Letter to Couples
The church wants marriage to provide a lifetime of happiness and growth in faith for a couple, their family and the community. This is the reason for its marriage preparation and care for a couple.
At least 8 months should be allowed for marriage preparation. This is to help a marriage, not only to last, but also to be happier and more of a faith experience. Before a Wedding date is booked at the parish, the couple will meet with the priest or parish minister on one or several occasions.
There are specific documents required prior to the Rite of Marriage. One of these documents is the Baptism Certificate. Catholics need a recent baptism certificate to give to the parish in which they will be married. This is not a photocopy, but a new certificate sent from the parish at which the person was baptized. This certificate is dated within 6 months of the marriage and indicates not only baptism information but also if the person has been Confirmed. This requires that the person contacts the parish in which they were baptized and requests that a baptism certificate be sent to Holy Family Parish prior to their marriage. A fiancé who is not baptized in the Catholic faith is asked to give Holy Family Parish a copy of their baptism certificate.
Marriage preparation includes several meetings with the priest or parish minister, and taking one of the recognized “marriage preparation courses” or “engaged encounter courses”. Couples can register for an Engaged Encounter weekend at St. Michael’s Retreat House or a marriage preparation through Catholic Family Services. Our parish of Holy Family also offers the option of marriage preparation with a sponsor couple from the parish. For a rewarding marriage preparation, trust and honesty are necessary; therefore, mention at the first meeting with the priest or parish minister any previous relationships by either fiancé such as a former marriage, a previous common-law relationship, or presently living together, if there are children from a former relationship or your current relationship, or concerns regarding personal health, having children, or differences of religion. The Rite of Marriage in the Catholic Church is recognized as a sacrament when between two baptized Christians.
Music used at the wedding is an integral part of the wedding liturgy and must therefore reflect that it is a religious event. Non-liturgical music (themes from movies, popular songs and the like are not to be used. These are more fitting for the reception.
It is recommended that a wedding not place greater emphasis on the material incidentals of dress, decorations, etc., as this often hinders rather than helps fulfillment in married life. The church and the civil law only recognize two official witnesses or attendants. The church places no financial burden on people but secular customs do, so reconsider all options from the aspect of what will really help your marriage. Discuss with priest or parish minister your plans about the ceremony regarding music, flowers, etc. A wedding that is well celebrated is a joy to the couple, their families, the priest, the church and the community.
Fr. Tony Pangan
Contact the office at 306-949-7678 for more information