The Sacrament of Holy Matrimony
And the Two Shall Become One
Marriage is one of the seven Sacraments and should be entered into with great reverence, discernment and preparation. For this reason, we ask that couples wishing to get married at the Cathedral of Saint Patrick be actively participating in the life of the Catholic Church prior to the wedding.
Holy Matrimony is a Sacrament that consecrates for a particular mission in building up the Church. It is seen as a sign of the love between Christ and the Church, which is established between spouses in a permanent and exclusive bond, sealed by God. The Sacrament gives couples the grace they need to attain holiness in their married life and for responsible acceptance and upbringing of their children. The Sacrament signifies the union of Christ and the Church and sanctifies them on the way to eternal life. Since marriage establishes the couple in a public state of life in the Church, it is fitting that its celebration be public, in the framework of a liturgical celebration, before the priest (or a witness authorized by the Church), the witnesses, and the assembly of the faithful.
How to Schedule a Wedding at the Cathedral
The Cathedral welcomes a bride and groom to hold their wedding at the Cathedral if the man and woman are baptized, practicing Catholics, are free to be married (e.g., no prior valid marriages), are psychologically mature and capable of consenting to the marriage. The bride and/or groom must also be registered at a Catholic parish. Catholics who have not yet received the sacrament of Confirmation are to receive the sacrament before being admitted to marriage, if this can be done without grave inconvenience, and cohabitating couples must separate for at least six months prior to the wedding.
For couples who are members of the Cathedral, potential wedding dates will be discussed at the first marriage preparation meeting with the Cathedral’s priest or deacon. Those couples who are parishioners of the Cathedral of Saint Patrick must be registered, active members of the parish for at least six months before they can start the six month marriage preparation process and set a wedding date. To be an active member means:
- Attending Mass at the Cathedral every Sunday,
- Supporting the parish financially,
- Verifying Mass attendance through the use of the parish’s stewardship envelopes and
- Between first registration in the parish and a wedding at The Cathedral of Saint Patrick, at least one full year must elapse.
Couples who are not members of the Cathedral can hold their wedding at the Cathedral if the bride and groom are free to marry, if one or both are registered members of a Catholic parish, and if proper permission is provided by the couple's pastor.
Church Offering and Wedding Fees
For couples who are active members of the Cathedral of Saint Patrick for at least six months before starting the marriage preparation process, the Cathedral wedding fee is $900.00. For couples who are active members of another Catholic parish and have the necessary permission from their pastor, the wedding fee is $1,350.00. In both instances, the wedding fee includes the use of the church and the services of the Cathedral's wedding coordinator and music director/organist.
The Marriage Preparation Process
The goal of the marriage preparation program is to help couples to be open to God's grace so that they can have a happy and fulfilling sacramental marriage. The marriage preparation process also seeks to foster a clear awareness of the essential characteristics of Catholic marriage - unity, fidelity, indissolubility, fruitfulness - and to help you discover the value of the sacraments and the experience of prayer. The program also provides education and support in the values concerning the defense of human life and the nature and importance of married sexuality, in keeping with the authentic teachings of the Church. In addition to meetings with a priest or deacon, couples who complete their marriage preparation in the Diocese of Charlotte are required to attend a one day marriage encounter retreat. These workshops provide the couple a chance to explore various areas of marriage and family life and consist of presentations, panels, and small group discussions.While your wedding lasts a day; your marriage lasts a lifetime.
For more information about weddings at the Cathedral of Saint Patrick, please contact Debra Lemmon at (704) 334-2283.
Marriage Preparation Information and Links
When are weddings offered at the Cathedral?
Who can get married at the Cathedral?
I'm a Cathedral parishioner but plan to be married elsewhere. Can I still do my preparation at the Cathedral?
We are not members of the Cathedral but another Catholic parish. Can we still get married at the Cathedral?
One of us has been married before. Will that prevent us from booking a wedding date?
I'm interested in an annulment.
Charlotte, NC 28203
Fax: (704) 377-6403