Prepare for the lifelong Sacrament of Marriage at St Mary of the Angels

Engaged? Congratulations!

Congratulation! St. Mary of the Angels rejoices with you! We will walk with as you approach one of the most important days in your life: Marriage in the Catholic Church. We will help you to prepare for the lifelong sacramental marriage.

Your married life begins by the solemn exchange of vows in a sacred liturgical act. The wedding is above all else an act of worship, a public celebration of one of the seven Sacraments of the Catholic Church. That is why we take care to ensure that the sacred liturgy is celebrated according to the Church and its liturgical law. Only Roman Catholic ceremonies are celebrated at St. Mary of the Angels.

Timeline for Planning your Wedding Mass

9-12 months before your weddinG

Contact Marriage Formation Coordinator

Call as soon as you get engaged! Our Marriage Formation Coordinator  will meet with you to discuss your wedding preparations.

In this meeting you’ll learn about the formation process for Holy Matrimony and the necessary paperwork. You will also set your tentative wedding date.

        • When we have received a completed reservation contract with the required deposit.
        • We celebrate weddings on Saturdays ONLY, at 11:00 am, 1:00 pm, and 3:00 pm.
        • NO Friday or Sunday Weddings, NOR during Lent.

Begin Gathering Needed Documents (Martha will explain these documents to you)

        • Baptismal certificate (Bride) 
        • Confirmation certificates (Bride)
        • (2) Witness Affidavits (Bride)
        • Baptismal certificate (Groom) 
        • Confirmation certificates (Groom)
        • (2) Witness Affidavits (Groom)

7-8 months before your weddinG

Meets with the Priest

You will with the priest to fill out the Prenuptial Questionnaire and take the Better Together couple assessment. You will share this personalized profile of your relationship and the priest  will schedule a follow-up session to review your results.

Begin the Witness to Love Program

1. Choose your own mentor couple to accompany you during your formation and throughout your first years of marriage using the Witness to Love model. Mentor Couple Requirements:

        • Married in the Catholic Church for 5 years
        • Has a marriage you admire
        • Attends Holy Mass weekly

2. Call Martha Jamie (773-278-2644, Ext. 234 or mjaime@sma-church.org) for you, your mentor couple, to meet with a coach to review the Witness to Love program.

3. You will have several meetings with your mentor couple leading up to your wedding, and they will continue to be a support to you in the years to come!

Attend a Three to Get Married Retreat

The Three to Get Married weekend retreat is an opportunity for you to grow closer to Jesus Christ and to one another, building on the discussions you have had with your pastor and mentor couple. It will focus on marriage in the context of our Catholic faith.

Sign up for one of our retreats: 

Take a Natural Family Planning Course

While the Three to Get Married weekend introduces how Natural Family Planning (NFP) and Fertility Awareness Based (FAB) Methods respect the love- and life-giving purposes of marital intimacy and enriches the bond between husband and wife, couples should take a full, approved course to understanding the cycles of femininity, fertility, and infertility. 

Certificate from an approved course in NFP is required (can be waved by priest).

4-5 months before your wedding

Plan your Wedding Liturgy with the Wedding Coordinator

Contact Patti Dire: 773-278-2644, ext. 229 or weddings@sma-church.org

        • Fill out Wedding Ceremony Planning Sheet.
        • Review and choose bride’s and bridesmaids’ dresses with the modesty suitable for the sacredness of the marriage rite. (Shoulders and back need to be covered at all times, with a neckline that  covers cleavage completely).
        • Schedule the rehearsal date

Wedding Coordinator must approve dresses and ceremony forms. 

2 months before youR wedding

Gather and Submit Final Documents

        • Marriage License (from Cook County, valid for 60 days)
        • NFP Course Certificate
        • Three to Get Married Retreat Certificate

The week of your wedding

Receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation

Catholics are strongly encouraged to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation as the final preparation for the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony. Reconciliation and the Eucharist are invaluable sources of grace and healing. Celebrate this sacrament with your spouse-to-be!

1 or 2 Days before your wedding

Rehearsal with Wedding Coordinator

Run through the ceremony with the Wedding Coordinator so that everyone in the wedding party has a clear idea of how they will process in and out, and where to sit and stand during the parts of the wedding ceremony.

We will try to offer Reconciliation for the wedding party at this time. Instructions will also be given as to the proper conditions for receiving Holy Communion.

Resources

We invite you to read the wonderful document from the U.S. bishops: Marriage: Love And Life In The Divine Plan.