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"A wedding is one day. A marriage is forever."
Your wedding ceremony must be celebrated in accord with the norms of the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown and the policies of the Immaculate Conception Chapel. While the requirements for marriage preparation are fairly standardized, they can differ slightly from one diocese to another. Those being married elsewhere must follow the marriage preparation requirements of the diocese where the wedding ceremony will be held. To do this, contact the pastor where you intend to be married to ensure that you are following the necessary steps. Most dioceses will allow a couple to participate in all or part of a marriage preparation program outside of their diocese.
Weddings are permitted only to the following:
The only exception to this rule would be at the request of the pastor of the Basilica of St. Michael, Loretto.
As a couple preparing for marriage at Immaculate Conception Chapel, you probably have many questions about where to begin the process. The following will outline the steps you will need to take, in their proper order. These steps are discussed in further detail in the subsequent sections. Please read this carefully and hold on to it for reference throughout your planning.
Like the other sacraments you have already received, the sacrament of marriage requires some special preparation by the couple to be married. The Marriage Preparation Program is required for all couples who are getting married in the Immaculate Conception Chapel. The Marriage Preparation Program is designed to:
The Chapel requires a number of documents before you can be married. In some situations, obtaining them may require considerable time. With your priest, you will gather and complete the following forms, all of which must be submitted to the Chapel Office no later than three months prior to the wedding.
When the time comes to plan your wedding day, the priest who will help you with your marriage preparation and/ or the priest who will preside at your wedding will help you with this task. To plan your wedding ceremony, the following is a step-by-step approach that may be helpful.
Note: The Chapel does not provide musicians. However, the director can recommend some musicians who may be willing, and able, to play at your wedding. A stipend should be paid to these musicians. Note: Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion are to be active member of the Catholic faith and commissioned by the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown.
Three months before your wedding celebration, you should be in touch, again, with the priest. As noted earlier, the priest performing your wedding will be at both the rehearsal and wedding itself, in order to help facilitate the celebration. You should have all the plans for your wedding finalized at this time. This includes choices of sacred music and the rituals surrounding your celebration. In the case you still have last-minute questions concerning what may or may not be done at Immaculate Conception Chapel, the celebrating priest will help you with the answers to these questions. Finally, and most importantly, all of your diocesan paperwork must be on file in the Chapel Office by this time.
**Marriage licenses must be from Pennsylvania and must not be older than 60 days. The following is the contact information for the Cambria County Courthouse:
Cambria County CourthouseRegister & Clerk of Orphans' Court200 South Center StreetEbensburg, PA 15931814.472.5440, ext. 2439:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. / M - F$45, cash only, for a marriage license.Closed for holidays.
Saint Francis University117 Evergreen DriveP.O. Box 600Loretto, PA 15940