Marriage Preparation & Planning

Who Can Marry at Saint Fabian Catholic Church?

 

Can we get married in a Catholic church if we’re not members of the parish?

Yes. If you are not members of the parish, then you will need to get the pastor’s approval.

Can we get married in the Catholic Church if one of us is not Catholic?

Yes, a Catholic can marry another baptized Christian.  Since the Church recognizes baptism from other Christian denominations as valid, it also recognizes the marriages between any two baptized individuals whether they were Catholic at the time they were married or not. The participation of a minister from the non-Catholic partner’s church is permitted and encouraged.

Can we get married in the Catholic Church if one of us is divorced?

Yes, you may, as long as the previous marriage has been declared null or invalid by the Catholic Church or the former spouse has died.

Can we get married in the Catholic Church if we haven’t been confirmed?

Yes, canon law does not absolutely require that a Catholic be confirmed in order to get married, but it is encouraged.

Can we get married in the Catholic Church if we’re living together?

Cohabitation in itself is not an impediment to marriage. Neither is premarital sex, though it is a sin and participating in the sacrament of reconciliation is strongly encouraged leading up to the celebration of Matrimony.

Requirements for Marrying in the Catholic Church

Approval from the Pastor 

If you are not members of the parish, then you will need to get the pastor’s approval and decide on a wedding date. If you are members of the parish speak to your pastor and select a wedding date and schedule your meeting with the priest.

The Interview / Meeting

Couples will need to schedule a meeting with the pastor of the parish as the first step in preparing for the sacrament of matrimony.

Marriage Preparation Program

Couples need to enroll in a marriage preparation program required by the parish or diocese. Often there will be different options available to you such as a day-long or weekend-long retreat, meetings either alone or with other engaged couples over a period of several weeks.  Additional information regarding Marriage Preparation can be found here…  marriage preparation program

Forms and Paperwork

Baptismal records need to be sent to the parish in which you will get married. Important to do as soon as possible.

If one or both of you have been married before, you will need to supply a Decree of Nullity, indicating an annulment of the previous marriage.

Wedding Planning

You will need to meet with the parish wedding planner to plan the wedding. Get this information from your pastor when you have your first meeting.

Preparing for Your Wedding Day

Selecting the Date

Wedding dates should be selected in conjunction with the pastor to ensure a smooth process.  It is recommended that date selection be completed at least six months prior to the event.

Marriage Preparation Training

Catholic parishes have the responsibility of assisting couples to understand and to prepare for the responsibilities of the sacrament of marriage.  With that in mind, we offer the following information and guidelines.

There are different options available to you such as a day-long or weekend-long retreat , meetings either alone or with other engaged couples over a period of several weeks.

Weekend Retreats:

Mobile  http://www.catholicee.org/information.htm

Jackson https://jacksondiocese.org/calendar-event/engaged-encounter-4/ 

New Orleans https://nolacatholic.org/mfl  

If you decide to do the prep classes in town your pastor will give you that information.

 

Wedding Celebrants

Priests from other parishes are allowed to perform the wedding ceremony if so desired.

Many weddings in the Catholic Church are mixed marriages (two different faiths). The minister of the non-Catholic party is welcome to participate in the wedding ceremony.  Traditionally, the priest and minister share responsibilities for the actual ceremony. It is the responsibility of the Priest to extend the invitation to the co-celebrant Minister.

Ceremony Planning

Music

Couples are responsible for all arrangements related to song and music within the wedding ceremony. Nontraditional music/songs need to be approved by the priest or choir director. We do recommend using the parish organist and choir director when possible.

 

Candles

Candles are traditional parts of both the celebration of the wedding ceremony and as decorative additions to the wedding.  Couples are reminded that all candles must be inside a globe – except for the unity candle.

Flowers

Because each couple likes to handle floral arrangements AFTER the celebration differently, we do ask that you let the office know if you plan on donating your flowers for the weekend Masses.  Please send an email to announcements@saintfbian.com with the wedding information and call Pam Dalme 601-466-2167 and let her know not to order flowers for your weekend!

All floral arrangements that are not going to be left for subsequent Masses must be removed from the sanctuary immediately after the wedding.

Stipend

It is customary for a stipend is usually given to the priest performing the wedding. A couple usually gives a donation (stipend) to the priest, to show their appreciation for his help and guidance throughout the marriage preparation process and wedding ceremony. For more information see Mass Intentions & Stipends Guidelines

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