Get Married

Congratulations and blessings as you plan your wedding within the Catholic Church. This is a very special time in your life and Sacred Heart parish is excited and happy to help you prepare and celebrate your marriage. Matrimony is a Sacrament in the Catholic Church.  As such, it is not entirely about the bride and groom but also the witness they bear of the love that Christ demonstrates to all of us through their devotion to one another and the grace of bearing with each other as God bears with each of us.  The life in Christ you will lead and the love you will demonstrate for each other offers a unique and sacred gift offered to the world. Love without strings, commitment without compromise, grace without qualification, and participation in the creation of life itself. All of this is your witness as a result of the love of our Lord Jesus Christ.

 Fr. Gregory Leif -- Pastor  (507) 835-1222

 Troy Anderson -- Director of Music and Liturgy  (507) 363-1701

 Monica Priebe -- Marriage Prep Coordinator  (507) 461-2027




(Revised 09-22-2013)

Who may marry in our parish church?

Generally speaking, members of our parish may celebrate their weddings at Sacred Heart church.  Roman Catholics who live within the bounds of the parish but who have no formal relationship with the parish community may speak to Fr. Leif about establishing a relationship with the parish - with an intention of celebrating a wedding in the future.  Former members of the parish need to speak both to their present pastor and to Fr. Leif if they wish to solemnize their marriage in this church.

1. The bride and the groom must have the freedom to marry. If either of them have been married before, a declaration of nullity is required from the church.

2. Either the bride or the groom must be a Catholic who has stated that he or she will remain committed to the faith and do all that they can to have the children Baptized and educated as Catholics. (A Catholic may be married in a non-Catholic church by a minister of that church if there is good reason and the catholic party sees his/her parish priest and obtains the proper dispensation.  All of the preparation listed below must be completed as well as whatever is expected by the non-Catholic church.)

 Scheduling the time of the celebration

Weddings are scheduled with respect to availability of the church building. In the event of funerals, adjustments may be required.  Weddings are usually scheduled on Saturdays, between 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM or after 7:00 PM.  This is to allow sufficient time for 4:00 PM Reconciliation and 5:15 PM Mass on Saturday.

A wedding may also be scheduled and celebrated on a Friday evening.

Setting the date of the wedding

Couples are expected to contact the Parish at least six months in advance to begin the preparation.  This decision needs to be confirmed by Fr. Leif. Obviously, finalization of the marriage date depends on successful completion of marriage preparation process.

The marriage preparation process is as follows:

1. Initial interview with Fr. Leif

2. A $235 donation to the parish is asked to set aside the date for the wedding. (The donation includes the Prepare Enrich Pre-Marital Inventory, please contact Monica Priebe to arrange for this to be taken.)

3. Meet with The Director of Music Liturgy,Troy Anderson

4. Four Sessions with a mentor couple or Fr. Leif.

5. Attendance at a Pre-Cana retreat experience. Call for information or checkout these links.

Registration Information for Pre Cana
Mankato Area Pre Cana 
Marriage Preparation and Enrichment Winona, MN
Twin Cities Pre Cana

       Marriage Prep Resources from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops 

6. Meet with Fr. Leif to finalize paperwork and schedule the rehearsal.

7. $100.00 deposit for use of the church proper and bridal room in Nativity Hall.  The deposit will be returned after the wedding if the facility is left in its original condition.

8. The parish center needs to be reserved separately, if this is needed. A deposit of $100 will be required for this also.

9. Submission of a baptismal certificate for both the bride and groom, unless they were baptized here at Sacred Heart Parish.  A copy can be obtained from the church where each was baptized.  Please bring it in as soon as possible.

The ministers for the celebration

In the Roman Catholic tradition the bride and groom minister the sacrament of marriage to one another; a priest and at least two witnesses are also required to be present. We ask that you please limit your wedding party to five couples or less.

When planning your procession please keep in mind that both the bride and groom are to be in the procession.  Parents are also encouraged to be in the procession, however individual situations may vary.  The processional order goes as follows:

Cross Bearer












Flower Girl & Ring Bearer


Groom & Parents


Bride & Parents


Concelebrant: On occasion, a couple may have a priest friend or priest relative whom they want to invite to preside at the wedding.  In this case the couple should mention this to Fr. Leif early in the process and Fr. Leif will make any necessary communication between the visiting priest regarding the wedding at Sacred Heart Parish.

Non-Catholic minister: For an Inter-Faith wedding ceremony, the minister of the non-Catholic party is most welcome to participate in the wedding ceremony if the couple wishes.  The invitation is extended by the couple after discussing it with Fr. Leif.  The role which the minister will play is to be determined by the priest and the couple while respecting, as much as possible, the wishes of the minister.

Liturgy and Music: The letter below is an introduction to a liturgy and music planning process to for your matrimony.

       Marriage Intro Letter

1.  Liturgy planning forms are linked here.  The appropriate form will be your outline and guide.

      Wedding Liturgy Planning with Mass

      Wedding Liturgy Planning without Mass

Music: The Director of Music requests that you look at the suggested music links.  The goal of your preparation is to encourage the full and active participation of all who will gather to celebrate your marriage.

        Music Selections for Weddings

The music suggestions on the preceding sheet are only meant to give you ideas and help you decide what is right for your individual wedding. 

However, the suggested songs are readily available and within our repertoire. If you wish to consider other selections we can suggest the following links.

Websites for wedding music ideas and listening options as well as readings, vow options, general intercessions, and sample worship guides, as well as many other resources:

Catholic Wedding

Lectors: Those who serve in the parish as lectors are available to serve in this ministry at wedding celebrations.  A list can be obtained from the parish office.  If you wish to ask friends or family members to serve in this ministry, they should be prepared to proclaim God’s word effectively and reverently.  These same persons are required to be at the wedding rehearsal so that they may practice in the worship space with the sound system.

Eucharistic Ministers: If your wedding is to be celebrated during Mass, Eucharistic ministers will be needed.  Those who already serve in this ministry in the parish will be available to serve at weddings.  If friends or family members of the bride and groom are ministers of the Eucharist in their home parishes, they may be invited to serve at the wedding provided they attend the wedding rehearsal so that they are familiar with the worship space and its demands.

Ushers: The groom’s attendants usually function as ushers and therefore fulfill the ministry of hospitality.  However, the bride’s attendants, and the bride and groom and their families may also act as ministers of hospitality.  The ushers principal duties are to cordially greet people arriving at the church, give them a program, and assist them in finding a seat near other worshippers.  Men and women may serve as ushers.

Altar servers: Are optional.  If you choose someone to serve in this ministry, they are required to be present at the wedding rehearsal.

Ring bearers and Flower girls: Ring bearers and flower girls are not ministers, nor are their services required for the celebration of marriage.  We suggest that the children be at least 4 years of age. Their presence should add to the joyful solemnity of the celebration.

Church Facilities: The bridal room in Nativity Hall is equipped with mirrors, iron, ironing board, extension cords, rods to hang dresses, outlets for curling irons, etc.  There is also a bathroom near by.  A key for this room may be obtained from the parish office.  The deposit will be returned in full if the bridal room and church proper are left in the condition they were found.  In the event of a funeral adjustments may need to be made.

A room may also be reserved in the T.C. Center for the men.  Please reserve the room and pick up a key from the parish office in advance.

Our church complex is smoke free.  No alcohol is to be consumed on church grounds.

Food and Drink is allowed in Nativity Hall and the T.C. Center but is prohibited in the church proper.

Environment of the worship space

Floral arrangements have long been a part of the worship environment in the Catholic Church.  The normal use of flowers on Sunday and festive occasions serves as a model for their placement at weddings.  The Seasons of the Liturgical Year are to be respected in planning for the environment of the marriage liturgy.

The number and placement of flowers and decorations should not interfere with the liturgical ceremony.  The unity candle, flowers presented to parents, and those placed at the Marian shrine are considered optional.  Any flowers left in the church will be gratefully appreciated.

The church and others rooms used should be left in the condition in which they were found.  Collect and dispose of flower boxes, programs, pins, etc.


1.  No tape of any kind may be used on any surface.

2.  No aisle runners are allowed for safety reasons.

3.  No rice, flower petals or confetti is to be thrown in the church proper or outside on Sacred Heart property.

4.  Candles must either be in a hurricane lamp enclosure or on a surface that prevents wax from dripping on the floor.

5.  No pew clamps of any kind.

6.  No flowers or candles are allowed on the piano or organ.


1. Podium for guest book

2. Candle holder for unity candle and 2 small side candles

3. Several plant stands (metal, wood, different heights)

4. 2 - 7 candle candelabras - candles will be provided

5. If you would like to tape yourself, please bring your own tape recorder and have someone operate it from the balcony.

Photographers and videographers

Photographs and videos serve as an attractive reminder of your wedding, but you don’t want the taking of pictures to interfere with the event itself.  The photographer you have selected to record your wedding is welcome at Sacred Heart.  It is expected that they will be professional in their work. This means that the sacred nature of the church will be respected.  Things that are moved for pictures should be returned to their original places. Video recording of the ceremony is also allowed provided that it be done in a discreet manner.  Flash photography during the liturgy is prohibited.


Please contact Troy Anderson or the Parish office for a list of musicians that are familiar with Sacred Heart Church, the instruments, the sound system and the Catholic liturgy.


Stipends for musicians should be paid before the wedding.  Fees will vary between individuals.  You can expect to pay an organist $100.00-$150.00 and a Cantor/Soloist between $100.00-$150.00 each.