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The parish family of Our Lady of Mount Virgin Church offers to support and guide you as you prepare for your wedding. There are many things to be done in preparation for your celebration of this Sacrament. To insure the sanctity of your wedding, please review this carefully.

Your spiritual development as a couple is the most important aspect of your marriage preparation. As you enter the church and come before the altar, you are recounting the steps which many others have taken. These steps represent a new identity which will be centered on a relationship built on faith in God and faith in each other.

Marriage is a sacrament. We are here to help you prepare for this profound experience of God's love that will be showered upon you on your wedding day and every day of your married life.

The sacraments are essential to the life of the church. Therefore, adequate marriage preparation is necessary to the reception of the sacrament of matrimony.

Arrangements for marriages are to be made at least one year in advance. Contact one of our parish priests at the rectory to begin the formation. Dates are scheduled by the priest only, after he has met with the engaged couple. Priests communicate directly with the engaged couple and not the parents.

Sacramental Preparation

We recommend that you celebrate the sacrament of penance, particularly prior to your wedding. This sacrament affords you the opportunity to experience the forgiveness of the Lord and the strength to resist temptation.

We also recommend that you attend Mass every Sunday, so that you may be strengthened by the Eucharist. By making Jesus number one in your life, you will be truly preparing for the sacrament of marriage. Your presence is important, not only for one another, but also for the parish community. It speaks volumes.

Documents from the Church

Persons not baptized in Our Lady of Mount Virgin Church must contact the church of their baptism to receive a copy of their Baptismal Certificate. This copy is not returned.

Because marriage in the Catholic Church is a sacrament, either the best man or the maid of honor, preferably both, should be practicing Catholics.

The marriage license is obtained from the town of the bride. One witness will also be needed (over 18 years) when you apply for the license. APPLY NO LATER THAN ONE WEEK IN ADVANCE. The witness must know both the bride and the groom.

Documents from civil authorities

The civil license, church and music fees must be brought to the rehearsal.

PNI and FOCUS Inventory

After Pre-Cana

Follow-up Session


Archdiocesan policy requires that each couple attend either a Pre-Cana or Engaged Encounter. Plans to attend either should be made well in advance by contacting the Family Life Office.

The rehearsal is booked according to the schedule of the priest. The license and fees must be presented at the rehearsal, along with the programs and unity candle. The rehearsal will last approximately half an hour. Confession is always offered at the rehearsal.


Periodically, Father Peter and Evan Tintle-Charpentier, our Director of Sacred Music, will host a liturgy/music planning session for all couples wishing to hear wedding music from Ms. Tintle-Charpentier's repertoire. If you cannot attend, planning documents will be sent or e-mailed to you, along with a list of suggested websites that have music samples to listen to, in order to help you make your selections. Ms. Tintle-Charpentier is available for brief consultations over the phone, or in person, before or after Mass if arranged in advance at (201) 978-4885 or email at evanmakesmusic@gmail.com. Because couples need to select music which reflects the dignified worship of God, secular music is not appropriate. Music must be selected 4 weeks before the date of your wedding. "Bench fees" are in place for our hired musicians. The hired church musicians are entitled to all appropriate wedding music fees, which are calculated into their annual salary. Therefore, any outside musicians you may invite, as substitutes, are paid separately.

Click here for Wedding Music page

Flower, Photography, Church Fees, Miscellaneous

Floral decorations should include no more than two baskets, which can be placed in front of the main altar. It is customary to leave flowers for decoration of the church during the weekend. No form of tape or adhesive may be used to secure the decorations to church furnishings. Please advise your florist. Only cloth runners are permitted.

During the Christmas and Easter seasons, the church sanctuary is already decorated with floral pieces. To purchase extra is not necessary. Also, please consult with the parish as to whether or not there are weddings before yours on the same day. This will ensure for tasteful decoration and could possibly save you money.

In choosing photographers and videographers, please know that they must not distract those who attend the ceremony, or the bride and groom.

We do not allow pictures or videos to be taken from with the sanctuary. This is to ensure both reverence for God and the prevention of unnecessary distractions.

Offerings and Stipends

Church offering is $350.00

*Non-registered parishioners stipend is $1,000.00 (all inclusive)

Music Stipend: $325.00

Sacristan offering: $30.00

The throwing of rice at the end of the ceremony is prohibited. Rice is the primary food source of our brothers and sisters in the third world. We believe that to waste this food is not consistent with our option for the poor. We suggest using bird seed. Please inform your guests of this policy. Also, flower girls are not permitted to drop flower petals down the aisle.

Proper Attire

It is important that the wedding day party select attire which is consistent with virtue of modesty and appropriate to the dignity of Christian worship. Sweetheart top dresses which completely expose the shoulders are not appropriate church dress.

In Closing

Finally, we ask that if you will be living in Garfield after your wedding that you notify the parish of your new address. If you are moving, we encourage you to register at the local parish in your new neighborhood. Your faith life must be continually nurtured in an environment conducive to spiritual growth.

We thank you for your kind cooperation and invite you to call us regarding further clarifications and/or questions.


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