A Christian marriage is far more than just a wedding. Christian marriage is the union of two mature individuals with each other and with Christ, within the Christian community. It is a serious and sacred commitment. Two persons are called to draw closer to God and to each other in a life-giving, life-long community of love. Christ enhances the dignity of marriage by making the Christian marriage relationship a sacrament – a living expression of his love for us, the Church.
- At least one of the spouses should be a member of our parish or live within the territory of our parish.
- It is essential to call the Parish Center at least SIX MONTHS in advance of the desired marriage date to begin the process of marriage preparation. This is important even if the marriage is to take place elsewhere, so that all the proper documentation may be processed. IMPORTANT: Do NOT make any wedding arrangements (reception, etc.) until it is determined by the church that a Catholic marriage is possible and that the date is possible.
- We are fortunate to have a staff member trained by the Archdiocese of Los Angeles to assist couples in wedding preparation. She will meet with you and help in assessing readiness for the sacrament, scheduling a date and time, collecting the necessary documents, finding a suitable marriage preparation program, etc.
Each individual case is different and may be further complicated by other circumstances (for example, if this is not the first marriage for one of the partners). In general, some of the documents which will be asked for include the following:
- Baptismal Certificate: A new copy (issued within six months prior to the marriage) of the baptismal record is required. This document is obtained from the church of baptism. The original or a machine- duplicated copy is not acceptable.
- Pre-nuptial Questionnaire, which gives much pertinent information about the prospective spouses.
- Letters of Freedom: An affidavit form signed by the parents or other witnesses, testifying that they are free to marry in the Catholic Church.
- Marriage Preparation: Certificate of completion of a Marriage Preparation Program sponsored by the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. We will assist you in finding a suitable program.
- Dispensations: Certain special circumstances require dispensations. We will assist in this.
- Civil Marriage License. Without a valid marriage license issued by the State of California, no wedding can legally take place.