“Give way to one another in obedience to Christ. Wives should regard their husbands as they regard the Lord… Husbands should love their wives just as Christ loved the Church…”
Congratulations on your engagement and decision to enter into Catholic marriage! St. Patrick’s Parish will help you in your preparation to ensure that you make this serious and sacred step in your life a holy and happy one. Spiritual preparation is a key part of this special time. Frequent participation in the sacraments during this time is important, particularly weekly Mass attendance. It is also strongly recommended that you bring yourselves to the sacrament of Reconciliation during this time of preparation. The engagement period can be particularly stressful at times, and the graces bestowed on you through regular Confession and weekly Mass will be a great source of strength to help keep you focused and at peace. This spiritual direction will foster great growth and maturity for both partners.
The bride and/or groom should be registered members of our parish. A bride or groom who has moved away but whose family remains registered and supportive of the parish will be given due consideration.
Couples who are not registered members of the Parish and who have no active family ties with the parish but who wish to be married in the church can do so in limited circumstances. If the church is free on the desired date, the couple must arrange to have their own priest celebrate the sacrament and pay a fee for use of the church. Permissions must be sought and granted from the Parish Administrator.
The day and time of the wedding must be arranged in person by the prospective bride and groom themselves as soon as they feel called to marry. No arrangement can be made by phone or on the couple’s behalf by parents or any other party. All arrangements should be made at least six months prior to the wedding date and done prior to scheduling the wedding reception. Couples should take care to observe, in good time, all of the requirements of civil law.
This first meeting with a priest of the parish must be scheduled by calling the parish office, Monday to Thursday 10am to 1pm and 2pm to 5pm
All couples must also participate in a Diocesan-approved marriage preparation course. Further information on this and all other steps will be presented during your appointment with the priest.
An excellent on-line resource to help you with your marriage preparation – including marriage catechesis, the ceremony, the booklet, married life – can be found here.
An alternative to the marriage preparation course provided by the Parish is that offered by Accord.
What does the Catholic Church teach about marriage?
St. Paul said:‘Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the Church. . . . This is a great mystery, and I mean in reference to Christ and the Church’ (Eph 5:25, 32).
In the Catechism of the Catholic Church, we read
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 baptised persons has been raised by Christ the Lord to the dignity of a sacrament.
Sacred Scripture begins with the creation of man and woman in the image and likeness of God and concludes with a vision of ‘the wedding-feast of the Lamb.’ Scripture speaks throughout of marriage and its ‘mystery,’ its institution and the meaning God has given it, its origin and its end, its various realizations throughout the history of salvation, the difficulties arising from sin and its renewal ‘in the Lord’ in the New Covenant of Christ and the Church.
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. Marriage is not a purely human institution despite the many variations it may have undergone through the centuries in different cultures, social structures, and spiritual attitudes. These differences should not cause us to forget its common and permanent characteristics. Although the dignity of this institution is not transparent everywhere with the same clarity, some sense of the greatness of the matrimonial union exists in all cultures. The well-being of the individual person and of both human and Christian society is closely bound up with the healthy state of conjugal and family life.
Lord God, from you every family in heaven and on earth takes its name. Father, you are Love and Life. Through your Son, Jesus Christ, born of woman, and through the Holy Spirit, fountain of divine charity, grant that every family on earth may become for each successive generation a true shrine of life and love.
Grant that your grace may guide the thoughts and actions of husbands and wives for the good of their families and of all the families in the world.
Grant that the young may find in the family solid support for their human dignity and for their growth in truth and love.
Grant that love, strengthened by the grace of the Sacrament of Marriage may prove mightier than all the weaknesses and trials through which our families sometimes pass.
Through the intercession of the Holy Family of Nazareth, grant that the Church may fruitfully carry out her worldwide mission in the family and through the family.
Through Christ Our Lord, who is the Way, the truth and the Life for ever and ever.