We offer our congratulations to all anticipating marriage, particularly to the parishioners of the Cathedral. People can have a wedding and a nice party for the couple, but it takes work by both parties to have a marriage. Marriage is a very important Sacrament in the Church and as such there are requirements necessary for having a marriage in the Church. It is important to remember that marriage is a covenant made by two people with God, a very sacred time in the life of the parties. Obviously this is not something to be taken lightly. With that, the Archdiocese requires six (6) months of preparation for couple anticipating marriage and the parties are to be married in a “sacred place”.
Church law requires that both of you must be free to marry, that is, neither one of you was married before. If either one of you was married before and your former spouse is still living, you will need to obtain a declaration of nullity on the marriage from the Tribunal of the Archdiocese. The parish priest or deacon will assist you in starting the process. Under no circumstances may a date be set for the ceremony, or even a tentative date set, until the Tribunal process is complete.
In an interfaith marriage, i.e. a Catholic marrying a non-Catholic, the Catholic person makes a promise to maintain his or her own faith and to do all in his or her power to ensure that any children born of the union will be raised in the Catholic faith. The party who is not Catholic makes no promises but is aware of the promise of the Catholic. In addition, a permission/dispensation is required from the Archdiocese Chancery Office for interfaith marriages when freedom to marry has been established. The priest or deacon conducting the pre-marriage preparation/documentation will obtain this permission.
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