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Marriage is a sacrament of vocation in the Catholic Church by which a man and a woman are united for life in a covenantal relationship modeled on the union and love of Christ and the Church. With the support of the community, and the grace of this sacrament, the love of husband and wife becomes more perfect, binds them together in fidelity, and helps them in welcoming and caring for children.

The Church shows its pastoral care for the support of marriage by the variety of programs offered to help couples prepare for the celebration of marriage and their lifelong commitment to living it out. The Catholic Community of St. Francis of Assisi offers a process for engaged couples which teaches God’s plan for marriage and fosters communication between each bride and groom around important marriage issues.

To begin this process, please complete the initial inquiry form for marriage preparation.

Marriage Prep FAQ’s

Normally, those who are registered parishioners at St. Francis of Assisi. The Catholic Church has a long tradition of celebrating the sacraments within one’s own community of faith. There can be exceptions to this, however. For example, couples belonging to another parish might wish to celebrate their wedding at St. Francis of Assisi with a priest or deacon from their home parish officiating – or with a family friend who is a priest or deacon.

While there is no fee for the wedding liturgy itself (i.e., we won’t charge you to use the church), there are deposits and fees surrounding weddings. The fee assigned to your celebration at St. Francis of Assisi includes the deposit to secure the date and helps defray the costs of the services of the marriage preparation staff and offsets the costs of materials for the Marriage Preparation process.

All marriage preparation fees and music direction fees are discussed during the initial interview at the start of the marriage preparation process. No parishioner of St. Francis of Assisi is ever turned away because of an inability to pay the fee.

The parishioner rate for marriage preparation is set in order to honor the commitment of participating, contributing members of the parish. Normally speaking, the parishioner rate applies to those who are registered and contributing members.

You can see a full schedule of deposits and fees by clicking here.

If the bride, groom, or either of their parents are active members at St. Francis of Assisi with six months of regular, identifiable contributions to our community, you may begin scheduling a wedding by completing our initial inquiry form, available online. We will review your submission and preference regarding a date and time for your wedding. We will then contact you to discuss a tentative date, and to set an appointment to take care of the required paperwork. Your date will remain tentative until the paperwork has been completed and approved.

As a non-parishioner, you may choose to have a priest or deacon from your home parish come to preside at the wedding. If you have not been a parishioner very long, you could also choose to have a priest who is a relative or a close friend preside. Kathy Sales, the Director of Liturgy and Sacraments, will work with you to find an agreeable date for your wedding and will assist you with the requisite paperwork. The chosen date will remain tentative until the visiting priest or deacon has requested and received permission for the marriage from the pastor at St. Francis of Assisi.

The Pastor, the associate pastor, or a deacon normally officiates at St. Francis of Assisi weddings. But permission can be given for a priest- or deacon-friend to officiate. And, as indicated above, if you belong to another parish, your pastor will be the appropriate person to approach in this matter. Non-Catholic clergy are welcome to be present for a St. Francis of Assisi wedding, but may not preside over a wedding by themselves.
Yes. Since marriage in the Catholic Church is a sacrament and a lifetime commitment, one of the ways we value and honor it is by taking time to help couples prepare. All St. Francis of Assisi parishioners begin this process by completing a comprehensive Pre-Marriage Inventory, followed by an interview with a member of the marriage preparation team over the course of their preparation. Couples are required to participate in a diocesan marriage preparation program, including the Marriage Preparation Workshop and the Wedding Orientation session offered by St. Francis of Assisi. Couples who are not St. Francis of Assisi parishioners and are participating in preparation remotely will deal with this matter directly with the priest or deacon who is local to them, or who will officiate at their wedding.
Saturdays at 11:00 am or 2:30 pm. Please be aware that the Church discourages, but does not forbid, the celebration of weddings during Lent – a season of penance and austerity. There are other weekends when liturgical celebrations preclude weddings from occurring, most notably the Easter Triduum and our parish celebration of the Feast of our patron, St. Francis of Assisi.
No. Weddings are only celebrated during Mass when both parties are of the Catholic faith, but such a couple could ask to hold their wedding during a Liturgy of the Word (a service without Holy Communion). It is preferable, even desirable, to hold your wedding during a Liturgy of the Word if many of your guests are not Catholic and are not familiar with the prayers and responses of the Mass. Please note that holding a wedding service during a liturgy of the word IS considered a valid sacramental wedding – a Mass is not required when two Catholics marry.
Yes. The content of the service is set forth in the Church’s official Ritual Book for weddings. However, the couple being married is encouraged to engage in helping to plan the wedding service by choosing the Scripture readings that will be used during it. There are certain other options for the service, too, which will be explained to you. St. Francis of Assisi also has standards regarding the music to be used at a wedding. They are set forth in detail in the Wedding Planning Handbook – these are provided to all couples who attend a Wedding Orientation session at St. Francis of Assisi.