God created man and woman out of love and commanded them to imitate his love in their relations with each other. Man and woman were created for each other…Woman and man are equal in human dignity, and in marriage both are united in an unbreakable bond. (United States Catholic Catechism for Adults, Ch. 21, p. 279)
Have a date?
What to do next?
What are the fees?
Archdiocesan policy states that couples are required to make an appointment with a priest or deacon of the parish at least six months in advance of the date they plan to celebrate their wedding. Sometime during this period of time, the couple is required to participate in a marriage preparation program. At St. Stephen Church, couples who are engaged are invited to attend a Pre-Cana Program, held in the school hall twice per year in Spring and Fall on two Sunday afternoons from 2:00 until 6:00 pm, a total of 8 hours of sharing, dialogue and discussion. This program considers facets of marriage which are important in beginning and building a marital relationship. Topics discussed are communication skills, sexuality, decision making, finances, and spirituality. Pre-Cana Presentations are also scheduled throughout the Archdiocese of Baltimore in other parishes. Also available to engaged couples is a form of marriage preparation known as Engaged Encounter, as well as the "Sponsor Couple" Program. Contact the Parish Office for further information at 410-592-7071.
If you plan to be married by a priest or deacon affiliated with St. Stephen, you must be a registered parishioner. However, if you wish to use the church building for your wedding and you are not a registered parishioner, you may do so only if you provide your own priest or deacon and have him contact the priests at St. Stephen for permission.
St. Stephen Music Ministry follows the guidelines for Liturgical Music set forth by General Instruction of the Roman Missal (GIRM), the United State Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), and the American Guild of Organists (AGO).
Music in the Wedding
Your wedding day is, without a doubt, one of the most important and memorable events of your life. We want to share those moments with you and coordinate with you to make that special day a beautiful liturgical expression of your love for each other and for God.
As soon as you schedule the date, you should contact Robert Hott, the Director of Music Ministry, by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 410-472- 3341, to begin planning the music for the wedding liturgy as soon as possible and to have the wedding entered into his schedule. Mr. Hott is the organist/musician contracted to play weddings at St. Stephen. Only he may give another person permission to play. Arrangement for soloists or instrumentalists should not be made before speaking with Mr. Hott.
Keeping in mind the sacred nature of the liturgy, some musical selections are not appropriate for use in church. Music should reflect the faith, love and commitment being made on your wedding day. All musical selections and musicians need to be approved by the Director of Music Ministry prior to the wedding.
There is no substitution for professional, live musicians and to that extent, the Church does not allow pre-recorded music during the Liturgy.
The organist will arrange for a cantor/soloist to lead the sung parts of the liturgy. The acclamations and responses are the most important music in the liturgy and should not be omitted or spoken. Outside soloists must be cantors in a church, are expected to be competent and prepared. A rehearsal with the soloist is required and an additional fee will be charged.
The Director of Music Ministry will discuss fees for the organist and the cantor/vocal soloist. Fees for musicians are in addition to the fee for the Church and should be paid prior to the wedding date. Please note that the Director of Music Ministry's contract specifies that his fee must be paid (a “bench fee”) even if a couple chooses to use an outside musician or musicians, regardless of instrument.