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Marriage, Family, and Respect Life

Marriage Preparation Process

Congratulations! Celebrating the Sacrament of Marriage in the Catholic Church is a joyous experience for the bride and groom, their families, their friends, and also the Church.
One of the most important aspects in planning your wedding is your Marriage Preparation. This process will begin when you as a couple contact the pastor and set a tentative wedding date.
  • 1. Initial Interview

    Contact your parish priest four to six months before the intended date of the wedding.

    Your wedding date should not be set until you have met with the priest.

    Meet with your parish priest. He will assess your readiness for marriage and will answer any questions you have. He will discuss marriage as a sacrament, values, the wedding ceremony and the other steps for the process. He can then determine if your particular circumstances require the assistance of the Marriage Tribunal. You will begin to fill out some of the required documents. You will receive parish marriage ceremony guidelines regarding the use of the facilities, appropriate music, decorations, flowers, etc.

    A tentative wedding date may be set at this time and is contingent on the presentation of necessary documents to the priest/deacon, and fulfilling the marriage preparation.

  • 2. Assessment Process

    Make arrangements with your parish priest to take a premarital inventory.

    The Diocese of Savannah recommends FOCCUS (Facilitating Open Couple Communication, Understanding and Study).

    FOCCUS provides insight and helpful tools for a couple at the beginning of their married commitment. The results of the inventory point to issues or areas that may need to be addressed. This can be done before or after attending the Pre-Cana workshop.

  • 3. Educational Process

    Attend a marriage preparation program.

    The Diocese of Savannah offers a variety of programs that provide input from experienced couples and opportunities for couples to reflect together before undertaking such a serious lifetime commitment. Varied formats include one day, a day and half, a weekend workshop or a series of evening sessions. Advance registration is required.

    Participation in a preparation program of at least six hours under the leadership of a priest with a lay couple team or a licensed counselor or social worker qualifies the couple for a discount on the marriage license in Georgia.

  • 4. Liturgical Preparation

    Plan the Liturgy.

    You are invited to be personally involved in the preparation of the Liturgy, not only for its beauty and solemnity, but also as a means of becoming more aware of the mystery of unity and fruitful love which is the true focus of this celebration.

    Several weeks before the rehearsals, the priest will meet with you to select the readings from Scripture, various prayers and other options for the Liturgy.

    Prepare spiritually during these time by reading the Bible and praying together. The Church encourages Catholics to celebrate the sacrament of Reconciliation as a means of entering more fully into the holy mystery of marriage.

  • 5. Apply for a Marriage License

    Be sure to apply for your marriage license at least 60 days before the ceremony.

    Participation in a preparation program of at least six hours under the leadership of a priest with a lay couple team or a licensed counselor or social worker qualifies the couple for a discount on the marriage license in Georgia.

  • 6. Consult with Your Priest

    Talk to your priest if you have any concerns raised during the marriage preparation class, review the ceremony details, complete the required paperwork and prepare for the rehearsal.

  • 7. Wedding and Marriage

    Profess your vows to one another before the altar of God and unite yourselves with God as husband and wife, to have and to hold until death do you part.

    Then celebrate with family and friends this Holy Sacrament of Marriage you have become!

Director

Jayne MJ Stefanic, MSW, LISW
912-201-4068


Holy Family, pray for us.