Catholics believe that marriage comes as a gift from the hand of God. The Catholic vision of marriage is rooted in Sacred Scripture and is expressed in the teachings and practices of the Church. It has these main elements:
Marriage unites a couple in faithful and mutual love;
Marriage opens a couple to giving life;
Marriage is a way to respond to God’s call to holiness
Marriage calls the couple to be a sign of Christ’s love in the world.
This sacrament celebrates and witnesses the covenant of love between two people and symbolizes in that union Christ’s covenant of love for the Church. It is a liturgical celebration, held in a public liturgy at church, where a baptized man and woman freely express their consent to marry in front of a priest and two witnesses, and an assembly. A Catholic must seek permission to marry a baptized non-Catholic either in a Catholic Church or a non-Catholic Church. An inter-faith marriage between a Catholic and a non-baptized person necessitates a dispensation; while it is not a sacramental marriage, it is valid.
At least six months prior to the wedding, couples should make an appointment to discuss their marriage plans and the pre-marriage preparation that is required by the Diocese of Richmond. If either of the parties has been married before, an investigation will take place into whether or not the previously married party is free to marry in the Catholic Church. It is essential that this matter be resolved prior to setting the date of the marriage ceremony. For more information or to make an appointment, please contact the parish office. Please contact Shaylyn Baker to begin the Marriage Preparation Process at firstname.lastname@example.org or 757-484-7335. Please note that due to the immense demands of time needed in preparation for Christmas and Easter in the Cluster, marriages are not celebrated within the three weeks prior to either.