Welcome to St. Thomas Marriage Preparation
Welcome! Congratulations on your engagement! It is our privilege to help you prepare for your life together in this wonderful sacrament, and we are prepared to do just that.
We know that you have come to this page because there is some basic information that you would like to know, so let’s start with this:
Wedding Days and Times
Weddings at St. Thomas are on Saturdays at either 12:30 PM or 6:30 PM.
- Either the bride or groom (or both) must be Catholic
- Both parties must be free to marry in the Catholic Church
- One or both parties must reside within the parish boundaries and/or be registered here for at least 3 months before beginning marriage preparation.
At a time when wedding vendors list and rate churches as wedding venues based on convenience, cost and location, it is increasingly important to instead seek the Church as the sacred place to celebrate the giving and receiving of this Sacrament which will characterize and define your life together in Christ.
Such a foundational sacrament is best celebrated in a church to which you have an important connection in faith, for example, as the church to which you have an historical family connection, or where you have grown up or gone to school, or as the place in which your faith truly became your own.
Exceptions to the rule of residence/registration will be made at the sole discretion of the pastor, and only for the most serious pastoral reasons.
- Any questions about any of these qualifications may be directed to Meg Hogan at firstname.lastname@example.org
Time Needed for Preparation
- Solid preparation for the Sacrament of Marriage takes time. Whether you are planning to marry at St. Thomas Aquinas or merely do your marriage preparation here, we ask you to contact us at least NINE (9) months before the marriage date.
Couples Now Living Together
You are aware that the Catholic Church does not approve of couples living together before marriage, nor is such a living arrangement in harmony with gospel values.
We are happy to witness your marriage so that your living arrangements can be brought into harmony with God’s laws. However, we would strongly encourage you to consider living apart during this very critical time of discernment.
It is profoundly important that your choice to marry is one that is made with total freedom, and that freedom can more readily be achieved if you are living separately or, at least, living in a chaste relationship.
We know that God will bless your decision for embracing a true and honest discernement for marriage.
We recognize, however, that in today's word, it may be impractical to live separately. If you cannot do so, however, we strongly encourage you to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation prior to your wedding.
Whether you plan to marry at St. Thomas or some other Church, registering for and attending the Marriage Orientation Meeting is the essential first step in marriage preparation here at St. Thomas Aquinas.
At this meeting, you will:
- Be introduced to the Catholic vision of marriage
- Learn the details of preparing for marriage
- Be instructed on how to register for the FOCCUS survey, the on-line pre-marital couple assessment required by our parish
- Be informed about how to schedule your first meeting with a priest or deacon here at St. Thomas. By the conclusion of that first meeting you will have a date set for your wedding if you are being married here at St. Thomas Aquinas. The parish will not set a date for the wedding until this first meeting has been completed.
During this time of shelter-in-place, please know that Marriage Prep classes continue to be provided by St. Thomas Aquinas, but by Zoom. You can register for Marriage Prep classes as you normally do, and we will send you a Zoom invitation by email to attend a class at the date and time specified on the website. Certificates of attendance can be provided.