The Catholic Church believes and teaches that marriage is a sacrament, a symbol of the love of Jesus Christ for his people, the Church. As a sacrament, marriage is also a covenant by which a man and a woman establish a partnership for the whole of life. Marriage is also ordered toward the good of the spouses and the procreation and education of childrewn. It is meant to be a life-long commitment, until natural death.
Catholic parishes have the responsibility of assisting couples to understand and to prepare for the responsibilities of the Sacrament of Marriage. With that in mind, we offer the following information and guidelines:
Who can marry at Queen of the Apostles?
Registered and active members of Queen of the Apostles's Parish are welcome to celebrate their marriage here. Either the bride or groom, if not both, must be a Roman Catholic. One must be a registered and active member (attending weekly Mass and receiving other Sacraments) for at least six months prior to meeting with the priest regarding marriage. A person is also considered registered if he/she still has a parent who is a member of Queen of the Apostles. For those couples residing in another city, this would mean establishing a relationship with a parish there and fulfilling this requirement.
Interview with the Priest
All couples must contact the church and speak with the pastor at the time of engagement, but not less than six months prior to the wedding. The couple should make the intial contact as soon as possible in order to dertermine the availability of the church. No date will be set until the couple meets with the priest to begin the initial paperwork that is required.
Other Requirements to Consider
- Each party must be at least 18 years old
- Each party must be mature and coming to the marriage in free choice
- Freedom from prior marriages: If necessary, consult the priest regarding a degree of nullity of a previous marriage.
- Appreciation of the Catholic faith and participation in it by Catholics.
- Participation and honesty in the marriage preparation programs of the Diocese of La Crosse and the parish.
- Couples must have known each other for at least one year prior to the date of marriage.
- Couples living together should separate and live separately before making any further plans so as to receive the Sacrament of Marriage worthily and to protect the dignity and sanctity of Christian Marriage. While we understand the many economic and social motives to live together before marriage, it conflicts with moral laws of Scripture and Christ's Church.
- The beauty of the Sacrament is the covenant established between a man and a woman and God. The three together enter into this unbreakable bond. The couple coming before God's altar in a sacred place of the church celebrates this bond. The Catholic wedding is not to be celebrated anywhere other than in the Church environment.