Preparation & Community Commitment
Congratulations on your decision to marry and to have your vows witnessed and received at St. Ignatius Parish. My hope is that your wedding will be a source of much joy and hope for you and your families.
Catholics believe that marriage is God’s gift of a partner for life. God gives you to one another to help you fulfill your mission on earth – “to learn how to love.” Your love is a special and unique sharing in the mystery of Jesus’ death and resurrection. As a marrying couple, you publicly proclaim by your vows before God and the faith community that you intend your life together to reflect the self-giving love that Jesus has for his people, the Church.
Due to this belief, marriage in the Catholic tradition is identified as a sacrament. In other words, marriage is a living sign of our loving God’s faithful activity in the world.This means that marriage as a sacrament begins on your wedding day. This means that Christian marriage embodies the lifelong relationship of husband and wife and your commitment to grow more and more in love as time goes on. Marriage for Catholic Christians, then, is not only something you receive; it is something you become.
Christian marriage is a commitment to your spouse from within the community of faith, the Church. When two people marry in the Church, it is more than celebrating a ceremony in a particular kind of building. It is also more than a ritual only between the two partners. Marriage is a sacred moment for the community as well. Indeed, a “private” wedding for Christians is a contradiction in terms because sacraments are public celebrations of faith in the Risen Jesus.
For our part, the parish community wants to give you time to prepare well for the reception of the Sacrament of Matrimony. The Catholic wisdom tradition offers thoughtful and prayerful preparation. Previous participation in religious education classes, Catholic schools, or collegiate programs provide a good foundation. In addition, I invite each couple desiring to celebrate your nuptial vows to undertake a special program of systematic preparation. The parish preparation aims to console you with deep appreciation for God’s gift to you of one another.
May the blessings promised the joyful of heart be yours in abundance.
Craig Boly, S.J.
The links below connect to various resources on Family Life:
The Marriage & Family Life webpage of the Archdiocese of Portland
The Marriage and Family webpage of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops