When a man and a woman fall in love, they may decide to share their lives with one another for all eternity. If they so choose, they seal their bond before God in the Sacrament of Marriage. The nature of this Sacrament is found in the free will of the man and woman who, when they exchange their vows in the proper way, are no longer two but one. The bond created is indissoluble and permanent for all eternity. Therefore, the Church teaches that couples should not live together or engage in sexual activity until this bond is established.
Those seeking the Sacrament of Marriage should contact the parish office as soon as possible after becoming engaged to arrange a meeting with one of the parish priests. A wedding date cannot be secured before this meeting takes place. Please note, it is essential that the couple secure a date with the parish before signing a contract for the reception. The Sacrament of Marriage should be celebrated in the Bride’s parish.
Every couple must meet with a priest or deacon at least six months before the wedding can take place. The various prerequisites for Marriage, such as Pre-Cana, will be explained by the priest or deacon. If there are any questions or concerns with regard to this sacrament, it is best to speak to one of the priests who can assist in this area.
Because the Church believes marriage is a permanent state, we ask that every married couple take this vocation seriously. When problems arise, every effort should be made to resolve differences. There are many organizations and groups in the Church that can assist couples who find themselves in troubled situations. Even if a couple decides to break up, we believe the bond created by God continues to exist. It is for this reason we ask couples whose marriage has ended up in divorce to not remarry without an annulment. Simply stated, the annulment process seeks to declare that the bond was not a sacrament. If you need more information about annulments, please contact the Diocese.
Couples preparing for marriage should contact the Diocese of Rockville Centre at www.drvc-faith.org/marriageprep.html.