Preparing for grace
Here at Prince of Peace, we are honored to help our couples prepare for the Sacrament of Matrimony. We are committed to helping you prepare for this special event and supporting you throughout your married life. Our preparation process will help you prayerfully grow in your understanding of the theology of marriage, as well as the more practical aspects of living out your vocation. We provide resources and support to help make yours a lasting and joyful marriage.
STEP 1: MARRIAGE REQUEST
To begin preparations, please fill out the marriage request. Our marriage coordinator will contact you and help guide you throughout each step of the process. She will provide you with a wedding packet containing information about wedding requirements and help answer any questions you have.
STEP 2: COMPATIBILITY STUDY
The Foccus Compatibility Study or the Prepare/Enrich Study will help you identify the specific areas in your relationship that are your greatest strengths, as well as the areas that may be challenging or have the highest potential for growth.
STEP 3: MARRIAGE COUNSELING
We set our couples up for success by including a meeting with a Licensed Professional Counselor as part of our preparation. Together, the two of you will talk with the counselor about your relationship, go over the results of your compatibility study, and discuss ways to continue improving your relationship.
STEP 4: MEETING WITH CLERGY
Together, the two of you will meet four or five times with a member of our clergy. You will pray together, go over the results of your compatibility study, learn more about the Sacrament of Matrimony, and discuss different aspects of married life.
STEP 5: RETREAT OR SPONSOR COUPLE
You will have the opportunity to go on a weekend retreat OR meet with a wedding-sponsor couple.
Retreat: A group gathering, held at a retreat center in Houston, of several engaged couples from the Archdiocese who also are in the process of marriage preparation.
Wedding-Sponsor Couple: A couple-to-couple approach to marriage preparation. Meet five times in the home of the sponsor couple (parishioners).
STEP 6: WORSHIP MEETING
Once you have chosen the selections from Scriptures and prayers from the Together for Life booklet, you will meet with our Worship staff who will assist you with your choice of music and review your readings, blessings, and vows for the ceremony. This meeting should take place at least two months before the wedding.
- Baptismal Certificate or a Profession of Faith Certificate issued within six months from the Catholic church of your baptism or where you became a Catholic, with any sacramental notations listed on the back.
- Four Witness Affidavits of Freedom to Marry, two for the groom, and another two for the bride (provided by the coordinator). They must be completed and returned to the coordinator.
- A valid civil marriage license issued by any County Clerk’s office in the State of Texas. We ask that you bring your marriage license to the Parish Office one week before the wedding.
WE'RE HERE TO HELP
We recognize that not everyone's faith journey looks the same. So whatever the situation, we're here to assist each couple on their unique journey. If you have questions or concerns about the process, just let us know.
support for life
We are committed to helping you prepare for this special event and supporting you throughout your married life. Below are some ministries and resources we recommend for our engaged and married couples.
Frequently Asked Questions
Your wedding day will take a great deal of preparation, and we are here to help. Below are some frequently asked questions and practical guidelines to ensure a reverent and joyful celebration of the Rite of Marriage within the Sacred Liturgy. Please let us know if you have any other questions.
WHEN AND WHERE ARE WEDDINGS CELEBRATED?
Main Church, Saturdays at 12:00 pm (Noon) or 2:00 pm.
Mary Chapel, Saturdays at 2:00 pm, 4:30 pm or 7:30 pm.
Special weekday/weekend wedding dates are permitted if the parish schedule allows.
The wedding party has the use of the church or chapel and areas for dressing for no more than one hour before the ceremony and thirty minutes after the conclusion of the ceremony. The ceremony must begin and end on schedule. Please designate a family member or friend to care for your items.
WILL WE HAVE A REHEARSAL?
Rehearsals are generally the evening before the wedding. However, some may be scheduled on other days due to prior events already scheduled. Rehearsal times are 5:30 pm, 6:30 pm, or 7:30 pm. During Lent, rehearsals are scheduled on Thursdays to accommodate Lenten services.
Our Liturgical Wedding Coordinators conduct rehearsals, which last no longer than one hour. All members of the wedding party, including attendants, ushers, parents, lectors, etc. should attend.
SHOULD MASS BE CELEBRATED AT OUR WEDDING?
The Catholic Rite of Marriage takes place within the Sacred Liturgy – the Church’s praise of God. By its nature, Sacred Liturgy is a celebration of the universal Church. The wedding liturgy reflects this aspect when a groom and bride profess their solemn vows to each other before God and His people assembled. To manifest our corporate worship and as we do at Sunday Mass, each wedding begins with a liturgical procession with the cross of Christ leading, the priest/deacon, and then followed by the wedding party. Then a gathering hymn unites our minds, hearts, and voices as we begin our worship, praising God and asking His blessings upon the church and the couple marrying.
The Rite of Marriage may be celebrated during a Mass, or a Liturgy of the Word with no Holy Communion.
Rite of Marriage during a Mass is the norm when both the groom and bride are practicing Catholics.
Rite of Marriage outside of Mass – Liturgy of the Word with no Holy Communion is the norm when a Catholic marries a baptized non-Catholic.
Rite of Marriage outside of Mass – Liturgy of the Word with no Holy Communion must be used when a Catholic marries a non-baptized person.
To prepare for the Sacred Liturgy, you receive a book, Together for Life, that outlines your choices for prayers and Scripture readings. Please select lectors who are comfortable reading in public. Practicing Catholics and/or practicing baptized, non-Catholics may read the first and second readings.
With the Rite of Marriage during Mass, you are to choose two practicing Catholics to present the gifts of bread and wine. Since we as Catholics believe these gifts will become the Body and Blood of Christ, it would be inappropriate to ask a non-Catholic to present these gifts when his or her faith tradition does not believe in the real presence of the Eucharist.
SHOULD WE HIRE A WEDDING COORDINATOR?
Since the Catholic Church adheres to the rubrics for its Sacred Liturgy, we will assign two Liturgical Wedding Coordinators for your liturgy. If you do hire a consultant or coordinator, we respectfully request they honor all aspects of the Church’s liturgy. Moreover, they do not conduct the wedding rehearsal or interfere with the ceremony itself. Your consultant or coordinator may assist if they are requested to do so.
WHAT KIND OF MUSIC SHOULD WE HAVE?
Our Worship Ministry will assist you in planning your music for the ceremony. You will receive a booklet, Together for Life, that will aid in the selection of readings, prayers, blessings, and music. Please schedule your meeting with our Worship Ministry two months before your wedding.
ARE WE ALLOWED TO DECORATE?
Flowers and other décor are permitted as part of the wedding environment as long as they do not distract from the focus of the liturgy or cause damage to the church, chapel or furnishings. Liturgical decorations may not be changed or moved.
The following policies are in place to ensure the appropriate placement and use of flowers, candles, and other decorations, and to ensure the beauty and sacredness of the church and chapel are respected and maintained.
- Decorations are not required. The natural beauty of the church or chapel and its décor already enhance the dignity of the ceremony.
- Seasonal decor (Advent, Christmas, Lent, and Easter) may not be changed or moved. During these times, additional décor should be appropriate to the season.
- All existing plants, flowers, and pedestals in the church or chapel are to remain in place.
- If flowers or plants are to remain in the church or chapel after the ceremony, please inform the Office of Worship in advance. If you choose to donate your flowers, you may request a letter for tax purposes. Please consult with the Office of Worship for this as well.
- Artificial bouquets, floral arrangements, greenery, and plants are not allowed inside the church or chapel at any time.
- Ribbon or tulle netting may be used for bouquets to be placed on chairs or pews. Tape, Velcro, staples, clamps, floral pins, etc., are not allowed on the chairs or pews.
- Carpet runners are not allowed.
- Flower petals (real or artificial) may not be thrown or dropped down the aisle. Rice, birdseed, confetti, flower petals, bubbles, etc., may not, under any circumstances, be thrown on the church grounds.
- Existing sanctuary candles are used in the ceremony. The candelabrum may be used, but the florist must provide adequate plastic floor covering under the candelabrum to protect the tile/carpet. The candelabrum must be non-drip. Aisle candles may not be used.
- The church and chapel are available for floral setup no earlier than one hour before the ceremony.
- Florists are responsible for reclaiming any décor provided immediately after the ceremony. No items are to be left in the church or chapel for temporary storage. The church and chapel should be left in the same order as they are found.
IS PHOTOGRAPHY & VIDEOGRAPHY ALLOWED?
Since the church is a sacred place of prayer and worship, appropriate professional and reverent behavior is expected at all times on church premises. The overriding principle of a photographer or videographer is to be inconspicuous and discreet. The taking of photographs must never distract the bride, groom, and their guests from the Liturgy.
Please encourage your guests to silence their cell phones and refrain from flashing or holding the phone up during the ceremony for recording.
Before contracting with your photographer/videographer, please be sure the following policies are acknowledged and will be followed:
- The photographer/videographer must check in with the Liturgical Wedding Coordinator before the wedding begins.
- Pictures/video or the use of drones may be taken in the church or chapel no earlier than one hour before the ceremony and ending 20 minutes before the start of the ceremony
- Setup of photographic equipment must be completed 20 minutes before the ceremony begins. It is important that the ceremony begins on time.
- Neither the photographer nor the videographer is allowed in the area in front of/near the tabernacle. The videographer is encouraged to remain stationary throughout the ceremony. Photographs may be taken in the preparation areas.
- No artificial lighting or flash photography during the ceremony. Please do not stop or interrupt the procession once it has begun. All photographs should be respectful of the sacredness of the church, i.e., no inappropriate poses.
- No hidden photography/videography is allowed, such as cameras in bouquets etc.
- After the ceremony, photography/videography is limited to 20 minutes to ensure vacating the church or chapel in the 30-minute time frame is respected.