The Sacrament of Matrimony
"The intimate community of life and love which constitutes the married state has been established by the Creator and endowed by him with its own proper laws. . . . God himself is the author of marriage." The vocation to marriage is written in the very nature of man and woman as they came from the hand of the Creator (CCC 1603). The Sacrament requires a commitment to living out the Christian vocation of married life and giving living witness to the love that Christ has for his Church. It is, therefore, expected that the Church should be an important part of the lives of those wishing to enter into this Sacrament.
Requirements for scheduling a Wedding at St. Mary of the Lakes
- A bride or groom as they are defined by the Catholic faith (one man and one woman who are free to marry) can request a wedding ceremony at St. Mary of the Lakes Parish.
- The Catholic bride or groom registered at St. Mary of the Lakes Parish must be living in full Communion and participating in the Sacramental life of the Catholic Church.
- The Catholic bride or groom must be registered in the parish for six (6) months and have contributed to the support of the parish. Prior to any wedding arrangements, a bride or groom must be willing to wait at least 6 months for all the papers to be gathered and ready.
- Catholic parties wishing to celebrate the Sacrament of Matrimony at St. Mary of the Lakes must give evidence of their regular attendance at Sunday Mass and the reception of the Sacraments. No definite plans may be made for the marriage until such a commitment has been evidenced.
- A bride or groom who has moved away, and whose parents are registered members in good standing, who regularly contribute to the support of St. Mary of the Lakes Church, will receive due consideration. However, the bride or groom must be an active member of their new local parish.
- If you or your fiancé are not a parishioner of St. Mary of the Lakes you will need a letter from your local parish priest stating that you are a Catholic in good standing and that you have been a member at your local parish for at least 6 months. And that he will take the responsibility of collecting all your paperwork and completing the sacramental preparation.
Please note, due to parish activities throughout the year, availability is not always guaranteed, couples may have to be prepared to choose alternate dates. Also, weddings during Lent are discouraged. All décor must be appropriate for the Liturgical season.
Always remember that the wedding comes before the reception, and so, be sure you make arrangements for the church prior to booking your reception site.
Couples belonging to St. Mary of the Lakes Parish and wishing to celebrate the Sacrament of Matrimony here should make arrangements with the Parish Office and have the initial meeting with Fr. Joseph at least six (6) months before the expected date of the wedding.
- Any and all prior bonds (civil or otherwise) must have been determined null by the Church before any plans can be initiated towards marriage.
- A date for the wedding cannot be set until after the couple has completed the marriage inventory, reviewed the results with Fr. Joseph and received permission from Father to schedule the date on the parish calendar.
Documentation: The following must be received before setting your date.
- You will need a new copy of your baptismal record (re-issued in the last six months).
- You will also need new copies of your First Communion and Confirmation records (if those entries do not appear on the Baptismal record).
- Non-Catholics will need proof of their baptism (if baptized)
- You will need two notarized forms each for the bride and groom completed by family members stating that he/she has never been married in any way before or that any prior bonds have been annulled.
- A copy of any decrees of annulments.
- A letter from both the bride and groom expressing why a Catholic wedding is important to them.
All couples are to complete the Parish Marriage Preparation program which includes:
- Meetings with the pastor to go over the Fully Engaged Marriage Inventory and any other reasons deemed necessary by the pastor.
- Register/pay for the preparation programs after getting approval from the pastor and scheduling your wedding date.
- Complete the Parish Marriage Formation Program (12 Sessions total: God's Plan for Love & Life Skills for Couples)
- Meetings with an assigned sponsor couple (couples may choose their own sponsor couple but they must allow time for having the couple approved by the pastor and trained by the Faith Formation Leader): 4 to 6 meetings
- Attendance of the Parish Pre-Cana retreat (a Diocesan or Online Program may be substituted for the Parish Pre-Cana Retreat-if necessary)
- Successful completion of the NFP course (online or Diocesan program)