The Sacrament of Matrimony

The Pastoral Staff of Saint Peter’s Parish extends congratulations and a cordial welcome to you who are planning to consecrate your love for one another in the Sacrament of Matrimony. It is our privilege and our duty to help you in this preparation so that your marriage may begin on a most positive note. The guidelines that follow are designed to help you prepare well for this most important event in your lives.

PART I: Preliminaries

1. Contact the Parish Office at tel. # (613) 733-1553 one year or at least six months in advance.

If either person was previously married, more time may be needed; in this case we advise that you consult first our Ottawa Archdiocesan Tribunal Office or the Chancery Office at tel. # (613) 733-1553. Then, you can  consult the pastor before setting any dates.

2. Requirements:

A) Freedom to marry (such as, not previously married)
B) Baptismal certificate – for the Roman Catholic Party ( Call the office of the Catholic Church where you were baptized and ask a copy of your Baptismal certificate for the purpose of marriage. This certificate must only be issued within  6 months of the date of your marriage. For the non-Catholic Party (if you were baptized in a non-Catholic church and your Baptismal certificate is accessible from the office of that church, we need a copy of it; if not, a letter of testimony from your parent / parents is required testifying that you were baptized / or not baptized and you were previously married / or not previously married. This letter must be signed by the parent / parents of the non-Catholic Party.
C) Confirmation certificate (this is normally indicated on your Baptismal certificate). Please note that one can still be married without being confirmed, but it is highly recommended that you receive the sacrament before you are getting married. If you decide to be confirmed at a later date after marriage, kindly keep in touch with our parish office because there is a preparation involved prior to receiving the Sacrament of Confirmation.
D) * Marriage Licence (this can be obtained at the City Hall, Sussex Street onlywithin 3 months of the date of your marriage). Please consult the priest before obtaining this document. Dispensation is required for mixed marriages (i.e. a Catholic marrying a non-Catholic) obtained by the rector or his delegate; *Marriage Banns (this is a document issued by the Catholic Church, similar to that of Marriage Licence obtained from the City Hall.) The priest will advise you if you need this document or the Marriage Licence from the City Hall.

3. Pre-nuptial interview  with the Pastor. This will usually take at least one hour. Kindly make an appointment with the Pastor for this interview. You need to bring identification cards during this interview.

4. Marriage Preparation Course — this is a weekend program of discussion with your fiancé / fiancee, and interaction with other couples who are also preparing for marriage. Guest Speakers are invited to share different topics that affect married life.

Please call the parish office at (613) 733-1553 for information.

PART II: Celebrating the Sacrament of Marriage

1. The Ceremony. The privilege of a Mass is granted not only to two Catholics marrying, but also to mixed couples (Catholic and non-Catholic). Experience shows that many non-Catholics find much meaning when there is a Mass especially if the significance is briefly explained. An appropriate marriage ceremony also is available if one chooses without communion service. When a Catholic and a Non-Catholic marry, an alternative ceremony is recommended without a communion service.

2. Lectors and Altar Servers. Relatives or friends are welcome as lectors (readers of the Scriptures). Please ensure that they will enhance the ceremony by their ability to proclaim the lessons clearly, meaningfully and effectively.

3. Music. Only Church liturgical music is performed in the church. This is music to the honour and glory of God. We do not allow any music such as, “Love Story” or themes from movie hits. This should be kept in mind when planning your wedding at St Peter’s Parish. The Church organist can be of assistance to you in the planning of your music program. If you have your own soloist the music is to be supplied one month prior to the wedding date. The organist receives a separate stipend for his / her services and payment is due the week of the wedding before rehearsal night. The organist can supply a wedding tape of suitable music but does not attend the rehearsal prior to your wedding.

4. Offering to Church. Thoughtful people consider the special gift to the Church on the occasion of a marriage. Not only do understanding couples want a clean, well maintained building, they also realize that maintenance costs money as do utilities. There is a fee for the ceremony, which helps meet the cost of operating the parish. When you tentatively booked the church for your wedding, there is an “Agreement Form” to be signed by you and the priest will discuss the donation feewith you as well as our church policy about tentatively booking for church wedding.

Thank you for your cooperation.

5. Rehearsal – The rehearsal should be a happy experience once everyone involved knows what to do. It is important that the Wedding Party be present and on time for both rehearsal and wedding. The time for rehearsal must be from 45 minutes to one hour maximum inside our church. Please cooperate on this matter.

Present for the rehearsal should be the entire wedding party, if possible. If there is to be a flower girl or ring bearer, they too should be present (children should be at least 5 years old).

6. Flowers – Arrangements are left to the couple’s choice. It is customary that the flowers be left in the Church after the wedding. If they are needed for the reception they should not be placed in the Church and then taken away. Please arrange with ushers or bridesmaids for removal of any runner, pew markers, flower boxes, etc. immediately after the ceremony.

7. Photographs – Photographers should not come near the altar until after the service. Then, at the signing of the register. Photographers are asked to be respectful of the ceremonies and to be as discreet as possible. They should consult the priest before the ceremony.

8. Confetti. We respectfully ask that no confetti , rice, or bird seed be thrown inside or outside the church. There is danger of people slipping and falling. Cleaning up confetti after each wedding becomes burdensome.

9. Guidelines for Receiving Communion at Mass:


Catholics fully participate in the celebration of the Eucharist when they receive Holy Communion in fulfilment of Christ’s command to eat His Body and drink His Blood. In order to be properly disposed to receive Communion, communicants should have fasted for an hour, and seek to live in charity and love with their neighbours. Catholics should be reconciled with God and the Church through the Sacrament of Reconciliation or Confession. A frequent reception of the sacrament of Reconciliation is encouraged.


We welcome to this celebration of the Eucharist those Christians who are not fully united with us. It is a consequence of the sad divisions in Christianity that we cannot extend to them a general invitation to receive Communion. Catholics believe that the Eucharist is an action of the celebrating community signifying a oneness in faith, life and worship in the  community. Reception of the Eucharist by Christians not fully united with us would imply a oneness which does not yet exist, and for which we must all pray.


Those not receiving sacramental Communion are encouraged to express in their hearts a prayerful desire for unity with the Lord Jesus and with one another. Guests not receiving Communion may be seated, or they may fall in line and ask for the priest’s blessing instead of receiving sacramental Communion.


We also welcome to this celebration those who do not share our faith in Jesus. While we cannot extend to them an invitation to receive Communion, we do invite them to be united with us in prayer.

………… may your wedding ceremony be beautiful as you begin a blessed life together. May you see your children’s children to the third and fourth generation.