In order to make the planning as smooth as possible, our parish has drawn up some guidelines for the celebration of weddings. These are meant to help clarify (for you and the parish) the significance of what a wedding represents in the Catholic Church.
We ask you to read them over carefully. If you need further information or clarification or discussion on any of them, please contact the parish by phone or email.
In the Catholic faith, marriage is one of the seven sacraments of the church. Because a wedding is part of the worship tradition of the Church, it belongs to the whole Church. Therefore all planning must be in conformity with the Church’s understanding of marriage as a sacrament, as something sacred.
Our primary purpose for gathering is to offer praise and worship to God through Jesus Christ.
A wedding is the celebration of that same covenant love between God and his people that is now symbolized in the love of two individuals.
In the wedding liturgy, we call upon God’s blessing for the couple who comes to give themselves to each other in marriage. The couple is certainly invited to add their own personal touch to the liturgy, but it must always be in harmony with marriage as a sacred event for the whole Church, not just for the bride and groom. This means that all planning should keep the spiritual aspect foremost in mind. This would include such things as readings, music, and any symbols that might be used in the wedding. They all need to speak of the spiritual quality of what marriage represents.
TWO FORMS OF CATHOLIC WEDDINGS
There are two forms of the wedding liturgy in the Catholic Church:
a) if both are Catholic then the marriage may be within Mass;
b) if the couple is of mixed religion (one Catholic and the other non-Catholic), the marriage ceremony is usually celebrated without a Mass.
The reason for this is that a wedding is a celebration of UNITY between people. According to Roman Catholic teaching, only baptized Catholics are able to receive communion. If there is a part of the whole that could not receive communion, then the wedding would witness against the intended unity.
TIME OF WEDDINGS
Weddings are usually celebrated at St. Basil’s on Saturdays at 11 am; 1 pm or 3 pm. Friday weddings are celebrated at 2 pm or 7 pm (this is dependent on the Saturday wedding schedule) Other days are possible with the exception of Sundays. Wedding Rehearsals are scheduled on the Thursday evening prior to the wedding. An alternate date may be considered to accommodate exceptionalities.
DO NOT BE LATE FOR YOUR WEDDING!
A formal Marriage Preparation Course is mandatory for all couples being married in our parish. (Click here for more details) We ask that on completion of the course, the certificate be included with the other necessary documents.
In addition to the marriage course, the Pastor may request that the couple participate in FOCCUS- an questionnaire designed to deepen communication between couples. This part of your preparation will occur during your meetings with the priest.
Music plays an important part in any celebration, whether sacred or not. Keep in mind that the wedding liturgy is meant to reflect the sacred covenant relationship between God and his people that was accomplished through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus.
All music is coordinated by our Director of Music and Principal Organist, Dr. John Paul Farahat. You may reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dr. Farahat will coordinate all musicians once you meet and discuss your preferences with him. At that time, he will present you with additional documentation regarding music and fee schedules. Generally, a cantor and organist will cost $600 combined. A choir and organist will cost $1500-$2500, depending on the number of choristers involved.
A recently issued certificate (within 6 months of the marriage date) is required for all Catholics. This document should also include Confirmation information.
Non-Catholics must present a copy of their baptismal certificate and proof of freedom to marry.
CIVIL MARRIAGE LICENSE
A civil license is required for all couples. It is valid for 3 months prior to the date of the marriage.
When planning their wedding liturgy, couples will receive a letter from their designated Liturgy coordinator to be forwarded to their photography and videography team. The letter outlines guidelines that facilitate the photographer/videographer in their task, while respecting the sacredness of the wedding liturgy.
Photographs and videographers should also speak with the wedding coordinator prior to the start of the ceremony to clarify any outstanding questions or concerns. A summary of guidelines can also be found here.
Guests are not allowed to take pictures and/or video with their personal devices at anytime during the liturgy. The Presider will share this directive with guests at the start of the wedding liturgy.
No permit is necessary is you are taking pictures on the grounds of University of St. Michael’s College. Campus boundaries can be reviewed here: http://stmikes.utoronto.ca/maps/default.asp
If you wish to take pictures on the grounds of any of the other Colleges, you must contact the individual College to obtain a permit.
If you wish to take pictures on the grounds belonging to the University of Toronto, you must obtain a permit. Information on how to do so can be found here: http://www.ace.utoronto.ca/weddinghome.html
Flowers are the responsibility of the couple. After the wedding, you may take the flowers away or leave them for church decor. If you plan to leave them in the church, please let the wedding coordinator know in advance. You are free to use any florist of your choice.
Living plants in the church are a sign of the gift of life that God has given us, and for that reason flowers and plants should be live rather than artificial.
No confetti, rice, seed or petals of any kind allowed on the church property. If you are going to have pew bows, make sure they are fastened in such a way not as to harm the pews (no scotch tape or tacks). Pews decorations should not be touching the floor, so as not to create tripping hazards.
Aisle runners are not permitted. Nor can you block movement in and out of the pews or sight lines of the guests towards the altar. Flowers in the sanctuary must allow for plenty of movement around the altar.
It is highly encouraged to speak to the wedding coordinator about your decoration plans before you finalize them with the florist.
Lastly, we ask that members of the bridal party be mindful that the church is a sacred space. Fashion trends can make this challenging for ladies especially. You are encouraged to talk with the Pastor about what is, and is not appropriate.
Details of the wedding ceremony are now under the direction of our wedding coordinators. Your coordinator will help you to plan the ceremony, preside over the rehearsal and be present on the day of your wedding.
Once you have met with the priest, a wedding coordinator will be provided to you. The wedding coordinator will contact you approximately two to three months prior to the wedding date. Their fee is $250.00.
DONATION FOR USE
Like all Sacraments, the Sacrament of Marriage is received without charge. The customary giving for a wedding at St. Basil’s is $700.00 and is allocated for the use of the Church building. This is a consistent practice within the Archdiocese of Toronto.
If you are a registered parishioner the amount of $700 is added to your weekly collection and a tax receipt will be issued for your total givings for the calendar year. If you are not a registered parishioners a tax receipt in the amount of $700 will be issued at the end of our wedding season (November) and mailed to you.
If your financial situation does not allow you to meet this commitment, please feel free to discuss alternate arrangements with the Pastor.
For couples not getting married at St. Basil’s, but require the Pastor to prepare you for marriage, a donation of $150.00 is appreciated.
PARKING & TRANSIT
There is no parking at St. Basil’s Church. A limo for the bride and groom may be parked on the landing, but no other vehicles may use this space. Anyone with mobility difficulties, can be dropped off using the driveway.
Street parking is available on St. Joseph Street for two hours on the North side on Saturdays. There is a pay lot on the far South end of St. Joseph just before Queen’s Park Crescent and at Bay and Wellesley.
The closest subway stations are Museum, on the University-Spadina line, Wellesley, on the Yonge line, and Bay St., on the Bloor line. The Bay St. bus (route #6) also stops at the corner of Bay St. and St. Joseph St.