Sacred Scripture begins with the creation and union of man and woman and ends with “the wedding feast of the Lamb” (Rev 19:7, 9). Scripture often refers to marriage, its origin and purpose, the meaning God gave to it, and its renewal in the covenant made by Jesus with his Church. Man and woman were created for each other.
By their marriage, the couple witnesses Christ’s spousal love for the Church. One of the Nuptial Blessings in the liturgical celebration of marriage refers to this in saying, “Father, you have made the union of man and wife so holy a mystery that it symbolizes the marriage of Christ and his Church.”
The Sacrament of Marriage is a covenant, which is more than a contract. Covenant always expresses a relationship between persons. The marriage covenant refers to the relationship between the husband and wife, a permanent union of persons capable of knowing and loving each other and God. The celebration of marriage is also a liturgical act, appropriately held in a public liturgy at church. Catholics are urged to celebrate their marriage within the Eucharistic Liturgy.
The important thing for engaged couples to keep in mind as they prepare their pre-wedding “to-do” list is the well-known adage, “Your wedding lasts a day, but your marriage lasts a lifetime.” The Church encourages couples to invest time and energy into the all-important work of preparing for their married life together.
Both bride and groom must be “free to marry in the Roman Catholic Church”. Any person who has been previously married in the Church or civilly married, and whose previous spouse is still alive, regardless of civil divorce or civil annulment, is not free to marry in the church. These people should seek a possible annulment in the Roman Catholic Church prior to any further marriage preparations, as noted below.
The Catholic party wishing to be married at Holy Family must be registered at least three months prior to beginning preparation and must be a practicing Catholic. Before setting a wedding date or securing reception facilities please call René Weising at 407-876-2211, extension 285, or email email@example.com at least six months in advance of selecting a wedding date.
“Two Christians who marry have recognized in their history of love the call of the Lord, the vocation of two, male and female, to become only one flesh, only one life. And the Sacrament of Matrimony envelops this love with the grace of God, it roots it in God Himself. With this gift, with the certainty of this call, one can begin with certainty, there is no fear of anything, everything can be faced together!”Pope Francis’ recent visit to Assisi on the feast day of the village’s most famous saint. October 4, 2013 – USCCB
Marriage Preparation instituted within the Catholic Church in the Diocese of Orlando is a three-phase process completed over a four to six month period. (click here for more information from the diocese.) The goal of this process is to provide engaged couples with the skills or resources needed to enhance their sacramental marriage and strengthen this indissoluble covenant to one another. Ordained priests and deacons, the marriage prep advisor, and trained married couples implement this process.
First Phase: Assessment – this phase is an assessment time at the parish of the engaged couple with a FOCCUS survey and follow up sessions. This survey, while not predictive of the future for this relationship, is indicative of what is happening presently with the couple and provides direction for discussion of the indicated differences. The administration of FOCCUS should be done prior to the second phase; follow up sessions may be completed after the second phase.
Second Phase: Workshop – The second phase is a completion of a Pre Cana Seminar, Engaged Couples Weekend, or a Diocesan approved parish based preparation program. The approach is based on the significance of family as a system, the influence of our family of origin and the skills needed to maintain a successful marriage.
Third Phase: Follow Up – The third phase happens at the parish and involves individual sacramental preparation, the planning of the wedding ceremony including selection of readings, vows and completion of the paperwork.
CONVALIDATION OF MARRIAGE
“Couples already civilly married are not coming to the Catholic Church for a “blessing of their marriage.” They are consenting to become a sacramental couple in the sight of the Catholic community. A sacramental marriage is an ongoing journey that begins on the day of your Convalidation and lasts a lifetime. It involves the married couples’ relationship with God and the Church community as they strive daily to live their sacramental promise.” (Taken from Picture of Love: Convalidation Workbook)
Convalidation is for couples who have been civilly married for more than 2 years but are looking to validate their marriage in the Roman Catholic Church. If you have questions about the best program for your preparation of the Sacrament of Marriage, please contact René Weising at (407) 876-2211 Ext. 285 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Diocesan Marriage Preparation Programs
ENGAGED COUPLES WEEKEND RETREAT- Is a weekend experience beginning on Friday at 7 p.m. and ending Sunday early afternoon. Held at San Pedro Center, Winter Park. (www.sanpedrocenter.org). Recommended for engaged couples with no previous marriage and no children. When either the bride or groom are bringing children from a previous relationship into the marriage, a Step-family Workshop is highly recommended or required as well. For Dates and Registration, register online through the Diocese of Orlando.
ONE DAY WORKSHOP – Is held monthly on Saturdays from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. throughout the Diocese. Recommended for couples being married for the first time or if a former marriage was of a very brief duration and no children are involved. This program is offered in the Orlando Area each month.
REMARRIAGE – Remarriage Preparation is held quarterly on Saturdays, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. This program is recommended for couples where one or both have been previously married (even when that marriage has been annulled) and there are children involved.
It is also recommended when there are no children but the former marriage was lengthy and/or if the separation has not been very long. The day is facilitated by the Family Life Office Staff. Sessions include Challenges of a Step-family, Communication and Relationship Skills and are presented by a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist.
CONVALIDATION WORKSHOP – This workshop is recommended for couples that have been civilly married for longer than 2 years. When couples have been civilly married for less than two years it is recommended that they attend a Pre-Cana Weekend Retreat (or a Marriage Encounter Weekend).
If you have questions about the best program for your preparation of the Sacrament of Marriage, please contact the Priest or Deacon you are preparing with.
All Catholics should be married in the Roman Catholic Church. Any person who has been previously married in the Church or civilly married, and whose previous spouse is still alive, regardless of civil divorce or civil annulment, is not free to marry in the Church. These people should seek a church declaration of nullity of marriage. If you are in need of an annulment, contact one of the Priests in the parish who will arrange advocacy at (407) 876-2211.
Are there guidelines for flowers and photography during my wedding?
Yes. Please click here for information on placement of flowers, as well as the use and placement of video equipment and other photography during weddings.
How can I secure a wedding date in the Daily Chapel or the Main Church?
You must make an appointment with the Priest or Deacon for a Pre-Nuptial interview, and meet with a FOCCUS Support Couple before securing a wedding date.
Do I need to be registered in a Parish to get married at Holy Family Church?
Yes. Catholics requesting marriage preparation at Holy Family must be practicing and registered in a Catholic church and actively attend Mass for at least three months before beginning the process. (If you are registered under your parents’ registration, please re-register under your own name, noting that you are registered under your parent.)
What are the Fees for the Daily Chapel or the Main Church?
- $500 Active, registered parishioners, to be paid 3 months prior to the wedding.
- $600 Incoming weddings involving at least one party in the past, registered at Holy Family under their family name, and the family are current members. This amount is to be paid immediately upon the wedding being accepted and scheduled.
- $1,200 For all other incoming weddings this amount is to be paid immediately upon the wedding being accepted and scheduled.
What is FOCCUS?
FOCCUS stands for Facilitating Open Couple Communication, Understanding and Study. It is hoped that during the time the FOCCUS couple spends with the engaged couple, they witness to the Sacrament and holiness of marriage. We hope that through this process our engaged couples will feel loved, valued, and connected to the People of God in our parish.
When can I sign up for Pre-Cana?
You may sign up for Pre-Cana classes as soon as you have met with your FOCCUS Support Couple, and completed the requirements for the FOCCUS Inventory. Registration for Pre-Cana workshops can be found online at www.orlandodiocese.org.
What time can I schedule my Wedding?
Saturday weddings are 11 a.m., 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. The Main Church seats 1,600.
When can I schedule my rehearsal?
Please schedule your rehearsal at the same time you schedule the wedding. Rehearsals are the day/night before your wedding and usually held around 5 p.m., 6 p.m. and 7 p.m.
Where do I get a Marriage License?
For information go to the website of Orange County Clerk of Courts, www.myorangeclerk.com, Tiffany Moore Russell, Orange County Clerk of Courts, (FL).