Since the Church views marriage as a life-long commitment and a community celebration, the couple needs to be prepared within their local community. In asking to be married at this parish, you are stating that you want the members of this Christian community to witness and support you through your preparation program and your married life in thought and prayer. The preparation focuses on three key issues: the relationship between the two persons, the couple's responsibility within the community, and the couple's relationship with God.
The priests, deacons, and coordinator reserve the right to delay and/ or refuse to witness the marriage of any couple not regularly practicing their faith at home and in Church. This means that if you never attend mass and/or you are not living your lives according to Catholic teaching, then the priest, deacon, and/or coordinator has the right to refuse to witness your marriage at this parish.
Before planning the wedding, the parties in a mixed marriage (where one party is not Catholic) should discuss the raising of their children in the Catholic faith. The Catholic party is required to sign a promise that he or she will do all in their power to see to it that the children will be baptized and raised as Catholics.
Individuals who have previously been married may be required to obtain an annulment. In the annulment process, the Church is evaluating the validity of a previous marriage to determine whether that relationship was a true sacramental marriage, as understood by the Church. This must be granted before you reserve the church or chapel for a wedding date. Any tentative holds of a date are strictly that, tentative, pending the status of the annulment. Brochures can be found in the narthex of the church.
If deemed necessary by the priest, deacon or coordinator, the couple may be referred to Catholic Family and Community Services or another qualified service for professional counseling in the following situations:
- One or both of the couple is under age 18;
- There is evidence of a lack of maturity or compatibility, or any other indication of lack of readiness for the sacrament;
- A pregnancy or prior birth is involved;
- There is undue pressure to marry;
- A prior relationship is affecting expectations of the new relationship;
- There are indications of current or past substance abuse by one or both parties.