At least one of the persons seeking marriage must be a baptized Catholic and a registered, active parishioner of St Anne’s for at least four (4) months prior to the first meeting with the parish priest. There is no fee for joining the parish, but as a registered parishioner you would be expected to attend Holy Mass here regularly (Sundays and holy days of obligation) and contribute to the support of the parish by means of the weekly budget envelope. Exceptions to this policy (for example, if you are not a parishioner but are the child of a registered and active parishioner) .
Please call the parish to schedule an appointment at least eight (8) months in advance of your intended wedding date. We cannot confirm or schedule wedding dates prior to the initial meeting with the parish priest at which must be made prepayment for use of the church. Saturday weddings can be scheduled between 11:00 am and 2:00 pm. Visiting clergy are welcome to officiate at your wedding provided that they are in good canonical standing with the Catholic Church; if they are coming from outside the Fall River Diocese, they must present a current celebret from their bishop or religious superior.
Records and paperwork
If you have not already done so, you must obtain Baptism and Confirmation records. Non-Catholic Christians also must provide proof of Baptism. If either the bride or groom is unbaptized, the priest must obtain a dispensation from the Bishop in order to witness your marriage.
Couples preparing for marriage within the Diocese of Fall River must attend a Marriage Preparation or “Pre-Cana” conference. You can register for this online after you have had your initial meeting with the priest. To register online, click HERE.
If you choose to hire a “wedding planner,” remember that all aspects of the wedding ceremony are directed solely by the priest who will officiate.
It is appropriate that practicing Catholics be married within the celebration of the Eucharist (the Mass). Weddings involving “mixed” religion (i.e., one party is not Catholic) will ordinarily take place outside of Mass.
The use of wedding programs is discouraged. Your guests’ attention should be focused on you and the celebration, not on a piece of paper. If you do plan to use programs for your guests, please consult with the priest prior to printing them.
Our organist and music director for weddings is Kyle Medeiros (401-855-5585). He will help you to choose suitable liturgical music. If you wish to use another organist, you must obtain Kyle’s permission and still pay Kyle. Any music-related questions should be addressed directly to Kyle.
You may choose from the biblical Old and New Testament readings approved by the Church for use at weddings. If you opt for two readings before the Gospel, the first is taken from the Old Testament and the second from the New Testament. For the selection of readings, click HERE. Inform the priest of your choice of readings at the wedding rehearsal (if not before).
Flowers and runners
Plastic and other runners can cause falls and therefore are not allowed.
Please instruct your photographer to meet with the priest before the ceremony begins.
Rehearsals are normally held the evening before the wedding. Bring to the rehearsal (unless you have already provided these at an earlier time):
- The Massachusetts marriage license; it can be applied for at any city or town hall in Massachusetts, and is valid for sixty (60) days after it is obtained;
- The fee for use of the church payable to St. Anne Parish at the time of booking wedding date;
- The musician’s fee is $175; make check payable to Kyle Medeiros.
The wedding ceremony
Be sure that the limo driver and photographer know that you intend to start on time. Late starting times could result in an abbreviated Liturgy of the Word rather than a Mass.
To avoid embarrassments children who take part in the entrance (flower girls and ring bearers) must be at least 5 years old. No wagons, carriages, or strollers may be used in procession.
The lighting of a “Unity Candle” is not a part of the Rite of Marriage; it is a commercial product with no liturgical history. If you have purchased a Unity Candle or receive one as a gift, light it at your wedding reception rather than in church.
Proper dress and appropriate behavior are expected at all times on church grounds. Anyone suspected of being under the influence of drugs or alcohol will be told to leave. It may happen that due to the unpredictable circumstances beyond our control, wedding ceremony may be relocated to the Shrine of St. Anne.
After the wedding
Please designate someone who will be attending your wedding to spend time in the church immediately afterward to make sure that no personal belongings are left behind. All items you bring (flower or tux wrappers, pins, programs, boxes, bags, etc.) are to be taken with you when you leave. Rice, birdseed, flowers, and confetti are not to be thrown inside the church.
Revised July 2014