General Principles

  • Spend some time daily in prayer either alone or as a couple asking the Lord to guide you and be your support as you launch on your new life together. Remember it is He who is the centre of your married life and the bond that will keep you united.
  • Celebration of the Sacrament at St. John Bosco’s Church is meant to be a rich spiritual experience. Thus do not get lost in the ‘frills’ of the celebration but concentrate on a good liturgical celebration. In all your planning of the liturgy, please see that it truly becomes a deep spiritual experience for both of you and for all those who attend it.
  • All sacraments are communitarian and thus we would be happy that you see as many of your relatives and friends attend the Eucharist.
  • Aim at full, conscious and active participation of all those present; therefore try to avoid making the congregation mere spectators.
  • In order that your wedding liturgy is truly meaningful and special to both of you, see that you personalize it as much as possible. Choose your own penitential rite, readings, hymns, write your own prayers (e.g. penitential rite, prayer of the faithful, etc.) and be personal and creative where possible. You are requested however, NOT to change the format of the liturgy of the Eucharist and the Nuptial rite.
  • While you may ask others to help you plan your liturgy, please see that both of you work along with them.
  • Plan much ahead of time and don’t leave anything for the last few days.

Guidelines to Couples getting Married

  • Non-parishioner marriages are allowed at St. John Bosco’s only if i)
  1. They are ex-parishioners
  2. They are closely connected with our Church/school (not only because they are ex-students)
  3. There is some reason for which their parish priest requests us to have the marriage here
  • All non-parishioners getting married in our parish should be ready to accommodate another couple who wants to have their nuptials at the same Mass. Parishioners would have to accommodate another couple at the same Mass, only if the other party is from our parish.
  • We strongly recommend that if you’ll have a close relative or a friend who is a priest to be the celebrant and /or bless the nuptials. Kindly inform the parish priest here and get the necessary permission.
  • See that you’ll do the marriage preparation course 6 months before your marriage. Check our parish notice board or the website for the course dates. Get in touch with Snehalaya Family Service Centre, Victoria Church, L.J. Road, Mahim, Mumbai. (Contact no. 24468218)
  • Kindly meet the parish priest at least 3 months before your marriage to have enough time for the necessary papers to be done.
  • Documents that will be required :-
  1. Baptism certificates of the couple with confirmation entry (6 months within the date of marriage)
  2. We will require that you both fill a pre-nuptial enquiry form from your respective parishes.
  3. If you are presently residing abroad, you will have to fill an Oath of Free state in the presence of your Parish Priest and you will require to get a Freedom to Marry Certificate from your Parish abroad.
  • For a Disparity of Cult marriage i.e. Catholic with a non – Christian we will also require:
  1. An Affidavit of some proof of name, date of birth and parents’ names of the Non-Catholic party, stating that the non-Christian party is not being forced into the marriage. etc:
  2. You will have to take a Promise (Promise taken by a Catholic party wishing to marry a non-Catholic) especially to see that you will do all in your power to have your children baptized in the Catholic Church.
  3. We will have to apply to the Bishop for Dispensation, from the impediment of Disparity of Cult. For this, your Promise will have to be included. Marriage Banns are not published for disparity of cult marriages. As per the circular of Bishop BoscoPenha dated 4th August 2009, there are a few points to be kept in mind for the celebration of such a marriage. Please collect a copy of the rite from the parish office.
  • Timings of the Wedding Mass at St. John Bosco’s Church: Mondays to Saturdays – 3.00pm and 5.00pm, Sundays at 3.30pm and 6.45pm. See that your Mass has been entered in the Mass register at the parish office as soon as you’ll have finalized the date.
  • Marriages at our parish are not allowed to take place on Ash Wednesday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday. Marriages during Lent, especially during Sundays of Lent are strongly discouraged and to a lesser degree during the Advent season.

Planning your Wedding Liturgy

  • Plan your wedding liturgy with the priest who conducts your pre-nuptial enquiry. Keep in mind that on Sundays of Advent, Lent, Eastertide and other major feasts the liturgy of the day must be followed.
  • Printing of a booklet is not recommended. If you do, keep it simple and please do not print the scripture readings and prayers as these are to be proclaimed from the Lectionary/Missal. Get it approved by the priest guiding you before you get it printed.
  1. Collect from the priest doing your papers :
  2. Order of the Nuptial Mass to plan your liturgy
  3. Rite of Marriage.
  • Fix your own choir in advance. You may choose from the varied choirs of our parish or make arrangements for your own choir. For a full participation, if the hymns chosen are not from the hymn book, please print out the hymns. There is no need of printing booklets for the liturgy. Kindly discuss the choice of hymns with the priest guiding you. For the sound arrangements, we have our own sound system and a maximum of 3 mikes are given to the choir. If you choose to get your own choir, you would have to make arrangements for a keyboard.
  • All floral decorations should be modest and not overdone and should be discussed with Mrs. Irene Cabral (Contact no. 28676088), the one in-charge. Flowers may be placed behind, at the statues of St. John Bosco and Mary Help of Christians. Flowers placed in front of the altar should not cover the altar or come in the way of the ceremony. Please do not get your own people to arrange the flowers.
  • Ask the priest for the booklet of readings for the Nuptial Mass. You may choose 2 or 3 readings that you both find meaningful. The Gospel reading is never omitted. The readings, prayer of the faithful should be done by people with a proven capacity to effectively proclaim God’s Word and not merely because they are relatives etc.
  • Please note that you/bride and the bridesmaids are well covered and dressed in proper attire for Church.
  • For the Offertory procession, Bread and Wine will be provided by the Church. The only other gifts that may be brought up to the Altar are gifts for the poor or gifts that are to be used at the Liturgy.
  • The Prayer of the faithful, while being personal and bringing in your own needs should also be open to prayers for larger needs.
  • Please practice the marriage rite in advance so as to exchange your marriage vows in the most meaningful manner possible. Collect a copy from the priest.
  • We do not allow any practice in the church, but we do hope that at least your readers practice somewhere and that all involved in the liturgy know their parts.
  • If the marriage is with a non-Catholic, the nuptials will be held before the Eucharist. Kindly make the non-Catholic participants much at ease at the liturgy. It will be good if some commentary could be given for their benefit. Here, may be a booklet is helpful. They should also be informed in advance about the communion service to which they are not allowed to participate.
  • Don’t forget to go for confession before your wedding day.

Persons Involved with your Liturgy

  • If you’ll are getting your own priest to celebrate the Eucharist, please inform the priest doing your papers. A delegation letter will have to be prepared by us for the priest conducting the marriage rite.
  • Concerning the witnesses, both of them (one from the boy’s side and the other from the girl’s side) are to be mature Catholics – even if one of the spouses is a non-Catholic.
  • Try your best to get as many of your friends/relatives to attend your nuptial mass. Their celebrating with you’ll at the party afterwards is only complete if they have first witnessed and prayed with and for you at the Eucharist.
  • If you want Altar servers, you will have to make your own arrangements.
  • For video shooting and photography, see that they are not a distraction at the liturgy. If you want the whole Eucharist to be video shot, you may do it from the Church loft. Photography and shooting of video is allowed down in the church at the following time :
  1. Entrance procession
  2. Marriage rite
  3. Bringing gifts to the altar
  4. Sign of peace
  5. Communion service
  6. Signing of the Register
  7. Procession out of the Church.

Please see that the Church is not used as photo – studio after the Eucharist but feel free to click as many photographs out in the Church porch. It would be advisable that you get a Christian photographer. In case you are using two videos you will have to pay an additional sum of Rs. 200/- You will also have to pay a deposit of Rs. 500/- which will be non-refundable incase any of the above guidelines are violated.

On the Big Day itself

  • Please be on time. We would not want to start the Eucharist without you.
  • We earnestly appeal to you to respect the environment and not contribute to sound pollution; hence desist from bursting crackers in the church compound or on the road outside the Church campus.
  • Most important : PRAY, PRAY, PRAY