Sacrament of Matrimony
The Sacrament of Matrimony signifies the union of Christ and the Church. It gives spouses the
grace to love each other with the love with which Christ has loved His Church. The grace of the
Sacrament perfects the human love of the spouses, strengthens their indissoluble unity, and
sanctifies them on the way to eternal life. (CCC 1661)
For a complete copy of the marriage policies of St. Vincent de Paul Parish, please contact the
parish office. In brief, however, the following should be kept in mind:
The Common Marriage Policy for All Dioceses in the State of Missouri was written to guide and
direct marriage preparation in every catholic parish in our state. What is not covered by this
Common Policy is governed by the universal laws of the Catholic Church.
The Common Policy calls for the couple to contact the Church at least six months prior to the
proposed date for the wedding. This is no guarantee that the couple has enough time to
adequately prepare for this sacrament or to complete the following:
1. A Pre-Marriage Inventory administered by the priest to help the couple determine their
readiness for marriage.
2. Marriage Classes (Pre-Cana) which serve to instruct the couple on the spiritual,
emotional, financial, relational, child rearing, and everyday aspects of married life.
3. A required introductory class on Natural Family Planning held at a local Catholic hospital.
4. Planning the Wedding Ceremony.
One of the parties to be married must be a registered member of St. Vincent de Paul Parish or
be the son or daughter of a Parishioner.
Weddings can be planned for Friday evenings or Saturdays between 10am and 2pm (starting
Catholics marrying another Catholic are normally married at a Nuptial Mass. When a Catholic
marries a non-Catholic, the marriage takes place at a liturgy that does not include the sacrifice
of the Mass.
Catholics marrying someone other than a Catholic need to request a dispensation from the
Archbishop. Catholics promise not to abandon their faith and to see to it that children born of
their marriage will be raised in the Church.
Should a Catholic wish to marry a non-Catholic and have the wedding take place in a
non-Catholic Church, special permission (under certain circumstances) may be obtained from
the Archbishop. Please contact the pastor if you have any questions.
While weddings are permitted during Advent, Lent remains a special season of penitence in the
Catholic Church. Therefore, weddings are highly discouraged. If a couple chooses to be
married during this time, St. Vincent establishes specific regulations which include: limits on the
size of the wedding party, decorations, music etc., which should be taken into consideration
because of the special penitential nature of the season. Please refer all questions to the pastor.