Policies and Guidelines for Weddings in McDonough Chapel
Congratulations and Welcome!
Saint Xavier University and the Department of Campus Ministry congratulate you on your upcoming marriage. We rejoice with you and offer you our prayers and best wishes as you prepare to celebrate the holy sacrament before God and God's people.
We are pleased that you are considering celebrating your marriage here at McDonough Chapel.
Who Can Get Married at McDonough Chapel?
Weddings are normally to be celebrated in parish churches. It is an exception when the Sacrament of Marriage is celebrated in a chapel. Permission for the exception must be explicitly granted by the Archdiocese of Chicago.
Through the Department of Campus Ministry, Saint Xavier University is willing to request such permission on behalf of currently enrolled, degree-seeking students, full-time staff or full-time faculty of the University.
We encourage alumni to establish membership in a parish and celebrate the Sacrament of Marriage within that faith community. In some cases, for pastoral reasons, alumni may seek permission to celebrate a wedding in McDonough Chapel. Such requests must be in writing and must receive special approval by the director of Campus Ministry.
McDonough Chapel is a Roman Catholic chapel, and as such, all weddings scheduled for celebration must be Catholic liturgies and in accord with Catholic Canon Law.
The fee for a wedding at McDonough Chapel is $500 and includes the use of McDonough Chapel for the wedding and rehearsal.
This fee does not include other fees and stipends, such as those for clergy and musicians.
Desired dates can be requested up to one year in advance of the proposed wedding.
McDonough Chapel will not be available for weddings on the following dates:
- Any Sunday of the year
- Liturgical Feasts/Holy Days
- University special events or closings
- Homecoming weekend
- Thanksgiving weekend
- Commencement weekends
- Christmas Break Season of Lent Triduum/Easter weekend
- Fourth of July holiday weekend
Please note: During the Lenten and Easter seasons, the Chapel is arranged in antiphonal style (chairs facing the center aisle) and cannot be rearranged.
Couples must provide their own priest or deacon to officiate at the wedding. It is the responsibility of this person to obtain the appropriate paperwork and documents to prepare the couple for marriage according to all Archdiocese of Chicago policies.
Couples must obtain the written permission of their parish pastor for permission to marry in McDonough Chapel.
Couples need to make arrangements for any instrumentalists or singers to perform at the wedding ceremony.
McDonough Chapel is completely accessible, including the sanctuary area. It seats 200 people.
Saint Xavier University requests that the sacred and liturgical environment of McDonough Chapel be maintained at all times. This includes the seasonal liturgical environments, such as the configuration of chairs, banners and other liturgical appointments. Also, all parts of any celebration in the Chapel, including readings and music, should be sacred and prayerful in nature.
The Department of Campus Ministry reserves the right to make all final decisions pertaining to the wedding ceremony and the use of McDonough Chapel.
Timeline for Getting Married at McDonough Chapel
- One year to seven months before desired wedding date:
Contact the Campus Ministry Department to see if McDonough Chapel will be available on date desired. Set up initial meeting with Campus Ministry staff to make a deposit to secure the date and to sign a contract.If an alumnus/a, submit a written request asking permission from Saint Xavier University to have your wedding and rehearsal in McDonough Chapel. The written request must include the date of the wedding. (Please note: The wedding will not be officially scheduled until this letter and deposit are received.)
- At least six months before wedding:
Obtain one letter of permission from pastor of the couple and one letter from priest or deacon who will officiate at the wedding and prepare the couple for marriage.
- At least two months before wedding:
Have completed all wedding preparation and attended PreCana. Pay remainder of wedding fee. Choose date and time for wedding rehearsal.
- At least two weeks before wedding:
Obtain marriage license. Set up final meeting with Campus Ministry staff to finalize details of wedding.
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