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Marriage Preparation



Marriage is a most important commitment.  The Church wants each couple to be well prepared for their life long journey together.  It is not important whether the couple plans an elaborate wedding ceremony, or just a simple celebration with family and friends. The Church’s primary concern is to see that each couple is ready to live a lifelong commitment of love together.  It, therefore, asks them to do the following as they prepare for marriage:


At Least Six Months Before your Chosen Wedding Date


Contact the Parish:

Make an appointment to meet with the priest.  Parishioners who are of Sacred Heart Parish preparing for marriage should call the parish office, at least six months prior to their chosen wedding date. The parish secretary will help you set up an appointment to speak with a priest. A wedding date cannot be reserved until the couple completes this step.

In keeping with Church Law and Diocesan policies, we celebrate marriages at Sacred Heart only for those living within our parish boundaries or who are registered and have regularly been attending Mass at the parish. Exceptions are made for children of our parishioners, who have moved away. They require a letter of permission from their own pastor, who will prepare them for marriage according to the policies of the place where they reside.


Marriage Preparation


You will normally be required to attend an approved marriage preparation program.  This should be completed well in advance of your wedding date.   The priest will assist you in the choice of an appropriate marriage preparation program.


  • You may choose the Marriage Preparation weekend program offered by the office of Evangelization and Catechesis of our Prince George Diocese. (Contact: Diocese of Prince George Ph: 1 250-964-4424)


  • If these above mentioned options would not work then the priest will assist you to do the Marriage Preparation locally.





Your marriage is an important part of your life and growth as a follower of Jesus.  Your priest will help you reflect on your understanding of Christian marriage, so that you can enter into this commitment to God and to each other well prepared.  The process begins with the initial interview with your priest, and addresses your faith experience, your relationship as a couple, and your understanding of marriage in the Church.


Special Circumstances


Some couples have special circumstances and will need further assistance in preparing to be married in the Church.

Please discuss with the Priest if:

  • either or both of you have been married before either civilly or in a church.

  • either of you are or ever have been in a “common-law” union

  • are now civilly married (to each other) and wish to have your marriage blessed (Convalidated) in the Catholic Church

  • you are presently living together

  • either you or your fiancé is a teenager

  • a pregnancy is involved

  • one of you practices another faith tradition or does not follow any particular religious faith


Required Documents


  • Your priest will complete forms with you to make a permanent parish record of the significant step you are about to take.  In addition, if one of you is not a Catholic, the documentation is part of the priest’s request to the Episcopal Vicar for Marriage on your behalf for permission for a “mixed marriage”.


  • Baptismal Certificate(s): If you are a Catholic, you must have a Baptismal Certificate issued within six months prior to your wedding.  If you have been baptized in another Christian denomination, you must supply either your original certificate or a copy.


  • British Columbia Marriage License:   A B.C. marriage license is mandatory for a wedding to take place anywhere in the Province.  The license is valid for 90 days.  It is not required for a Convalidation ceremony.  See for information.


Planning of the Wedding Liturgy


Your Parish Priest or the Parish Assistant will help you plan your wedding liturgy.  The thought and care you put into the choice of readings and music will help make your liturgy a meaningful expression of you as a couple.   Your marriage preparation class will provide you with suggested readings, music guidelines and a wedding planning sheet.

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