Sacrament of Marriage
Couples are to contact the Parish Office a minimum of six months before the anticipated date of their wedding.
Persons who previously have contracted marriage in the Church or in civil law will be assisted in petitioning for a declaration of freedom to marry in the Church, a process whose time varies according to the circumstances of the previous marriage. In this situation a couple should contact the parish priest before selecting a wedding date.
The Orthodox-Roman Catholic” Agreed Statement on the Sanctity of Marriage” (Origins 8;28, December 28, 1978, pp. 446-447) notes that “marriage (is) the fundamental relationship in which a man and woman, by total sharing with each other, seek their own growth in holiness and that of their children, and thus show forth the presence on earth of Gods’ kingdom” (I, par. 2).
The “introduction” to the Rite of Marriage speaks of the union of Christ and the Church (n.1), of the covenantal nature of the marriage bond (n.2), of the essential element of mutual affection in body and mind (n.3), of the importance of the procreation and education of children without prejudice to the other purposes of marriage (n.4), of the virtue of faith required (“for the sacrament of matrimony presupposes and demands faith,” n.7), and of the significance of the Eucharistic setting for marriage of two Catholics (n.6).
When a Catholic intends to marry a person of a different faith or of no faith, the wedding normally takes place during a Liturgy of the Word (the first half of Mass) and communion is not shared. The parish priest will assist the Catholic in seeking the Bishop’s permission for the wedding as required by Church law and will ask the Catholic to state her/his faith regarding continued participation in the Church and her/his desire to rear in the Church any children born of the marriage.