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Policy Regarding the Offerings to be Made on the Celebration of the Sacraments, Funerals or the Imparting of Blessings (Effective May 1, 2011)
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Canon 848: For the administration of the sacraments, the minister may not ask for anything beyond the offerings which are determined by the competent authority, and he must always ensure that the needy are not deprived of the help of the sacraments by reason of poverty.
In conformity to the spirit and directive of the Church’s law, it is the underlying understanding of this policy that no one is to be denied the sacraments or funeral rites because they are unable to pay the expected diocesan fees by reason of personal poverty. In such cases a reduced fee is to be arranged, or the fee is to be waived altogether.
The Celebration of the Sacraments
No fee is to be assessed for the administration of any of the sacraments, except for marriage. If the recipient, parents or others freely offer a gift to the celebrant personally, it may be accepted. Such an offering or gift may not, however, be sought or required.
The Imparting of Blessings
No fee is to be assessed for the blessing of persons or articles. If a fee offering is made to the celebrant personally, it may be accepted. Such an offering or gift may not, however, be sought or required.
- On the occasion of any celebration of marriage, that is a marriage between two Catholics, or a Catholic and a non-Catholic, a fee of $150 is to be sought from the couple. This fee is for the benefit of the parish or institution, which fact is to be communicated to the couple.
- No extra or increased fee is to be assessed to a couple coming from outside the parish to celebrate their wedding in the parochial church.
- The minister of marriage is not to seek or require any additional fee for his service. If the couple or their families choose to offer a gift to the celebrant personally, it may be accepted; but the couple is not to be compelled to pay a fee for service to the celebrant of the wedding.
- The couple is responsible to pay the musicians the fees agreed to when their services were contracted.
- A fee of $100 is to be assessed for the celebration of a funeral, whether simply a wake service in a funeral home or the full Mass of Christian Burial in the parochial church This fee is for the benefit of the parish or institution, which fact is to be communicated to the family of the deceased.
- If the funeral rites for a person not otherwise connected to a parish consist of simply a Wake Service in the funeral home celebrated by a retired priest or a priest not directly engaged in parish ministry, then the stipend of $100 is to be paid to that priest.
- The celebrant of a funeral is not to seek or require any additional fee for his service. If the family of the deceased chooses to offer a gift to the celebrant personally, it may be accepted; but a family is not compelled to pay a fee for service to the officiant of the funeral rite.
- The family is responsible to pay the parish musicians. The fees for these services will vary from parish to parish but may not exceed $200 in total.
This policy will be reviewed by the Council of Priests three years after its initial promulgation and subsequently every three years unless the diocesan bishop deems otherwise.