Many couples, practicing Christians or not, wish to marry in church. They want to give a sacred value to their mutual love and to receive from God a force to love each other in happiness and in the trial. They ask for the sacrament of marriage. Christian marriage expresses that love is not only the commitment of the couple but that it is a gift that we receive.
The Church welcomes the project of those who want to love each other for life. She is there to help them. Starting a family is a noble task. Difficult but far from impossible if the foundations of the house rest on the following pillars:
- Freedom of consent
- Loyalty of commitment
- The indissolubility of the bond
- The fruitfulness of love
This love is only possible while respecting each person’s freedom, welcoming, and listening to the other. It is the communion of a man and a woman: the project is indeed to form a community of life and not a passionate fusion. To prepare for marriage is to take the time to discover the other, with his own desires, his mode of functioning, his psychology. It is welcoming their history, their family, and their education. It is learning to listen to him, to communicate with him, to respect him.
This love is combined with the fidelity of commitment. Promise that the bride and groom make on their wedding day! To be faithful is to cultivate an exclusive but open love, which takes priority over all the other realities of our life: friends, work, passions, etc.
This Love Is Realized By The Gift of His Life
The link is indissoluble. The sexual relation translates in the union of the bodies what is said in the promise which unites the hearts: “I receive you and I give myself to you, to love you faithfully”. The Church considers it a sacred act because it consecrates human love.
This love invites spouses to love each other and to open up to welcoming life in a responsible manner, with generosity. Love unfolds by giving life and life finds fulfillment in love. Love and give life, one and the same vocation! It is also a test to check if we are ready to marry: do we want to have children together and educate them?
Nowadays, religious and civil marriages only vary in the ceremony, since the continuation of the festivities usually follows the same patterns. However, the ceremony, and sometimes the celebration, is determined by certain elements that differ depending on the type of marriage. To make your life easier, here are the 5 key steps to organize your religious wedding in the church.
Start the procedures
If you have decided to marry in church, you will have to initiate several procedures that may vary according to the dioceses. First, you must make an appointment in your parish and learn more about marriage according to canon law, receive explanations on its nature and requirements to be able to carry it out. You will be asked questions to ensure the validity of the religious marriage: your respective confessions, baptism.
In the case of couples where only one member is Catholic, the other must be baptized and wait until the baptism certificate is six months old. The parish can also request an exemption from the bishop. During this process, you will have to attend various marriage preparation sessions, necessary to be considered ready, and to have a complete administrative file.