On May 19, 1991, the Bishop of the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois put into effect a Diocesan Marriage Preparation Policy which is to be observed by all couples desiring to celebrate Marriage in a Catholic Church. St. Jerome Church follows this policy for all marriages.

Marriage is a sacrament of the Catholic Church and therefore presupposes an active practice of the Roman Catholic faith given through the waters of baptism. Active practice of the faith is determined primarily by one's participation in:

When a couple present themselves for the Sacrament of Marriage, the above is presumed. If not, further discussion will take place determining the level of faith commitment present in those seeking marriage. It is inappropriate to celebrate a Catholic ceremony when the practice of the Catholic faith is lacking.

While it is wise to contact the parish nine months to a year prior to the proposed date of marriage, preparation programs will begin at least six months prior to the proposed date of the wedding. No dates are to be set until AFTER a conference with the pastor. Exceptions to the six-month Diocesan policy are seldom given.

Required elements of preparation for Marriage at St. Jerome include:


Fee for use of Church and pre-marital inventory:  $150.00
Fee for Director of Liturgy and Music: $150.00
Fee for Engaged Encounter: to be determined by the Diocese
Fee for Re-Marriage Seminar: to be determined by the Diocese
Suggested gift for the Presiding Priest: $150.00

The above fees for the services of the Church and Director of Music must be paid one month prior to the wedding date.

Practical Matters pertaining to the celebration of Marriage at St. Jerome Church

Alcohol and illegal (non-prescription) drugs are NOT permitted on parish property. Smoking is not allowed in parish buildings.

When a marriage involves a non-Catholic, the Marriage ceremony normally takes place outside of Mass.

The throwing of rice, birdseed or confetti, as well as the releasing of balloons is not allowed.

Aisle runners are not permitted because they present a safety hazard.

If the Unity Candle is used, the couple must provide the candles. The Unity Candle is never to be placed on the altar.

Candelabra, even with dripless candles, are not allowed because of the carpeted sanctuary.

Flowers and other decorations for the wedding and/or photography must be coordinated with the Director of Liturgy, who oversees the decoration of the liturgical environment. Never is the liturgical furnishings or decorations to be moved, nor may extra backdrops, lighting, umbrellas or decorations (outside of what is in place for the wedding) be brought into the church. Never is anything to be attached to the pews with tape, tacks, clamps, or sticky tack.

Photographs and videos may be taken during the ceremony, but photographers and videographers must be discreet. Flash photography and extra lights for video cameras are prohibited during the ceremony. Once the procession has begun, movement should be kept to a minimum. Photographers and videographers are asked to remain outside of the sanctuary (presbyterium) during the liturgy. With the exception of the entrance procession, all pictures and videos are to be taken from the rear of the nave, in order to avoid being distracting. (This is the best place for photographers and videographers, as the wedding party faces the congregation for the ceremony.)

Posed photographs may be taken beginning two hours before the ceremony, and for no more than thirty minutes after the ceremony. Posed photos before the ceremony must stop 30 minutes before the scheduled time to begin the ceremony. Saturday weddings may require further restrictions, in order to accommodate funerals. If requested, the presider is available for a posed photograph with the bride and groom, as one of the last poses taken before the ceremony begins or as the first pose after the ceremony.

Proper reverence and respect for the worship space must be maintained by the wedding party and the photographers and videographers. No untoward poses, behavior, or language will be tolerated. Absolutely no food, drinks, or gum are allowed in Church; no alcoholic beverages are allowed on the Church property. Anyone violating these rules will be reminded one time to cooperate; if there is no cooperation, the person or persons will be asked to leave. If such action is required before the wedding, that person will not be allowed to participate in the ceremony.

All planning of the ceremony, including music, Scripture readings, and ministers, will take place with the Director of Liturgy, who will determine separate fees for additional rehearsals, which may be needed.

The Pastor of St. Jerome Church is the proper minister to witness the marriage for the Church and state.

Times and Seasons for the Celebration of Marriage

No marriages are to be celebrated during the seasons of Advent and Lent. Marriages are not allowed on Solemnities, All Souls' Day, or during Easter Week (from Sunday through the Saturday after Easter).

Friday evening Marriages are encouraged at St. Jerome Church with the starting time after 6:00 p.m. Saturday weddings may be scheduled no later than 1:00 p.m.

Special Circumstances:

For those children of registered and active parishioners who are away from home for college or military service who wish to celebrate their Marriage at St. Jerome Church, the preparation process of the respective diocese where they dwell will be the norm. Only after the approval of the chaplain at the Newman Center or military base, or the pastor of the parish where they are currently registered and participating in worship, and after the necessary preparation process, may a marriage take place at St. Jerome. The norm is that the Pastor of St. Jerome Church be the presider for the ceremony. All policies regarding the use of St. Jerome Church apply in every situation.