"The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches that, 'God who created man out of love also calls him to love-the fundamental and innate vocation of every human being. For man is created in the image and likeness of God who is himself love.' (CCC 1604) Thank you to your "yes" to this vocation, this call from God to form a family, a domestic Church, that will be a witness to our world of communion and self-gift and truly a reflection of the communion and self-gift of God. I pray that this time of preparation will be fruitful and blessed!"
Call as soon as you get engaged! It is important to meet with your priest or deacon even before setting a date. A member of the parish staff will schedule a meeting with you to discuss your wedding preparations as soon as possible.
At this meeting, you’ll learn about the preparation process for the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony, begin the necessary paperwork for your marriage file, and set your tentative wedding date. The initial meetings with a priest or deacon will ensure that there is nothing standing in the way of a wedding in the Church. These initial meetings also begin the process of creating a marriage file, which is a record of everything that was done during marriage preparation including the collection of the following documents:
- Office record of your Baptism and Confirmation
- Proof of your freedom to marry (forms provided)
- A wedding license from the county must be given to the priest/deacon before the wedding (license is good for 60 days)
The FOCCUS Inventory provides you with a personalized profile of your relationship. The assessment will help you to dive deeper into your relationship, recognize your strengths, and explore issues that require more discussion. The assessment is taken online after you have registered. Once completing the assessment, you will need to schedule review sessions with the priest or deacon who is accompanying you during your marriage preparation. If you would like to register for Pre-cana and the Foccus Inventory please click here. If you have not received your FOCCUS id, please contact Ruth Staab at firstname.lastname@example.org.
NFP respects the love-giving and life-giving natures of marriage and enriches the bond between husband and wife. This course gives couples a natural approach to understanding the cycles of fertility and infertility. Course listings along with additional information materials can be found here.
After completion of the formal marriage preparation program and two months prior to the wedding, you will meet with the assisting priest or deacon to plan your wedding ceremony. It is important to remember that a wedding ceremony is a public commitment, a sacred covenant, taking place within an act of worship. Your priest or deacon will assist you in choosing appropriate scripture readings and music selections for this sacred celebration.
Marriage prep programs may be a one-day PreCana program, a Weekend for the Engage experience or another approved marriage preparation program. Upcoming dates for programs in the diocese are listed below.
April 23, 2022
Our Lady of Lourdes Parish, 3850 Lourdes Drive, Decatur, Illinois 62526
August 21, 2022
Ss. Peter & Paul Parish 301 Vandalia, Collinsville, IL 62234
August 13, 2022
St. Joseph the Worker Parish 700 E Spruce St, Chatham, IL 62629
Interfaith and Interchurch Marriages
Couples often wonder how the Catholic Church will respond to their desire to marry if they do not share the same faith background. When one of the engaged is baptized but not Catholic that is known as an “interfaith” or “mixed” marriage. If one of the engaged is not baptized that is called an “interchurch” marriage. Please be assured that the Catholic Church is just as interested in helping you to thoroughly prepare for this sacred commitment as She is in helping couples prepare for Catholic marriages.
In addition to regular marriage preparation, the priest/deacon should help you as a couple discuss and explore your respective religious traditions and explain the overall importance of remaining faithful to the vows you will make on your wedding day. If you are preparing for an interfaith/interchurch marriage, it is extremely important that both of you invest time in understanding your own and each other’s religious background.
Your research will indeed bring up very important questions such as,
- How important is my faith to me?
- I haven’t practiced my faith before, but once we’re married I will want to practice my faith daily, weekly.
- Am I required, do I want to raise our kids in my faith?
- Where can we go to Church?
- What holidays and traditions will we celebrate?
It is advisable that you as a couple consult with the minister, rabbi, or religious leader of the non-Catholic faith so as to completely understand the requirements of each faith tradition. Convalidation: Couples seeking Catholic convalidation (Church recognition) of their union, (i.e. civil union or previous nonCatholic wedding) are encouraged to consult with a priest for assistance appropriate to their unique circumstances.