Due to COVID-19 we have temporary requirement changes until further notice. Thank you.
Your commitment to marry is a sign of God's love and faithfulness. The Christian community shares your joy as you prepare for the holy Sacrament of Marriage and a new life together. By choosing to celebrate the Catholic Rite of Marriage, you acknowledge the importance of God in your life. We encourage you to prepare well. This booklet is also a resource to help make your wedding day as meaningful as possible. May God's richest blessings be yours in everlasting love.
MARRIAGE PREPARATION: The Official Process
The Marriage Preparation is a minimum of 6 months as the Archdiocese of Los Angeles recommends. You will need to submit several documents which is mentioned more in details in the next page and the deposit (see page 15). This allows time for evaluation of a couple's readiness for sacramental married life. You and your fiancé will have a one-on-one interview with a priest, deacon or other parish official to determine whether there are any impediments to your marriage - that is, an issue (such as a previous marriage) that must be resolved before you can be married in the Church. Other issues discussed will include any special circumstances (such as mental illness, lack of financial support, or pregnancy) that might require additional pastoral care, and possibly professional counseling.
To begin the Marriage Preparation process both you and your fiancé will need to submit these following documents:
The most critical item will be a recently issued (6 months prior to your wedding date) official copy of your baptismal certificate from the parish in which you were baptized. A certificate of baptism or other proof of baptism is required even if you or your fiancé received Christian baptism outside of the Catholic Church. In the Catholic Church, marriage records are kept at the parish in which each person was baptized. When the parish at which you were baptized provides a copy of the baptism certificate, that certificate will indicate that you have not been married previously in the Catholic Church, and are therefore eligible to be married. If one of you is not Catholic, proof of baptism will help to determine which version of the Rite of Marriage ought to be used (the rite follows a different order for marriage between a Catholic and someone who has not been baptized).
First Communion Certificate:
Another required document is the First Communion Certificate, the original certificate that you received from the time of your First Communion is sufficient. An updated copy of your Baptism Certificate should have the noted information of your First Communion, so if it does, it is not necessary to have a separate First Communion Certificate.
You may also submit the original Confirmation Certificate that you have received from the time of your Sacrament. An updated copy of your Baptism Certificate should have the noted information of your Confirmation, so if it does, it is not necessary to have a separate Confirmation Certificate.
MARRIAGE PREPARATION PROGRAM
After the initial meeting, you will be required to participate in a session where you will have an opportunity to assess your readiness for marriage and to assist you in understanding that marriage is a Vocation, a Covenant and a Sacrament.
Marriage Preparation are sessions of one-day or three-evening classes consist of presentations to engaged couples on topics such as the sacramentality and spirituality of marriage, communication, finances, and intimacy.
Engaged Encounter Weekend is a full weekend experience of marriage preparation. The weekend combines learning practical skills for a successful marriage while sharing the experience of a private retreat setting with your fiancé/fiancée.
These sessions are online. It is recommended to attend the class in the first 3 months of the 6 month marriage preparation.