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Dina Wildung wrote:

Hi, guys —

  • How much of a monetary [stipend|donation] should be given to the priest celebrating the sacrament of marriage?

The wedding will take place in Denver, Colorado.

  • What is customary?
  • Is it a percentage of the total budget of the wedding? Or
  • Is it a percentage of the fee-accessed from the [Church|Basilica|Cathedral] for having the wedding there?


  { How much of a monetary [stipend|donation] should be given to the priest for a wedding? }

John replied:

Hi, Dina —

The priest receives a salary from the parish or diocese; so no stipend is required. To the best of my knowledge there is no tradition in any American diocese whereby a couple directly gives a stipend or donation to the celebrant although, the parish will more than likely have some fees to cover the costs of the other personnel involved. If you wish to give the priest an love offering you can do that; he is free to accept it.

It is, however, a time honored tradition to give the altar servers a few dollars for taking time out of their weekends to come serve at your wedding. When I was a kid we'd be happy to get five to ten dollars a piece. It's probably more like ten or twenty dollars per server now. You can ask someone at the parish what is the norm is.

It is a nice gesture if you want to give the priest something as well. It's not like they make a huge salary, then again, they aren't in it for the money. It's always nice for them to get a couple extra bucks they can put towards dinner with friends at a nice restaurant, in Denver. Again, I'd check with a fellow parishioner who is involved with the parish life there.


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