Marriage Guidelines-English

Celebrating Matrimony GUIDELINES
Mission Basilica San Buenaventura
Revised May 2021

211 East Main Street
Ventura, California 93001-2622

OFFICE: 805.643.4318 FAX: 805.643.7831

Fr. Tom Elewaut, Pastor
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Deacon Mark Banda (English)
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Deacon Alfonso Mendez (Español)
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Deacon Teodoro Landeros (Español)
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Charlotte Lansberg, Director of Liturgy and Music
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(contact at least two months prior to wedding)

Maria Gomes, Wedding Coordinator
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(contact at least one month prior to wedding)

Blessings to our parishioners and guests of Mission San Buenaventura as you prepare for the Sacrament of Matrimony! The Church has an abiding responsibility and interest in each individual member of the Catholic Community and this concern is expressed by her priests, deacons, and pastoral ministers who assist the couple in preparation for matrimony. We look forward to assisting to prepare your shared life together.

The following guidelines serve to both promote the welfare and happiness of the couple entering matrimony and to safeguard the sanctity of the Sacrament. We also extend a warm welcome to our non-Catholic brothers and sisters entering into marriage with a member of the Catholic community. Please remember that Mission San Buenaventura first and foremost is a sacred and historic place. The practice of one’s faith and growth and maturity in the spiritual life must be the main reason why you desire to have a wedding at the Mission.

The Importance and Dignity of the Sacrament of Matrimony:

The matrimonial covenant, by which a man and a woman establish a lifelong partnership between themselves, derives its force and strength from creation, but for the Christian faithful it is also raised up to a higher dignity, since it is numbered among the Sacraments of the new covenant.

A Marriage is established by the conjugal covenant, that is, the irrevocable consent of both spouses, by which they freely give themselves to each other and accept each other. Moreover, this singular union of a man and a woman requires, and the good of the children demands, the complete fidelity of the spouses and the indissoluble unity of the bond of the sacramental covenant.

By his presence, Christ brought blessing and joy to the wedding at Cana, where he changed water into wine and so foreshadowed the hour of the new and eternal covenant: “For just as of old God made himself present to his people with a covenant of love and fidelity, so now the Savior of the human race” offers himself to the Church as Spouse, fulfilling his covenant with her in his Pascal Mystery.

By the Sacrament of Matrimony Christian spouses signify and participate in the mystery of unity and fruitful love between Christ and the Church; therefore, both in embracing conjugal life and in accepting and educating their children, they help one another to become holy and have their own place and particular gift among the People of God.

Preliminary Marriage Preparations:

1. Marriage preparations for registered parishioners (registerd adn attedning Mass regularly at the Mission for at least one year prior to engagement) begin with an interview with a parish priest or deacon at the Mission. The interview takes place at least six months in advance of the wedding day in order for preparation readiness of the couple and to fulfill the necessary requirements of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. The date for marriage will be arranged with the interview contact priest or deacon. At the initial interview please be prepared to submit the following information:

  1. Signed Acknowledgment of Celebrating Matrimony Guidelines (see below);
  2. Bio Form: Bride & Groom (see below);
  3. Letter from pastor (only for non-parishioners of the Mission parish);
  4. Sacramental Certificates for Bride and Groom: Baptism, First Holy Communion, and Confirmation (issued within the past 6 months, generally new Baptism certificate will also record Communion and Confirmation)*;
  5. Deposit fee ($400) to reserve the Mission Church (online payments availalbe see GREEN donor button on bottom right of webpage).

The above (a-e) are required to set the date and time of the wedding at Mission San Buenaventura.

2. In addition to preparation appointments with the officiating priest or deacon, the couple will attend an Engaged Encounter Weekend. This retreat has the potential to be a life-transforming experience for a couple preparing for a lifetime together and supports the spiritual growth in the months leading up to the wedding. The Mission parish takes seriously its responsibility to give each couple the tools for a healthy marriage. Once you have met with a priest or deacon please register for the Engaged Encounter Weekend as soon as possible since reservations for these weekends are quickly filled. Go to

3. Fees for a wedding at the historic Mission Church include:

  1. Stipend for the preservation of the Mission church and garden/gathering area (for online payments see GREEN donor button on webpage);
  2. Two Mission Liturgical Music Ministers (cantor/soloist and keyboard/organist; additional musicians may be arranged by the Director of Liturgy)
    Wedding Coordinator;
  3. Flowers in the Sanctuary (White);
  4. Priest and Altar Server stipend

Fee Schedule:

Con-validation without Mass for Mission parishioner* (for those married civilly for several years and the ceremony is outside of Mass/immediate family/no music): $50.00
Con-validation with Mass for Mission parishioner* :(for those married civilly for several years): $600.00
Wedding Mass for registered parishioner*: $1,200.00.
*Registered for at least one year with regular Sunday Mass attendance and financial support.

Non-Parishioner registered and active in Deanery III or IV parish (preparation by parishioner's parish priest/deacon): $1,600.00
Non-Parishioner (not residing in Deanery 3 or 4 with preparation by parishioner's parish priest/deacon): $2,500.00

The $400 deposit is required to secure the wedding date and is deducted from the total fee schedule. This deposit is non-refundable. The fee balance is due 30 days prior to the wedding date.

Reception in O’Brien Hall or Parish Center Auditorium
(Learn more at www.sanbuenaventuramission go to “Events”)
Additional Musicians (contact Director of Liturgy at least two months prior to wedding)

Music: Charlotte Landsberg (contact at least 60 days in advance of wedding date, required. See Music Appendix “C” below). This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Parish Wedding Coordinator: Maria Gomes (contact at least 30 days in advance of wedding date to set rehearsal time/date) required. Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Flowers: Passion Flowers (805- 641-1076) provides four sprays in white behind the altar for weddings. Call to coordinate color options at additional personal expense and to purchase additional flowers such as boutonnières, corsages, reception flowers, etc.

Photography: You may wish to engage the services of a professional photographer/video specialist for the wedding. All photographers are required to communicate with the priest/deacon and Marriage Coordinator on the day of the wedding prior to the liturgical ceremony. At no time should the photographer detract from the sacredness and dignity of the ceremony. The Mission gardens are a beautiful location for photos. See Appendix “D”: Photography Protocols.

Please be punctual and considerate of the next scheduled ceremony when using the garden or utilizing a limousine service. Weddings must start on time for the consideration of everyone involved including the personal schedule of the priest/deacon. A fee of is assessed in (increments of 30 minutes) for every 15 minutes the ceremony is delayed to compensate ministry personnel according to California Labor Law.

Click on each of the links below for reference:




WITNESS FORMS (2 each bride and groom)

APPENDIX “A”: The Order of Celebrating of Matrimony at Mass

APPENDIX “B”: Liturgy Guide and Scripture Selections for the Order of Celebrating Matrimony

Click here to review all Old Testament reading selections.

Click here to review Responsorial Psalm selections.

Click here to review all New Testament reading selections.

Click here to review all Gospel reading selections.

Click here to review all Universal Prayers of the Faithful selections.

APPENDIX “C”: Music Selections

APPENDIX “D”: Photography Protocols


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Ministry Schedule

Confession / Confesiones:
Saturday/Sábado 4:00 P.M. in the garden
Eucharistic Adoration/
Adoración Eucarística:
Serra Chapel / Capilla Junípero Serra
Monday 6:00 A.M.- Thursday 6:00 A.M. 
de Lunes 6:00 A.M. a Jueves 6:00 A.M. 

Baptism / Bautismos

Office Hours

Parish Center Office Hours:
Horario Oficina del Centro
Monday-Friday/ Lunes a Viernes
8:30 A.M.-4:30 P.M.


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