Marriage Wikipedia

Biblical Roots

Service Canada

London Diocese

Meaning & Purpose of Marriage



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Catholics believe that marriage comes as a gift from the hand of God. The Catholic vision of marriage is rooted in Sacred Scripture and is expressed in the teachings and practices of the Church. It has these main elements: Marriage unites a couple in faithful and mutual love

  • Marriage opens a couple to giving life
  • Marriage is a way to respond to God’s call to holiness
  • Marriage calls the couple to be a sign of Christ’s love in the world

Rules of Love

 Spend daily quality time

»   Eat a meal together

»   Get to know in-laws

»   Say, “I love you.” “I am sorry.”

»   Cleanse your life of that which hurts or offends the other

»   Share interests

»   Share future plans

Excerpted from
Archbishop Thomas M. Dolan

11-7-2013 12-11-35 AM

11-7-2013 12-03-17 AM

For Catholics, marriage is more than a civil contract between a man and a woman. It is a sacramental commitment between you, Christ and the church, much like a baptism. The marrying priest’s archdiocese dictates the requirements of how to be married in a Catholic church. Preparations can take at least 6 months to complete prior to a Catholic wedding ceremony, and in some Churches, a year is required, as well as Pre-Cana classes.


Notify the parish or priest. Plan to talk with the priest 6 – 12 months in advance of your desired wedding date so you can take care of any scheduling conflicts or issues.2
Meet with a priest to reserve your wedding date and time. When you complete the initial paper work for having a Catholic wedding ceremony, you will need to schedule a faith-readiness test and sign up for a pre-marriage workshop or course.
Confirm that you and your fiancée are eligible for a Catholic wedding ceremony. The Church requires only one of the two participants to be a confirmed Catholic.4
Provide proof of marriage eligibility with documentation, including a prenuptial investigation form, your baptismal and confirmation certificates and any necessary dispensations or permissions. If necessary, get copies of an affidavit of free status, annulment papers or the death certificate of a previous spouse.5
Ask for a copy of the “Rite of Marriage,” a handbook for planning liturgical readings and music for the wedding ceremony.6
Test your faith readiness for a Catholic marriage in front of the priest. The priest will base the individual assessment on written or verbal responses from the bride and groom. Since marriage in the Catholic Church is a sacrament, the priest must determine you have presence of faith in order to marry you.

Complete a written or verbal compatibility test, if the priest asks for one. This helps the priest confirm his decision to marry you.

Select and attend a parish-approved pre-marriage counseling program, also known as pre-cana. This program can be in the form of a weekend retreat or 2 – 3 hour workshops that span several weeks. An approved pre-marriage counseling program covers topics such as the role of faith and prayer, finances and family planning. You will receive a certificate of completion to present to the marrying priest upon finishing the course.

Follow-up with your priest after you fulfill the requirements. Inform him of your liturgical reading and music choices for the ceremony. The priest will also suggest that you and your fiancé go to confession prior to taking your vows.

Rehearse the Catholic wedding ceremony along with the other members of the wedding party and the priest 1 – 2 days before the actual ceremony.

10 Must Ask Pre Marriage Questions

It is easy to get caught up in the romantic idea of marriage. Too often we think we will be swept off our feet, have the wedding of our dreams, possibly buy a home, maybe have children, and live happily ever after.

Rarely do couples think how will we handle unemployment? Who will take the trash out? Who’s family will we see on the holidays? What will we do if we can’t have kids? Even more alarmingly, many couples aren’t even aware of basic information about each other: credit scores, criminal background records, health problems, the other person’s middle name.

To ensure a happy and lasting marriage, it is crucial for couples who are interested in marrying to understand why they are getting married, what they expect of their marriage, and how they will work through the inevitable ups and downs of life that will test their commitment to each other. While several churches and other organizations offer pre-marital counseling to help couples understand if they have what it takes to survive marriage, many people are hesitant to do this because of the cost or it makes them feel uneasy or awkward.

If counseling is not your style, these must-ask-questions are a great way to get started before you get swept away in the planning of your wedding:

1. What are my partner’s likes and dislikes? How do these relate to my likes and dislikes?
2. What spiritual/political beliefs does my partner have? How do these relate to my own? What differences in customs or opinions might we face because of these beliefs?
3. What is my partner’s credit score? Has my partner ever been convicted of a crime? What jobs has my partner held? What education has my partner received?
4. Do I or my partner or any of our immediate family members have any medical conditions, illnesses, disabilities or other special needs? How might this affect our life together?
5. What life goals for career, family, or other personal success do my partner and I share? What goals are different? How will we work through these differences? How will we help each other reach our goals?
6. How will my partner and I manage our finances? Who will be the provider? What will we do in the event of loss of income? Is a pre-nuptial agreement necessary? How will we pay our bills, manage accounts, set aside savings, and handle large purchases
7. How will we settle disagreements and differences of opinions? What is our fighting style? How do we resolve problems?
8. How will handle each other’s families and friends? What Holiday customs will we need to honor? What boundaries will be set?
9. What will we do to keep our marriage thriving? What will we do in the case that one of us feels the relationship is stale or strained? Will we agree to go to counseling if we ever decide one day to not be married to each other?
10. What are the three most important things to us in marriage? What are our expectations of marriage to be like?

These questions aren’t meant to scare you or make you doubt the love you have for your partner. There are no right or wrong answers. Answering these questions with your partner will help you be more prepared and more likely to succeed in your marriage together so you may hopefully enjoy a long lifetime of love together. By being open with each other and discussing these issues before they come up, you will have a better understanding when problems arise and solid foundation to fall back on through the years.


pope6nGiving Your Marriage the Best Start Possible

In the midst of all of you other wedding planning, it can be difficult to arrange weekly or monthly times where you can get together with your officiant or a professional counselor to spend some time in preparation for what will come the day after the wedding.

Here is a collection of questions which touches on common issues that arise during the first year of marriage, and you can approach them a number of ways. The best thing to do is to answer the questions separately and then come together with your written answers and discuss them. Be honest with each other if any of the questions raise a concern in you, or if they require you to critically analyze other relationships in your life (to people, objects, worldviews, etc.). The questions are broken into four basic groups: family of origin, time and finance management, future plans, and conflict resolution; if you’d like, you can break it up over a number of evenings, or spend an entire day working on the whole list.

Family of Origin:

  1. What religious or spiritual values did your parents instill in you (if any), and which of these values are you planning to take with you into the marriage?
  2. Did your family outwardly show affection, and if not, how did they convey love for each other?
  3. If you could describe you childhood in a few short sentences, what would they be?
  4. Name a few things that you like and dislike about your own family
  5. Name a few things that you like and dislike about your future spouse’s family.
  6. Was there a divorce in either of your families? If so, how do you think that might affect your current relationship (emotionally, scrambling to spend time with multiple people at holidays, etc.)?

Time and Finance Management:

  1. Which of you is the spender, and which of you is the saver? What sort of issues can you see that causing?
  2. Discuss (if any) the amount of debt that each of you have, and the steps that you are doing to pay it off (both individually now, and together as a couple later).
  3. What are your cleaning preferences? (i.e. do you clean on a constant basis or do you wait for a mess to accumulate and do a big clean) Beyond that, how do you plan to divide up chores?
  4. What are some savings goals that you have? What sort of a time frame do you think are suitable for these goals?
  5. Is one person going to be assigned the duty of money management, or will you approach it as a couple?
  6. How do you want to spend your free time when you’re married? Is it necessary for you to spend all of that time with your spouse?

Future Plans:

  1. How do you want to raise your children?
  2. Do you want to have a house and savings before you begin a family?
  3. Are there any goals or desires you’d like to fill before starting a family (such as travel, career changes, etc.)?
  4. What kind of a parent do you think you will be?
  5. How do you plan to spend your retirement?
  6. Is there anything else you’d like to do in the future that you may need to save for, or that will take an extended period of time?

Conflict Resolution:

  1. How do you personally resolve conflict?
  2. How does your spouse?
  3. While you’ve been dating, what issues have caused the biggest fights? Will these remain issues when you are married?
  4. How will you make decisions when you are married?
  5. Are there any changes that you want your spouse to make before or after you’re married? What are they?
  6. How are you different? How are you similar?
  7. Do you hold a grudge or are you able to forgive easily?

Overall, these questions are only meant to act as a guideline as you spend some time getting to know each other better, and preparing in advance for some of the obstacles that may arise in the future. If there are any problems that you have identified that you need to deal with before you are married, talking with a professional counselor or a pastor may help, as problems only tend to magnify once you are married.

Divorce is a big issue these days, and it is important that couples be proactive about ‘divorce proofing’ their marriage. I like to recommend to couples that they sit down together before they are even married (and having to deal with all of the new stresses that presents), and create a plan for how they intend to keep their relationship from heading toward divorce. In your plan, lay out the ways in which you will keep the romance alive in your relationship (such as regularly scheduled date nights, performing rituals that are meaningful to you as a couple (such as repeating a date that you had while dating), or anything also that is suitable for you as a couple), if you feel your relationship starting to go sour, what are the steps that you will take to try to get it back on track? There is a reason why your vows read something like “for better or for worse”! Every marriage has its rough spots, and will need both partners to take the time to reinject it with that passion you had in the beginning. Another great tip is to write out a list of everything you love about your spouse (you can let them read it if you want to). Then, store it in a safe place, but one that you will once in a while notice it, and have the opportunity to reread it. We sometimes forget all of the reasons we fell in love with a person in the first place (especially since some of those same things can become annoying after a while!), but this type of exercise can help you to see your spouse with new eyes.

Your preparation for marriage doesn’t have to stop here. There are an abundance of great books out there that can help you wrestle through more tough questions together, and set you on a path for success. Below I’ve listed a few that I have read and found useful, however a trip to your local bookstore or a search online will easily provide hundreds more!



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