Marriage As Covenant

The loving union of a married couple

 

Marriage

A commitment which God initiates

 

Marriage: A promise to God before anything.

"Wherefore a man shall leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they shall be two in one flesh."

1
1

Marriage

We share in your joy as you and your loved one plan your marriage. Marriage is created by God, and as such, has elements which are serious, demanding and sacred. As a parish community we want to assist you, and pray for you as you prepare for your wedding day.

Preparation course is mandatory. Arrangements must be made six months in advance.

Marriage Preparation

Start Off Right

We are excited that you are considering marriage in the church. The Archdiocese of Vancouver Marriage Prep course will not only help prepare couples for a Christ-centred life together, you will learn communication & healthy conflict resolution tools, finance and more to set yourself up for a thriving marriage. Marriage formation does not stop when a couple gets married, but is ongoing and lifelong.

This course is suitable for those seriously dating, discerning marriage, civilly married couples, and we welcome those who are not part of the Catholic Church. Contact us at mprep@rcav.org if you are interested to take this course.

Contact your parish at least six months prior to your anticipated wedding date, longer if you are planning to marry outside the Archdiocese of Vancouver.

The process begins with the initial interview with your priest or deacon to address your faith experience and understanding of marriage in the Church so that you can enter into this lifelong commitment before God well prepared.

The priest or deacon will sign a parish form to indicate that you may move forward in the process and register for Marriage Preparation. Bring the signed parish form to the first session of the course.

Download parish form

For weddings taking place outside Vancouver, you would still need to contact a local priest as there are additional requirements and paperwork.

Read Guidelines for Marriage

Marriage Formation course topics include:

In addition, you are required to:

  • Complete a Prepare/Enrich online relationship assessment
  • Have a follow-up ‘meeting’ with a Program Coordinator, assigned coaching couple or Counsellor

Webinar Course Guidelines

  • Couples once registered must do the first webinar and take the sessions in sequence.
  • Make-up sessions are possible but may be recorded presentations and would not be interactive.

Your priest will assist in the completion of the required documentation.

  1. Dispensation: For a marriage between a Catholic and a baptized Christian of another communion/a member of a non-Christian world religion/a member of no religion, permission is required from the local bishop.
  2. Baptismal Certificate: If you are a Catholic, you must have a new baptismal certificate issued within the six months prior to your wedding. If you have been baptized in another Christian denomination, you may supply either your original certificate or a copy.
  3. Marriage License: please apply for a B.C. marriage license (valid for 90 days). This is not required for a convalidation ceremony.
  4. Marriage Form I: Under oath and individually with the priest or deacon, each fiancé(e) answers a series of questions about his or her freedom to marry.
  5. Marriage Form II: Each fiancé(e) needs outside testimonial of freedom to marry. Normally one parent or sibling does this by completing the form with the priest. Otherwise, you will need two witnesses. They must have known you throughout your marriageable years (Church law: 14 for bride, 16 for groom).
  6. Testimonial Letter: If the Catholic fiancé(e) lives outside this Archdiocese and there is no one available to do a Form II, his or her bishop has to write a testimonial letter.
  7. Marriage Preparation Course Completion Report: The completion report will be sent upon completion of all requirements of the archdiocesan course to the priest who is doing your paperwork.
  8. Letter of Consent: If your fiancé/fiancée is under 19, there is a provincial requirement that a letter of consent from his/her parents is provided to the priest, who will also interview the couple and make an assessment.

Please note that if you are getting married in a church outside the Archdiocese of Vancouver, a local priest must complete some of the above paperwork. Please factor in additional time for the paperwork to be sent to the other diocese.

Catholic Weddings take place in Churches

  • The wedding of two Catholics is a sacred and sacramental liturgy. The Church is therefore the proper place for the wedding, hence gardens, beaches, secular “wedding chapels” are not. Learn more at https://youtu.be/c3qH25CqHaA
  • To be married in another parish, permission must be granted from the parish in which you wish to be married, as well as from the parishes where you are registered.
  • A wedding in which only one of you is Catholic would take place in the parish of the Catholic party.
  • The Episcopal Vicar for Marriage may permit you to celebrate your wedding in the place of worship of the non-Catholic Christian party when an extraordinary pastoral reason suggests it.

If the celebrant is a visiting priest:

  • You should discuss your choice of celebrant with your parish priest at the beginning of your preparation.
  • A visiting priest must have permission of the pastor and of the Archbishop, in addition to a license from the BC government.

Sacraments

  • Every Catholic should complete his or her initiation into the Faith by receiving the Sacrament of Confirmation. If you have not been confirmed, the time of your preparation for marriage is an opportunity to prepare for Confirmation as well.
  • The Sacraments of Reconciliation and Holy Eucharist will prepare you for a more meaningful experience of your wedding liturgy.

Wedding Liturgy

  • Your priest/deacon will help you plan your wedding liturgy. You may refer to the Wedding Liturgy Guide resource provided at the course. He will also inform you of any additional requirements that are particular to that parish.

Let’s keep the Hope in our hearts in the face of crisis. Love knows no boundaries. You are important to the Church. We understand that many of you are still planning to marry in the Church and would wish to prepare for this important chapter of your life.

Pick a webinar series that fits your schedule. If none are suitable, please contact mprep@rcav.org.

Tuesday, 5-Evening Course

Sept. 8, 15, 22, 29, Oct. 6
Zoom Webinar
Tuesdays, 7 – 9 pm

Fertility Health Awareness Seminar

Saturday, Sept. 26
Zoom Webinar
9:30 am – 12 pm

Registration is closed


Saturday, 5-Morning Course

Oct. 24, 31, Nov. 7, 14, 21
Zoom Webinar
Saturdays, 9:30 am – 11:30 am

Fertility Health Awareness Seminar

Saturday, Dec. 5
Zoom Webinar
9:30 am – 12 pm

You will automatically be signed up for the Dec. 5 FHA if attending the October courses.

REGISTER


Tuesday, 5-Evening Course

Jan. 5, 12, 19, 26, Feb. 2, 2021
Location TBA
Tuesdays, 7 – 9 pm

Fertility Health Awareness Seminar

Saturday, Feb. 13, 2021
Location TBA
9:30 am – 12 pm

You will automatically be signed up for the Feb. 13 FHA if attending the January courses.

REGISTER


Saturday, 5-Morning Course

Jan. 9, 16, 23, 30, Feb. 6, 2021
Location TBA
Saturdays, 9:30 am – 11:30 am

Fertility Health Awareness Seminar

Saturday, Feb. 13, 2021
Location TBA
9:30 am – 12 pm

You will automatically be signed up for the Feb. 13 FHA if attending the January courses.

REGISTER

Instructions to take this assessment will be e-mailed to you after you register online.

The Prepare/Enrich questionnaire helps couples identify their strengths, weaknesses and major sources of stress. It aims to develop communication and conflict resolution skills before marriage. It is a discussion instrument designed to optimize couple satisfaction.

Once both partners have completed the Assessment, we will provide their Facilitator access to both a Facilitator and a Couple Report.  The Facilitator Report is intended only for the trained Facilitator who can make sense of the Facilitator Report, and will not be made available to the couple. However we provide the couple with a Couple Report as they work with a Facilitator to develop awareness of areas in their relationship and to pick up tools to increase closeness and relationship satisfaction.

LEARN MORE AT ENRICHCANADA.CA

Fertility Health Awareness is natural, economical, respectful to the body of the woman and consistent with Catholic teaching. It is highly effective in achieving and preventing pregnancies.A complimentary private consultation is included in the course. Some presentations offered are:

Learn more about Natural Family Planning (NFP)

Some parishes are offering marriage mentorship together with our course, to better prepare couples for married life. You will be invited to journey with a mentor couple picked by you, who will be an invaluable support before and beyond your wedding day.

Registration with the Marriage Prep Office is required for couples to participate in this program. Some parishes are requiring both, others are offering the mentorship as an additional option.

The following parishes are currently offering the Witness to Love marriage mentorship program to supplement our Archdiocesan course:

  • Canadian Martyrs Parish, Richmond
  • Corpus Christi Parish, Vancouver
  • Immaculate Conception Parish, Delta
  • Our Lady of Fatima Parish, Coquitlam
  • Our Lady of Mercy Parish, Burnaby
  • Our Lady of Sorrows Parish, Vancouver
  • Precious Blood Parish, Surrey
  • St. Anthony of Padua Parish, Vancouver
  • St. Augustine’s Parish, Vancouver
  • St. Clare of Assisi Parish, Coquitlam
  • St. Francis de Sales Parish, Burnaby
  • St. Mary’s Parish, Vancouver
  • St. Matthew’s Parish, Surrey
  • St. Patrick’s Parish, Vancouver

During this uncertain time of the COVID-19 crisis, with the permission of your pastor, you may also choose to do this mentorship program instead of our webinar series. It will be required for you to choose a mentor couple with whom you already have a trusting relationship, is regularly attending Sunday Mass and is married for 5 years or more.

In this situation, a parish coaching couple would work with you and your mentor couple for your marriage formation using Witness to Love plus:

  • Complete a Prepare/Enrich relationship inventory
  • Participate in a God’s Plan for Marriage webinar
  • Attend a Fertility Health Awareness webinar

Please e-mail mprep@rcav.org if:

  • You are interested to use this program because you are civilly married and plan to marry in the Church,
  • You are unable to participate in the Archdiocesan course due to special circumstances and are interested in alternative options,
  • Your parish does not offer marriage mentorship, but you are interested to know how you can participate in this program or
  • You have questions about marriage mentorship and the Witness to Love program.

After you have completed all the above requirements, we will send a Completion Report to your priest. Our office may waive a session or requirement in specific circumstances, as advised by the Pastor.

If you are marrying outside Vancouver, we will also e-mail you a certificate upon request. Please notify us as soon as you complete the course.

Questions? Send us an e-mail at mprep@rcav.org or call 604-683-0281 ext. 50223.

  • We are thrilled that you are now preparing to marry in the Church. The current course may not always be suitable.Civilly married couples and other couples with very special circumstances may discuss with the coordinator on a customized marriage formation instead.Some options offered:

    Please email Sharon Goh to discuss:?sgoh@rcav.org.

    Sacramental Inquiry

    Please fill out the form below. We will get back to you within 2-3 business days.

    Your Name (required)

    Your Email (required)

    Subject

    Your Message