You have made the decision to marry: may I wish you every happiness and God’s blessing in your love for each other.
Fr John Winstanley
This love reflects both your faith in each other and God’s love for you. Marriage is a Sacrament, a time of grace. The blessing which comes in the Sacrament is Christ’s gift of God’s love for you. By choosing to marry in the Church you are inviting God, the Father of all, to be the cornerstone of your life together. May your love for each other be built on the strength of God’s love for you.
It would be idle for the Church to offer God’s blessing which comes in the Sacrament without being of assistance in your preparation for it. It is for this reason we offer a programme of meetings involving the priest and others. In this way we hope to provide an opportunity for you to reflect on the challenge which comes when two share one life together.
Preparing for the Sacrament of Marriage
1. Come and collect a form from the narthex at the back of church and make an appointment to see Fr John, bringing the completed form with you.
It is important that you do this before booking a date or making any other arrangements for your marriage.
2. If you are not from this parish you must first see and speak to your own parish priest about your intention to get married, how you are to prepare for it and the place for the ceremony.
As a couple you meet the priest together. This helps us all to get to know each other so as to reflect on the Church’s approach to the Sacrament of Marriage as well as the necessary ‘form-filling’. You need time to reflect on the words of the Marriage Service ‘to love and honour each other as man and wife’ and ‘to bring up children according to the law of Christ and his Church’. The Catholic partner also makes a written promise ‘to uphold his or her Catholic Faith’ and ‘to undertake to do his or her utmost to have the children of the marriage baptised and brought up in the Catholic Faith’.
Generally speaking the programme of preparing for marriage takes about a year.