Marriage

The sacrament of marriage is a visible sign of God’s love for the Church. When a man and a woman are married in the Church, they receive the grace needed for a lifelong bond of unity.

Marriage is a Covenant

The Sacrament of Marriage is a covenantal union in the image of the covenants between God and his people with Abraham and later with Moses at Mt. Sinai. This divine covenant can never be broken. In this way, marriage is a union that bonds spouses together during their entire lifetime.

The sacrament of Matrimony signifies the union of Christ and the Church. It gives spouses the grace to love each other with the love with which Christ has loved his Church; the grace of the sacrament thus perfects the human love of the spouses, strengthens their indissoluble unity, and sanctifies them on the way to eternal life. (CCC 1661)

The love in a married relationship is exemplified in the total gift of one’s self to another. It’s this self-giving and self-sacrificing love that we see in our other model of marriage, the relationship between Christ and the Church.

Marriage is based on the consent of the contracting parties, that is, on their will to give themselves, each to the other, mutually and definitively, in order to live a covenant of faithful and fruitful love. (CCC 1662)

The Church takes the lifelong nature of the Sacrament of Marriage seriously. The Church teaches that a break in this covenant teaches goes against the natural law of God:

The remarriage of persons divorced from a living, lawful spouse contravenes the plan and law of God as taught by Christ. They are not separated from the Church, but they cannot receive Eucharistic communion. They will lead Christian lives especially by educating their children in the faith. (CCC 1665)

Marriage Reflects the Holy Trinity

We believe that God exists in eternal communion. Together, Father, Son and Holy Spirit are united in one being with no beginning and no end. Human beings, likewise, were created by God in God’s image for the purpose of communion with another human being.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church states, “The Christian family is a communion of persons, a sign and image of the communion of the Father and the Son in the Holy Spirit” (CCC 2205). The Sacrament of Marriage is “unitive, indissoluble and calls us to be completely open to fertility.” Christian marriage at its finest is a reflection of God’s self-giving love expressed between the love of two people.

We also host Convalidation Weddings and Group Weddings.

 


To schedule an appointment or to request more information, please call the parish office at (408) 629-3030.

Marriage is a blessing from the hand of God. He brings together two people to love and support each other. The love between the spouses symbolizes Christ’s love for the church.  It becomes visible in the children they bring into the world and in their acts of generous service. In Catholic teaching, the valid marriage between two baptized Christians is also a sacrament. It is permanently binding and cannot be broken by any human power.  Married love requires a lifelong commitment.

The period of engagement is a special time of excitement, shared memories and intense preparation. But more importantly, it also gives the couple opportunity for greater trust, as well as reflection, prayer and deeper dialogue about their most personal values, hopes and desires.

The Church actively seeks to do all it can to assist you in preparing for your marriage and lifetime commitment to each other. With sufficient time to begin making arrangements, the engaged couple has better opportunity to prepare seriously for marriage and its beginning in the Marriage Liturgy. At St Julie’s, this begins with an initial meeting with the priest who will give you an overview of the requirements for marriage and the preparation required.

The requirements for marriage in the Catholic Church include the following:

  • Neither spouse can be married presently in the Catholic Church.
  • Both spouses must be fully initiated into the Catholic Church (have celebrated all 3 sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist)
  • The couple must attend either an Engagement Encounter or Marriage Encounter weekend, depending on the circumstances of your relationship.
  • Some couples may attend a class on natural family planning.
  • The couple must conduct a meeting with the priest prior to the celebration.
  • The couple must designate two witnesses, one for each spouse, who has extensive knowledge of that person to be able to answer questions about them. This is usually a family member or a long-time family friend. These two witnesses must come to the parish office to fill out the required forms.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q. How far in advance of our wedding should we contact the parish office?

A. You must contact the office at least 6 months prior to the desired wedding date. This provides sufficient time to complete the above requirements.

Q. Do both of us need to be Catholic?

A. Yes, the sacrament of marriage is celebrated between a man and woman, who are both fully initiated Catholics.

Q. What if either of us is not a fully initiated Catholic?

A. The uninitiated person will need to go through the RCIA process, therefore you would need to allow longer than the usual 6 month period. However, we usually approach this scenario on a case-by-case basis.

Q. Can I choose any date and time to be married?

A.  Yes, you may choose your own date, but depending the availability of the church and the priest.

Q. What if I have been married before?

A. If either spouse has been married before but not in a Catholic Church, then you must only supply the certificate of divorce. If they were married in the Catholic Church, then you must first obtain an annulment. Refer to the page titled Frequently Asked Questions about Annulments which is located on the diocesan website.

 

 

Marriage

God created man and woman out of love and commanded them to imitate his love in their relations with each other. Man and woman were created for each other…Woman and man are equal in human dignity, and in marriage both are united in an unbreakable bond. (United States Catholic Catechism for Adults, Ch. 21, p. 279)