Sacrament of Matrimony
The matrimonial covenant, by which a man and a woman establish between themselves a partnership of their whole of life, and which of its own very nature is ordered to the wellbeing of the spouses and to the procreation and upbringing of children, has, between the baptized, been raised by Christ the Lord to the dignity of a sacrament.(Canon 1055)
“Pastors of souls are obliged to ensure that their own Church community provides for Christ’s faithful the assistance by which the married state is preserved in its Christian character and develops in perfection.
The assistance is especially to be furnished through:
- By preaching, by catechetical instruction adapted to children, young people and adults, indeed by the use of the means of social communications, so that Christ’s faithful are instructed in the meaning of Christian marriage and in the role of Christian spouses and parents;
- By personal preparation for entering marriage so that the spouses are disposed to the holiness and obligations of their new state;
- By the fruitful celebration of the marriage liturgy, so that it clearly emerges that the spouses manifest, and participate in, the mystery of the unity and fruitful love between Christ and the Church;
- By the help given to those who have entered marriage, so that by faithfully observing and protecting their conjugal covenant, they may day by day achieve a holier and fuller family life.”
The Archdiocese of Miami, vigilant about the seriousness of entering into a lifelong union, has structured a six (6) step process of preparation that leads to marriage:
Step 1: Contact your parish and meet with your Priest
After you become engaged, and before you set a wedding date, you should contact your parish to set up a meeting. During this initial meeting, your pastor will determine if you and your fiancé(e) are free to marry. He will also provide you with the information you need to complete Steps 2-6 of the marriage preparation process. Setting a schedule to complete the individual components during or shortly after this meeting is strongly advised
Step 2: Complete the Premarital Inventory and Evaluation
After meeting with your pastor, you will complete a premarital inventory, comprised of a series of questions designed to assess each of your habits, expectations, and values. It will provide you with a personalized profile of your relationship’s strengths and weaknesses. This inventory is an important starting point for couple discussion and to identify any areas that may need attention.
Step 3: Participate in a marriage preparation course
The Archdiocese of Miami offers a variety of programs, in English and Spanish, to prepare you for the Sacrament of Marriage. To register to participate in these courses, visit online www.miamiarch.org/familylife.
Step 4: Receive Instruction in Natural Family Planning
To ensure you have the tools to plan your family effectively and in accord with God’s plan for marriage, you will have the opportunity to learn about Natural Family Planning (NFP). The Archdiocese has instructors available in a variety of NFP methods. For information on the NFP Methods and contact information, visit online www.miamiarch.org/familylife.
Step 5: Receive Sacrament of Reconciliation
The Church invites all Catholics to prepare spiritually prior to their marriage by celebrating the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
Step 6: Final Meeting with your Pastor
Four to six weeks before the wedding, you should meet with the priest that will be celebrating your wedding.
As a parish, Our Lady of Lourdes takes its responsibilities in the preparation and celebration of the Sacrament of Matrimony very seriously. The parish family is here to help you prepare for marriage in accord with the process outlined by the Archdiocese of Miami.
This booklet has been prepared for the specific purpose of facilitating the process for you, our registered parishioner. We rejoice that you have chosen your parish church for your wedding.