Congratulations on your engagement to be married! We at St. Mary Catholic Church are elated to help the two of you prepare for the Sacrament of Marriage and your wedding day. It was at a celebration of marriage that Jesus performed His first miracle. This is a deliberate honoring of marriage as a union of love between a man and a woman as a symbol of Christ’s own love for His church.
The Catholic Church wants you to have a happy, healthy, and holy marriage. We believe that preparation is essential for a life long commitment. St. Mary follows a policy that requires couples desiring to be married in the Catholic Church to prepare for a period of six months to a year. To be married at St. Mary, one or both of you need be a registered parishioner for at least three months and worship at St. Mary regularly. A registered parishioner is someone who has a desire to be part of the St. Mary Catholic parish community through regular Sunday worship, and gives their time, talent and treasure back to the Lord. To register as a parishioner please contact the St. Mary Parish Office at 248.547.1818. It is important to have a home church where you practice your faith and a community supports you in your relationship with Christ. Someone will assist you through this process.
Again, congratulations and may God continue to bless you both!
The Steps of Marriage Preparation
Step 1 - Initial Meeting
During the initial meeting you will meet with Fr. Paul Snyder in the Parish Office to discuss the follow -
Determine Freedom to Marry
Discuss the Marriage Preparation Process
Schedule Wedding Date
Discuss Preparation Fee
Receive book and materials used in preparation
You may contact Fr. Paul at 248.547.1818 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org
Step 2 - Complete Pre-Marriage Inventory
You will receive the inventory link via email by a Catholic Counselor after meeting with Fr. Paul Snyder. The inventory is a valuable tool for identifying strengths and weaknesses within a couple’s relationship. After completing the inventory, three mutually convenient meeting times to review the inventory will be arranged by a Catholic Counselor.
Step 3 - Meet with a Married Mentor Couple
All engaged couples will be connected with a married mentor couple. The mentor couple will walk with the engaged couple to be a source of support and guidance through the whole preparation process. Each engaged couple will be contacted by their mentors to schedule a time to meet and explore the many aspects of married life.
Step 4 - Attend Marriage Seminar
All couples attend a Theology of the Body Seminar. The Theology of the Body Seminar is a half day presentation on the essential meaning and understanding of how man and woman are created for love and for each other within the context of marriage.
For you as you prepare for marriage
Beloved of Christ. You are about to enter upon a union which is most sacred and most serious. It is most sacred, because established by God Himself. By it, He gave to man a share in the greatest work of creation, the work of the continuation of the human race. And in this way He sanctified human love and enabled man and woman to help each other live as children of God, by sharing a common life under His fatherly care.
Because God himself is thus its author marriage is of its very nature a holy institution, requiring of those who enter into it a complete and unreserved giving of self. But Christ our Lord added to the holiness of marriage an even deeper meaning and a higher beauty. He referred to the love of marriage to describe His own love for His Church, that is for the people of God whom He redeemed by His own blood. And so He gave to Christians a new vision of what married life ought to be, a life of self-sacrificing love like His own. It is for this reason that His apostle, St. Paul, clearly states that marriage is now and for all time to be considered a great mystery, intimately bound up with the supernatural union of Christ and the Church, which union is also to be its pattern. This union, then, is most serious, because it will bind you together for life in a relationship so close and so intimate, that it will profoundly influence your whole future. That future, with its hopes and disappointments, its successes and its failures, its pleasures and its pains, its joys and its sorrows, is hidden from your eyes. You know that these elements are mingled in every life, and are to be expected in your own. And so not knowing what is before you, you take each other for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death.
Truly, then, these words are most serious. It is a beautiful tribute to your undoubted faith in each other, that recognizing their full import, you are, nevertheless, so willing and ready to pronounce them. And because these words involve such solemn obligations, it is most fitting that you rest the security of your wedded life upon the great principle of self-sacrifice. And so you begin your married life by the voluntary and complete surrender of your individual lives in the interest of that deeper and wider life which you are to have in common. Henceforth you will belong entirely to each other; you will be one in mind, one in heart, and one in affections. And whatever sacrifices you may hereafter be required to make to preserve this mutual life, always make them generously. Sacrifice is usually difficult and irksome. Only love can make it easy, and perfect love can make it a joy. And when love is perfect, the sacrifice is complete. God so loved the world that He gave His only-begotten Son, and the Son so loved us that He gave Himself for our salvation. “Greater love than this no man has, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”
No greater blessing can come to your married life than pure conjugal love, loyal and true to the end. May, then, this love with which you join your hands and hearts today never fail, but grow deeper and stronger as the years go on. And if true love and the unselfish spirit of perfect sacrifice guide your every action, you can expect the greatest measure of earthly happiness that may be allotted to man in this vale of tears. The rest is in the hands of God. Nor will God be wanting to your needs; He will pledge you the life-long support of His graces in the holy sacrament which you are now going to receive.