Marriage, as sacrament, reflects God's intention to share the gifts of love and the joy of love with two, who, through their love, will bring the fruits of their joining to the world for the benefit of the world as well as for themselves.
The purpose of the first meeting for the priest to get to know a little bit about the couple. It is all very relaxed and conversational. He will gather information regarding your church of baptism. If it was a Catholic baptism or the person came into the church through RCIA/RCIC, please have the name and location of the church, and approximate date of baptism. Preparation for marriage requires that us to obtain a recently issued copy of your baptismal certificate from the church where you were baptized. He will also go over the process with you, give you a checklist, and witness forms. These witness forms will need to complete by someone who knows you very well and can testify to your freedom to enter the marriage and if they know of any impediments to your upcoming marriage. They must be notarized or signed in front of priest/deacon and church seal placed on it. There are two forms for the bride and two for the groom. They will need to be returned before the marriage preparation is complete.
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You will meet with a couple in their home to take the PMI and then meet a second time to discuss your results. The follow-up meeting is a facilitated discussion between you and your fiancé based on the results of the survey.
Step 3: Engaged Encounter Weekend
Couples must attend an Engaged Encounter Weekend conducted by the Diocese. This overnight weekend retreat is an opportunity to delve into the sacramental and spiritual aspects of marriage, as well as deepen your relationship with each other and God. Programs begin Friday evening and end on Sunday afternoon and usually take place at the Bethany Retreat Center in Tampa.
Step 4: Natural Family Planning Class Overview (NFP)
You will attend a one and half hour class on what NFP is, how it is practiced, and its relation to Church teachings. It takes place at St. Mark the Evangelist and can be taken anytime in the process.
Step 5: Planning the Wedding Ceremony
If you are marrying at another parish you will schedule a “Wrap Up” session to prepare your wedding file to be sent to parish you are to be marrying.