Below are the steps to take in order to be married in the Catholic Church in the Diocese of Venice.
Step 1: Schedule a meeting at your parish to meet with your priest or deacon
After you are engaged, you should contact your parish as soon as possible, and at least six months before your expected wedding day. You will meet with a priest or deacon who will determine if you and your fiancé are free to marry in the Church, and also will explain to you the process of getting married in the Catholic Church.
Step 2: Take a Premarital Inventory
After meeting with a priest or deacon at your parish, you will set up a time to take a premarital inventory and discuss the results with him. This inventory will allow you and your fiancé to learn more about each other, both your strengths and weaknesses. This is an important time to identify any possible challenges that you as a married couple might face.
In the Diocese of Venice, each engaged couple must attend two workshops to help prepare them for the Sacrament of Matrimony. It does not matter the order in which these workshops are taken, just that the couple attends both. All workshops are held on Saturdays, usually from 9am-4pm, and the cost for each one is $75. A calendar for upcoming workshops and instructions for registering can be found here.
Life Skills Workshop
At the Life Skills workshop, couples will learn about the skills that are essential for a successful marriage – communications, finances, conflict resolution, etc. Also, couples will be given the opportunity to dialogue honestly and openly about their future lives together. If either person in the couple has previously been married, the Life Skills workshop can be replaced with a To Trust Again workshop, which deals more specifically with these situations.
Getting married in the Catholic Church means that the couple fully embraces the Catholic understanding of this Sacrament, which means having a commitment to a love that is free, total, faithful, and open to children. At the Sacramentality Workshop, couples will learn more in-depth the Church’s teachings on marriage and human sexuality and how to apply these teachings in their own marriage.
*Important: The couple will receive a certificate after each workshop they attend. The certificates need to be given to the priest preparing you for marriage. The priest will then give you a Certificate of Completion (this is different from the workshop certificates) that can be given to the County Clerks Office.
Step 4: Attend Natural Family Planning Instruction
Engaged couples are invited to attend a class on Natural Family Planning, a beautiful, safe and natural way to both postpone and achieve pregnancy. To sign up for a class, email email@example.com with your name, phone number, and parish, and someone will contact you to register you for a class convenient to you.
Step 5: Receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation
Marriage is a beautiful sacrament, but it is also a great responsibility. The couple is committing to a lifetime of self-giving love to one another. This is only possible through the grace of God. Before entering into marriage, couples should receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation shortly before the Wedding Day. Contact your parish to determine times available for this Sacrament.
Step 6: Meet again with your priest or deacon
Four to six weeks before your wedding day, the couple should meet with the priest or deacon who is celebrating the wedding. Any details of the wedding day should be worked out with him and with the parish staff at this time.
Again, congratulations, and may God bless your upcoming marriage!
Still have questions about Marriage Preparation in the Diocese of Venice?
Phone: (941) 484-9543