Baptism, Wedding & Funeral Guidelines

For more information about how to hold a baptism, wedding or funeral at Saint Michael's College, please follow these guidelines.

Baptisms at the Chapel of Saint Michael the Archangel

Congratulations on the newest member of your family! We feel honored that you chose to baptize your child at Saint Michael's. Please carefully review the guidelines and contact information.

Baptism Guidelines

The baptism should be celebrated in the home parish. Those wishing to celebrate the baptism of their child in the Chapel of Saint Michael the Archangel must meet the following requirements:

  • Requests for baptism should be made in writing by the parents of the child to the Director of Edmundite Campus Ministry. Please include the desired date and time of baptism as well as the requested priest.
  • The parents should have good pastoral reasons for having the baptism of their child at the College Chapel rather than in their home parish.
  • There should be a formal relationship between the parents and the College. At least one parent must be either a current student, recent alumnus, or a member of the staff or faculty of the College. Children of faculty and staff are eligible if Saint Michael's College Chapel is presently their ordinary place of worship.
  • Those requesting to celebrate the baptism of their child at the College Chapel should be practicing their faith.
  • The parents must also forward a written letter or email to the Director of Edmundite Campus Ministry from their local pastor granting permission for the baptism to be held in the Chapel of Saint Michael the Archangel.
  • Parents will need to meet with either a priest or deacon in their home parish or at Saint Michael's College for baptismal instruction prior to the baptism.
  • Godparents (Sponsor) must be Confirmed Catholics and practicing their faith.
  • Baptisms should normally not be celebrated during the season of Lent. 
  • It is customary to make a donation to Edmundite Campus Ministry to assist us in our ministry. Your generosity is very much appreciated. A stipend for the priest is not necessary.

For further information regarding baptisms, please contact Edmundite Campus Ministry at 802.654.2333.

Weddings at the Chapel of Saint Michael the Archangel

Edmundite Campus Ministry would like to say congratulations on your engagement and we wish only the best for both of you as you begin your life together. Saint Michael's is also very happy that you are considering the Chapel of Saint Michael the Archangel as the location for your wedding. We ask that you look over the site provided for you with special attention to the guidelines and contact information.

Saint Michael's Wedding Guidelines

A Catholic marriage ceremony normally takes place in the home parish. Catholic weddings are permitted in the College Chapel. Those wishing to celebrate their marriage in the Chapel must meet the following requirements:

  • The couple should have good pastoral reasons for being married in the College Chapel, rather than their home parish.
  • There should be a formal relationship between the couple and the College. At least one party must be either a current student, recent alumnus or a member of the faculty or staff of the College. Children of faculty and staff and alumnus are eligible if Saint Michael's College Chapel is presently their ordinary place of worship.
  • Those requesting to celebrate their marriage ceremony at the College Chapel should be practicing their faith.
  • Marriages may be celebrated at any time except on a Sunday, the last weekend of August and the first two weekends of September. Weddings can be scheduled at either one of three times on a Saturday: 10am, 1pm, and 4pm. Weekday weddings are permitted if the scheduling of a priest/deacon can accommodate. It is also advisable to schedule a time for your rehearsal. Please note that we do not offer a room for the wedding party to dress before the wedding.
  • Requests for permission to be married at the College Chapel shall be sent in writing to the Director of Edmundite Campus Ministry at least six months before the wedding. The request should indicate the pastoral reasons why the marriage ceremony should take place at the College Chapel and the relationship of both parties to the College Community. The letter must include a statement by the couple stating that they have read these wedding guidelines and agree to follow them. Please include in the letter of request the work, home and cell telephone numbers as well as postal and email addresses of both parties. Upon approval, a letter confirming the date and time of your wedding will be sent to you.
  • The music for your marriage ceremony must be planned with the assistance of Jerome Monachino, the Director of Liturgical Music. He can be contacted by phone at 802.654.2254 or via email at jmonachino@smcvt.edu. All music at wedding ceremonies should adhere to the Music Guidelines for Weddings issued by the Diocese of Burlington. There are no exceptions to these music guidelines as we are accountable to the Bishop's Office.
  • Guest musicians are allowed only on a limited basis and only with prior approval of the Director of Liturgical Music. The use of the Chapel organ is limited to members of the music staff. Guest organists are not allowed.
  • Within six months of the wedding date, the couple should obtain copies of their baptismal records. These can be obtained from the parishes where the baptisms took place. The baptismal certificates must be recent ones and must be issued within six months of the wedding date. (Do not send original baptismal certificates).
  • If the bride is a Catholic, she must also present a written note from her pastor granting permission to get married in the Chapel of Saint Michael the Archangel (Diocesan regulation). If the bride is a non-Catholic, then the groom must obtain the same type of written permission from his pastor.
  • The couple is required to participate in a formal Diocesan or parish approved "Pre-marriage Program." Such a program not only acquaints the couple with the spiritual, social, financial, and sexual dimensions of marriage, it helps the couple to deepen their relationship with one another.
  • There are two approved "Pre-marriage" programs: The Catholic Engaged Encounter and Pre-Cana Program. Applications and information concerning the dates, times and places for programs in Vermont are available through the Diocese of Burlington, 50 Joy Drive, South Burlington, VT 05403, 802.658.6110. The pre-marriage program can either be completed through the Diocese of Burlington or in any Catholic diocese. The couple must also complete the Fully Engaged Survey with the priest witnessing the marriage.
  • Licenses are issued by Vermont Town Clerks. If both the bride and groom are Vermont residents, you may go to the town clerk in either of your towns of residence. If just one of you resides in a Vermont town, you must buy the license in that town. If neither of you are Vermont residents, any Vermont town clerk's office can issue you a license. Licenses cost $45 and are valid for 60 days from the date issued.
  • A donation of $250.00 to the Campus Ministry Stewardship Fund is requested of all couples celebrating their marriage at Saint Michael's College and should be mailed with the initial letter of request.
  • Visiting priests from outside the state of Vermont must obtain permission from the government to witness the marriage. Call 802.651.1518 to obtain the necessary application forms or write to: Chittenden County Probate Court, 175 Main Street, Burlington, VT 05401. If a visiting priest presides at the ceremony, the music must be provided by the Chapel music minister, Jerome Monachino.
  • No aisle runners are permitted in the Chapel due to safety concerns.

Funeral Guidelines at the Chapel of Saint Michael the Archangel

  • A Catholic funeral is usually celebrated in the parish of the deceased. For pastoral reasons in light of someone's connection to Saint Michael's College as an employee, alumnus or benefactor, a funeral for a baptized Catholic is permitted by exception.
  • Requests for funerals at Saint Michael's College are to be made either by phone (802.654.2476) or in writing via email to the Director of Edmundite Campus Ministry at bcummings@smcvt.edu.
  • Permission from the deceased’s local pastor to the Director of Edmundite Campus Ministry is required for the funeral to take place in the College Chapel.
  • Given the shortage of parking on campus, the best day to celebrate a funeral on campus is on a Saturday. The College may not be able to accommodate a request for a weekday given the lack of parking or activities being held on campus.
  • Funerals may not be celebrated on a Sunday, Holy Days of Obligation or the Paschal Triduum: Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday.
  • Representatives from the immediate family of the deceased should meet with the Director of Edmundite Campus Ministry or the priest celebrating the Funeral Mass to select the scriptural readings of the Mass and usually at the same meeting with the Director of Liturgical Music to select appropriate music for the celebration.
  • Individuals selected to proclaim the scripture readings and recite the Prayer of the Faithful are to be baptized Catholics.
  • Music in the Funeral Rite allows the community to express convictions and feeling that words alone may fail to convey. It has the power to console and uplift the mourners and to strengthen the unity of the assembly in faith and love. The texts of the hymns chosen should express the paschal mystery of the Lord's suffering, death, and triumph over death and should be related to the Readings from Scripture. The texts should help to create in the people present a spirit of hope in sharing in the victory won in the Resurrection of the Lord. The sacred music itself should be appropriate to the solemnity of the occasion. Other sacred music is admissible, such as the Ave Maria, especially when the deceased or survivors have a particular devotion to the Blessed Mother. Seasonal hymns are also appropriate, such as Advent hymns during Advent, Lenten hymns, Easter hymns, and so forth. A hymn with a Eucharistic theme is appropriate at Communion time.
  • Secular songs, even those that were the favorite of the deceased, are not permitted during the Funeral Rite, nor are national or ethnic songs. They have a proper place at the funeral home after the Vigil Service, or at a family celebration following the burial.
  • Music selected for the funeral must meet the Guidelines Concerning Music for Christian Burial of the Diocese of Burlington.
  • A eulogy is not normally given at a Funeral Mass but is permitted upon request to the Director of Edmundite Campus Ministry. If there is a eulogy, it is given at the beginning of the Funeral Mass after the Processional Hymn before the Opening Prayer.
  • A funeral homily should give us insight into the mystery of Our Lord's Passion, Death and Resurrection and how we participate in this mystery during this life and after our own death. A eulogy speaks more generally of the life of the deceased, and belongs more properly to a setting other than the Mass, such as after the Vigil Service. If there is a eulogy at the Funeral Mass, there are some diocesan guidelines which come into effect:
    • Only one person may speak
    • The eulogy may last no longer than five minutes
    • The eulogy must be written out beforehand and be reviewed by the celebrant of the Mass
    • The talk should concentrate on the Christian virtues of the deceased
    The reasons for these regulations are simple. Having too many speakers changes the focus from the Word of God in the Scripture Readings to the words of others; a eulogy should not last longer than the homily; sometimes emotions prevent a speaker from remembering his or her words; the words shared should not be merely a biography, or worse, a "roast", but a witness to the faith of the deceased.
  • Flowers may be brought from the funeral home or sent directly to the chapel for the Funeral Mass. They will be placed discreetly so as not to obscure the altar, pulpit, tabernacle nor block passage for the ministers in the sanctuary. Flowers are usually not brought into the chapel during Lent. When the chapel is decorated for Christmas or Easter, adding extra bouquets may seem redundant and get lost in the decorations already there. You may wish not to bring them during these times.

Any questions please contact Fr. Brian Cummings, S.S.E., Director of Edmundite Campus Ministry at 802.654.2476 or at bcummings@smcvt.edu. Thank you.

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