Marriage Preparation

The Diocese of St. Petersburg calls for a six-month preparation period to enable the couple, with the Church’s help, to prepare spiritually for their wedding and more importantly, for their married life together. At least one member of the bridal couple must be a registered parishioner of St. Paul parish. Required paperwork needs to be completed before a wedding date can be confirmed.

The decision to marry is one of the most significant decisions in a person’s life. Within the Catholic Church this decision is not only a personal high point, but a parish celebration as well. Human love accepts an invitation to become a sign of God’s love for us. The couple promises to be signs of God’s love for each other and together to be signs to the Catholic community that God loves us faithfully, forever. Marriage, then, is a commitment by the couple to the Catholic community, and of the Catholic community to the couple to support, nurture and enhance their efforts to live out their promise.

The following guidelines for marriage at St. Paul Parish flow from this belief in the Sacrament of Marriage

Because marriage at St. Paul’s is a religious event, and for baptized persons a sacrament, we celebrate marriage with those who share this faith vision, those who believe in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, those who want to profess their faith in and through this Sacrament.

We ask that a Catholic who wishes to prepare for the sacrament of Marriage at St. Paul Parish have been an active, registered member of our parish before marriage preparation begins, and plan on worshiping with us regularly before and after the ceremony.

Children of St. Paul Parish parishioners may be married at St. Paul Catholic Church provided that they are active, registered members of this or another parish community. They are expected to follow these guidelines for their marriages as well.

Interfaith marriages are certainly allowed. They may be celebrated here or with authorization in the Church of the non-Catholic party. A minister of another faith may also be invited to participate in a wedding celebrated at St. Paul’s.

We ask six (6) months in order to help a couple prepare to receive the Sacrament of Marriage here.

Marriage preparation arrangements should be made with the parish before the wedding date is set, or reception is planned. through a request for a wedding date and time may be made when marriage preparation begins, the actual confirmation of this date and time, and the scheduling for the wedding rehearsal take place with the priest after the preparation is completed.

  • At least 6 monthly meetings with the marriage preparation coordinator (this may vary according to the needs of each particular couple).
  • Some reading
  • A Diocesan retreat (Journey to Matrimony or Pre-Cana)
  • A meeting with the priest of deacon who will preside at the wedding once the marriage preparation is concluded.

All couples 21 or younger, and those who have been together for less than one year, will be asked to experience some additional premarital counseling. Other couples will be encouraged to use these resources as well.

To request a copy of your Sacrament Certificate please fill out Sacramental Request Form and send it to the parish office to fulfill your request.

Maria Costa

Maria Costa