The Marriage is a lifelong partnership of the whole of life,
of mutual and exclusive fidelity, established by mutual consent
between a man and a woman, and ordered towards the good of
thespouses and the procreation of offspring. As the Second
Vatican Council reminds us, marriage is not a purely human
institution: “the intimate partnership of life and the love which
constitutes the married state has been established by the creator
and endowed by him with its own proper laws. . . . For God himself
is the author of marriage.” Moreover, God has endowed marriage
with certain essential attributes, without which marriage cannot
exist as he intends.
The Church has taught through the ages that marriage is an
exclusive relationship between one man and one woman. This
union, once validly entered and consummated, gives rise to a
bond that cannot be dissolved by the will of the spouses. Marriage
thus created is a faithful, privileged sphere of intimacy between the
spouses that lasts until death.
Marriage is not merely a private institution, however. It is the
foundation for the family, where children learn the values and
virtues that will make good Christians as well as good citizens. The
importance of marriage for children and for the upbringing of the
next generation highlights the importance of marriage for all
society. (Marriage: Love and Life in the Divine Plan A Pastoral Letter of the United
States Conference of Catholic Bishops
Requirements For Matrimony:
Persons must possess freedom, the minimal psychological capacity to establish and nurturean intimate partnership of life,
sufficient knowledge of the nature of this partnership, and theintention to undertake it.
Complementarity: Marriage is a unique union, a relationship different from all others. It is the permanent bond between one man
and one woman, as revealed by God at birth, whose two-in-one-flesh communion of persons is an indispensable good at the
heart of every family and every society... Male-female complementarity is intrinsic to marriage. It is naturally ordered toward
authentic union and the generation of new life. (Cf. Amoris Laetitia, 52, 56, 251;USCCB Marriage Initiative:
Couples entering interchurch, interfaith, or interreligious marriages are urged to learn about their future spouse’s faith for greater
understanding, mutual respect, and family harmony. While recognizing the complexity of the profession of faith of the Catholic
party and the profession of a different faith/lack of profession of faith of the other party, the Code of Canon Law and liturgical rites
are specific about what dispensations and rites are needed.
In an interreligious marriage, the Catholic party must make a sincere promise to be faithful to the Catholic Church and raise
his or her children in the Catholic faith. (Cf. CIC, c. 1125, 1°).
The non-Catholic party is to be informed of the promise, so that he or she is aware of the promise and obligation the Catholic
party has made. (Cf. CIC, c. 1125, 2°).
A minimum of six months preparation is necessary to properly ensure the pastoral care of the couple, to prepare spiritually for
matrimony and to help them to understand and accept the blessings and demands of married life.
The couple should receive appropriate education and pastoral preparation through participation in a marriage preparation
program approved by the diocesan bishop.
It is the responsibility of the engaged couple to obtain a New York State Marriage License. The license should be received by
the priest /deacon officiating at the ceremony no later than the wedding rehearsal the day prior to the wedding. The information
below is helpful to the couple:
A couple who intends to be married in the Diocese of Rochester must apply in person to any town or city clerk in the state.
The application for a license must be signed by both applicants in the presence of the town or city clerk.
The marriage ceremony may not take place within 24 hours from the exact time that the license was issued.
A license is valid for 60 calendar days, beginning the day after it is issued
Regardless of the location of the wedding ceremony, a couple is bound to the marriage preparation policy of the diocese where
the Catholic party(ies) live(s), since that is where they have domicile.
Successful attendance at and completion of Pre-Cana is required. The certificate is to be included in the marriage file.
Administration of Fully Engaged, a premarital inventory, is a required component for marriage preparation taking place in the
Diocese of Rochester. The priest/deacon or trained pastoral staff member administers the Fully Engaged inventory tool and
schedules further sessions with the engaged couple for interpretation.
A marriage between Catholics, or between a Catholic party and a baptized non-Catholic, is to be celebrated in the parish
church.” (CIC, c. 1118, §1).
A marriage between a Catholic and a baptized non-Catholic, or between a Catholic and an unbaptized party, may be celebrated
in a church or in another suitable place with permission. (Cf. CIC, c. 1118).
The Diocesan Bishop determines “suitable places” for weddings to occur and which require his permission. (Cf. CIC, c. 1118, §
2). Confirmation ceremonies are celebrated in the fall and the spring each year throughout the Diocese of Rochester.