THE SACRAMENT OF MATRIMONY
The marriage bond between man and woman is the symbol of the covenant which unites God and His people. In the Sacrament of Matrimony, a baptized man and woman, become husband and wife through a sacred covenantal union with God and each other. It is a sacred calling, a vocation, which imparts a special grace upon the recipients.
Three elements are required for a marital union to be a valid sacrament. The participants must enter it with the intention that their union will be: permanent, faithful and fruitful, that is open to life if God wills it.
Congratulations on Your Engagement!
And so, you have come to the Church to witness your marriage. Why? Because you have recognized that for all the natural attraction, beauty and joy of marriage, there is an even deeper mystery involved, when two people desire to become one. For it is in the mystery of God’s love that your love has been formed in the wisdom of God’s plan and your lives have been linked together. You now have to make the decision to make your relationship not only the exciting challenge of lovers, but also the sacramental commitment of believers.
Like all of the sacraments in the Church, the Sacrament of Matrimony brings about what it proclaims. The sign or symbol is not the Church wedding, not the presence of the priest and two witnesses, rather, the presentation and acceptance of a man and woman to and by each other. Marriage is a sacrament, like the other six Sacraments – just as holy, just as rich, and just as important. The very existence of Sacraments tells us that God can be experienced uniquely in a loving relationship between two people – husband and wife. Together, the couple can experience the unconditional acceptance of Jesus Christ, His creative power, His healing and forgiveness. Moreover, we believe that two people joined in such a dynamic sacramental union can symbolize (make sacramental) this same experience for their children and others who enter their lives.
Jesus said to the Pharisees in reply, “Have you not read that from the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female’ and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So, they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore, what God has joined together, no human being must separate.”–Matthew 19: 4 – 6
PREPARATION FOR MARRIAGE
Please note: There is a minimum SIX MONTH preparation period prior to the wedding date.
When you are ready, please contact a priest or deacon of the parish at (813) 689-4148, send us an email at [email protected] and we will contact you for an appointment with the priest or deacon of your choice.