Preparing for marriage is an exciting time for couples and the parish and staff at St. Thomas Aquinas are happy to assist you in your preparation. There to is much more than arranging a wedding; our the primary goal is to prepare the couple to enter into a life-long, sacramental union.
Generally either the bride- or groom-to-be must be a registered, practicing member of the parish for at least six months before contacting us about a wedding. Members of another Catholic parish must present a Letter of Permission from their parish priest when they ask to be married at St. Thomas Aquinas.
Couples need to reserve the date with the parish pastoral associate at least six months prior to when they wish to be married. The wedding season often gets quite busy, so the earlier the parish receives the request, the more likely it is that the date will be available.
The Marriage Preparation Process is designed to help you deepen your love for one another and for the Lord Jesus. Through your preparation, you will discover your strengths as well as areas of potential conflict challenge and growth. This process includes:
- Completion of the Prenuptial Questionnaire.
A Baptismal Certificate for both parties is required. Catholic certificates must have been be newly issued by the parish of baptism within six months prior to the wedding.
If your wedding is to be an interfaith marriage, the Catholic party must promise that he/she will continue to practice their faith. This includes the responsibility of doing all in your power to have children baptized and raised as Catholics.
- Attendance at the two-part Diocesan Marriage Preparation Program is required. The dates and times that these sessions are offered are available through the Diocesan Family Ministry Office. You must register ahead of time.
- If your marriage is to be an interfaith marriage, additional instructions are needed to ensure that the party of the non-Catholic faith understands the Catholic Church’s teaching on Sacraments, etc.
- Completion of the FOCCUS (Facilitating Open Couple Communication, Understanding, & Study) inventory with a married couple from the parish. You will be assigned a FOCCUS couple by the priest or pastoral associate.
- The actual planning of your Nuptial Mass or Wedding Service.