Marriage at Holy Spirit

It can be both exciting and overwhelming to prepare for a Marriage. This paper is meant to relieve some stress by clearly stating the procedure and formation required to have a Catholic wedding.

Marriage is a tremendous and beautiful commitment, and we want to help you take the commitment seriously. We also want for you to grow in your spiritual life and be as informed as possible about your nuptial vows when you take them. Whether you are planning to get married at our church or somewhere else, we will be praying for you as you make this journey.

At Holy Spirit, we follow the marriage formation suggested by the Harrisburg Diocese. Please contact our parish office, (717)838-3369 or church@holyspiritpalmyra.com to tell us that you would like to be prepared for marriage, or to check our parish calendar for available wedding dates. We can reserve your date on our calendar once you are formally engaged and have contacted our office to let them know that you have scheduled the initial discussion with Fr. Anthony or another member of the clergy. Below is the general process for marriage formation for a Catholic Wedding.

  1. Canonical Process — Initial discussion with Father Anthony. In this meeting, we will talk about marriage in the Catholic Church and begin prenuptial paperwork. If you would like to have another member of the clergy witness your vows or prepare you paperwork, your first meeting can be with him.
  2. Pre-marital Inventory — (Foccus): This is an online survey taken by both fiancés. Its primary purpose is to allow the couple to discern and discuss backgrounds, hopes, concerns, and dreams about their upcoming marriage. The results of this survey will not affect whether you can get married in the church.
  3. Formation/Conference — (2 choices which have various costs associated with them) Meet at least four times with a mentor couple from our parish and go to a half-day seminar: God’s Plan for a Joy-Filled Marriage, which consists of presentations on: God’s Plan for Marriage; the Basics of Marriage in the Church; Marital Sexuality; and Natural Family Planning.

OR b. Attend Engaged Encounter, a weekend program that focuses on marital skills like communication, happiness, and forgiveness, as well as Church teachings on marriage as a sacrament and a vocation, and sexual intimacy within marriage.

  1. Concluding assessment – A meeting with Fr. Anthony or another member of the clergy for a final discussion and ceremony planning.

Required Documents (if applicable): A baptismal and confirmation record issued within the last nine months for both parties (this can be obtained by calling the church of baptism). A marriage certificate, from the state, which will be valid for the actual wedding day. You may need addition paperwork depending on your details.

Planning the Ceremony:

Dates and Times– Weddings can be scheduled most days of the week, but cannot interfere with regularly scheduled Confessions or Masses. If you want us to setup anything for you, please fill out a facilities use request form, which is found on our website.

Flowers and Decorations– You may bring your own or contract with any florist. Any candles must be pre-approved by a representative of the parish. You are asked to have a clean-up plan which is approved by a representative of the parish, if this plan includes donating altar flowers to the church, we will gladly accept them.

Music– Arrangements will be made through the parish music director Rich Druby. His information will be provided during your formation process.

Rehearsal– Typically held the night before the wedding and includes parents, witnesses, lectors, and anyone else participating in the liturgy.

Confession– For Catholics, whether at Holy Spirit or another church, this sacrament is recommended as part of your preparation for marriage.

Costs: As a Catholic, a sacrament cannot be refused due to cost. Cost can be supplemented for any parishioner.

  • Organist – $150
  • Cantor – $75
  • Sacristan – $25
  • Altar Servers – $10/each
  • Church Space – Parishioners: no mandatory fee / Others: $350