St. Helen Wedding Policy

Marriage

A covenant or partnership of life between a man and woman, which is ordered to the well-being of the spouses and to the procreation and upbringing of children. When validly contracted between two Baptized people, Marriage is a Sacrament (Matrimony).

The initial interview with the priest or deacon should be more than six months before the planned wedding in accord with the policy of the Diocese of Cleveland. This allows us adequate time for dialogue and evaluation of your readiness for marriage. It is actually best to set this appointment as soon as you are engaged. The process of marriage will be explained to you and you will be asked for basic information.

CRITERIA FOR ASSESSMENT

A. SPIRITUAL
At St. Helen's we require that at least one party is a registered parishioner in good standing. This means that they attend church weekly. This also includes the acceptance of the religious and sacramental nature of marriage. When one party is not Catholic it is usually preferred that the wedding take place outside of Mass, since the non-Catholic cannot receive Communion at the Mass. (This is an option).
B. PERSONAL
Maturity needs to be evident in several areas. These include the following: self-sufficiency, reality awareness, responsibility, selfless relationships and self-acceptance.
C. CANONICAL
Through dialogue, it must be determined that a couple is free to marry within the church and that there are no impediments of the law. In the case of a remarriage or validation of an existing union, we will be happy to assist you in taking the necessary steps to ensure compliance with the Diocesan Tribunal

NOTE: All of the items described above will be evaluated during your meetings with us and through a pre-nuptial evaluation called Prepare Enrich which is required and will be administered by our staff.

PRE-CANA PROGRAM
We require that all couples participate in a Pre-Cana program. At St. Helen's we offer several methods of pre-nuptial preparation. These are as follows:

A. Pre-Cana Day - is offered by St. Helen's and St. Edward's once each year - once in the spring. Or you may attend Pre-Cana Day at another parish.
B. Engaged Encounter Weekend - The Diocese also sponsors Engaged Encounter Weekend as an option for Marriage preparation. This is an intensive­ three- day retreat for engaged couples. It is typically held at a retreat facility or a hotel.
C. Cana II - (for those previously married). For couples who have been previously married, the Diocese offers a Cana II program to meet their special needs. This program is recommended if you are planning remarriage (or the validation of an existing union).

NATURAL FAMILY PLANNING (NFP) - We at St. Helen's offer an NFP information session. We also have classes twice a year to teach natural family planning. We strongly encourage couples to take these classes.

An NFP Information Day explaining Church teaching is held the second Sunday after Pre-Cana day and is required for couples planning to be married at St. Helen Church. Classes for NFP are taught by 2 couples from the parish. Classes are once a month for 4-6 months and usually held in spring following Pre-Cana Day.

Contact: Sue& Hank Milnark 440-543-9502 E-Mail Hank & Sue
Training: As needed.
Time Commitment: As needed.

NOTE:  Our office can provide you with information on some of the programs being offered locally. For details on what is available throughout the Diocese, please call the Marriage and Family Office at 216-696-6525. Ext. 3570.

DOCUMENTATION
In order to prepare for marriage, the following documents will be required:

A. A new record of Baptism—obtained by phoning the Church of your Baptism. This record should be issued no more than six months before the marriage.
B. Communion/Confirmation Certificates -if not indicated on the Baptismal record should be obtained from the Church where each Sacrament was received.
C. Marriage forms - will be completed by the staff member who helps plan your wedding.
D. Prepare Enrich will be administered by our staff. There are charges to process this evaluation, the expense is covered in the offering to the Church.
E. Dispensation - if required, as in a case of a mixed marriage, will be submitted to the bishop's office. The Diocese charges us to process the paperwork, the expense is covered in the offering to the Church.

Civil License - a marriage license must be obtained no more than 60 days prior to the wedding in the Ohio county of residence of either party. The license should be given to the priest/deacon no later than the rehearsal. The ceremony cannot be started until this document is presented to the priest/celebrant.

The Wedding Policy for St. Helen.