Matrimony

“St. Paul said: ‘Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loves the Church….This is a great mystery, and I mean in reference to Christ and the Church.’ (Eph. 5: 25, 32)

“The Sacrament of Matrimony signifies the union of Christ and his Church. It gives spouses the grace to love each other with the love with which Christ has loved his Church; the grace of the sacrament thus perfects the human love of the spouses, strengthens their indissoluble unity, and sanctifies them on the way to eternal life.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church # 1161.)

Times and Dates

Diocesan Common Policy requires nine to twelve months advance notification to the Parish and the completion of marriage preparation as established by the Diocese of Harrisburg. A couple will meet with a priest or deacon at least four times and attend either an Engaged Encounter Weekend or the Marriage Mentoring Program. The Engaged Encounter is a weekend away with other engaged couples. The weekend is designed to give a couple who is planning marriage the opportunity to communicate – individually, honestly, and intensively – about their prospective lives together. The Marriage Mentoring Program is marriage preparation, in which the engaged couple meets with a married mentor couple for a total of five sessions. The first two sessions consist of the administration and discussion of FOCCUS (Facilitating Open Couple Communication, Understanding, & Study). The next three meetings will be a workshop process on a variety of topics related to marriage.

In addition to meeting with a married couple, the engaged couple is to attend a day-long presentation entitled God’s Plan for a Joy-Filled Marriage, usually on a Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at designated diocesan locations.

Ordinarily, one of the individuals entering marriage needs to be a registered member of the Parish. Weddings are scheduled on a first come, first served basis at a time not later than 2:00 p.m. on a Saturday. Saint Columba Parish has approximately twelve weddings a year, thus it is important to schedule a date and time as early as possible.

For more information about the Sacrament of Matrimony