"I promise to be true to you
in good times and in bad,
in sickness and in health;
I will love you and honor you
all the days of my life."
A sacrament is an outward sign of God's loving presence and action in our lives. The Sacrament of Matrimony is the sign through which a man and a woman recognize, celebrate and deepen the love of God in their love for each other, and commit themselves to a permanent, exclusive, committed partnership of life and love with God at the center.
Preparing for Your Wedding
If you are a Catholic who is a registered parishioner of St. Bernard's, or if you are a Catholic who is living within the territorial boundaries of St. Bernard's parish, you are encouraged to celebrate your wedding here!
Church arrangements for weddings must be made at least 6 months ahead.We strongly advise making arrangements with the Church before signing contracts for reception plans. Please call the Parish Office at 516-731-4220 or fill in the form below to meet with a priest or deacon. This initial meeting will cover all the necessary “paperwork” and will secure your wedding date on the Church calendar if everything is in order. The priest or deacon will also explain what is expected of you regarding Marriage Preparation. Remember: Do not set a date with reception venues until you have confirmed your church date and time.
Preparing for Your Marriage
There is an old adage that says, a wedding is a day, a marriage a lifetime For Christians, the Sacrament of Matrimony doesn't just happen on your wedding day, it is lived out every day of your married life as you celebrate and live God's love as a married couple! Pay attention to these words of blessing from the Catholic wedding ritual:
Father, to reveal the plan of your love,
you made the union of husband and wife
an image of the covenant between you and your people.
In the fulfillment of this sacrament,
the marriage of Christian man and woman
is a sign of the marriage between Christ and his Church.
Not only your wedding, but your marriage is important to us, as it is to you. Formal preparation for Christian marriage should begin as soon as possible after your engagement, and should be completed a year to six months before your wedding. At St. Bernard, as well as throughout the Diocese of Rockville Centre, formal marriage preparation has three components: your meetings with a priest or deacon, the FOCCUS instrument, and a marriage preparation program such as Pre-Cana sessions or Engaged Encounter weekends.
After your initial meeting with a priest or deacon, couples will be asked to complete a FOCCUS questionnaire. FOCCUS is a self-assessment tool designed to assist couples in learning more about themselves and each other. It is not a test, but a way to foster and enhance couple communication. At St Bernard, this is administered on-line. Couples will be given instructions and passwords to complete the questionnaire on-line, and the couple will then meet with a married facilitator couple to help them interpret the results.
After completing FOCCUS, the couple will enroll in a formal marriage preparation program. For couples whose weddings will be at St Bernard, we expect that you will participate in our in-parish preparation program. Our program meets during one weekend from Friday night to Sunday afternoon. Sessions are offered in spring and fall. For couples whose employment will not permit meeting on weekends please inquire about other options.
For more information on marriage preparation, please call Deacon John at the Parish Office (516) 731-4220 or e-mail [email protected]
"Our wedding ceremony was more than we could have asked for. Our priest was so compassionate during the ceremony. We felt like he really tried to get to know us as a couple beforehand. He really helped us pick the right prayers that truly reflected how we felt about marriage as a couple. As a bride I was a nervous wreck during the ceremony. Before I walked down the aisle, our priest met me in the back and reassured me that everything was going to be okay. Those comforting words really made me feel better.
Our Pre Cana experience was great. We learned a lot about each other and were able to talk through issues under the guidance of couples who have a successful marriage. I would highly recommend Pre Cana to everyone."
-- Danielle and Matt
"When we decided to get married there where a lot of decisions to be made such as which hall to pick or which flowers to get. The only clear choice was which church to get married in.
As I was growing up I attended Saint Bernard's to receive my sacraments. The church and all of the staff were always extremely helpful, compassionate, and understanding.
My wife being a non Catholic and I met with our priest to discuss the details and as always he was kind, professional and patient entertaining all of our questions, offering us suggestions and explaining the entire process. He along with the entire Pre-Cana staff helped guide us the whole way. Unlike a vendor who treats you like another customer, they treated us with respect and as a part of their family.
Everybody getting married gets a little anxiety or nervous on their wedding day when there is a problem with the limo or the florist. However, Saint Bernard's went off without a hitch. The church was decorated beautifully and the music was lovely. Our priest was exceptional, delivering a homily that was truly from the heart, speaking of love, unity and also included my now wife's Jewish side of the family by doing a prayer in Hebrew. He was able to conduct a ceremony with people of different faiths and keep everyone happy and excited. We were told by numerous family members and friends on both sides about how moving the ceremony was.
I'd recommend Saint Bernard's to anyone. "
-- Mark & Danielle