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All the sacraments involve God taking ordinary things and using them for his purposes and so we use things like water and oil, bread and wine. In the sacrament of marriage, we bring something very natural — the human body and human love. Featuring Msgr. John Zenz, of the archdiocese of Detroit.
At least 3 months notice is required to arrange a wedding with the Parish Priest. Please contact the priest as soon as possible, particularly if you plan to get married overseas – there is a lot of paperwork to be completed before you leave the country. Travel Agents are not necessarily equipped to inform you about the Church regulations. Give a minimum of 6 months notice for a wedding overseas.
Please do not make firm wedding arrangements until you are sure that the date, time, priest and church are available. Couples are expected to attend a Pre-Marriage Course. The priest will advise when such a courses are available and also what documentation you are will require before the wedding may take place. Arrangements for photography, music, flowers etc. must be acceptable to the Parish. It goes without say that couples who are seeking a Church ceremony must observe the laws of the Church.
The Sacrament of Matrimony
"The matrimonial covenant, by which a man and a woman establish between themselves a partnership of the whole of life, is by its nature ordered toward the good of the spouses and the procreation and education of offspring; this covenant between baptized persons has been raised by Christ the Lord to the dignity of a sacrament."
Sacred Scripture begins with the creation of man and woman in the image and likeness of God and concludes with a vision of "the wedding-feast of the Lamb." [Rev 19:7, 9; Gen 1:26-27] Scripture speaks throughout of marriage and its "mystery," its institution and the meaning God has given it, its origin and its end, its various realizations throughout the history of salvation, the difficulties arising from sin and its renewal "in the Lord" in the New Covenant of Christ and the Church. [1 Cor 7:39; cf. Eph 5:31-32]
"From a valid marriage arises a bond between the spouses which by its very nature is perpetual and exclusive; furthermore, in a Christian marriage the spouses are strengthened and, as it were, consecrated for the duties and the dignity of their state by a special sacrament."
The consent by which the spouses mutually give and receive one another is sealed by God himself. [Cf. Mk 10:9] From their covenant arises "an institution, confirmed by the divine law,... even in the eyes of society." The covenant between the spouses is integrated into God's covenant with man: "Authentic married love is caught up into divine love."
Thus the marriage bond has been established by God himself in such a way that a marriage concluded and consummated between baptized persons can never be dissolved. This bond, which results from the free human act of the spouses and their consummation of the marriage, is a reality, henceforth irrevocable, and gives rise to a covenant guaranteed by God's fidelity. The Church does not have the power to contravene this disposition of divine wisdom.
From the Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1601-1640