Marriage is not, then, the effect of chance or
the product of evolution of unconscious
natural forces; it is the wise institution of
the Creator to realize in mankind His design of love.By means of the reciprocal personal gift of self, proper and exclusive to them, husband and wife tend towards the communion of their beings in view of mutual personal perfection, to collaborate with God in the generation and education of new lives." (Of Human Life, 8)
Preparing for the
Sacrament of Marriage
The most important step you can take in preparing for marriage:
Meet with your parish priest: he is your primary guide in your preparation for marriage in the Catholic Church. The meeting will include completing required paper work, gathering specific documents, applying for dispensations (if applicable), and a review of the Fully Engaged pre-marriage inventory and planning the liturgy.
The next component is a marriage preparation program. To be married in the Catholic Church means far more than having the wedding ceremony in a church building. While marriage as a "contract" is legally binding, a covenant is spiritually and morally binding. Therefore, it is the responsibility of the Church to provide marriage preparation for engaged couples. Information on these programs is discussed with the couple at their first meeting with the priest, and a full listing of all currently scheduled programs can be found here.