The Sacrament of Matrimony, or marriage, is a unique sacrament because it is the man and the woman that mutually administers the sacrament upon each other in the presence of a priest or deacon and other witnesses.
It is a sacred covenant, a public promise made by the husband and the wife to be true to each other until death parts them. In order for a marriage to be valid, the couple must be entering into the covenant out of their own free will, without fear or coercion. They are also asked to honour and be true to each other for the rest of their lives, as well as to accept children lovingly from God and bring them up according to the law of Christ and His Church.
Congratulations on your engagement! This is indeed an exciting time for you and your future spouse. The vocation of marriage is a beautiful calling, and we are excited that you have both decided to answer that call.
The decision to get married is one to be celebrated, but not one to be taken lightly. Beyond the planning for the wedding ceremony, the Church wants to prepare you for a lifelong journey together and ensure that you are both entering into the commitment freely and seriously. The Archdiocese of Vancouver has put together a few guidelines to prepare couples as you enter into the covenant. As a start, six months notice is typically required in order to be married in our parish. Contact the parish office and make an appointment with one of the priests.
Further, all couples to be married in the Catholic Church are required to attend Marriage Preparation courses offered by the Archdiocese. More information and the schedule for courses can be found here: http://rcav.org/m-prep/
No. Many of us will be called to holiness by entering into the sacrament of marriage, but not all Christians are called to this vocation. If you are in a serious relationship and would like to learn more about marriage preparation, please visit: http://rcav.org/m-prep/
A Catholic may marry a non-Catholic Christian or a person from another religion, but he/she would need to seek Church approval before the wedding by way of a dispensation.
A dispensation in Catholic canon law is an exemption from Church law. The authority competent to issue a dispensation is the local bishop or the Apostolic See.