The process of marriage preparation in our parish is a very important one and we hope it will help significantly in making your marriage a lasting, sacred and happy event. The process takes some time, but it is a series of fairly easy steps and everything is designed to be of help to the couple being married.
INITIAL INTERVIEW: You should arrange for your initial interview at least SIX months in advance of the wedding. Both Bride and Groom must be present. During the interview, the Marriage Preparation process and all documents that will be required will be explained. During the time of preparation, the date for the wedding remains only tentative (although reserved) and the couple should not proceed with printing their invitations or make any other unchangeable arrangements until the wedding date is firmly established by the parish staff.
FORMAL MARRIAGE PREPARATION: The Church and our parish have a duty to prepare couples for the serious and sacred nature of marriage. Several issues will need to be covered to assess the couple's readiness for marriage, their maturity and their understanding of the Sacramental nature of marriage in the Catholic Church. Requirements include interviews and counseling by a priest or deacon, a marriage preparation retreat, and working with the couple on issues of the faith, particularly where one of the parties is non-Catholic.
DOCUMENTS REQUIRED: For the Catholic parties, a recent baptismal certificate (issued within the last six months) is required from the church where the person was baptized. For the non-Catholic party, a special Pre-matrimonial investigation form must be filled out by one of his/her parents testifying to the baptismal status of the party and his/her freedom to marry. A priest or deacon must witness this form. If either party has been married before, even civilly, other documents may be required to determine the person's freedom to re-marry. Special permissions are also required from the Diocesan Marriage Tribunal for marriage between a Catholic and a non-Catholic.
PLANNING OF THE WEDDING CEREMONY: During the initial interview, the couple will be given instructions and materials to begin the initial planning of their wedding ceremony. The couple will be required to meet with a deacon or priest to plan all the music, readings and prayers for the wedding. After the preparation retreat and/or counseling, the couple will meet again with a priest or deacon (at least a month in advance of the wedding) to finalize the wedding ceremony plan.
REHEARSAL: The rehearsal is generally held on the evening preceding the wedding ceremony. ALL members of the wedding party must be present. If you are using an outside source for your music, it is required that they attend the rehearsal. The priest or deacon will conduct the rehearsal. The California Marriage License and certificate forms must be presented to the priest or deacon before the rehearsal begins. Please make sure that all members of the wedding party are dressed appropriately for the wedding rehearsal.
We know that a wedding is a very busy time for all the parties involved. But please remember that your church ceremony is the most important part of the whole wedding process. Everything else: reception, pictures, flowers, gowns and tuxedos, etc. are secondary.
Please call the parish office, 530-365-8573 to make an appointment.