SACRAMENT OF MATRIMONY
“The matrimonial covenant, by which a man and a woman establish between themselves a partnership of the whole of life, is by its nature ordered toward the good of the spouses and the procreation and education of offspring; this covenant between baptized persons has been raised by Christ the Lord to the dignity of a sacrament.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1601).
In the Latin Rite the celebration of marriage between two Catholics normally takes place during Mass because of the connection of all the sacraments with the death and resurrection of Christ.
The parties to a marriage covenant are a baptized man and women, free to contact marriage, who freely express their consent. The Church holds “the exchange of consent between the spouses to be the indispensable element that ‘makes the marriage” (Catechism, 1626). If there is no true consent, there is no marriage.
A couple wishing to marry should contact their parish priest one year prior to the anticipated date of the wedding. Couples are required to engage in a marriage preparation process provided or arranged by the parish. Such preparation allows the couple to come to a deeper knowledge of each other and of the sacrament they will receive, including the reasons for its indissolubility.