Sacrament of Marriage

The intimate community of life and love which constitutes the married state has been established by the Creator and endowed by him with its own proper laws...God himself is the author of marriage. The vocation to marriage is written by the very nature of man and woman as they came from the hand of the Creator (CCC 1603).

Here at Saint Joseph, each wedding is a very personal event. A wedding is one of those rare moments in life when you gather with all those you cherish, and in doing so, express what it means to love. Consequently, your wedding ceremony is much more than the exchange of vows and the giving of rings. It is a ritual filled with music, symbols, family, friends, and the rich tradition of our faith.

Marriage Preparation

We look forward to the opportunity to work with engaged couples during this special time of preparation. We assist couples as they prepare for one of the most wonderful experiences of humanity -- celebrating love in marriage and God's presence in their lives.

Preparation for marriage must begin at least six months prior to the proposed wedding date in order to allow sufficient time for the required Pre-Marriage Program offered by the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend. This program includes the completion of important documents, in-depth sacramental formation for the couple with a priest, and planning meetings. 

Your first step in planning your wedding at Saint Joseph Church is to contact the parish. At your initial meeting with one of the priests, you will confirm your date and receive an informational packet with official documents, guidelines for marriage preparation, practical guidelines for using the church, fees, liturgy and music planning guides, and contact information. You will also outline your formation plan for your marriage preparation. Sometimes referred to as "Pre-Cana" formation, this usually consists of several meetings with a priest (typically the priest who will preside at your liturgy and/or witness the sacrament), a retreat sponsored by the diocese, and a meeting with a sponsor married couple from the parish. 

After your initial meeting, you will meet with our Director of Music and Liturgy to plan your liturgy, which includes selecting readings, music, and participants in the liturgy (such as eucharistic ministers, readers, musicians and gift-bearers). 

You will also meet with a volunteer Parish Wedding Coordinator, who will assist you in planning the logistics of your ceremony. Some examples of this planning include mapping your procession, placements of the bride, groom, parents, and wedding party, flowers, photography, seating, decorating, etc. Your coordinator will help lead your rehearsal the day before your wedding and will be at Saint Joseph Church on the day of your wedding to assist you, your families, and wedding party throughout the day.

For more information about beginning the marriage preparation process, selecting a date for your wedding, or discerning the sacrament, contact the Parish Office at 574-234-3134.

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© Saint Joseph Parish • 226 N. Hill St. • South Bend, Indiana 46617 • (574) 234-3134