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“ST. FRANCES OF ROME CHURCH MARRIAGE” Guidelines For The Sacrament Of Matrimony

Welcome to Saint Frances of Rome Church Marriage Preparation Program. We rejoice with you as you begin the preparations for the celebration of your lives together. From the outset, we assure you of our prayers and support. Your wedding is meant to be a happy and meaningful celebration, one that you will long remember. Your wedding day marks the beginning of this commitment that you will make through the Christian sacrament of marriage.

Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. – Genesis 2:24

Therefore, we offer these guidelines and instructions to help facilitate your preparation for your life-long commitment of love and fidelity to each other as a married couple, as well as the celebration of the wedding day itself. We encourage you to read it together and to note any questions you may have so that when you meet with the priest or deacon who will officiate at the wedding and the Wedding Coordinator, your talk may be fruitful. “Who may be married at St. Frances of Rome Church?”One person must be a registered, participating member of Saint Frances of Rome Church for six months. 
“Who may officiate?” The Priests assigned at St. Frances of Rome Church and other Catholic clergy may officiate at the marriage of those who celebrate their liturgy here.

The priest or deacon who officiates is responsible for preparing the couple for marriage. This includes selecting a Preparation Program, paper work, and the planning of the liturgy.

“Baptismal Certificate” A baptismal certificate issued within the last six months must be obtained from the church in which each person to be married was baptized. Anyone baptized in another Christian Church or denomination needs to present a certificate of Baptism. After the celebration of the marriage liturgy, a notification that it has taken place will be sent to the church of baptism of the Catholic parties.”Prenuptial Examination Form” Each of the parties should be interviewed by a priest or deacon under oath and alone. “Freedom to Marry Form” This is a testimony from a parent, relative or close friend, that each person to be married is free to do so. The Priest will explain the procedure for obtaining this form.”Dispensation Form” There is an obligation in the Catholic Church stating that Catholics are expected to marry Catholics. In an ecumenical wedding (marriage of Catholic to a non-Catholic), the Catholic party must be dispensed (get a dispensation form) from that obligation by the Bishop. The priest or deacon assisting in this wedding will petition the Bishop for this on the couple’s behalf. Disposition of Previous Marriage” There is extra work to be done (or proof that it has been done) if there has been any previous marriages. This work must be done before preparation for the wedding can continue.”Marriage Preparation Certificate” The Church requires couples to attend and complete a marriage preparation program. The policy was developed because of our belief as Catholic Christians in the sacredness of the marriage commitment. A couple is required to attend any of the following programs: Pre-Cana Conference, Engaged Encounter, PMI/FOCCUS.“Civil Marriage License” The couple must have a California Marriage License. License can be obtained from the County Recorder’s Office located at 41002 County Center Dr. #230 Temecula, CA. Telephone: (951) 600-6200.

“Six Months Preparation” Marriage is an important Sacrament. A sufficient period is given to its preparation. Like most Catholic dioceses, the Diocese of San Bernardino requires couples to contact the parish church at least six months before the marriage. The following is part of that preparation.

Diocesan Rules
You are encouraged to contact your priest and begin formal marriage preparation as soon as you make a decision to marry. As a minimum requirement you must contact the priest and begin your preparation at least six months before the proposed wedding date.

This is not intended as a “Waiting Period” but rather one of preparation. Therefore the process of such preparation should begin at the first meeting with the priest. Concern with the immediate preparation for the wedding itself can make it difficult for the couple to benefit fully from the preparation itself. Thus it is highly desirable for the couple to complete all the steps of preparation at least two months before the wedding date.

The following is part of the preparation

PMI/FOCCUS” During the preparation period, the Priest or Deacon helping the couple will provide what is called the Pre-Marital Inventory and/or PMI/FOCCUS. Each of these programs aids the couple examining mutual feelings and expectations marriage. Through these programs, the couple develops a mature and solid relationship necessary for marriage.It is to be noted that the priest helping the couple may determine there is a question regarding the couple’s readiness for marriage. He may refer the couple to a professional for evaluation and assessment.

Special considerations:
Persons under the age of 19 who wish to marry will be asked to receive individual evaluative counseling before the marriage can be arranged.

Besides the PMI/FOCCUS Program, the couple attends the following Preparation Program:

“Pre-Cana Conference” One day (Saturday) or two evenings as per a schedule a couple will be given.”Engaged Encounter” A weekend (Friday evening to Sunday afternoon) to be shared by the couple with others preparing for marriage. This weekend experience assists in developing communication skills by giving each person the opportunity for honest, intensive sharing about their future lives together. The schedule for the Engaged Encounter may be obtained from the Wedding Coordinator. Attendance at Engaged Encounter is mandatory for all couples.

Reserving St. Frances of Rome Church
Please contact the parish secretary at (951) 674-6881, x 228 to arrange your wedding date. Stipend fees are as follows:

  1. Matrimony for Registered Parishioners: $750.00
  2. A one time payment must be made
  3. Rite of Matrimony (liturgy) with Deacon: $750.00 (for Convalidations)

“Dates & Times”

Wedding ceremonies are scheduled on first and fourth  Saturday’s of the month at 12:00 P.M. or 2:00 P.M. Due to the variety of parish activities, scheduling at other times on Saturdays is not possible.

Church Wedding Coordinator
A church wedding coordinator will contact you to arrange a meeting one-month prior to your wedding. At that meeting the logistics of the ceremony will be decided. At that time the balance of the church fee should have been paid at the parish office. The coordinator will attend your rehearsal and will be present at the wedding.
Rehearsal date is arranged between you and the Wedding Coordinator. The allotted time for rehearsal is one and a half hour. Date and time will be determined by wedding coordinator and wedding party. It will not be extended beyond the scheduled time so the wedding party must be on time for the rehearsal. The Wedding Coordinator has been instructed to wait 15 minutes. (Please note: the Wedding Coordinator serves his/her ministry on a voluntary basis).
“Wedding Day” You have the use of the church for one and a half hour. This includes photographs. In order for the Wedding liturgy to begin promptly, the couple should arrive in plenty of time before the ceremony: thirty minutes for the groom and ushers, and thirty minutes for the bride and attendants. You should realize that a late start of the liturgy might require shortening or even elimination of certain parts of the ceremony or Photographs.

The 1:00 P.M. Wedding Party and photographers must vacate the church by 2:30 P.M., at the latest and no pictures will be allowed after 2:30 P.M.
We, as Catholics must respect our Church and wear properly in the ceremony. We are requesting NOT TO WEAR the following as we approach the Altar of the Lord:


  • Low-cut, sleeveless blouses or dresses
  • Skirts above the knees
  • Slits behind the skirts that are too high
  • Shorts, Jeans, and/or Flip-flops

The Rite of the Roman Catholic Church is used at St. Frances of Rome Church. According to Catholic theology, the bride and groom administer to each other the Sacrament of Matrimony. The priest or deacon is the witness of the Church to this sacramental action.

In planning their wedding, the couple has the opportunity of selecting those prayers, scripture readings, blessings and cultural practices that express their desire for God in their lives and the support of the community.

To aid in this planning, we use the booklet, Together for Life by Joseph M. Champlin (The Wedding Coordinator will make it available to the couple.)
The couple must choose one or two people from among their friends and family to proclaim the Word of God at their wedding. Because of the importance of the proclamation of the Word, we strongly recommend that only commissioned lectors be invited to read. A commissioned lector is one who exercises or has exercised this ministry in a Catholic parish. If the couple does not know anyone who is commissioned lector, the parish can provide one. Or, if the couple chooses not to follow the above recommendation, the following must be observed:

  • Any practicing Catholic who has received the Sacrament of Confirmation may be designated to proclaim the Word of God at the Wedding Liturgy.
  • That designee must attend the rehearsal and at some point rehearse the reading(s) in Church.
  • If, in an ecumenical wedding, a non-Catholic is asked to read, that person must be one who normally performs this ministry within their own Church.
  • If the couple choose not to follow the recommendation and cannot comply with the above, then the officiating priest or deacon will do all the readings. There are no exceptions to this.

 You will be given the option of choosing the following three (3) symbolisms within your wedding ceremony, namely:

  • Nuptial or Unity Candle: This symbol uses 3 candles. The side candles are lit by members of the family, often the mothers of the bride and groom. The center candle is lit by the couple after the exchange of rings.
  • “Arras”: This custom involves the passing of blessed coins (“arras”) from husband to wife symbolizing the sharing of material resources.
  • “Lazo de Union”: This custom involves the draping of a large rosary (“lazo/rosario”) around the couple to symbolize their unbroken unity.

“Postures” In the Roman Catholic wedding liturgy, the postures used are those found in any other liturgy of the Church: standing, sitting, and kneeling. At the rehearsal, you and the wedding entourage will be instructed which postures are appropriate for which parts of the liturgy. All these will be followed.

Postures or gestures other than those which are part of the liturgy are not an option.
“Music” Please keep in mind that all music chosen needs to be appropriate for a sacred liturgy. Some love songs, while beautiful to listen to, may be more appropriate at the reception than at the wedding itself. A general guideline is that any sung music (by cantor, soloist, or choir) should be religious in nature.

Recorded or taped music should never be used within your wedding liturgy to replace the cantor, the choir, the organist or other instrumentalists.

At St. Frances of Rome Church, choir groups and musicians are available to play and sing for weddings. For a reasonable stipend, arrangements can be made through the choir director.

Visiting vocalists (e.g., friends of the bride and groom) are allowed to add one (1) solo (of sacred nature only) at Gift Preparation or at Communion.

A separate rehearsal with the organist is required. Note: If you would like other choir, please notify Annette Betts, before you make arrangements

St. Frances of Rome Church Choir:
Annette K. Betts, Music Director of St. Frances of Rome, (951) 263-3615[/p] 
“Flowers” St. Frances of Rome Church utilizes the services of a florist for the decoration of the altar for Sunday Masses. It is recommended that you use this florist because is familiar with Church regulations for flower arrangements. You may contact Carmen Lazaro at (951) 566-5608. Or Annette Vargas at (951) 579-0062.

If you wish to choose another florist, please notify the wedding coordinator of the florist chosen and mailing address. The Wedding Coordinator will forward to your florist a policy letter indicating requirements to be met.

It is the responsibility of the wedding party to see that any items placed in the aisles are removed after the ceremony
“Rice etc.” Birdseed, confetti, Rose petals, bubbles, aisle runner, etc. create a safety hazard. There is a clause in our insurance policy prohibiting such items. We ask couples to inform your guests that none of these be thrown in, around or in front of the church.
There is no designated parking provided for the wedding. The bridal party can park anywhere at the parish parking lot.
“Bride’s Room” Space is available just off the church vestibule. The Wedding Coordinator will assist you in this matter.
“Photo/Videos” Great care must be taken to insure that nothing interferes with this sacred event. Please review with the photographer(s) or videographer(s) the information given below.

Instructions for Photographers/Videographers
The event you are about to record is a sacred one. We seek your cooperation to ensure such an atmosphere during the ceremony. So that you may be well-informed about the wedding policy of this parish, we have listed below the general regulations for all weddings at St. Frances of Rome Church. We ask that these regulations be respected and followed accordingly. Thank you!

  • Video equipment inside the sanctuary must be stationary, including all video cameras in the right or left aisle of the church. No equipment is allowed in the center aisle.
  • The use of flashbulbs for photography is not permitted. Also, no additional equipment to enhance either the lighting of the sanctuary or the recording of sound is permitted.
  • For the 1:00 P.M. wedding mass, the photography/video session must finish at 2:30 P.M.

Sacrament of Reconciliation: The Sacrament of Reconciliation is held every Saturday from 8:30 to 9:45 A.M. You must plan to have your confession heard at least two (2) weeks prior to your wedding day. No appointments please.

Baptismal Certificate or Proof, Freedom to Marry, Pre-Cana Conference, Engaged Encounter, PMI/FOCCUS.

You must give the above Marriage Preparation materials to the priest or deacon who will officiate at your wedding. After your first meeting with him, you will know what direction your preparations will take. You must spend time together reading the many prayers and scripture readings found in “Together for Life” booklet from which you will make choices for your wedding liturgy. Two months before the date of your wedding ceremony, you must get together with the priest or deacon to make the final selections. You must call the Organist  and cantor or choir director  at least 2 ½ months in advance of the wedding date to make all musical arrangements. The Church Wedding Coordinator will meet with you one month prior to your wedding. The coordinator will assist them with all logistical details and will be present at the rehearsal as well as at the Wedding. 
Wedding Coordinators, Ricardo & Imelda Serrato 951-258-7035 & Deacon Trini & Isabel Guadarrama 951-674-6881 x225

Leslie Aceves, Parish Office General Secretary, (951)674-6881x 223

St. Frances of Rome Church Choir Directors:
Annette K. Betts, Music Director of St. Frances of Rome, (951) 263-3615