What is the Sacrament of Matrimony?
The Catechism of the Catholic Church states:
1601 "The matrimonial covenant, by which a man and a woman establish between themselves a partnership of the whole of life, is by its nature ordered toward the good of the spouses and the procreation and education of offspring; this covenant between baptized persons has been raised by Christ the Lord to the dignity of a sacrament."
Congratulations on your engagement!
We look forward to accompanying you on your journey to marriage. We hope and pray that your preparation for the sacrament of marriage is filled with the power of the Holy Spirit!
Preparation & Formation
The first thing you should do in preparing for marriage at St. Francis of Assisi is to continue going to Sunday Mass regularly. Go to Sunday Mass every Sunday! Introduce yourself to the priests and parishioners and get to know the life of the parish through the parish bulletin, calendar, website, facebook, twitter, and instagram.
Second, at least nine months prior to your desired date, contact the church office to set up an initial meeting with a priest. Only a priest can schedule a date for a wedding. This initial meeting usually lasts about a half-an-hour unless circumstances dictate otherwise. After the date is approved by the priest you can then reserve parish halls.
In order to have your wedding at St. Francis of Assisi, one of you must be a registered member or have grown up as a registered member of the parish.
Your formal marriage preparation begins once a date has been solidified with a priest. Here at St. Francis of Assisi, marriage preparation usually takes six to nine months and includes seven mandatory steps:
- Fill out Pre-Nuptial Form with a priest and be introduced to the Sacrament of Marriage
- Talk through the Wedding Details of the celebration with a priest or wedding coordinator
- Complete the Prepare / Enrich assessment tool to be used for formation (approx. $35)
- Discuss the Theology and Spirituality of Marriage with the priest
- Participate in an Engaged Encounter Weekend (approx. $260.00)
- Attend a full course for formation in Natural Family Planning (approx. $40.00 per session). Concerns such as age and pre-existing medical conditions can be discussed with the priest
- Obtain a valid Marriage license from Sedgwick County
- Meet with your musicians and vocalists to plan your music
- Hold a rehearsal in preparation for the Wedding ceremony itself (woohoo!)
Have you or your spouse been married before?
If so, a discussion concerning an annulment for all previous marriages will be included in the initial meeting with the priest. The priest will be very happy to help you with any annulment processes. All previous marriages, whether Catholic or non-Catholic, of either partner, whether Catholic or non-Catholic, will need to obtain an annulment prior to beginning the marriage preparation process.
There is some necessary documentation that you will need to provide as well:
- A recent baptismal certificate for both the man and the woman (simply contact the church of your baptism and they will provide you with this. If you are not baptized, no certificate will be needed)
- The certificate of completion for your Engaged Encounter
- The certificate of completion for you Natural Family Planning classes
- Finally, if you have had an annulment you will need to provide the declaration for all annulments that have been obtained
The priests of St. Francis of Assisi are very happy to aid you in your formation. But it is important to note that you, as a couple, are responsible for achieving all of these steps in a timely manner. The priest is not responsible for scheduling appointments or reminding you of these mandatory steps.
Don’t wait to get started in preparing yourself for a holy marriage. Go to FORMED and watch the video series Beloved together. This is a well-produced six session series that will introduce you to the theology and spirituality of marriage preparation. Also feel free to listen to presentations by Fr. Jarrod:
- Marriage As Icon - 75 minutes
- Married Unconditionally - 17 minutes
- No Quota and Natural Family Planning - 14 minutes
- No Quota and Natural Family Planning Explained - 50 minutes