Please read this carefully, it will help you to plan ahead for this special day in the life of your family. Should you have any questions after reading please call the parish office at 480.895.9266.
The Diocese of Phoenix requires all parents and godparents to attend a Baptismal preparation class. The purpose of this class is to share with parents and godparents the importance of their role in the spiritual growth of their child. Parents and godparents must be registered at least 3 months in their parish and in good standing. A date cannot be put on the calendar until all required paperwork is received:
- Proof of Baptismal class attendance (Certificate of Completion).
- Letter from godparents’ parish (if not St Steven’s) stating they are a Catholic in good standing.
Parental Preparation for Baptism
Parents must be registered at St Steven’s. Parish Registration forms may be obtained at the parish office or in the Church vestibule. Once completed, please return the registration form in the collection basket, by mail, or in person to the parish office.
St Steven’s offers Parental Preparation classes four times per year. You must schedule an appointment with a deacon or a priest for a Baptismal interview. Class registration forms are available in the parish office, you will be contacted by the parish office to confirm the date and time of the class. Classes are also offered at other parishes, both within the Diocese of Phoenix, and elsewhere.
Upon completion of the class parents and godparents will receive a Certificate of Completion. This Certificate must be submitted to St Steven’s parish office by the parent or class instructor. No matter where the class is attended, the Certificate of Completion must be on record at St Steven’s parish office at least two weeks prior to the scheduled Baptism.
If the godparents are not practicing members of St Steven’s parish, they must obtain a letter from their current pastor stating that they are practicing Catholics in good standing and are able to assume the role of Godparents. They also must attend a Baptism Preparation class.
Baptisms are scheduled according to availability on the 2nd and 4th Sundays of each month at 2:30 pm. The Presider may be a priest or deacon from St Steven’s parish. To arrange for a Baptismal date, contact the parish office. Dates may be tentatively set, but administration of the Sacrament is contingent upon all necessary documents being received by the office two weeks prior to the date. Please call the office with any questions or to inform them of any problems related to documentation.
On the day of Baptism
Plan to arrive at Church 15 minutes before the scheduled time of Baptism. Please sit in the last pew of the church by the Baptismal Font and the priest or deacon will join you there. The parish will provide simple Baptismal candles or you may bring your own. The child to be baptized should be dressed in Baptismal clothing prior to receiving the Sacrament. There is no need to bring two sets of clothing for the ceremony. The clothing should offer an accessible opening at the neck for the application of the Baptismal oils on the chest.
Following the Baptism the Baptismal certificate will be signed by the parents and Godparents in the Sacristy.
Pictures or videos may be taken during the ceremony as long as they do not interfere with the priest or deacon administering the Sacrament. In accordance with the regulations of Diocese of Phoenix there is no flash photography allowed in the church; including, but not limited to camera, video, phone and/or tablet camera.
“Marriage must be respected by all
and husband and wife faithful to each other”
Conditions to Marry
- Either the bride or groom (or your parents) must be registered, contributing members of St Steven’s Parish.
- If Catholic, we presume you are living your faith and are now ready to do it even more fully. Make the commitment to worship with us each Sunday and receive the Sacraments. If you are not currently practicing your faith, this is the right time for you to discuss this with the priest or deacon preparing you for sacramental marriage.
- Each person must be free to marry in the Church. This means that neither of you have been married before-civil or religious-or if you have, that previous relationship(s) has ended through a divorce granted by a civil court, as well as the appropriate action taken by a Church court. If either of you were married before, your deacon will discuss with you any issues that need to be resolved.
- You are willing to enter this Sacrament of Marriage fully prepared. This is accomplished by completing all facets of the marriage preparation program as stated here. Entering into a Christian marriage is a serious undertaking. The Church provides this time of preparation to better prepare the couple for the life-long commitment they are entering into. Don’t go ahead unless you are convinced that this is the life and the partner to whom God is calling you.
Marriage preparation timeline
In 2009, Bishop Olmsted authored the marriage preparation policy called Covenant of Love which mandated the full Natural Family Planning (NFP) course as normative in diocesan marriage preparation. The Covenant of Love marriage preparation policy specifies the following marriage preparation timeline:
- Month 1: A couple meets with Pastor or deacon, parish starts their Nuptial File.
- Month 1: FOCCUS inventory: The FOCCUS program is administered by St Steven’s wedding coordinator. FOCCUS is designed to foster communication about key areas for a healthy marriage relationship. FOCCUS is offered by appointment. Following completion of FOCCUS, schedule an appointment to review the results with your priest or deacon.
- Months 1-3: Married Life Skills Course (weekend or 6 evenings): Love for Life, Engaged Encounter, Unitas or other approved program.
- Months 3-6: God’s Plan for Joy Filled Marriage (full day): this will include a 1 hr. NFP Introduction
- Months 4-7: Full NFP Course (which takes 10-12 weeks in order to see cycle pattern in 4 meetings with certified instructor). Discuss scheduling with your priest or deacon. After completing the course please return the certificate to your priest or deacon. Meet with Director of Music to plan your music. Meet with Deacon to plan liturgy; readings and selected prayers.
- Month 8: Sacrament of Confession
- Month 8: Final meeting with Pastor or his delegate
- Month 9: Marriage license to parish office by Monday prior to wedding. Celebration of Sacrament of Matrimony
Music is a basic element of Catholic worship. Keep in mind, however, that this is a sacred celebration and that the choice of music should reflect that sacredness. Show-tunes, popular ballads and similar non-liturgical music selections are not appropriate choices for the Sacrament of Marriage. The payment of your financial commitment includes payment for our parish organist and singer. You should consult with our Director of Music in choosing the music. Do not hire other musicians unless you have spoken with our Director of Music. Music selection and liturgy preparation should be done by appointment at least six to eight weeks prior to your wedding date.
We realize that your wedding is a marvelous event in your life. We are happy to work with any professional florist contracted by the bride and groom for their wedding. We ask that you be respectful of our church building and it’s furnishings; therefore please read and follow these guidelines.
Weddings are celebrated at 11:00 am on Saturdays. Flowers should be delivered no sooner than one-half hour before the scheduled wedding. The wedding coordinator will be present to guide you in placing your arrangements. Two large bouquets are adequate for our church space.
When designing arrangement, please note that arches of any kind are not allowed inside the church or on the church grounds. Candles are not allowed to be part of arrangements or to be attached to pews. Additional candles are also not allowed to be placed on the altar or in the sanctuary. Extra candles are not allowed as part of an arrangement for the Unity Candle. Tacks or tape may not be used in the church.
Ribbon-type bows may be laid over the ends of the pews with clips or rubber/elastic material. These bows may not attach to one another down the aisle of the church. Guest must be able to enter the pews from both sides, without exception. If you need the names of florist who are familiar with the church environment, please contact the parish office. If you plan to leave your flowers for Sunday Masses, please advise the church office before the wedding.
Photography and Videography
St Steven’s wants your wedding to be memorable. During the ceremony you may take pictures WITHOUT FLASH. Flash photography is not allowed inside the church during Mass. Remember you are also responsible for those who attend your ceremony including professionals you may hire. The prohibition of flash photography during Mass is a rule of the Diocese of Phoenix. We ask that you please be respectful of our rules. If you are planning a printed program, please include this policy so your guests will be informed.
Pictures in front of the Sanctuary (Altar) are limited to one-hour before Mass with the secession ending at least one-half hour before Mass starts. You may also take pictures in front of the Sanctuary after Mass but the secession is limited to one hour after Mass ends. You may take pictures outside the church and in the courtyard, both before and after the ceremony.
In no event will pictures inside the church be taken within one-half hour of the start of any sacrament including Saturday confessions which begin at 3:00 pm.
The Great Hall may not be used for ‘studio’ set-up pictures. If you have a video person, no supplemental lighting may be used.
BOTH photographers and videographers are to remain stationary throughout the wedding ceremony. They may NOT move about to capture pictures. Please inform your photographer of these rules before they arrive at your ceremony.
Please do not hesitate to ask any of our staff for assistance. We want this day to be a prayerful, joy-filled experience, an uplifting celebration of your love for each other. Continue to pray with and for each other, be patient, and let this time before your wedding be your gift to each other and God’s gift to you.