“Christians celebrate the sacrament of marriage because they know they need it! Why? They do so because they need to, for the long journey they are making together; it is a long journey, not for a brief spell but for an entire life!”Pope Fancis
The sacrament of matrimony is a sacrament of service. The married life is a special calling by the Lord. It is a call to a man and a woman, to be united for life, to be the visible sign of God’s love in the world through married love. The mission of marriage is to serve one another and help one another grow in holiness. The married couple cooperates with God who creates new souls by bringing children into the world. The couple serves their children by teaching them the faith and helping them grow in holiness. The grace of the sacrament helps couples to be faithful to their mission, and to be a fruitful and generous team in their service to the Kingdom of God.
Preparation for the Sacrament of Matrimony is offered to registered members of St. Ignatius Parish and those preparing to enter the Catholic Church through our RCIA program. Special cases may be considered with approval of the pastor.
Catholics are encouraged to join and actively support their local parish church. We hope that you find a home at St. Ignatius Parish. If you currently attend another Catholic Church, we ask that you contact your local parish for marriage preparation.
- Basic Requirements
- Preliminary Prep
- Marriage Preparation Requirements
- Necessary Documents
- The Marriage Ceremony
- The Catholic Church affords the Sacrament of Marriage the seriousness it deserves. The Archdiocese requires that you begin to prepare for the sacrament at least eight months prior to your wedding. Your first steps should be to reserve the church for your wedding and for your rehearsal. Then you should invite a priest to witness your union. Please do not assume that one of the priests here at St. Ignatius will be able to preside at your wedding. If you wish, you may invite a visiting priest to preside. If he is from another diocese he must provide proof that he is a priest in good standing. Only after you have reserved the church and engaged a priest should you begin to plan for your reception. For scheduling, please call Kathy Murzyn at 303.322.8042. Please note that St. Ignatius can schedule weddings for Saturdays only. No wedding may be scheduled after 2:00 p.m.
- St. Ignatius offers Marriage Preparation to active St. Ignatius parishioners who have been registered here at St. Ignatius for at least six months but who intend to marry in another diocese (in or out of state).
- We are pleased to be able to offer our beautiful church to Catholic couples from other parishes, provided they are registered at their home parish and can obtain a letter of good standing from their home pastor. Such couples are expected to find their own presiders and should complete their Marriage Preparation elsewhere. Please note that in case of scheduling conflicts St. Ignatius parishioners come first.
- If either party has been previously married in a Catholic ceremony, that marriage must be annulled before a date can be set for the wedding.
- To begin the process of getting married at St. Ignatius Catholic Church, please contact the parish office. You will be able to set up a meeting to go over the requirements for marriage prep and the rules and expectations.
- For details about cost and deposit, please contact the parish office.
- Couples should explore the Archdiocese of Denver’s website to understand Marriage Preparation Requirements. In the Archdiocese of Denver, couples are required to take a Marriage Prep Class and a Natural Family Planning Class. Additionally, the couple’s parish will help them take the FOCCUS questionnaire and assign them mentors.
- For Couples who live outside the Archdiocese of Denver, they will go through Marriage Preparation in their home Diocese.
- Couples are encouraged to bring their own priest to celebrate their wedding.
- Once you have begun the marriage preparation process please do not procrastinate, as due dates can sneak up on you – and cannot be adjusted. Although we are happy to help you, you are responsible for making sure that all the requirements have been met.
Normally, preparation for marriage in the Denver Archdiocese includes:
1. FOCCUS Inventory
The FOCCUS Inventory is a communication tool that provides you with a personalized profile of your relationship. Your FOCCUS inventory session will be set up at the initial meeting and, upon completion, you will meet with Father or Deacon to review your results. These sessions aim to facilitate communication between you and your future spouse.
2. Marriage Formation Program
Various programs are available within the Archdiocese, all of which focus on the theology of Catholic marriage as well as important life skills. At the initial meeting you’ll receive information on the programs available to help you select the program that best fits your needs.
3. Natural Family Planning (NFP) Instruction
Christian marriage is open to life. NFP respects the love-giving and life-giving aspects of marriage, and enriches the bond between husband and wife. This instruction gives couples a natural approach to understanding the woman’s cycles of fertility and infertility. You will receive a list of available classes at the initial meeting.
Follow up meetings with Father or Deacon will check in with you to see how the preparation process is coming along. The necessary paperwork will be completed and placed in your file. You will start to plan your wedding liturgy.
Final preparation in the month before the wedding will involve obtaining your marriage license. You will also go to Confession in preparation for receiving the sacrament of matrimony. This is a beautiful and important step of spiritually preparing to invite Christ into your married life.
- For Catholic(s), a current copy of each individual’s baptismal certificate (issued within 6 months of the wedding date) from the parish of baptism. Non-Catholics are asked to try and obtain a copy of their baptismal certificate or baptismal record.
- Pre-nuptial investigation form filled out with the priest or deacon (MA Form in the Archdiocese of Denver).
- Witness Testimony form signed by a witness and a priest (MB Form in the Archdiocese of Denver).
- Marriage License – The State of Colorado requires a Marriage License, which is valid only for thirty days. The wedding cannot be performed without a license. The license must be given to the wedding coordinator at the rehearsal.
- Any necessary Permissions or Dispensations.
- A Nuptial Mass is the usual form for the celebration of the Sacrament of Matrimony between two Catholics.
- A marriage between a Catholic and a baptized Christian is usually celebrated outside of Mass, but may choose to have a Mass celebrated.
- A marriage between a Catholic and an unbaptized person is always celebrated outside of Mass.
- When meeting with the priest or deacon who will be witnessing your marriage, you should discuss the readings and any other questions regarding your ceremony. You should provide the celebrant with the selection form at the final meeting before the rehearsal.
Weddings at St. Ignatius
St. Ignatius welcomes couples who would like to begin their marriage journey in our beautiful, historic church.
Weddings take place on Saturdays. The latest start time for a ceremony is 2:00 p.m..
For more information and church availability, please contact the parish office.
Frequently Asked Questions
A Catholic must have completed the sacraments of initiation – Baptism, Holy Communion and Confirmation. Certificates documenting reception of these sacraments will be collected as part of the paperwork requirements. If you are in need of these sacraments, arrangements to receive them will be made as part of the preparatory process. If you are already married civilly, the other sacraments will be delayed until the marriage has been convalidated (see below).
Couples already married by a judge or by common law may receive the sacrament of matrimony. The Church calls this “convalidation”. A convalidation is usually a very simple ceremony celebrated in the presence of a few friends and family. The preparatory requirements for convalidation may be different and are determined on a case by case basis.
Individuals seeking the sacrament of marriage who have been previously married and divorced are required to go through a process called “annulment”. If applicable, Father or Deacon will review the requirements for this at the initial meeting with the couple.
Yes, with special permission. This will be discussed during the preparatory meetings.
Yes, with a special dispensation. This is also discussed during the preparatory meetings.