Congratulations on your engagement!
The Catholic Church encourages couples to take time to prepare for marriage as a sacrament and to invest in their relationship before fulfilling your vocation to married life.
Marriage is one of the seven sacraments of the Catholic Church. The married couple's relationship expresses the unique bond of Love that Christ has for all of us. By celebrating your wedding in a Catholic Church as a sacrament you allow God to become present to both of you and to your family and friends gathered with you on this special day.
Marriage Preparation: In harmony with current local, state, and federal guidelines in response to COVID-19, please review the available options for marriage preparation under item #2 in the "How to get married in the Diocese of Grand Rapids" section below.
Parish Weddings: In his May 19 letter to the faithful, Bishop Walkowiak updated directives for parishes regarding the celebration of weddings during this time of coronavirus:
- Weddings may be celebrated with or without a Mass following the COVID-19 guidelines for the diocese and the church in which the wedding is being celebrated. Please contact the parish for additional information.
- Wedding receptions are not able to be held on parish property at this time.
The Church delights in the witness of the love you share with one another. In light of the impact of the coronavirus, we realize that you may not be able to celebrate your wedding on the date you anticipated. We share your disappointment. We also look forward in hope to the day that we will celebrate with you. Be assured of the Church’s support and our prayers for you and your families.
How to get married in the Diocese of Grand Rapids
Below are a few of the basic steps to begin your journey of being married in the Catholic Church. We are excited to accompany you on this journey. Call Mark Mann with any questions.
1. Call your parish
Call your parish to set up a time to meet with your parish priest, deacon or pastoral administrator as soon as you become engaged. If you do not yet belong to a parish, you can find one using the link above.
2. Complete the Marriage Preparation Program outlined by your parish
The Catholic Church requires you to begin your marriage preparation at least six months before your wedding date. During this time of preparation, you and your fiancé will be given the opportunity to focus on your relationship readiness, skills and expectations for a lifelong marriage and understanding Catholic marriage as a sacrament.
Your pastor will discuss the required marriage preparation course with you during your first meeting.
View options for completing preparation for the sacrament of Marriage here.
3. Plan the wedding liturgy
There are a few different options regarding celebrating the sacrament of marriage in the Catholic Church. Normally, marriage between two Catholics is celebrated with Mass. Other options include: Celebrating a Mass or a Liturgy of the Word ceremony to mark the marriage of a Catholic and baptized non-Catholic. Marriage between a Catholic and an unbaptized person is celebrated within the Liturgy of the Word.
Want to learn more?
COVID-19 update regarding marriage preparation: In harmony with current local, state, and federal guidelines in response to COVID-19, for several options for completing preparation for the sacrament of Marriage, please click here.
pre-Cana registration form for August 8, 2020 session at Cathedral Square Center, downtown Grand Rapids
Marriage: Love and Life in the Divine Plan (U.S. Bishops' Pastoral Letter, 2009)
Marriage resources (USCCB)
Marriage: Unique for a Reason (USCCB)
Preparing for your marriage (FAITH GR column, June 2013)