Congratulations on your engagement! Below is information on how to get married at Holy Comforter. If you have additional questions, please do not hesitate to contact the office.
Marriage in the Catholic Church is a vocation and a Sacrament. It is a covenant, a formal binding agreement, and a solemn promise that involves God, the couple, and the community of the Church. It is, therefore, a sacred and serious way of life.
Through the Sacrament of Matrimony, husband and wife are united to each other in a life-giving union of love, fidelity and mutual self-sacrifice. The Church has an abiding interest in each member of the Catholic Community. This concern is expressed by her priests who help with the preparation for marriage. The pastor and leaders of Holy Comforter also wish to give all assistance possible to ensure maximum convenience in preparation for the marriage and wedding of its parishioners.
The following regulations serve both to promote the welfare and happiness of the parties entering the marriage, and to safeguard the sanctity of the Sacrament. It is important to recognize that marriage, for baptized persons, is a Sacrament, an entrance of Christ into your life to strengthen your love with His own.
Therefore, Catholics who would like to be married during a Nuptial Mass should recognize that participation in the Mass is essential. All Catholics participating in the wedding, not just the bride and groom, but also attendants, parents and guests, are encouraged to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation prior to the Mass.
Reception of Holy Communion should be a part of all participants’ engagement in the ceremony. You, and any member of your party that wishes to do so, may come to the Sacrament of Reconciliation at any time prior to the wedding. Please see the schedule for confession times, or make an appointment with the pastor.
Marriage at Holy Comforter Catholic Church
Unity Candle: A unity candle is not a part of the sacrament of marriage. Please save this for your reception and do not request it be part of your ceremony.
1. The Sacrament of Marriage is usually celebrated in the parish where you are registered. If you are not Holy Comforter parishioners, you will need a letter from the parish of your registration.
2. All marriage preparations begin with an interview with our pastor, Fr. Joseph Mary Lukyamuzi. The priest must be consulted in a way that allows for ample time (at least six months) for the fulfillment of the necessary requirements.
3. The above-mentioned meeting is required even if Fr. Joseph Mary is not the celebrant.
4. The engaged couple, in addition to meetings with the officiating priest, must attend an Engaged Encounter weekend or other suitable Pre-Cana event organized by their diocese(s). For Diocese of Richmond Pre-Cana events, please visit www.cdrcmfl.org and
5. The documents required for Marriage in the Catholic Church must be completed and submitted at least two months before the actual wedding date. Please consult the Richmond Diocese website or the diocese website of your home church, if applicable.
Setting a date
Your wedding date will be set when you complete your interview with Fr. Joseph Mary. No date will be set for a wedding
until the pastor is satisfied that all necessary information and requirements are understood. Weddings traditionally take place on Saturdays between 11 am and 1 pm. For any other day or time, the pastor shall be consulted. Limitations exist due to already
scheduled parish events.
Other important information
– Finding parking may be difficult for your guests, as Holy Comforter Catholic Church is located in the downtown area of Charlottesville. Encourage all guests to leave extra time to find nearby parking. There is one parking space behind the church for a visiting priest/deacon.
– To apply for reserved parking spaces on nearby streets for a fee, please contact
the City of Charlottesville here.
– Holy Comforter has a seating capacity of 250 persons, maximum.
Please note: If you are not a resident of Charlottesville and cannot be present in Charlottesville to obtain Pre Cana preparation from Holy Comforter’s Pastor, you are responsible to complete Pre-Cana education with a priest near you. He will be responsible in assisting you in collecting and completing all the necessary documentation and submitting it to your local diocese 16 weeks before the wedding date.
The church requires a fee to offset lighting, maintenance and other costs. While the ability of the couple to pay in no way determines the services available, the church fees should be kept proportional to other wedding costs.
The church requires the involvement of our wedding coordinator at each wedding for the security of our building and of your guests. Each couple is required to meet with the Wedding Coordinator before the wedding. If the couple has engaged their own wedding coordinator, that individual shall work in tandem with the church wedding coordinator. There are no extra fees for this service.
The fee schedule is listed below. The “Parishioner” fee is applicable for parishioners of Holy Comforter Catholic Church are those who have been registered at Holy Comforter at least six months prior to their wedding date and are “parishioners in good standing,” meaning they are frequently present and active in our weekly liturgy.
Parishioner Deposit Fee is $450 (required to HOLD date)
Non-parishioner Deposit Fee is $850 (required to HOLD date)
Other fees and stipends:
Music Minister Fee (if applicable): $300 (duties include: planning music with the couple, playing organ/piano at the rehearsal and wedding and arranging for cantors when requested).
Altar Server Stipend (if applicable): $20 per server
Cantor (if applicable): $50-$80
Priest Stipend is totally up to the generosity of each couple
Celebrant Instructions for Priests Outside of Virginia:
A couple is certainly allowed to be married by a family member or friend who is a priest in good-standing in their respective diocese. A letter must be sent to the Richmond Diocese from his diocese stating just that. The proposed celebrant also needs permission/authorization to marry in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
He needs (1) to produce proof of his ordination and (2) a letter of good standing on his parish letterhead. Both these forms should be emailed to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The clerk’s complete information is here:
Hon. Llezelle Agustin Dugger
Office Hours: 8:30 AM – 4:30 PM
Address: 614 East High Street, Charlottesville, VA 22902
Phone: (434) 970-3766
Make sure the celebrant lets them know when to pick up form in person, weekdays, before 4:30 PM.
Our prayers are with you as you prepare for this sacrament.
You may also visit the following websites and documents for more information and answers to common questions about getting married in the Catholic Church.