Together for Life: Marriage Preparation 2017
This is an exciting time in your life! Now is the time to prepare for a marriage that will keep you and your future spouse together for life. Contact your local parish the marriage preparation program in your area. These events will take you out of your comfort zone and invite you and your future spouse into the areas where you can experience the most growth.
Make an appointment with the parish priest at least six months before the date you wish to marry. He will ask you to schedule a few visits with him to prepare for your wedding and for your marriage. The parish priest must verify that you and your fiancé(e) are free to marry in the Roman Catholic Church; there are documents required and obtaining them may take some time. He will also explain civil and Church responsibilities involved in marrying. Here is a general idea of what to expect.
You will need a civil marriage license, or perhaps you will be able to be married by banns instead. City Hall sells the licences and the parish Church supplies the banns. Please check with the parish priest to find out whether you need a licence or if you can be married by banns.
You will need a copy of an updated certificate of baptism, normally issued six months prior to the wedding.
If your partner is not a Roman Catholic you will need to discuss your religious differences, especially concerning the passing on of your faith to children.
A priest may officiate at a marriage in which one partner is not Roman Catholic with permission from the bishop. Permission is granted if the Roman Catholic party promises to do his/her best to see to the Catholic baptism and education of the children. The priest who prepares the couple for marriage will inform the non-Catholic person of the promises made by the Roman Catholic.
You will want to arrange the following particulars of your ceremony, according to parish policies:
- discuss with each other and the priest the readings and the prayers you want
- select music, make arrangements with a photographer and choose floral arrangements
- check if the announcements of your wedding will be publicized in your Church (banns)
- set a time for the wedding rehearsal
The Catholic Church does not permit weddings outdoors or in other secular settings, or on Sundays.
The wedding may take place, under certain circumstances, in the church of the partner who is not a Roman Catholic. Please give the parish priest early notice if you seek to marry in another church.
The Diocese of St. Catharines requires that couples planning to marry participate in one of the Marriage Preparation programs offered at some of the parishes. To benefit more fully from the Marriage Preparation program, it is best to participate as early as possible.
These programs are held in different parts of the diocese and are facilitated by the parish priest and a team of married couples. They address a life-long commitment in the context of the sacrament of marriage in the Catholic Church, current church issues and other topics such as communication, finances, sexual intimacy, family life, natural family planning.
The diocese also provides Catholic Engaged Encounter marriage preparation weekends which allow more time for personal reflection and private communication between couples. Ask a pastor for an explanatory brochure or visit firstname.lastname@example.org. To see the 2017 schedule for Catholic Engaged Encounter (CEE) click here
Marriage Preparation 2017 Schedule
NIAGARA FALLS DEANERY 2017
Feb 3-4 (weekend) OUR LADY OF THE SCAPULAR PARISH 6557 Thorold Stone Rd., Niagara Falls. T: 905-358-7611
March 4-5 (weekend) ST. PATRICK PARISH 4673 Victoria Ave., Niagara Falls. T: 905-354-7451
October 14-15 (weekend) ST. MICHAEL PARISH 310 Central Ave., Fort Erie. T: 905-871-0692
In the Niagara Falls Deanery, please register at least SIX MONTHS prior to the beginning of the course you wish to attend. Contact your parish in person or by phone. Times and cost per couple to be determined by each parish.
WELLAND DEANERY 2017
Jan 20-21 (weekend) ST. KEVIN PARISH 303 Niagara St., Welland. T: 905-735-5885
April 28-29 (weekend) ST. ALEXANDER PARISH 50 Pelham Town Sq., Foothill. T: 905-892-3090
HALDIMAND DEANERY 2017
Jan 27-28 (weekend) ST. JOSEPH PARISH 135 Livingston Ave., Grimsby. T: 905-945-2661
In the Welland and Haldimand Deaneries, please register at least SIX MONTHS prior to the beginning of the course you wish to attend. Contact your parish in person or by phone. Times and cost per couple to be determined by each parish.
ST. CATHARINES DEANERY 2017
Feb 4-5 (weekend) ST. DENIS PARISH 230 Lake St., St. Catharines. T: 905-685-5911
February 10-11 (weekend) STAR OF THE SEA PARISH 34 Elgin St., Port Dalhousie. T: 905-934-1170
May 5-6 (weekend) CATHEDRAL PARISH 3 Lyman St., St. Catharines. T: 905-684-3964
In the St. Catharines Deanery, please register at least SIX MONTHS prior to the beginning of the course you wish to attend. Contact your parish in person or by phone. Times and cost per couple to be determined by each parish.