All Catholics are required to have their wedding vows take place in the presence of one of the persons’ bishop or one of the persons’ pastor or deacon, and in the presence of two witnesses. For a wedding to take place in the presence of a minister other than the persons’ Catholic bishop, pastor, or deacon, or in a non-Catholic church building proper permission from one of the persons’ bishop is required.
The wedding is to take place in the parish where either the Catholic groom or the Catholic bride resides or is a registered member. For a wedding to take place in another parish, the permission of one of the persons’ pastors is required.
For a Catholic person to marry a person of a different faith (Christian or non-Christian), proper permission from the Catholic person’s bishop is required.
Preparation is to be done in the parish where either the Catholic groom or the Catholic bride resides or is a registered member. For preparation to be done by any other parish, permission of one of the persons’ pastors is required.
In the Diocese of Sioux City, it is recommended that a couple begin the process of preparation for marriage at least 6 months before the wedding date. This time frame helps to accommodate couples and their own schedules as well as the many demands placed upon clergy. It also allows time for couples to reflect on the marriage preparation process, the commitment they are about to make, and to consider the incredible beauty, mystery and meaning of Matrimony. Ideally, this would occur within a time frame that would minimize the additional stress that comes with planning a wedding ceremony. While a minimum of six months is requested, couples may begin the process sooner depending on their own circumstances and the preference of their pastor.
In the Diocese of Sioux City, engaged couples currently have two options for Marriage Preparation:
- Complete FOCCUS inventory and discuss results with priest or deacon.
- Attend the Marriage Preparation class “Called to the Wedding Feast” Rooted in Scripture and Pope St. John Paul II’s Theology of the Body, this class explores the deeper meaning of the words “I Do,” and the tremendous mystery that is Matrimony.
- Attend the Marriage Preparation class “Walking in Love” Building on the foundation laid in CTWF, this practical class discusses issues such as effective and loving communication, conflict resolution, and managing resources. It can be taken in a class setting or one on one with a volunteer married couple.
- All engaged couples must attend Natural Family Planning classes from one of the methods listed on the Diocesan NFP brochure. These classes can take up to 3-4 months to complete.
If you are looking to fulfill the requirements for CTWF and WIL but your schedule or other circumstances make it difficult to attend the monthly classes, an online option is available at CatholicMarriagePrep.com. To access, click here to get started: http://www.catholicmarriageprep.com/course-info/online-pre-cana
NOTE: Steps 1 and 4 from Option 1 are still required when choosing Option 2.
Also available in Spanish at: http://www.catholicmarriageprep.com/espanol