Adult Education and Faith Formation
So you are considering marriage within the Catholic Church? Congratulations!
The Catholic Church requires that you prepare ahead for your wedding, preferably starting at least six months before the wedding.
During that time, you will meet with a parish priest to understand the requirements for your preparation and to fulfill all the necessary paperwork required for your wedding and to plan the ceremony. You will also attend a form of Pre-Cana Marriage Preparation which involves married volunteer couples who share their own experiences with matters of spirituality, values, and practical matters to aid engaged couples in contemplating their readiness for the Holy Sacrament of Marriage.
Here are some more details to understand about the preparation process.
Eligibility to Marry within the Catholic Church
At least one of the people who is to married must be a registered, active and practicing Catholic. Except in extraordinary circumstances the couple should contact the church at least six months prior to the wedding. If either person has been married before, there will be an investigation into whether that person is free to marry in the Catholic Church. Since this process can take up to a year, it is essential that this matter be resolved before setting the wedding date. Information about some extraordinary circumstances may be found in this FAQ document from the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, also linked to the right.
Eligibility to Marry at St. Ignatius
At least one of the persons to be married must be a registered and active parishioner at St. Ignatius for at least a year prior to the wedding. Membership at St. Ignatius means full, conscious and active participation in the life of this community. It means that you are actively attending mass here and plan to continue attending after your wedding. It also means that you are giving, in some way, of your time, talent and/or treasure to the mission and ministry of Jesus Christ at Sacred Heart. If you are not a member of St. Ignatius, but would still like to be married here, please see the fee schedule at the back of this book.
Marriage Preparation/ Pre-Cana Options
Option A: Archdiocesan Regional Marriage Preparation Program
This is a large group program held on four separate evenings. Because the emphasis is on the couple themselves and their discernment regarding the sacrament of Matrimony, it still provides a personal and prayerful experience of marriage preparation. Please visit the Archdiocese of Philadelphia Website
Option B: Archdiocesan Weekend Retreat
The weekend retreat offers engaged couples a special opportunity to be together, and to encounter Christ through prayer and reflection. The goal of the weekend is to more firmly establish your relationship “in the Lord.” The retreat takes place at the Family Life Center of the Malvern Retreat House.
Option C: Preparing for the Sacrament of Marriage, Weekend Commuter Retreat
This “commuter retreat” (weekend program with no overnight stay) is held Friday evening and all day Saturday at the St. Peter Claver Center in Philadelphia. This program is ideal for those couples who wish to have a weekend retreat experience for their marriage preparation.
To learn more about Option A, Option B or Option C including online registration please visit the Archdiocesan Marriage Preparation Page
Deacon Michael Cibenko
Pre-Jordan is a program to help parents prepare for their child’s Baptism. All first-time parents are required to take this course before their child’s Baptism. To register, please contact the parish secretary at 215-493-3377
The sacraments of Christian initiation – Baptism, Confirmation and the Eucharist – lay the foundations of every Christian life. From the time of the apostles, becoming a Christian has been accomplished by a journey and initiation in several stages. (ccc) The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) is also completed in stages beginning with the stage of inquiry and progressing to full initiation into the Catholic Church. Unbaptized persons, Christians from another faith tradition, or Catholics who have not completed their sacraments are invited to discern if they are called to full sacramental initiation. Please call St. Ignatius RCIA Coordinator Annmarie Flanagan at 215-493-5204 for additional information or to register.