December 9, 2013
Entering the Sacrament of Matrimony
Congratulations on your engagement! Here is what you need to do to enter the sacrament of matrimony in the Catholic Church:
Step 1: Make an appointment with your parish priest, deacon, or pastoral minister. Your parish is always the best choice for marriage preparation. Be sure to complete your marriage preparation 6-12 months before the wedding. If your parish doesn’t have a marriage preparation program, read on about our diocesan program below.
Step 2: Prepare! Marriage preparation programs in the Catholic Church explain what you need to know about the sacrament of marriage before the wedding. During the marriage preparation sessions you will learn about communication skills, finances, sexuality, Natural Family Planning, spirituality, becoming a “domestic church,” and many other helpful and important topics. As married couples themselves with lots of hard-won practical wisdom, marriage preparation facilitators are happy to answer any questions you might have.
Step 3: Choose your marriage preparation program and register. We offer several different options in a variety of locations for your convenience. You can register and pay online or download our Marriage Preparation Booklet and registration form. Make sure to read the Marriage Preparation Booklet carefully as it contains detailed information about the marriage preparation sessions. For a current list of available sessions and locations please click on the Marriage Preparation and FOCCUS online registration and scroll down to Marriage Preparation Selections
Note: There is a $50.00 fee to reschedule a session once your registration is processed. There is a $125.00 processing fee to cancel or reschedule within one week prior to your session.
If you are an interfaith couple, feel free to register for the programs above, which have special sessions designed just for you.
If you or your future spouse has had a divorce and annulment, or has been widowed, we also offer Cana II marriage preparation sessions that are very beneficial. You’ll find the information and dates for those sessions on the registration form as well.
Step 4: Complete the FOCCUS questionnaire. If you attend a parish-based program or an Engaged Encounter weekend where FOCCUS is not offered, you must register for FOCCUS online and a follow up discussion with a facilitator ($50.00 non-refundable fee).
If you attend our diocesan marriage preparation program, you will take FOCCUS online, but your follow up discussion will take place during the marriage preparation sessions. You do not need to register for a FOCCUS follow up discussion if you register to participate in a diocesan marriage preparation session. We’ll contact you with instructions on how to take FOCCUS online as soon as we receive your registration and payment. You can take it as soon as you receive your username and password.