Marriage Prep Outline
Congratulations on your engagement! As an introduction to the Rite of Matrimony begins, “The bond and covenant of marriage was established by God in creation, and our Lord Jesus Christ adorned this manner of life by His presence and first miracle at a wedding in Cana of Galilee. It signifies to us the mystery of the union between Christ and His Church, and Holy Scripture commends it to be honored among all people. The union of husband and wife in heart, body, and mind is intended by God for their mutual joy; for the help and comfort given one another in prosperity and adversity; and for the procreation of children and their nurture in the knowledge and love of the Lord. Therefore marriage is not to be entered into unadvisedly or lightly, but reverently, deliberately, and in accordance with the purpose for which it was instituted by God.” Thus we try to take great care with the preparation and formation of a couple that is seeking to enter into marriage. It is helpful to enter into the preparation process with that in mind so that it doesn’t simply become a series of hoops to jump through, but a period of true testing and spiritual enrichment.
Below is a general outline to help you with your preparation for marriage so that you know roughly what to expect going forward. If you have any questions, please contact the parish office. Please begin at least six months from the desired date in order to make sure that everything will be completed in time.
Begin compiling the documents you will need:
If Catholic: A newly-issued baptismal certificate from the parish where you were baptized.
If baptized non-Catholic: A baptismal certificate from the church where you were baptized. If those are not issued from the church, a signed letter from the pastor will work. If that is impossible to attain, then a witness letter from someone who was present who can testify that the baptism occurred using the Trinitarian formula ("In the Name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit”).
Contact the parish to set up an initial meeting with parish clergy and to set the wedding date. Please note: No wedding date, even tentatively, can be set until the initial questionnaire is completed.
Complete the Prepare & Enrich Pre-Marital Assessment ($35) online as setup through Our Lady of Wisdom and review the results with parish clergy.
Attend a marriage preparation program (class or retreat) such as “Together in God’s Love” through the Diocese (make “Together in God’s Love” a link: http://www.austindiocese.org/
Discussion and synthesis meetings with parish clergy to go review/question/discuss the material covered with an eye to developing a spiritually-rooted marriage. This is also where liturgical logistics (readings, music, etc.) are discussed.