Marriage

Blessings to you as you begin your preparations for your life together as a married couple.  We rejoice with you that you have decided to celebrate your life in union with Christ.  The marriage covenant builds a union of love and fidelity.  Through marriage a man and woman establish a partnership for life.  This covenant has been raised to the dignity of a sacrament by Jesus Christ.  Thus, the Christian marriage ceremony is both a service of worship before God and a social event.

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  • Scheduling

    Congratulations on your engagement! 
    Your next step is scheduling your wedding.  Here's information on how to get that process started.
    • Weddings must be scheduled at least 6 months in advance.  Marriage preparation is then accomplished during that period before the wedding.

    • Saturday weddings cannot begin any later than 2 p.m.  With a 2 p.m. start time pictures in the church cannot be taken following the wedding ceremony.  If you want to take pictures after the wedding in the Church you may want to choose a earlier start time. 
    • Check out our  “Wedding Guidelines Booklet” where you will find fees and other information regarding the use of the facility for your wedding.
    • To schedule:
      • Call the Parish Office (785-776-5151) or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for available dates.
      • Provide bride & groom's first and last name, phone number, and email.
      • Whether you would like to book the Utopia Room for your rehearsal dinner and/or reception.
    • This 'pencil's' your date in on the calendar, you will need to setup marriage preparation with Fr. Coady and confirm the date with him (785-776-5151).

  • Preparation

    The marriage preparation process entails:

    • Initial Meeting: Meeting with the pastor to complete necessary paperwork in preparation for the wedding.
    • FOCCUS: Administration of the premarital inventory, "FOCCUS". This is a tool designed to identify key areas for discussion in the pre-marital and marital relationship and this will guide the discussion in following meetings. 
    • Retreat: Attend an Engaged Encounter or Marriage Preparation Retreat.  A God's Plan for a Joy Filled Marriage weekend through the Salina Diocese or St. Isidore's Catholic Student Center is strongly encouraged, but not required.
      • Engaged Encounter Dates:
        • Feb. 10-12, 2017 - Capuchin Center for Spiritual Life, Victoria
        • Apr. 28-30, 2017 - Capuchin Center for Spiritual Life, Victoria
        • Jun. 9-11, 2017 - Capuchin Center for Spiritual Life, Victoria
      • Marriage Preparation Retreat, St. Isidore's, Manhattan
        • Feb. 3-4, 2017
        • Mar. 31-Apr. 1, 2017
      • God's Plan for a Joy Filled Marriage:
        • Feb. 5, 2017 - St. Thomas More Church, Manhattan
        • Feb. 25, 2017 - Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Concordia
        • Apr. 1, 2017 - Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Concordia
        • Apr. 2, 2017 - St. Thomas More Church, Manhattan
        • Jun. 17, 2017 - Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Concordia
    • NFP: Attend a Natural Family Planning class.   
      • Classes available in Manhattan ( pdf brochure here (6.99 MB))
        • Jan. 22 at 3 p.m.
        • Feb. 6 at 7 p.m.
        • Mar. 8 at 7 p.m.
        • Apr. 9 at 3 p.m.
      • You may attend other NFP classes.
    • Marriage License: Must be a State of Kansas license which may be obtained from the Clerk of the District Court at the Courthouse.  Bring all copies of the license with the self addressed envelope to the Parish Office prior to the wedding.

  • Ceremony

    At this point in your planning, you will need to meet with our Music Liturgist, Kelley Smith.  She will walk through the entire ceremony with you.  In preparation for your meeting, it would be helpful to review the Reading Options and Music Suggestions available below.  This will help your meeting go more smoothly and speed up the process.

  • Marriage Rite Revision

    A revision of the Rite of Matrimony was recently promulgated and this will affect the way the sacrament is celebrated at St. Thomas More.  The Church is encouraging a more liturgical celebration that would be similar to the way other sacraments are celebrated.  It would be hard to imagine First Communion or Confirmation without an Opening Song or a Gloria.  The Church values Marriage as much as she values Holy Orders, yet weddings have been celebrated without a liturgical procession and with minimal congregational singing.

    The new Rite envisions a liturgical procession, with cross bearer, servers, extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion, and priest, accompanied by the Opening Song.  Not everyone will be comfortable with this at first, so the Church will still allow the more secular procession to instrumental music.  However, once everyone is in place, every wedding must begin with an Opening Song.  If there is a Mass, the Gloria must always be either said or sung.

    Liturgy always involves the assembly.  The new Rite includes a couple of things for the assembly to say or sing.  After the vows the priest says: “Let us bless the Lord.”  The assembly responds: “Thanks be to God.”  After the giving of rings the assembly sings a hymn of thanksgiving.  Then everyone joins in the Universal Prayer.

    These are not huge changes, and most Catholic guests will just assume that the wedding will feel a lot like a Sunday Mass.  However, Catholics being as minimalist as everyone else, in the past the wedding ceremony was paired back to where it looked almost like a secular event.

  • Reception

    You are welcome to have your reception in our parish hall.  Alcohol is allowed within certain guidelines; an alcohol deposit is required.  All receptions must be finished by 11:00 p.m.

    Fee Schedule*:

    • Rehearsal Dinner - $450
    • Reception - $500
    • Rehearsal & Reception - $800
    • Reception & Dance - $1000
    • Rehearsal, Reception, & Dance - $1100

    *Registered Parishioners are eligible for discounts

    Please contact the parish office for more information or to schedule your reception.  If you are not having your wedding at St. Thomas More, you may tentatively book your reception, but it will not be confirmed until six months prior to the requested date.  Priority is given to weddings held at St. Thomas More.

  • Fees

    All fees must be paid one month prior to your wedding.  Separate checks are required for each item.  See the    pdf Wedding Guidelines (921 KB) for more details.

    • Officiant Fee - $100-$150
    • Church Fee - $250
    • STM Wedding Steward - $75
    • Candelabra* - $50
    • Servers* - $20-$40
    • Musicians* - variable

    *Fees only apply if provided by St. Thomas More

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