Guidelines for Celebrating the Sacrament of Marriage at Our Lady of Victory
and Our Lady of Hope

Congratulations on your engagement! We rejoice with you and pledge you our support and prayers. As Catholics, we believe the Sacrament of Marriage is the union of a baptized man and woman who freely enter into a covenant of love with each other in Christ for the purpose of sustaining a community of life and love and to accept children lovingly from God, bringing them up in the faith by word and example.

Marriage is a sacred reality. In the midst of your preparations, we ask you to keep in mind the sacred and solemn nature of this sacrament. In marriage we celebrate a vocation that shows God’s love present in our world.

By your marriage in Church, you are making a very public statement of your own faith and your fidelity to each other and to Christ, a lifelong commitment within the community of the Church. Therefore, it is expected that you are practicing your faith at least by being a regular participant at Sunday Mass.

Please take the time before your marriage to prepare yourselves spiritually, for to sustain this sacrament it is necessary to have a relationship with Christ and His Body, the Church. Please review the information below and contact the parish office at 508.775.5744 at your convenience.

Wedding Date
Marriage Prep
Church Seating Capacity

How do we reserve a date and when can we marry?

The guidelines for the Diocese of Fall River state that those wishing to marry should consult the parish priest at least 8 months before the anticipated marriage date. This needs to be done prior to scheduling a reception hall.

Every couple is required to attend Marriage Preparation prior to their marriage. The Diocese of Fall River Family Life Center schedules a variety of Marriage Preparation opportunities around the Diocese. You can reach them at 508-999-6420 or email at Marriage preparation is also offered at Mirimar Retreat Center in Duxbury, their number is 781.585.2460 or the Paulist Center in Boston at 617.742.4460.

Weddings can be scheduled as follows:

Friday: A time may be arranged at either church.


   Our Lady of Victory - 10 am, 12 , 2, or 6:30 pm

   Our Lady of Hope - 11 am, 1 pm

Sunday: Weddings(3 pm), will be provided by one of the parish deacons. These services are a Liturgy of the Word, Rite of Marriage and the distribution of communion. Due to the number of masses on Sundays, priests are not ordinarily available for wedding masses. A $50. deposit is required to reserve the church.

We assume that if both the bride and groom are Catholic, they will be married within the context of mass. Marriages of Catholics with someone of another faith may be celebrated within mass or with just a Liturgy of the Word.
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Must we attend a Marriage Preparation Program?

The Diocese of Fall River requires couples to attend a Marriage Preparation program as part of their preparation for marriage. You will be provided with a schedule of times, dates and locations where you may participate in such a program. It is important that you sign up for the program as soon as possible. You should attend the program soon after setting your wedding date. If you reside outside the area, you may attend a marriage preparation program in the area in which you live.

In addition, you and your future spouse will need to meet with the parish priest. These meetings are meant to complete the necessary paperwork and to assist you in your spiritual preparations. As the date for the wedding gets closer, you will be in contact with the priest and also assigned a wedding coordinator to go over specifics of the wedding day and to conduct the wedding rehearsal.
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What information must I obtain for my marriage?

You will need to supply to the Parish Office a newly issued record of your baptism (dated within 12 months of the wedding date) and a record of your confirmation (if applicable). Please contact the church of your baptism and confirmation. They will most likely send those records directly to:

Our Lady of Victory, 230 South Main Street, Centerville, MA 02632
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May we plan our nuptial celebration?

Yes! You will be given a booklet to assist you in planning the ceremony with the priest of deacon. There is a form in the book for you to indicate your choices of prayers and readings as well as other options. You are encouraged to have family members or friends assist in the reading of scripture at the wedding. The priest working with you and your future spouse, as well as the wedding coordinator, will assist you with these plans.
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Priest Friends or Relatives

We are happy to allow a relative or a close friend who is a priest or deacon to witness your marriage. If one party is not Catholic, this person is free to invite a minister to be present and involved in the ceremony. Please consult Our Lady of Victory prior to the invitation. Priests residing outside of Massachusetts must seek permission from the Office of the Secretary of State to legally perform the wedding in this state.

For information regarding assistance in obtaining a Certificate of Authorization from the Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth, please contact:

Division of Public Records
Secretary of the Commonwealth
One Ashburton Place, Room 1719
Boston, MA 02108

If you are having your paperwork prepared by your own priest, all information must be received at the Our Lady of Victory Parish Office at least 30 days before the wedding date. Please contact Kelley Spodris for further information regarding the requirements at 508.775.5744 ext. 113 or email:

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A date and time for the rehearsal can be set as soon as plans are finalized. The rehearsal will be conducted by either the priest, deacon or wedding coordinator. There are frequently several rehearsals scheduled for the same evening. It is essential that all parties be on time for the rehearsal.
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After setting the wedding date, you should also start making plans regarding music. Please contact our Music Director, Dorothy Lortie (508.771.1029, ) for all music concerns and questions. She will assist you with music selections as well as vocalists and instrumentalists. Fees for the musicians, like those of the florist and photographer are the responsibility of the couple.

The Music Director is given a schedule of all weddings and will reserve the date for you. Please contact her at least three months prior to the wedding to set up a date to meet with her to choose the music you would like for your wedding. If you want to have additional musicians, or there are any other requests for soloists,she will help to coordinate this.
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Flowers and Decorations

It is the usual custom for the wedding couple to provide the flowers for the altar. You may choose to leave the arrangements at the church after the wedding.

If you plan to attach flowers or bows to the pews, please use wire, clips or elastic cord and not adhesives. Nails or hangers are not to be used on any walls in the Church. Please notify the florist that arrangements for the sanctuary should not impede the flow of the liturgy or block the view of the Presider from the presider’s chair and the altar. If you would like a runner for the church aisle, please arrange this with your florist. Our aisle is 84 feet in length at Our Lady of Victory and 39 feet in length at Our Lady of Hope Chapel. The shelf under the crucifix at Our Lady of Victory is 8 inches wide and 8 feet long.
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Seating Capacity

The seating capacity at Our Lady of Victory Church is 425 (46 pews). The seating capacity at Our Lady of Hope Chapel is 150 (26 pews).
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The photographer should speak with the celebrant before the marriage ceremony. He/She is welcome to take pictures during the wedding as long as it doesn’t delay the start of the bridal procession, does not disrupt the marriage ceremony or interfere with the recessional. Videographers should be set up in one place and remain there for the entire wedding. We also request no bright lights be used in the process of videotaping.
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While it is perfectly permissible for limos to deliver the bride and her attendants to the church and remain in place until departure. Alcoholic beverages (including champagne) may not be served on Church property.
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We do not have a set offering for the Church, although usual offerings range of around $500. We leave this to the discretion of the couple. This money goes directly to the parish for support and upkeep. It is customary to give the altar servers (2 when a Mass) a gratuity. All other fees (musicians, florist, photographers, etc.) are the responsibility of the couple.
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The civil marriage license must be obtained within 60 days of the marriage. Please give this to the priest, deacon or wedding coordinator no later than the rehearsal.

Use of alcohol on church property is not permitted.

It is essential that all parties arrive so that the wedding can begin at the scheduled time.
If the procession is delayed more than 10 minutes, we reserve the right to perform a shortened wedding service.

A timely departure of the wedding party from the Church grounds (within 20 minutes of the ceremony) is appreciated as often there are other weddings or activities scheduled after your wedding.

Rice, flowers or birdseed should not be thrown inside or outside of the Church for environmental and safety reasons.
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Should there be a change of plans, please be sure to notify the Parish Office as soon as possible.
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