The holy and joyful sacrament of marriage in the Catholic Church provides special graces to the couple. As in the other sacraments that you have received in your life thus far, it requires a careful and important period of preparation. The Cathedral is very pleased to be able to assist you in the process of marriage preparation.
Marriage Preparation Requirements
In order for a wedding ceremony to take place in the Catholic Church, each couple must complete a Marriage Preparation Program. Please allow enough time to complete all of the requirements, as the process can take six to nine months.
There are two options available to you:
Option #1: Complete marriage preparation at your home parish. Your home parish will guide you as to the process necessary to meet the marriage preparation requirements.
Please allow enough time for this process to occur, as it may take 6 – 9 months. Afterward, your home parish will send a letter to the Wedding Coordinator at the Cathedral stating that you have completed marriage preparation according to all requirements. This letter must be received by the Cathedral at least 90 days prior to your wedding.
** You may select this option even if one of our priests/deacons is presiding at the ceremony. However, the priest/deacon will want to meet with you as well, several months prior to the ceremony.
**You may also choose to fulfill one of the segments here at the Cathedral. We offer a one-day Marriage Workshop for couples, and you may request to attend even if the rest of your marriage preparation takes place at your home parish. The workshops are offered twice / year at the Cathedral. Please see our parish website (under Weddings) for the updated dates and times of the workshops.
Option #2: Complete marriage preparation at the Cathedral. We are happy to assist you in this important period of preparation.
At the Cathedral, our program consists of 4 parts:
- Meet with the priest or deacon who is presiding at the wedding and complete the A-Form. The A-Form is a preliminary marriage (prenuptial) form completed by the presider, detailing the couple’s information and their consent to marry. It is a required form for all couples requesting to be married in the church, and confirms your freedom to marry in the Catholic Church.
If dispensation is required, that process will begin at the time that the A-Form is completed. (This is necessary if one person is not Roman or Latin Catholic.) Your presider will initiate the process for you. Please allow ample time for obtaining dispensation through the Archdiocese. The process can take several months.
- Complete the PREPARE AND ENRICH assessment and meet with a counselor to review and discuss the results. This segment involves online questionnaires that provide data that can be analyzed and aggregated for the Bride and Groom. This data serves as the context for initial discussions with a counselor. It is a beautiful way to enlighten each couple about differences and similarities regarding important topics. It also serves as a tool to discover information about yourselves such as strengths, weaknesses, and the bond of compatibility which will assist you in preparing for your life together.
To begin the Prepare and Enrich segment, please contact Joe Manuszak by email or call 586-322-1660. He will guide you and provide detailed information as well as associated fees.
- Attend one of our marriage preparation workshops. Workshops are held at the Cathedral twice / year. The workshops begin with Mass at 8 a.m., followed by presentations by speakers and group/table discussions. It is a wonderful experience that couples truly enjoy. The program typically finishes at approximately 2:30 p.m.
The fee for the workshop is $75 / couple and includes a light breakfast as well as lunch.
For information regarding dates or to sign up for one of the Cathedral’s marriage preparation workshops, please see our website under the Weddings tab.
- Complete a Natural Family Planning course. This segment is an online course that the couple takes together. Once completed, please forward the Certificate of Completion to the Cathedral.
Please note that it is your responsibility to take the initiative for the marriage preparation process and for ensuring that all 4 segments are completed. The Cathedral (along with all Catholic Parishes) is required to maintain the paperwork noting that each couple has completed the marriage preparation process in its entirety.
We suggest that you begin this process as soon as possible, as it typically can take 6 – 9 months.
Our Cathedral Wedding Coordinator is available to help answer any questions that you may have. You may contact us via phone: 313-883-2868 or via email: email@example.com
We wish you many blessings as you prepare for the beautiful Sacrament of Matrimony.