Congratulations on your engagement!
Preparation for marriage, particularly in our contemporary culture, is of major pastoral importance. We earnestly desire that when a man and woman enter into the holy bond of matrimony that they do so in a way that not only ensures that the union be valid but also in a way that ensures they are able to mutually support each other in a communion of life and love. No marriage is without struggle, but adequate preparation can assist a couple to persevere in faith and charity in order to know the joy and blessings of their covenant relationship.
The Church teaches that the Sacrament of Marriage is a commitment of life and love which stretches through the lifetime of the couple and which must grow and develop every day. In order to prepare for this sacrament, anyone seeking to be married in the Church must contact the Parish Office at least six (6) months prior to the wedding. Interviews with the priest, special classes and other preparations are necessary before a couple can celebrate their marriage in Church. Requirements are as follows:
- Couples are to approach the Church at least six (6) months in advance of the anticipated liturgical celebration of their marriage.
- The preparing minister is to assist the couple in the completion and collection of all the necessary documents for marriage in the Church.
- The Diocese of Cheyenne and St. Anthony’s Parish utilize the Witness to Love Mentoring program for marriage preparation. Couples will be asked to discern and select a mentor couple to accompany them on their journey to marriage, and assist them in becoming active members of the parish family.
- A pre-marriage inventory is to be administered and thoroughly reviewed with the couple. Normally, this will be the FOCCUS; but for those who have been married outside the Church and are seeking to marry in the Church and have been married at least three years, the REFOCCUS may be used.
- The couple is to participate in a Natural Family Planning Class, which may be done either with the accredited instructors or with accredited online program.
The celebration of marriage is a liturgical act, and a form of public worship of the Church. The couple, even if one of them is unbaptized, shares in the mystery of the unity and fruitful love of Christ and the Church symbolized both in their union and in the liturgical celebration in the parish church. This celebration, particularly in the homily, should highlight this mystery.
Please contact the parish office to set up an appointment with Father Ray, 307-266-2666.
- Mixed Marriage: Parties in a mixed marriage (where one party is not Catholic) should discuss the raising of their children in the Catholic faith, prior to planning the wedding. The Catholic party is required to sign a promise that he or she will do all in their power to see to it that the children will be baptized and raised as Catholics.
- Previous Marriages: Individuals who have previously been married may be required to obtain an annulment. In the annulment process, the Church is evaluating the validity of a previous marriage to determine whether that relationship was a true sacramental marriage, as understood by the Church. This must be granted before you reserve the church for a wedding date. Please visit the Diocesan Tribunal or contact the Parish Office at (307) 266-2666 for more information.
- Premarital Pregnancy/Underage Party: In addition, there are special steps required when one of the parties is under nineteen years of age or when there is a premarital pregnancy.
Be Light — 5-Year Marriage Enrichment Movement
Be Light is a five-year Marriage Enrichment (Mystogia) movement that draws married Catholic couples closer together in Christ while being transformed into family missionary disciples within their own communities. This path not only supports newly married couples during the fundamental first five years of their marriage but also helps all married couples in a community to open their hearts to the powerful way God remains present to them and in the Holy bond of Matrimony. The five-year sequence builds upon the opportunities for growth and fulfillment that takes place over and over again in the intimate and personal way Christ encounters Catholic married couples in their interactions together.
For more information, call the Shepherd’s Staff Office at (307) 266-2666.