability of the Clergy and the parish be confirmed in advance with the Secretary and wedding coordinator.

Premarital counseling is required before all weddings.  The pastor will make arrangements to meet with the couple for this purpose.  This counseling is designed to help the couple understand the significance of a Christian marriage, to plan the wedding service and to discuss the couple’s life together.

All couples are required by canon law to attend a Pre-Cana Conference and a Marriage Preparation Program.

The officiating minister may be present at the wedding rehearsal.

Pre-nuptial Enquiry

Pre-nuptial Inquiry Form will filled in by the priest together with you during the interviews to ensure your readiness for and commitment to Christian Matrimony.

Wedding Coordinator

The Parish provides a wedding coordinator to oversee all arrangements and all details of the wedding. The coordinator, who is a member of Our Lady of Fatima Church, will work with the Clergy and the bridal party to coordinate all aspects of the wedding.

The Wedding Coordinator is Analisa. Her contact may be obtained by calling the parish office. Please make sure you contact her at least 3 to 4 months before the wedding. Take note that all wedding rehearsals are always schedule for 6:00pm. This is because religious services start at around 6:45pm.

Preparing for the Sacrament of Marriage

The Call to Marriage is Woven Deeply into the Human Spirit. God who created man and woman out of love also calls him to love – the fundamental and innate vocation of every human being. For man is created in the image and likeness of God who is Himself love. Since God created him man and woman, their mutual love becomes an image of the absolute and unfailing love with which God loves man. It is good, very good, in the Creator’s eyes. [Catechism of the Catholic Church, No. 1604]

The Preparation Process

Congratulations on your prospective marriage!

You are engaged to be married and, desiring the blessing of God on your union, have approached the Church to witness and seal your vows to each other. The Church stands ready to assist you as you embark upon what is perhaps the most important decision and commitment of your life.

Step One: Contact the Parish

The marriage preparation process begins with your first call to the parish inquiring about being married in the Church. Call as soon as you get engaged!

A member of the parish staff will facilitate arrangements for you to meet with the pastoral minister (usually a priest or deacon of the parish) as soon as possible.

A date for your wedding may not be entered into the parish calendar until such a meeting takes place.

Step Two: Initial Meeting with Priest or Deacon

At the time of your first meeting, the pastoral minister will explain the marriage preparation process and provide information about the available marriage preparation programs you are required to attend. You have the option of selecting the program best suited to your needs.

The pastoral minister will begin to fill out the necessary canonical forms and advise you as to what Church and civil documents are needed.

Pre-nuptial Investigation Form

This Inquiry is filled in by with the Pastoral Minister who is preparing you. This is done in the first interview and during the follow ups.

Step Three: Complete a Pre-Marital Inventory

(Archdiocesan Marriage Survey or F.O.C.C.U.S.) (Facilitating Open Couple Communication, Understanding and Study)

A premarital inventory provides a personalized profile of your relationship. The individualized couple feedback covers topic areas important to marriage: life-style expectations, friends, and interests, personality match, personal issues, problem solving, communication, dual careers, religion and values, etc.

It is advised that the inventory be taken prior to attending the marriage preparation sessions, and can be arranged through your Priest or Deacon.

Music - The Organist & Soloists (Cantor)

The musical selections for the wedding service should reflect the sacred nature of the liturgy (service).  All music must be approved by the Pastor and the Music Director.

The Parish organist will play for all weddings and may be present for the rehearsal.  A guest organist may be used if the Parish organist is unavailable. The organist or Wedding Coordinator will suggest organ or vocal music.  If special music is requested, the organist should be notified six (6) weeks in advance.

A church soloist (and cantor) may be available to perform at the wedding.  Other soloists need to confer with the organist well in advance of the wedding date.

The parish Music Director is Mr. John Cardoso. The Cantor (Soloist) is Mrs. Melissa. Their contact may be obtained by calling the parish office.

Step Four: Register and Attend Pre-Marital Instruction Courses

A) Sacramental Preparation: God's Plan for a Joy-Filled Marriage - REQUIRED

"God's Plan for a Joy-Filled Marriage" is designed to help engaged couples understand and embrace a Catholic vision of married love. The God's Plan session provides a full catechesis of the Church's teaching, in an uplifting manner that resonates within the human heart. Based on Pope John Paul II's "Theology of the Body", this session is intended to enhance a key component of marriage preparation: catechesis in the theology of marriage and the gift of human sexuality.

The registration fee of $125 per couple includes book, workbooks, Continental Breakfast & Lunch. Certificate of Completion is issued.

Click here for dates and to register. Registration in advance is required.

B) Life Skills Preparation: Marriage Preparation Sessions - Pre Cana - REQUIRED

The Marriage Preparation Sessions (i.e. Pre-Cana) offer practical insights and assistance in building a successful marriage. Topics covered  include:  Communication, Conflict  Resolution,  Family  of

The Marriage Liturgy

All weddings at Our Lady of Fatima are Christian liturgical services. They are celebrated according to the Roman/Latin Rite of the Catholic Church. The couple will decide together whether you will exchange vows during a "Liturgy of the Word" or "Mass". The Clergy will provide you with examples of appropriate wedding readings. The vows are according to the Church Liturgy.  The Priest or deacon will discuss examples of prayers, scripture readings and hymns. He will give you a copy of the book titled "Together for Life". It contains the outline of the celebration.

The Parish does not provide marriage service bulletins.

The couple is responsible for obtaining the marriage license from the City or County Clerk at least one month before the ceremony.

Scheduling the Wedding

Choose your wedding date with the Parish Secretary.  If the church can host the wedding, the Secretary or Wedding Coordinator will confirm the date with the couple.

Church Facilities

Our Lady of Fatima church's sanctuary can seat approximately 600 people.  Our temple is a place of beauty and does not require excessive decorations.  Our custodial staff volunteers are only scheduled to clean up the church building on Tuesdays.  Thus, no rice, birdseed, balloons, confetti or flower petals may be used inside or on the grounds. This will also ensure the safety of the environment, our church and your wedding guests.

Flowers & Decorations

Flowers and decorations may be chosen from a florist of your choice or from the Parish Decoration Committee.  If flowers are arranged from a florist other than the Decoration Committee, delivery arrangements must be made through the Wedding Coordinator or Parish Secretary.  Then Wedding Coordinator must be consulted regarding plans to decorate the sanctuary.

 

Thumbtacks, nails or screws are not to be used anywhere in the building.  You are always invited to add flowers for your wedding celebration, but you may not move any flowers or decorations already in place. NO flowers or decorations may be placed on the Altar table, pulpit or certain areas of the presbytery.

When selecting flower and the amount, please consider the liturgical season. For example, during Lent and Advent, there are no flowers, but if you wish, tune down the amount.

If you wish to use a "white runner" in the center aisle, your florist can assist you. The length of the center aisle is 90 feet to the inside doors and 100 feet for the outside doors. A runner is not required.

Photography

The taking of pictures and use of video cameras are certainly welcome. However, since the wedding ceremony is a sacred occasion, no photography may be done during the service with the exceptions listed below:

  • A picture of the wedding party may be taken in the Narthex.

  • Pictures of the ceremony may be taken by the photographer unobtrusively at the appropriate moments from either side of the nave, front or back.

  • Processional pictures may be taken by the photographer only from any spot that is not in the presbytery (Altar area).

  • The Wedding Coordinator, and any assistant, will advise camera carrying attendees that NO photographs may be taken during the taking of the vows and from the Altar area (presbytery).

Video recording of the ceremony is permitted using available light and with equipment in a predetermined stationary location selected by the Wedding Coordinator.

All concerns regarding photography must be referred to the Wedding Coordinator.

Fees

These are the fees for weddings and donations to Our Lady of Fatima:

 

  • Wedding donation to the parish is $300.00. This donation contributes to the heating, cooling and upkeep of the church building. Please write a check payable to: Our Lady of Fatima Church.

  • The stipend for the organist and cantor is $300.00 cash.

  • The honorarium for the wedding coordinator, the fee is $100.00 cash

Origin, Finances and more. The registration fee is $100 per couple. Certificate of Completion is issued.

Click here for dates and to register.

C) Natural Family Planning Seminar - OPTIONAL

 

Natural Family Planning (NFP) is an umbrella term for the natural, healthy, morally acceptable methods of family planning recommended by the Catholic Church to help couples space, achieve, or avoid pregnancy. These methods, also called Fertility Awareness methods, are based on the observation of the naturally occurring signs of the fertile and infertile phase of a woman's menstrual cycle.

The women's body provides certain signs and symptoms which tell her when she can conceive or not conceive a child. The main signs are: changes in the cervix, cervical mucus and resting body temperature. Couples can learn to observe, record, and interpret these signs with a high degree of accuracy.

The program is presented by certified instructors. Register for a class here or call the NFP Office (973) 497-4325 (leave a message with name and phone number). Please do not attend a class without registering in advance. The fee is $150 per couple, but a $25 discount is available when combined with your God's Plan for a Joy-Filled Marriage registration. Course fee includes all seminar books, materials, and lifetime personal consultation. Certificate of Completion is issued.

Click here for dates and to register.

You can also email Jill Cherrey at JillC@JoyFilledMarriageNJ.org for more information.

Join us at any one of the seminars in your area. Click here for the Newark, Metuchen, Paterson, Camden, and Trenton Diocese contact information.

These three programs provide an opportunity to be with other engaged couples and a team of married couples. Together you will center on a process of listening through which couple communicate, manifest their feeling about marriage and internalize certain basic concepts of Christian marriage.

Step Five: Continue Meeting with Priest or Deacon

Continue formation meetings with Pastoral Minister to present necessary forms (Certificates of Completion, Sacramental forms, etc.), review Marriage Inventory results, and choose liturgical options.

Couples’ Checklist for Church Marriage

Marriage Preparation and Family Life Booklets

Click here to view the Archdiocesan booklets

Pastoral Policies and Guidelines for Marriage

Resources & Additional Information

Click here

Parish Life After The Wedding

If you will be residing or have decised to be part of Our Lady of Fatima, our Parish provides an opportunity to welcome you, our newlymarried couples.

To overcome the phenomenon of isolation from parish life which often marks the early years of marriage before the birth and schooling of children necessitate that a young couple reach out to their local parish. We also want to reach out to you.

The an important thing is to make you feel welcome and I invite you to get involved. You can learn about our parish and its activities by visiting our website, and better yet, to speak to one of the Clergy in the Parish. It is an opportunity to be connected and to make known your own talents and interest to the Church. It would be a chance to explain how to get involved in sharing your time and talent in our vibrant parish community.

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