Mercyhurst University’s Christ the King Chapel is a Roman Catholic chapel governed by Church law and the rules and regulations of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Erie. At the present time, a policy is in place that governs who may be married in campus chapels in the diocese. It states, “In campus chapels, weddings are limited to students, faculty, staff, graduates of less than five years or graduates of more than five years who can demonstrate registration and participation in a parish.” Also, one of the parties to the marriage must be a Catholic. If the couple meets this criteria, then a tentative date may be made through the office of the Chaplain and the couple has thirty days to complete a reservation form and return it so that the reservation is made permanent. A five hundred dollar fee ($500), which covers payment for the person helping in the sanctuary area, and administrative fees, is required with the form.
Once the couple has made their reservation for the chapel, they are required to do pre-marital preparation either locally or through the Catholic diocese in which they live. This is determined in several ways, either through the priest who is doing the ceremony or through a priest or other designated person in the diocese in which the couple resides. Also, in the case of marriages between a Catholic and a Christian of another denomination may be performed in certain limited instances by a minister of another Christian denomination provided that the couple still performs the pre-marital process of the Catholic Church. Only valid (Church recognized) marriages may take place in Christ the King Chapel.
Christ the King Chapel comfortably seats 368 people in 40 pews. The center aisle measures 80 feet by 70 inches. If you wish to use an aisle runner for your ceremony, please contact your florist. It must be noted that ancillary facilities are limited at the college. With the chapel reservation, the wedding party is authorized to use the chapel, the chapel foyer, restrooms and parking facilities. The use of any other facility or rooms is strictly forbidden unless due authorization is received from the appropriate authority. Also, be aware that the university schedule, no matter what season, continues around your wedding. This can affect parking availability, the movement of people in the foyer area and even noise levels. Facilities for dressing are limited. Women may use the ladies room on the first floor of Old Main. However, be advised that no security is available and nothing should be left in the room unattended. Arrangements should be made for wedding party members to take clothing and other items to one of the cars prior to the start of the wedding. A men’s room is available on the second floor of Old Main. There is no facility available for the storage of wedding items prior to the wedding day. The use of the circular driveway in front of Old Main is strictly limited. Any arrangements for use must be made directly with Mercyhurst University Police and Safety Department by contacting the chief of police, D.J. Fuhrmann (email@example.com). By special mandate of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, alcohol under any form is not permitted to be consumed on church property either before or after a religious wedding ceremony. Mercyhurst University has an alcohol policy as well. The use of tobacco products is banned on Mercyhurst property. Photography and videography should be unobtrusive to the sacred and solemn nature of the wedding ceremony. The use of the choir loft in the chapel is strictly forbidden. Under no circumstances are “theme” weddings permitted where costumes or unusual dress or actions occur which only take away from the solemn nature of the occasion. Weddings should start on time with the recognition that there may be events before and/or after yours. The foyer area is not part of Christ the King Chapel and the treatment of its furnishings are the responsibility of the wedding couple. Food and drink are prohibited in the foyer area and in the chapel itself. The use of flower pedals, balloons, birdseed, rice or confetti or any other substance is strictly forbidden either inside or outside because of environmental concerns or provision for clean-up. Any damage and/or extraordinary cleaning to the building, chapel, foyer area, restrooms, etc. is the responsibility of the couple which could result in the assessment of extra monetary fees. Visiting clergy and florists are provided additional information at the time of the reservation confirmation. Mercyhurst University Campus Ministry strongly recommends the use of existing church and diocesan liturgical guidelines governing wedding music and liturgy. The music program for the wedding should be discussed with our Director of Liturgical Music, Mr. Anthony Sardini, prior to use. Although you can bring your own musicians and singers to perform in your wedding, Mr. Sardini or the chaplain must make final approval of your music program so that it meets the standards for Catholic liturgy. Mr. Sardini may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (814) 602-1646. It should not be assumed that any item not mentioned here constitutes permission or acceptance on the part of the university and/or the office of the Chaplain. Any questions or concerns may be directed to the Office of the Chaplain. We desire that your wedding be a day that is both sacred and joyful and representative of the great tradition of the Sisters of Mercy, Mercyhurst University and the Roman Catholic Church.