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 thus perfects the human love of the spouses, strengthens their indissoluble unity, and sanctifies them on the way to eternal life. [cf. Council of Trent: DS 1799] Section 1661
A sacrament is "an outward sign, instituted by Christ, to give grace". God invites us through our traditions, our families and friends and through our faith community to live as dedicated Disciples of Christ. The Sacrament of Marriage is a witness to the community of covenant love and to the unity and abundant love of Christ for the Church. In Marriage, two unique individuals with their own special gifts come together promising to encourage each other into holiness and wholeness, to welcome children and to live out their faith commitment in the Church, with each other, in their family and in the community.
Christ’s first miracle occurred at the Wedding of Cana, denoting God as the author of marriage, thus elevating marriage to a sacrament. Marriage plays an abiding role in salvation history.
In the Latin Rite the celebration of marriage between two Catholic faithful normally takes place during Holy Mass, because of the connection of all the sacraments with the Paschal mystery of Christ. [Cf. SC 61]
In the Eucharist the memorial of the New Covenant is realized, the New Covenant in which Christ has united himself forever to the Church, his beloved bride for whom he gave himself up. [Cf. LG 6]
It is therefore fitting that the spouses should seal their consent to give themselves to each other through the offering of their own lives by uniting it to the offering of Christ for his Church made present in the Eucharistic sacrifice, and by receiving the Eucharist so that, communicating in the same Body and the same Blood of Christ, they may form but "one body" in Christ." [Cf. 1 Cor 10:17], section 1621
Believing as Church, that the Sacrament of Marriage is experienced, celebrated and conveyed by an active and present community, the family of St. John Neumann requires the following for those seeking to be married here:
- Either the bride or groom must be registered and active parishioners for six months prior to beginning preparation for the marriage. The registration may be completed in the Parish Office Monday through Friday from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM or by completing the registration form on Sunday and giving it to one of the ushers. Registration forms may be found in the church vestibule in the pamphlet rack.
- Ideally, formal marriage preparation should begin one year before the anticipated wedding date. The process of marriage preparation is threefold:
- Assessment - The Assessment process begins as the bride and groom attend the Marriage Preparation Class held on the third Tuesday of each month at 7:30 PM.
- Formation - Couples are referred to the Marriage Preparation Team for their Fully Engaged Interview.
- Preparation for the Celebration - In the final step in the process the priest will call the couple for a nuptial interview. The priest, along with the couple, will reserve the date for the Sacrament of Marriage.
- A requirement of the Archdiocese of Miami is that the couple attend "Transformed in Love" or "Camino". Details of each retreat will be furnished at the first meeting with the priest.
- The church wedding is both a religious and civil ceremony. A wedding license has to be obtained, by the couple, which has a validity of 60 days. We suggest obtaining this license approximately 30 days before the wedding date. The license can be obtained at either the Dade County Courthouse or at the South Dade Government Center.
Weddings at St. John Neumann are scheduled on Fridays at 7:00 p.m. or Saturdays at 2:00 p.m. or 7:00 p.m. Rehearsals are scheduled by consultation with the priest. No wedding dates are given or confirmed until all requirements and documentation has been completed and received, respectively. Wedding dates are arranged or confirmed by the priest, in person. The priest will set the date for the wedding with the couple during their nuptial planning sessions.