What are the requirements to get married at Old St. Patrick’s Church?
- At least one person in the couple must be a practicing Catholic — baptized and preferably confirmed.
- Attendance at a pre-marriage class, such as PreCana or Discovery Weekend.
- Marriage preparation with a priest.
- Membership at Old St. Pat’s is not a requirement.
- Submission of required documents.
What is the wedding fee?
The fee to get married at Old St. Patrick’s Church is $1,500. This includes use of church, coordination of paperwork and ceremony, and a modest stipend for an Old St. Patrick’s priest. Any additional gift to the priest is at your discretion.
How do I reserve a wedding date?
To reserve a date, contact JoAnn O’Brien at the Wedding Office: JoAnnO@oldstpats.org, or tel: 312-831-9383 to check available dates.
Freedom to marry has to be established before a date can be reserved if there have been any previous marriages, civil or religious. Once the date has been reserved, the couple has to secure an officiating priest before the date can be confirmed. If you do not already have a priest in mind, Old St. Patrick’s will furnish a list of priests who work with Old St. Pat’s.
How do we establish freedom to marry?
Two witness forms to establish freedom to marry are required. Parents are the preferred witnesses, but close relatives or friends of long standing also can be witnesses.
If there has been a previous marriage no date can be set or held until Freedom to Marry has been established. In addition to the witness affidavits, a current Baptism certificate, A NEW ORIGINAL DATED WITHIN THE LAST SIX MONTHS, a copy of the previous marriage license, a copy of a divorce decree, annulment decree or a death certificate from the previous marriage must be provided. Once the documentation is submitted, the wedding office will explain the next step.
After securing the date, what’s next?
- Secure an officiating priest. Contact him directly to ask for his participation. If you do not have a preference, Old St. Pat’s will provide a directory of priests who work with Old St. Patrick’s.
- Secure a photographer/videographer from the Old St. Pat’s approved list.
- Review the guidelines on the CD that Old St. Pat’s has created for you.
- Register and attend PreCana as early as possible.
- Attend a Wedding Music Fair – consult with our Director of Music at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- No later than six months prior to the ceremony, make your first appointment with the officiating priest.
- Six months prior to the ceremony, begin gathering all your documentation and Sacramental certificates and give them to the priest during the marriage preparation.
Can I work with a visiting priest of my choice?
Yes, After you secure a commitment from your visiting priest, schedule your first meeting with him. Send the visiting priest’s contact information, name, tel, email to email@example.com.
If you reside OUT OF TOWN, you should be working with your local parish. You will submit all the required documents to the priest doing the marriage preparation. These files should be submitted through your local Archdiocese — files go from Diocese to Diocese, not from church to church. These files should arrive at Old St. Pat’s one month prior to your wedding.
If your preparation/paperwork was completed by a VISITING PRIEST, the entire marriage file must arrive at Old St. Pat’s no later than one month before the ceremony.
Make sure all of your documents have been submitted including the certificate from your marriage preparation program. Complete your prenuptial questionnaire with the priest doing the preparation. After you plan your Liturgy with your officiating priest, submit by email your ceremony worksheet (pdf) and wedding certificate information to firstname.lastname@example.org.
What is a typical priest stipend?
The priest stipend is usually $200 to $250 and is given to the priest at the last meeting, the rehearsal or on the day of the wedding.
An Old St. Patrick’s priest will receive a modest portion of your church donation; most couples give a gift/stipend over and above; the amount is at your discretion.
If you are planning an out of town wedding and want to work with Old St. Pat’s for marriage preparation, the fee is $275. It is also customary to give the priest a stipend at your discretion.
It’s a few months before our wedding. What should we be doing?
Schedule the second meeting with your priest. If you reside out of town or if your preparation/paperwork was completed by a visiting priest, the entire marriage file must arrive at Old St. Pat’s no later than one month before the ceremony. These files are submitted through your local Archdiocese — files go from Diocese to Diocese, not from church to church.
Make sure all of your documents have been submitted. Submit the certificate from your marriage preparation program to Old St. Pat’s and complete your prenuptial questionnaire with the priest, your ceremony worksheet and wedding certificate information.
- Witness Affidavits
- Baptism & Confirmation Certificates (newly issued and dated within six months of the date of the ceremony)
- Certificate of completion of a certified PreCana course
- Marriage license issued in Cook County, Illinois
Who do I give my documents to?
Give them to the priest during doing your marriage preparation, or if you are working with an Old St. Patrick’s priest, you may give them the Old St.Pat’s wedding office. In any case, the license should be at Old St. Pat’s no later than 3 days prior to the wedding. Please consult our Wedding Coordinator if there are any questions regarding the documents.
What if I live out-of-state?
Work with your local parish for marriage preparation and collection of documents. Provide to the Wedding Office, the contact information for the priest and the church during the preparation. Your completed file will be submitted to your local Diocese by the priest doing the marriage preparation. The file will then go to the Chicago Diocese and should reach Old St. Pat’s no later than one month prior to the ceremony. All files go from Diocese to Diocese…not directly from Church to Church.
Suggested Readings & Gospels
Old Testament Reading from:
- Book of Genesis 1:26-28, 31a
- Book of Genesis 2:18-24
- Jeremiah 31:31-32a, 33-34a
- Book of Proverbs 31:10-13, 19-20, 30-31
- Book of Sirach 26:1-4, 13-16
- Song of Songs 2:8-10, 14, 16a; 8:6-7a
- Book of Tobit 8
New Testament Reading from: