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Catholic Weddings

Church Fee

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Re: Church Fee

  • edited December 2011
    Ours is $865 for the ceremony, music and pre-cana.

    I think that the problem though is that the Church keeps calling it a "donation." A donation implies that it is voluntary and optional. A fee is a specific, set amout associated with the costs to perform the said reception.

    I know that because I grew up Catholic and in my Church, I couldn't imagine getting married anywhere else, but these mandatory and exorbetent "donations" are pushing so many away from the Church because asking so much from a couple just starting out contridicts the welcoming and accepting atmosphere the Church is supposed to have. "Donations" like that put a price on your beliefs and that is just sad.
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  • Riss91Riss91 member
    Eighth Anniversary 1000 Comments 25 Love Its Name Dropper
    edited December 2011
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/cultural-wedding-boards_catholic-weddings_church-fee?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Cultural%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:615Discussion:87b6685b-72ce-45ff-bcb3-1e8289ed9c35Post:614028be-259e-4b83-9ae3-f517aaf06636">Re: Church Fee</a>:
    [QUOTE]Ours is $865 for the ceremony, music and pre-cana. I think that the problem though is that the Church keeps calling it a "donation." A donation implies that it is voluntary and optional. A fee is a specific, set amout associated with the costs to perform the said reception. I know that because I grew up Catholic and in my Church, I couldn't imagine getting married anywhere else, but these mandatory and exorbetent "donations" are pushing so many away from the Church because asking so much from a couple just starting out contridicts the welcoming and accepting atmosphere the Church is supposed to have. "Donations" like that put a price on your beliefs and that is just sad.
    Posted by schlagetermari[/QUOTE]

    The Church has to call it a donation because they are not allowed to charge fees. You are right that they cannot put a price on your beliefs/sacraments. You can receive your sacraments for free by having them performed during the regularly scheduled Sunday Mass. It is not exorbetent for the Church to request that you cover the costs that it incurrs in order to have your ceremony (an additional mass that they are not budgeted to provide for free). It costs them money to open the church, clean up before and after, cool/heat it, pay for electricity,for your wedding day and for the rehearsals. Not to mention the time the priest spends leading up to the ceremony to help you prepare. While it is part of his duties to do this, he has many many many other responsibilities as well. They are NOT making a profit off of you.

    It's also hard to believe that $200-$1,000 is not in the budget when most weddings these days cost close to $25K(and that's in lower-cost areas). If someone truly can't afford the donation, I'm sure the church would assist them in some way. But, I would expect the reception/celebration/honeymoon to be extremely tiny.

    I also think the problem is that many people consider the church merely a "venue"  or a location to have their ceremony and they are more interested in finding a pretty church that will afford beautiful pictures than to focus on the meaning behind the ceremony. I think it's probably disheartening from a priest's perspective to be dealing more and more with this mentality.

    We paid about $850 to the church and the two priests, then paid extra to the altar servers. We paid extra for our church musicians.
  • edited December 2011
    I don't disagree that there definately needs to be a fee for use of the spaces and that there should be charges as such.

    It's just decieving. They should say it costs $x to get married here and donations are also appreciated.

    The only one at the ceremony who actually gets paid is the musician. Obviously something needs to go towards the living expenses for the Preist as well but I think the meaning of getting married in the Church is being diminished by the costs associated.
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  • Calypso1977Calypso1977 member
    Knottie Warrior 2500 Comments 25 Love Its First Answer
    edited December 2011
    my problem is the places i've heard about that require you to hire the organist or vocalist.  both are not required for Mass, so i'm not sure how they get away with requiring a couple to hire them.  ours was completely optional - we chose the organ but not the vocalist. 

    otherwise, RIss is correct - they cant charge you for sacraments but they can charge for other stuff associated with providing the sacrament.  but again, i dont know why people get worked up about it.  the ceremony is hte most important part.  people flinch at $1000 for that, but dont bat at eye at spending $1000 on some completely non-essential item like a limo, that is not required at all in order to get married.
  • agapecarrieagapecarrie member
    Knottie Warrior 1000 Comments 100 Love Its Combo Breaker
    edited December 2011
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/cultural-wedding-boards_catholic-weddings_church-fee?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Cultural%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:615Discussion:87b6685b-72ce-45ff-bcb3-1e8289ed9c35Post:e4c3063e-c8dd-446b-9742-47cac1e1a757">Re: Church Fee</a>:
    [QUOTE]my problem is the places i've heard about that require you to hire the organist or vocalist.  both are not required for Mass, so i'm not sure how they get away with requiring a couple to hire them.  ours was completely optional - we chose the organ but not the vocalist.  otherwise, RIss is correct - they cant charge you for sacraments but they can charge for other stuff associated with providing the sacrament.  but again, i dont know why people get worked up about it.  the ceremony is hte most important part.  people flinch at $1000 for that, but dont bat at eye at spending $1000 on some completely non-essential item like a limo, that is not required at all in order to get married.
    Posted by Calypso1977[/QUOTE]

    Actually, if a liturgy has music at it, there are specific parts that must be sung. There is an order of preference... A communion song must be sung, and be available to the people. The Psalm, alleluia, and mass parts. Then the other places for hymns. This is in the GIRM.
    It is true you don't have to have music to have a mass, but if you do have music, then there are parts that must be sung...its not music for music sake, but for the service of the liturgy.
  • Calypso1977Calypso1977 member
    Knottie Warrior 2500 Comments 25 Love Its First Answer
    edited December 2011
    our priest often sings various parts, as not all masses have the choir present.  our nuptial mass was all in latin, although i honestly cant remember if he sang any parts that day or not.
  • Riss91Riss91 member
    Eighth Anniversary 1000 Comments 25 Love Its Name Dropper
    edited December 2011
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/cultural-wedding-boards_catholic-weddings_church-fee?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Cultural%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:615Discussion:87b6685b-72ce-45ff-bcb3-1e8289ed9c35Post:88bbf79a-7952-470f-8c39-72dc53b9390e">Re: Church Fee</a>:
    [QUOTE]our priest often sings various parts, as not all masses have the choir present.  our nuptial mass was all in latin, although i honestly cant remember if he sang any parts that day or not.
    Posted by Calypso1977[/QUOTE]

    Same here. Usually our church holds a Extraordinary Form High Mass, with a full choir and organist, but on occasion there will only be an organist to play the preludes/postludes and then the only music is the parts that the priest sings, which are very few.  I think this is different in the latin than the novus ordo.
  • Calypso1977Calypso1977 member
    Knottie Warrior 2500 Comments 25 Love Its First Answer
    edited December 2011
    i feel that the novus ordo has too much choir/singing... i think that's why i dont really like it.  i sometimes feel like i'm at a concert, rather than mass, particularly in the churches that opt to put all of the musicians up front, rather than utilizing the choir lofts.  i also much prefer the sounds of the latin hymns to the english ones.  they seem much more traditional in feel. 
  • Riss91Riss91 member
    Eighth Anniversary 1000 Comments 25 Love Its Name Dropper
    edited December 2011
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/cultural-wedding-boards_catholic-weddings_church-fee?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Cultural%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:615Discussion:87b6685b-72ce-45ff-bcb3-1e8289ed9c35Post:21a74f88-d635-4697-b6f4-58bd86883e5f">Re: Church Fee</a>:
    [QUOTE] i also much prefer the sounds of the latin hymns to the english ones.  they seem much more traditional in feel. 
    Posted by Calypso1977[/QUOTE]

    I agree 100%. I find that it is easier for me to focus on what is happening and to reflect with the latin chants/hyms as opposed to songs like "Here I am Lord". In my experience, everything is a bit more respectful and solemn - but in a good way. I'm so thankful to my husband for exposing me to the latin mass. At first, I wasn't sure about it, but I've really grown to love it.
  • edited December 2011
    I agree with Calypso- the music for a ceremony, not full mass, just the ceremony is $300. That's a lot of money. You can't possibly tell me the musician gets all of that. Maybe $100. Charging $200 extra every time (even considering the cost to maintain equiptment) is a little overboard.
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  • Riss91Riss91 member
    Eighth Anniversary 1000 Comments 25 Love Its Name Dropper
    edited December 2011
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/cultural-wedding-boards_catholic-weddings_church-fee?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Cultural%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:615Discussion:87b6685b-72ce-45ff-bcb3-1e8289ed9c35Post:25c83c56-8fb2-455a-9cce-276e0e8612aa">Re: Church Fee</a>:
    [QUOTE]I agree with Calypso- the music for a ceremony, not full mass, just the ceremony is $300. That's a lot of money. You can't possibly tell me the musician gets all of that. Maybe $100. Charging $200 extra every time (even considering the cost to maintain equiptment) is a little overboard.
    Posted by schlagetermari[/QUOTE]

    It might seem excessive, but I wouldn't doubt that the musician gets all of it. It's not just compensation for the 1-2 hours on the day of your ceremony. It's compensation for any practice, rehearsal leading up to it, as well as any meetings with the couple to discuss music. That said, if the couple chooses not to use the musician, it does stink that you still have to pay them. The only reason I can think of as to why you are still charged is that the music directors are sometimes paid a normal salary and they are requried to be available to perform and/or coordinate all music for both regular mass and any additional ceremonies (weddings, funerals, etc). So, the church may budget assuming that most couples will use their musician, and therefore X% of the musician's salary will come from outside the church budget. So, when a couple opts not to use the musician the church is essentially "out" those funds. Does that make sense?

    At the very least, one would hope that the Church uses those funds for good causes.
  • agapecarrieagapecarrie member
    Knottie Warrior 1000 Comments 100 Love Its Combo Breaker
    edited December 2011
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/cultural-wedding-boards_catholic-weddings_church-fee?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Cultural%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:615Discussion:87b6685b-72ce-45ff-bcb3-1e8289ed9c35Post:25c83c56-8fb2-455a-9cce-276e0e8612aa">Re: Church Fee</a>:
    [QUOTE]I agree with Calypso- the music for a ceremony, not full mass, just the ceremony is $300. That's a lot of money. You can't possibly tell me the musician gets all of that. Maybe $100. Charging $200 extra every time (even considering the cost to maintain equiptment) is a little overboard.
    Posted by schlagetermari[/QUOTE]

    It doesn't matter whether its a full mass or not to the musician. The same hassles go with either one. When you say $300 are you referring to 2 people or one person?
    This is an art. You are paying for the rights to use the music too.
  • DanBry12DanBry12 member
    10 Comments
    edited December 2011
    I think I'm the winner (or whatever you want to call it) so far. Our mandatory fee is $2,200 yea that's not a typo plus $350 for EE plus $750 for musicians (3 total) plus $100 for parking, plus a suggested donation for the coordinator/cantor. Yes we are members of the church and attend weekly/volunteer/make donations. Granted it is a big city parish and apparently the most requested church in the city, but still...it was really hard to make the commitment to that cost.
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