Marriage Marriage as a sacrament, reflects God's intention to share the gifts of love and the joy of love with two, who, through their love, will bring the fruits of their joining to the world for the benefit of the world as well as for themselves.
Saint Michael’s follows the guidelines as established by the Archdiocese of Portland in Oregon and the
Code of Canon Law and various offices in the Pastoral Center. This requires a minimum of six months preparation from the time of initial interview with the priest/deacon and the date of marriage. This ensures enough time to adequately prepare the couple for the sacrament. This information outlines a typical process – yours might be slightly different, although not drastically.
Please remember couples best prepare for marriage by means of regular participation in the general sacramental life of the Church. Couples should consider participation in the Sunday liturgy, confession, daily prayer, actions of charity, and living out the chaste Christian life to be the groundwork wherein their relationship will mature and blossom.
Step 1: Initial Meeting with Priest/Deacon
The purpose of the first meeting is for the priest to get to know the couple. It is all very relaxed and conversational. He will gather information regarding your church of baptism. If it was a Catholic baptism or the person came into the church through RCIA/RCIC, please have the name and location of the church, and approximate date of baptism. Preparation for marriage requires a recently issued copy of your baptismal certificate from the church where you were baptized. He will also go over the process with you, give you a checklist and witness forms. These witness forms will need to be completed by someone who knows you very well and can testify to your freedom to enter the marriage and if they know of any impediments to your upcoming marriage. They must be notarized or signed in front of the priest/deacon and the church seal placed on it. There are two forms for the bride and two for the groom. They will need to be returned before the marriage preparation is complete.
Step 2: Pre Marital Inventory
You will schedule an appointment to complete a Pre Marital Inventory (PMI). PMI is an “inventory” survey designed to help couples learn more about themselves and their unique relationship. The survey provides individualized couple feedback on where each partner stands in regards to topics important to the marriage. It is a simple way of helping couple’s identify potential strengths and weakness in their relationship. Areas of coverage include:
Life style expectations - Problem Solving - Parenting - Friends and interests- Sexuality - Religion & Values - Communications - Extended Family Issues - Finances
You will meet with a couple in their home to take the PMI and then meet a second time to discuss your results. The follow-up meeting is a facilitated discussion between you and your fiancé based on the results of the survey.
Step 3: Engaged Encounter Weekend or Other Established Preparation Course
Couples are urged to attend an Engaged Encounter Weekend conducted in the area. This overnight weekend retreat is an opportunity to delve into the sacramental and spiritual aspects of marriage, as well as deepen your relationship with each other and God. Programs usually begin Friday evening and end on Sunday afternoon.
Step 4: Planning the Wedding Ceremony
If you are marrying at another parish, you will need to schedule a “Wrap Up” session to prepare your wedding file to be sent to the parish where the ceremony will be held.
If you are marrying at Saint Michael’s and all classes and paperwork are completed, you will meet with the Priest or Deacon witnessing your marriage. He will provide you with a booklet which outlines the ceremony/mass, the liturgical aspects of the ceremony, and help with the selection of music for your celebration. Please see the guidelines for weddings at Saint Michael’s. Would you like to know more? Contact our Deacon at 503.228.8629 or email him at