God who is love and who created man and woman for love has called them to love. By creating man and woman he called them to an intimate communion of life and of love in marriage: “So that they are no longer two, but one flesh” (Matthew 19:6). God said to them in blessing “Be fruitful and multiply” (Genesis 1:28). The marital union is endowed with its own proper laws, since it is God who has created men and women for this unity. Marriage is the expression of God’s plan for men and women to live in communion for the good of each other, of their children, of the Church and of the world. Christ raised marriage to a sacrament by his actions and presence in the marital union: “What God has joined, man must not separate” (Mark 10:39). Christ gives dignity and grace to the couple through the sacrament of matrimony because it is a symbol of his love for his bride, the Church, for whom he gave his life (Ephesians 5:25).
Marriage is a public declaration between the man and woman to remain in an exclusive, irreplaceable, faithful and loving relationship for life. The Church celebrates marriage publicly, witnessing to the consent of the spouses in the presence of the ordained priest or deacon of the Church and with other witnesses present. Marriage is a sacred bond which is established in the free and conscious consent of the spouses. Christian marriage is a call to service for the salvation of the couple and the world. (Compendium of the Catechism # 337-347)
Couples requesting to be married at St. Elizabeth's must contact the parish office one year in advance of the desired wedding date. One member of the couple should be an active member of the parish and both need to be canonically free from any previous marital unions. In discussion with the priest whom they choose to witness their ceremony they will work out an appropriate schedule of preparations including Pre-Cana. Special preparatory discussions may be offered for interfaith couples. For more information contact the Parish Center at 201-891-1122.