Congrats on your engagement. All of us at the parish are excited for you as you journey towards your wedding day. Sometimes a Catholic Wedding intimidates couples; but just know that we are here to serve you. To get started, check out this general resource on Catholic Weddings.
Preparation for your marriage should begin no later than six months in advance of your desired wedding date, and preferably nine months in advance. We encourage you to reserve your wedding date at the parish before your wedding venue. Most wedding start times are at 1:30 PM on Saturdays.
We know you have several questions, so here is a six step overview before you contact Deacon Kevin to talk about your plans:
1. Initial Meeting Contact the parish to set up an initial meeting with deacon Kevin. After receiving the Marriage Prep forms, the priest of deacon will meet to review the info, hear some of your story, and answer initial planning details (the church wedding date will not be confirmed until after the initial meeting and a $600 fee is received). You will also receive explanation of the marriage preparation process listed below.
2. Relationship Inventory. Individually, you will be asked to take an on-line couple’s assessment/inventory to better understand yourself, your fiancé and your relationship. The inventory is a great tool to help identify strengths, areas of growth and personality trait. The two inventory tools used in the Archdiocese of Portland are FOCCUS (Facilitating Open Couple Communication, Understanding & Study) and Prepare/Enrich. Remember, these are not “tests” to determine whether you can get married in the Church, but rather discussion starters to assess what issues you already agree on and what you might need to discuss further.
3. Review Inventory & teach skills. The goal here is to strengthen communication skills, resolve conflicts and reduce stress; compare family origin backgrounds, values & roles; comfortably discuss financial issues. There are two options:
4. Marriage as Sacrament & Spirituality. Getting married as a Catholic is also answering the questions of who am I? Who is God? Where am I on my faith journey? Where are we as a couple in faith? It is being able to share the Gospel and accept the invitation or re-invitation to faith. It is about exploring your Marriage relationship through the lens of Christ to the Church. It's about the marriage Relationship as Covenant & Sacrament. In two to three meetings with our deacon or priest we talk openly about the beauty and gift of Marriage established by God.
5. Meeting with Sponsor Couples. As a couple, it is important to learn from other couples outside of your family who live a "Catholic Marriage". A sponsor couple has been married 5 years, a couple you look up to, active in parish life and willing to walk with you during your engagement. Basically, it is about building trust and friendship with a sponsor couple who will walk with you and offer support after the wedding, connects you as a couple into the life of the parish and discusses the ups and downs of their marriage/family over a home meal.
If a sponsor couple is not available, we recommend a Marriage Encounter Weekend. This is a weekend retreat presented by a team of married couples and a priest. The weekend begins on a Friday evening and ends Sunday afternoon. Couples will spend time in private communications with each other. The weekends are offered throughout the year. Advance registration is required and enrollment is limited. Learn more at www.oregonengagedencounter.org .
6. Follow up Post Wedding A wedding is a day and marriage is a lifetime. We ask newly married couples with weddings in last year or 6 months, to a potluck with sponsor couples for a follow up meal. The parish encourages newly married couples to get connected to the parish through a new small group of newly married couples and to get involved in parish life as a Liturgical Minister, RCIA, bible study,etc
Email: Deacon Kevin Welch
Phone: (503) 636-7687
Planning your Wedding Ceremony When you you are ready to discuss the wedding ceremony, schedule an appointment with the priest or deacon to discuss the readings and other arrangements for the marriage, and then a meeting with the music director of the parish in planning of the music.
You will need to bring a recent copy of your baptism certificate, if it has not been turned in prior to this meeting. You will need to allow at least six weeks for these meetings.
You can start thinking about your ceremony and what to plan by visiting our Wedding Day Prep page.