For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.
There is no promise that can be made in our life as important and as far reaching as marriage. Unlike any other sacrament, the minister of this sacrament is the couple themselves. They promise to love one another forever. They promise to be faithful to each other forever. They promise to give to each other and receive from each other the fruition of their love: children. No other commitment in life comes close to the enormity of this one.
For that reason, the church sees it as critical that couples be well prepared for marriage. Couples who are planning on being married should consider the following:
- Contact a parish priest to make an appointment to discuss marriage plans before making reservations for the wedding reception.
- At least six month’s notification is required in the archdiocese of Los Angeles prior to the marriage date.
- A marriage class or a retreat is likewise expected of all couples planning to be married.
- A FOCCUS workshop (a relationship inventory which indicates the strength of a relationship and readiness for marriage) is administered in the parish and is required of all couples
- Several documents are to be acquired:
o Two letters of Freedom for the bride
o Two letters of Freedom for the groom
o Baptismal Certificate (recently issued within 6 months) for bride *
o Baptismal Certificate (recently issued within 6 months) for groom *
o Catholic Engaged Encounter Certificate or Marriage Class Certificate
o Prenuptial Inquiry (completed with priest)
o Marriage License issued by the State of California
- Newly issued baptism certificates are required for the Catholic party only. If the groom or bride is not Catholic, a baptism certificate is not required. The Catholic party needs to contact their church of baptism and request a newly issued baptism certificate.
- Additional Documents (if applicable)
o If marriage is a blessing of a previous civil marriage, copy of civil marriage license
o Dispensation for mixed marriage (for people of different faiths)
o Disparity of Worship (needed if one party has never been baptized)
o Annulment or Lack of Form if previously married
Questions concerning fees, decorations, photography and music can be discussed with the parish priest or staff.