Nazareth Catholic Parish

Grovedale, Torquay and Anglesea

Preparing for Marriage

Preparing for marriage is not simply making plans for the ceremony and reception. Rather good preparation includes opportunities for the couple to explore in a deeper way what they are undertaking in marriage. Such preparation also allows them to reflect on what God is calling them to be as they live out this vocation.
 
The Life Marriage and Family Office of the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne offers such an opportunities with their program:
 
 
 
Parents often offer the cost of a preparation course as an engagement gift, allowing plenty of time for the young couple to participate earlier rather than later.
 
Click here for information on dates, times costs etc. 
 

What is the Sacrament of Marriage?

Many Catholics assume that the culture's approach to a wedding and the Church's approach should be the same. Of course there are many similarities, but there are also many differences, especially when we talk about the 'Sacrament' of Marriage.
In the mind of the Church the Sacrament of Marriage is more than a simple promise - rather it is a sacred bond that  unites a man and woman as one, which invites them to respond to a specific calling that God has placed in their hearts.  It is a bond that lasts for life which is permanent, faithful, and fruitful. Marriage is not just about two people, but is the foundation of the family, the "domestic church," the most basic and foundational structure, not only for the Church, but for all of society.
 
A reflection on the symbolic nature of the wedding ring:
 

The symbol that is constantly with me is my wedding ring.  It is a sign to others that I am a married woman but as a symbol it implies much more. A circular piece of metal might ordinarily be used for joining or holding things together – as a sign of two people’s commitment this sign works.  However take it away from its usual context, make it of precious metal and wear it for no useful reason other than it looks good, and it assumes greater importance.  As a circle with no end to it my wedding ring brings to mind the ongoing love and commitment we have given to each other, that is lived daily as it is worn.  Precious metal symbolises the care we need to take of the commitment; and even yet, gold is soft and wears over time, as does any relationship that is not nurtured with care and compassion.  In the alternative for the blessing of the rings in the Rite of Marriage that we used, it is prayed:

“Lord bless these rings which we bless in your name.

Grant that those who wear them may always have a deep faith in each other’.

In and with God, we do have a deep faith in each other; not just in the human other but in the other  ‘created in the image and likeness of God who is Himself love’ (CCC1604) and through whom we experience and minister God to each other.  

The second part of that blessing stated:

‘May they do your will, and always live together, in peace goodwill and love’
 
brings to mind  my mother’s or mother-in-law’s wedding ring, now deeply imbedded in the aged skin on the finger, thin and worn, but still with enough strength and vitality (when polished up!) to see either through these last years. This too is a powerful symbol that carries with it a depth of understanding. A good marriage, built on the solid gold foundations of deep faith in God expressed thorough the love the couple share with each other, their children and their families and their church communities will stand strong in the face of any challenges a couple is presented with over the years. 

Celebrating the Sacrament of Marriage in our Parish

If you desire to be married in one of our three churches, you will need to be aware that:
  • weddings are normally celebrated on Saturdays (not Sundays) and can be no later than 3.00pm (to fit in with Mass at Anglesea).
  • you are requested to make an offering for the use of the church. This is currently set at $600 and includes an amount for the support of the Parish Priest. It is requested that a deposit of $300 be made at the time of booking the date, with the balance due three months prior to the wedding.
  • if you require the parish to provide flowers, there is an extra $100 fee for this service.
  • a first appointment needs to be arranged with Fr Linh at least 6 months prior to your anticipated wedding date.  Please Contact Us to arrange a time to meet with Fr Linh.
You will also need to provide the following documentation at this first meeting:
  • the PreNuptial Enquiry Form - please print and fill in.
  • birth certificates for both bride and groom (a passport is sufficient for those born overseas).
  • a letter of verification of baptism, for Catholics, from the Parish where they were baptised
  • and a letter of permission from their local priest if they live outside this Parish.