Like other sacraments, marriage is an event which touches the lives of all the members of the Church. Those who enter a sacramental marriage proclaim their participation in and with the values, beliefs, and mission of the Catholic Church. For this reason, the Church has a responsibility to ensure a certain quality of relationship and understanding as prerequisites for a sacramental marriage. Moreover, couples entering marriage have a right to experience the support of their faith community at this significant moment in their lives, and to receive the benefits of the wisdom of the community for the success of their marriage. The purpose of the marriage preparation process is, therefore, to allow the experience of the wider community to help a couple to look carefully at married life, as well as to anticipate any difficulties that they may experience so that their marriage may be a lifelong covenant.
The Process for Sacrament of Matrimony
- The process begins with a meeting with a priest at St. Lawrence-Newman. This should take place at least six months before the desired wedding date.
- At their first meeting with a priest, the couple will complete the FOCCUS pre-marriage inventory. The results of the FOCCUS instrument will be discussed either with a priest or with a married couple.
- If either party has been previously married, it is especially important to contact a priest even sooner to discuss what further requirements there might be.
- Catholic parties will need a copy of their baptismal certificate issued by the church of baptism within the last six months. Other Christians will need a copy of their baptismal certificate.
- The couple is asked to attend a weekend retreat held at the University of St. Thomas (651.291.4488).
- The date and time of the wedding is generally determined at the first meeting. A $100 deposit is required to hold the date and time.