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Dear friends,

If you are contemplating marriage in the Church, congratulations!

As you think about entering this state, you are no doubt filled with many dreams, hopes, and aspirations.

The Church’s preparation process for marriage is not just for a single day, but for a lifetime of love and commitment. Our hope is that each couple is able to recognize the importance of their preparation for Christian marriage by building upon their own personal spirituality. As they prepare for the Sacrament of Marriage, couples should show signs of growth in their commitment to Christ by participating in parish life, especially the Sunday Eucharist.

The model of Christian marriage is Christ’s relationship with His bride. Couples dedicate themselves to developing an understanding of Jesus’ love for His bride, the Church, and what marriage means within that context. Specifically, they come to understand that marriage is permanent, that it means being faithful to one’s spouse, and that it means being willing to lay down one’s life for another. In order to assist you in this process of spiritual preparation, we are happy to provide a marriage preparation minister—who may be a priest, deacon, or other designated person—to accompany you on this journey of preparation.

“Greater love has no man than this, that a man may lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:13)

When two baptized persons exchange wedding vows, they share the life of Christ that they have received in baptism. The ministers of marriage extend the Lord’s presence to each other and become a sign of the Lord’s presence to others. The minister of the Rite of Marriage is the priest or deacon who assists, witnesses, and authorizes the right.

In order to have a true exchange of promises, both the bride and groom must be responsible adults, capable of forming a community of life and love. The couple must honestly and, without reservation, declare to each other their willingness to assume the duties of marriage according to the teachings of Christ and the Church.

“By coming to restore the original order of creation disturbed by sin, Jesus himself gives us the strength and grace to live marriage in the new dimension of the Kingdom/Reign of God.”

Catechism of the Catholic Church #1615

Couples interested in preparing for the sacrament of marriage are encouraged to call the parish office at 760-744-1540 to get started.