Planning a wedding is both exciting and stressful. Couples getting married in the Catholic Church know that their wedding day is much more than getting the right flowers or venue, but those practical details can get in the way of a focus on the couple’s faith and trust in God’s love in the sacrament. If you’ve had your wedding planned since the fourth grade – or if you’re at a loss for where to start – this information will help answer questions you have about Catholic weddings, and give you practical ways to keep God, your faith, and love at the center of the big day.

The Catholic Church has a long history of helping couples to prepare for marriage. It has learned a great deal that can benefit any couple, regardless of religion.

Because the Catholic Church wants couples to form strong, lasting marriages, couples who wish to marry in Saint Ann Catholic Church are asked to:

  • Meet with the pastor or deacon as soon as you are engaged, by contacting the Parish Office.
  • Take at least six months to intensively prepare for your marriage. This goes beyond choosing a date and church, reserving a place for the reception, and picking out dresses. It means using this time to delve more deeply into your relationship and approach this momentous day with prayer and reflection.
  • Attend an approved marriage preparation program. There are many different formats for marriage preparation programs ranging from intensive weekends, to a weekly series, to “in home” mentor couple programs. To find what programs are available near you, please visit the Diocese of Scranton Office for Parish Life website HERE. Catholic marriage preparation programs are usually presented by a team of lay married couples and a priest or deacon. They are not restricted to Catholics, but they are always in keeping with Church teaching.
  • Take a marriage preparation inventory (FOCCUS). These are not “tests” to determine whether you can get married in the Church, but rather discussion starters to assess what issues you already agree on and what you might need to discuss further. To register for the FOCCUS inventory, please click HERE.
  • For more information on planning your Catholic wedding, please click HERE.
  • If you are seeking to convalidate your civil marriage (meaning make it a valid Catholic marriage), please click HERE.
  • More specific questions? Please contact the Parish Office.


Liturgy Planning Resources
The Rite
The Catholic Church provides three different forms of celebrating the Rite of Marriage. When two Catholics are marrying, the celebration will normally take place within a Mass. The second form, which does not include a Mass, is used when a Catholic marries another baptized Christian. A third form, also outside Mass, is usually celebrated when a Catholic marries someone who is not baptized. The second and third forms are structured around the celebration of the Liturgy of the Word.
The couple chooses one of these options based on their particular circumstances in conversation with the priest or deacon who will witness the marriage vows. When a deacon leads the liturgy, which is increasingly common, the wedding is celebrated outside of Mass even when two Catholics marry.
The Readings
The readings at a Catholic wedding liturgy are a proclamation of God’s Word and of the Church’s faith about marriage. For this reason, they are limited to readings from the scriptures (the Bible). There are nine options for the first reading from the Old Testament, thirteen options for the second reading from the New Testament and ten choices for the Gospel. You choose one from each of these categories.
You may find it helpful to reflect prayerfully on each reading and to choose those that speak to your hopes and dreams for your Christian marriage. The book, Together for Life, is given to all couples and includes the reading options in their entirety, as well as commentary to provide some context and highlight key themes in each reading.