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Christ himself elevated the natural institution of marriage to the dignity of a sacrament during his public ministry.

He worked his first miracle at a wedding, and he taught that marriage in the New Covenant is permanent and holy.  The apostles taught the beauty and significance of marriage throughout the New Testament.  St. Paul even taught on the mystery of the relationship between the members of the Church and Christ the bridegroom as analogous to the relationship between husband and wife in the sacrament of Marriage.


Christian Marriage is a sacrament that orders the husband and wife to serve one another.  This service is based on the Christian virtue of charity and is done in a spirit of care and concern for the good of the spouse and child(ren) following the example of Christ.  If this sacrament provides grace for salvation to the individual, it is only as a secondary fruit.  The principal effect of the grace of the sacrament serves to strengthen the couple’s unity and deepen their love and affection so that their loving service assists them in growing closer to God.  The ultimate goal of marriage is the same as Christian life; to respond to God’s grace and be happy with Him in heaven forever.

God is the source of love, and so his role in the family is irreplaceable.  What is a family?  More importantly, what is the Christian family?  It is the loving union of one man and one woman with the purpose of the procreation and upbringing of children.  In the Christian view, marriage is a sacrament instituted by Christ.

The purpose of marriage serves the care of children and the communion and the good of the couple.  The institution of the family has been the foundation of society throughout human history. The family passes on culture, customs, and faith to each generation.  Put, where the family goes, there goes society.  Modern family members face an uphill battle to remain faithful to the sacred trust they have received from God to be a living school of love.  As Vatican II emphatically stated: “The well-being of the person and human and Christian society is intimately linked with the healthy condition of… marriage and family.” 

General Guidelines for Marriages at

Saint Francis of Assisi Church

  • If you wish to be married at Saint Francis of Assisi Church, you must first contact the Parish Office at least six months before the planned wedding date. Please call the parish office at (941) 697-4899 to make an appointment.

  • To help you in your planning, the following guidelines are provided. You may use them as a general guide, but during your visit with the Pastor, the needs and requirements as they apply to your specific situation will be determined.


There are certain things required by the Catholic Church for a Church Wedding:

  1. At least one (either the bride or groom) must be a Catholic.

  2. The church can be reserved for weddings only by contacting the Pastor or Parish Office.


  • Certificate of Baptism for baptized Non-Catholics

  • Certificate of Baptism for marriage issued within six months of the wedding date

  • First Communion and Confirmation certificates for Catholics

  • Two Affidavits of Freedom to Marry

  • Self-Testimony filled out in the presence of a priest or deacon

  • A Marriage License from the State of Florida

  • Proof of Annulment by the Church for any previous marriage


The couple is also asked to participate in one of the marriage preparation programs:

  • A Parish Marriage Preparation Program

  • Approved online course if the other options are not possible

  • The Pastor will furnish the necessary information on the programs.


The Nuptial Mass or marriage ceremony:

  • A Nuptial Mass takes approximately one hour for the wedding. The wedding ceremony without the Nuptial Mass takes about one half-hour. The pastor will officiate. Visiting clergy are welcome.


Time of Weddings

  • Wedding times and dates will be coordinated with the pastor.



  • Any florist of your choice is satisfactory. Your flowers can be taken with you to the reception.

  • The church sanctuary and bride’s room are to be left as you found them. Flowers or bows may be attached to the pews with rubber bands or specially made attachments which will not harm our wooden pews but must be removed after the wedding.



  • You may have your own organist or vocalist, but if one is recommended by the pastor, deacon, or wedding coordinator, they must be paid directly and in advance. The regular fee for the organist is $200, and the fee for the vocalist is $150.

  • You need to contact the Director of Music and Cantors. Would you please call the parish office for the phone numbers of the vocalists/organist?


Church Contribution

  • A $250.00 deposit is required to reserve the church for the wedding day. The deposit will be deducted from the total church contribution, which is due a month before the wedding. Make the check out to Saint Francis of Assisi Church. The usual offering to the church is $500.



  • Any photographer of your choice is permissible. Pictures may be taken during the ceremony - posed pictures during the ceremony or any action by the photographer that may interfere with the ceremony are to be avoided.  


Rehearsals/Wedding Coordinator

  • Wedding Rehearsals are typically the evening before the wedding and are set when your agreement is made.  The wedding coordinator will get in touch with you before the rehearsal.


Church Decorum

  • The parish does not allow rice, birdseed, sparkle, or rose petals to be used inside or outside the church.

  • If you use a Unity Candle, it must be placed on a small table and not on the altar. 



  • Our parish is blessed with several very competent musicians. If you use an outside musician, then all music must be coordinated with the office.


Wedding Room

  • There is a room in the church. It would be best if you left it in the same condition that you found it.


Seasonal Decorations

  • There are seasons in the Church year when the church is specially decorated. These decorations MAY NOT be removed from the ceremony should your wedding occur during these times. (Christmas - December 25 to January 7; Lent and Easter).


Marriage License

  • A license to marry must be obtained from the office of a County Clerk from any county in the State of Florida.  A marriage license is valid for 90 days from the date of issuance.  It must be presented to the priest before he can officiate at the service. (You may transmit the license to the Parish Office or Pastor as soon as you receive it). The best man and maid of honor should see the Pastor after the ceremony to sign the marriage license.

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