Congratulations to you on your engagement and your decision to celebrate your love within the Sacrament of Christian Marriage. Marriage is a vocation, a calling from God. A sacramental marriage gathers us together in God’s name, and the Holy One will not fail to help. Grace is given through the sacraments and wisdom through Scripture.
The gathering on the day of your marriage is then, first and foremost, a liturgy of the Church, and for planning we look to Sunday Mass as the model. This liturgical gathering, this worship service during which you vow your lives to each other in response to God, is very different in meaning from the ordinary “wedding.” Therefore, it will also look different from ordinary weddings. These thoughts should be guiding you from the very beginning. Your wedding ceremony involves the entire faith community because it calls each of us to deeper commitment to love in our own lives as we together celebrate your marriage.
Beginning the process:
- Contact Deacon Sandy Sites no later than 6 months prior to the planned date for a preliminary discussion to see if all is clear and appropriate for setting a date and moving toward the Sacrament of Marriage.
- Call a FOCCUS coordinating couple. FOCCUS is an on-line pre-marital inventory to help you look at your communication patterns and skills. Also at this time, reservations for your “Enrichment Program for the Engaged” should be made. You make this reservation directly with the Archdiocese. (Use the brochure and schedule you were given.) Call the parish where you were baptized and obtain a current (within six months) baptismal certificate.
- After you have done the FOCCUS and reviewed this with your mentor couple, and have been to the enrichment program set up another meeting with the deacon or priest. At this time initial Liturgy planning will be done. Ideally, this would still be a couple of months before the celebration of the Sacrament.
- Make arrangements to plan music for the Liturgy.