The Sacrament of Matrimony brings a man and a woman together in marriage. Much more than a wedding, by receiving Matrimony, a couple enters into a sacred covenant. “The marriage covenant refers to the relationship between the husband and wife, a permanent union of persons capable of knowing and loving each other and God,” writes the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. “By their marriage, the couple witnesses Christ’s spousal love for the Church.”
Because of the seriousness of the commitment of marriage and its Sacramental nature, couples enter into a period of preparation that begins at least six months before the ceremony. Preparations include setting a date, meeting with the priest or deacon, working with a sponsor couple through the Marriage Preparation process, filling out a FOCCUS inventory, and attending an Engaged Encounter Retreat.
Catholic teachings do not support same-sex unions and same-sex couples are not eligible to receive the Sacrament of Matrimony. If you wish to learn more about the Church’s teachings about marriage, please visit the Frequently Asked Questions on the Defense of Marriage by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.