What is Marriage really?
Jesus said 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
“The matrimonial covenant, by which a man and a woman establish between themselves a partnership of the whole of life, is by its nature ordered toward the good of the spouses and the procreation and education of offspring; this covenant between baptized persons has been raised by Christ the Lord to the dignity of a sacrament.” -Catechism of the Catholic Church 1601
Marriage is the vocation, the call, which Christ gives to the majority of people. Through the sacrament of matrimony He will bless your vocation not just on the day of your marriage, but throughout your lives. Congratulations on your recent engagements and we hope you find some of the following information useful for your preparation for marriage. We also know that you may be looking for further information about marriage so we have included some links to good resources about marriage at the bottom of the page.
Who can celebrate their wedding at St Peter Church?
In Ashton we are blessed with a beautiful Catholic church. For this reason we understand that many couples would love to celebrate the sacrament of matrimony here at Saint Peter Catholic Church. Since churches and marriages are an integral part of the local community we generally reserve use of our church for weddings of registered parishioners and their families. If you would like to join our tight-knit parish community, please visit the registration page. All registered parishioners and their families are asked to call us for an appointment with the Pastor at (608) 831-4843.
Do I have to be Catholic?
One of you must be a baptized Catholic in order to be married in the Catholic Church. You are both encouraged to consider being baptized and confirmed before their wedding if you have not yet received these sacraments. Baptism and Confirmation are important and helpful steps for a Christian on his or her way to adulthood and we would love to help you prepare for these sacraments as well in anticipation of your wedding. For more information please visit the Adult Formation page, or our director of Religious Education at (608) 572-3844
When can we reserve a date?
Regarding wedding dates, please contact the parish to meet with the Pastor at least six months before you hope to celebrate your wedding. Preparation for marriage generally takes at least six months, and we would appreciate notification of your anticipated marriage as soon as possible to begin that process. You may call the office to check the availability of the church for weddings, but we cannot reserve a date until after your first meeting with the Pastor.
How do we prepare ourselves for marriage?
The first step of preparing for a Catholic marriage at St Peter Catholic Church involves a face-to-face meeting with the Pastor. After this meeting you may be able to reserve a specific date.
At your meeting with the Pastor the following steps will be discussed in more detail, but you can find below the basic steps that we require to help prepare you both for the life-long commitment of marriage.
Marriage Preparation includes at least the following:
– Real Life Real Love – A retreat with other couples to learn, discuss and share knowledge about marriage. This can be completed during a weekend retreat, or split into multiple meetings
– God’s Plan for a Joy-Filled-Marriage – A presentation and class that reviews what we, as Catholics believe about marriage.
– Natural Family Planning (NFP): A class about why NFP works so well and why it produces happier, longer marriages
– FOCCUS Couple Meeting: A meeting with another Catholic couple to review the “FOCCUS Inventory” which reviews various topics important to marriage and which encourages open discussion about tough issues.
– At least two more meetings with Father to review the above programs, and review liturgy.
– Learning to pray together