Christian Marriage is an occasion of great joy for the whole parish. Parishioners who would like to be married are encouraged to make an appointment to visit with the pastor early in their time of engagement, and at least six months before they hope to be married. Couples often have many questions about this process, and we will try to answer some of them here.
Wedding Guidelines for St. Thomas the Apostle Parish
Only registered and participating parishioners are married at St. Thomas the Apostle parish. If you are not currently a registered member of St. Thomas, you are welcome to register. After six months of participation at St. Thomas, you will be eligible to reserve a wedding date for your marriage. Catholics from other parishes are respectfully encouraged to approach their own pastor for permission to marry in their own parish community.
A minimum of six (6) months advanced planning and preparation prior to the wedding date is required. It is required to meet with the pastor before the process begins, and again nearer to the time of the wedding. In addition the couple must attend a ‘Pre-Cana’ day organized by the Archdiocese of Chicago.
Times for Weddings:
Weddings cannot be celebrated between 2.30 p.m. and 4.30 p.m. on Saturday because of the Saturday evening Mass and confessions, and so must be celebrated to finish well before, or begin after these times. Weddings may be celebrated on other days (including Friday and Sunday) if the Church and priest are available.
Rehearsal may be held on Thursday or Friday between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m.
Fees for Weddings:
The donation for a wedding is $1200. This fee includes interviews and marriage preparation and planning, the necessary paperwork, keeping of records, Church preparation, sacristan on duty, Church use, one rehearsal and the organist. Not included in this fee is the cost of the pre-Cana weekend, and additional musicians, which will have their own fees.
A new and current Baptism and Confirmation Certificate should be sent directly from the parish of Baptism (and Confirmation) to Saint Thomas the Apostle. If it comes separately, it must be a new original certificate (and not a photocopy of an old certificate).
Affidavits affirming each person’s freedom to marry may be required in some cases. The consulting priest or wedding coordinator will advise if these are needed.
A Pre Cana class is required prior to the wedding within the Archdioceses of Chicago. For information on signing up for the class, go to www.familyministries.org and click on Marriage Preparation.
A marriage license from Cook County, Illinois, is required and is to be presented at the time of the rehearsal. Currently, a Cook County license is valid for sixty days from the date if issue and must be obtained at least one day prior to the wedding County Clerk’s Office at (312) 603-7790.
If you would like a priest or deacon from outside the Archdiocese of Chicago is to officiate at your wedding, we are happy to welcome them. In this case, the Archdiocese requires the priest to provide a letter of current status from his bishop or religious superior. If you have any questions about this, please ask the pastor.
All required preparation and documents must be completed six weeks before the wedding. Requests for marriage at the University of Chicago may be made with the University Chaplaincy at Calvert House.
Parishioners who would like to arrange for their wedding at the parish, but would like to celebrate someplace other than Chicago, half the fee is required. The balance is due two weeks before the wedding.
Parishioners who wish to arrange the preparation only at Saint Thomas the Apostle, but plan to be married in another city or state, there is a donation of $500. Please speak with the pastor at least six months before you hope to be married, so that everything can be completed in time.