Congratulations! We welcome your inquiry about marrying in Holy Cross Church. It is a privilege to assist you as you prepare to celebrate the Sacrament of Matrimony in our Church.
The Catholic Church esteems marriage as very sacred—one of the seven sacraments of the real presence of Christ among us. Sacred Scripture compares marriage to the covenant relationship of God with us. Saint Paul says the union of husband and wife is a sign of the union of Christ and the Church.
In witnessing your marriage, our Church community wants to uphold and support you faithfully for the rest of your lives as you grow together in God who is Love. We undertake this ministry with you now as you begin preparing for the Sacrament of Marriage. In this document, we want to outline the procedure we need to follow. I look forward to serving you as we share our faith together.
Sincerely in Christ,
Fr. Michael Gentry
Pastor – Holy Cross Church
We at Holy Cross want your wedding to be a beautiful, memorable, and faith-filled occasion. These guidelines are designed to assist you in preparing your wedding liturgy in our parish. Please read these carefully. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call.
Who May Be Married at Holy Cross?
Setting the Date and Time of the Wedding
Normally, weddings will be celebrated on Saturday (between 1:30 and 6:30 p.m.). The rehearsal is the night before the wedding and is to be scheduled between 5:30 and 7:00 p.m. (and before 6:00 p.m. on a First Friday).
Appointment with the Pastor
The couple should make an appointment with the pastor at least eight months prior to the anticipated wedding date. Due to the number of weddings in our parish, it is advisable to contact the pastor as soon as possible to ensure the desired date and time of your wedding. If either party has been married previously, an annulment is required. This process may take a year to complete. No date may be scheduled until the annulment is obtained.
A date may be placed on the parish calendar after an interview with the pastor and payment of a deposit.
1. Meet with the pastor to fill out Freedom to Marry form. In addition to completing the Freedom to Marry form, the pastor would like to interview you and answer any questions you may have.
A certified baptismal certificate issued from your parish office is required for all Catholics. The baptismal certificate(s) should be provided to the parish office immediately. The procurement of the certificate by a non-Catholic party is encouraged but not necessary.
If you have not yet been confirmed, please arrange to receive this sacrament as soon as possible.
4. Pre-Cana or Engaged Encounter Weekends
Until further notice, due to COVID-19, all Pre-Cana classes will be done online. The Diocese of Columbus recommends this online marriage prep program: https://smartloving.org/engaged/
5. Mixed Marriage Permission
If this will be a marriage between a Catholic and a non-Catholic, please let us know at the time of the initial meeting with the pastor. He must complete a dispensation form for the wedding to take place.
If the Catholic party is registered in another parish, he or she will have to contact the pastor at his or her current parish and request written permission from him to be married at Holy Cross. The pastor can mail the permission letter directly to the pastor at Holy Cross. The letter of permission should be provided to the parish office immediately.
7. Marriage License
The civil license for the marriage is to be presented to the officiating clergy at the time of the rehearsal. Application for license must be made under oath by BOTH parties to the Probate Court of the county in which either resides.
Franklin County Court of Common Pleas, Marriage Licensing Dept.,
373 S. High Street, Columbus, OH 43215 – 23rd Floor
Monday through Friday, Hours 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Telephone: (614) 525-3108 (as of 30 March 2017)
A Church wedding is not only a personal event—it is a Sacrament 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 ministers of the Sacrament, have chosen to express freely your love and commitment to each other. The Rite of Marriage, highlighted by the exchange of vows and the blessing and exchange of rings, best conveys the Church’s desire to witness your vows, to strengthen your fidelity to them, and to support you prayerfully in your life together. As with all liturgical celebrations, the full and active participation of those present is desirable. Ordinarily, the Rite of Marriage takes place in one of two contexts: within Mass for two Catholics or outside Mass if either the bride or the groom is not Catholic.
The Rite of Marriage includes selected scriptural readings and prayers from which you may choose those that are most expressive of your understanding of marriage. You will find these selections in a special booklet that you will receive at Pre-Cana or from the pastor. Please choose only the First and Second Reading.
Music for the Liturgy
Only liturgically appropriate music may be used at weddings. All music, sacred or of a classical nature, is planned with our parish organist who will ordinarily play at the wedding.
Popular and secular music, such as Broadway film music and Top 40 songs are not appropriate liturgical music for use in the Church.
Please contact our parish organist as soon as possible to arrange the music for your wedding.
Parish Presiders and Visiting Clergy
Normally, the pastor presides at parish weddings. Visiting clergy are welcome to participate. Please contact the Secretary of State for information pertaining to the civil license necessary for an out-of-state priest or deacon to witness your marriage.
Secretary of State – Elections Division
180 East Broad Street, 16th Floor
Columbus, OH 43215
(614) 728-9200 (as of 30 March 2017)
Parish Wedding Hostess
A source of help for the couple, she is familiar with the wedding procedure and responsible for seeing that the guidelines are carried out.
Choosing Other Ministers for the Celebration
Friends and relatives of the couple may participate in the liturgy in various ministries. You may wish to select Readers, Servers, Eucharistic Ministers, and Gift Bearers for the liturgy. Individuals chosen should be regularly serving in these ministries in their home parish. Decisions about ministers may be made when the liturgy is planned with the pastor.
You may wish to select children to take part in the ceremony. Children must be at least five years old. Very young children can be a distraction.
Very few decorations are needed to enhance the beautiful liturgical space of Holy Cross Church. Normally, two flower arrangements – 18” to 24” high and wide, placed on pedestals near the altar – are sufficient. Seasonal decorations (Christmas and Easter) provide a beautiful environment for all weddings during those seasons. No decorations are to be placed on the altar itself.
For safety and aesthetic reasons, the use of candelabra, sparklers, lamps, floral petals, rice, bird seed, balloons, and floral displays with candles are prohibited.
The unity candle is not a recognized part of the Catholic wedding liturgy and is more appropriately used at the reception.
Due to safety concerns, aisle runners are not permitted.
Receiving Line and Guest Book
Due to time and space considerations, the receiving line and guest book are appropriate at the reception only—not at the church. Please relay this information to your invited guests.
Photographers are welcome to take pictures before and during the ceremony. If you wish to have posed pictures taken after the ceremony, please complete them within a reasonable time. In order to avoid distractions, those taking pictures and/or video recordings are asked to check with the pastor or wedding hostess at least 30 minutes before the celebration to arrange for locations for pictures. Specific guidelines are listed on another page.
Holy Cross Church is a holy and historic place of worship. The quiet and prayerful environment is to be respected and cherished.
No alcoholic beverages are permitted on the Church property before or after the wedding. We request that food and beverages not be brought onto the Church grounds or into the Church.
Furniture in the Church
All furniture in the Church should be left in place.
Smoking is not permitted anywhere in the Church.
Due to the sacred nature of the wedding liturgy and the church building, dress needs to be dignified and modest. Bridal gowns and attendants’ dresses should be appropriate for the sacred occasion. Gentlemen normally wear suits and ties.
For parishioners who have been registered members in good standing (as defined by their participation in Time, Talent, and Treasure Determinations*) for at least one year**, the wedding fee is $750. A non-refundable $200 deposit reserves the date. The balance of $550 is due 21 days prior to the date of the wedding.
*Time, Talent, and Treasure Determinations
Time is defined as attending Mass and praying with the community, as well as spending time visiting the sick and praying with them.
Talent is defined as sharing one’s gifts with the community in support of the Mass or in other church ministries. Sharing one’s talents include being an Altar Server or Eucharistic Minister, proclaiming the Word of God as a Lector, being a Cantor, singing in the choir, greeting people at the door prior to Mass, serving as an usher, or doing physical labor to clean or maintain the church or the church grounds.
Treasure is defined as tithing 5% of one’s income to the church via verifiable church envelopes or checks and 5% to a charity. Because circumstances occur that make it impossible for everyone to tithe, a member is able to donate Time and Talent as substitutes for Treasure.
** Special consideration will be given if you are a newly registered member of Holy Cross, have been actively involved in your previous parish as a Lector or Eucharistic Minister, and are prepared to continue your active involvement in these specific Time, Talent, or Treasure-sharing opportunities at Holy Cross.
For non-parishioners, a fee of $1,200 is requested to cover facility use and stipends for the priest, organist, and cantor. A non-refundable $200 deposit reserves the date. The balance of $1,000 is due 21 days prior to the date of the wedding.
NOTE: Organist’s retainer/bench fee is included in the wedding fees. There is no discount if a couple chooses to use other musicians.
Please check with parish priest for his availability prior to scheduling your wedding date.
We welcome photographers and videographers - both professional and amateur - for the making of still pictures and videos. We ask, however, that the following directives be observed. The Church itself is not a studio but a sacred place in which a community of believers celebrates common worship. The photographer and videographer should keep this is mind as they envision their work before, during, and after the celebration of Marriage.
Please print your name indicating your agreement with the above guidelines.
Name of Engaged Couple_________________________________________________________
Holy Cross does not provide janitorial services. It is therefore the responsibility of the florist or of the wedding party to remove all flowers, bows, and potted plants within 30 minutes after the wedding. Ordinarily, the altar flowers remain for the upcoming parish Masses.
Please print your name indicating your agreement with the above guidelines.
Name of Engaged Couple____________________________________________