Celebrating the Sacrament of Marriage
- Information on the Sacramental Preparation of
- Practical Expectations and Information
- Diocesan Programs for all couples preparing
- Celebrating Your Non Catholic
Marriage in the Church
- Getting Married when it's Not
the First Time
A - Marriage Information Sheet
- Appendix B - Required Documents
- Appendix C - Placer Co. License
Information on the Sacramental Preparation of
Marriage Licence Information
The Sacrament of Marriage
is the expression of faith and love which witnesses Christ in
lasting fidelity, mutual charity, and the openness to the blessings
of a family. May you always find your relationship blest in
God and God's people, so you will come to know what you now
only sign: God's kingdom of eternal life, eternal love.
Congratulations! As Catholics, because of what marriage means to
us, we are so blessed in your decision to approach our parish to celebrate
your wedding. For in being married in our faith, you are, as a couple,
literally and figuratively offering yourselves as a sign of Our Lord
to be true to you in good times and in bad, in sickness and
in health. I will love you and honor you all the days of my
In order to help you celebrate a wedding day that is the fulfillment
of your hopes and dreams, and inspire you to live a life of faith
and joy, this information packet is offered to guide and challenge
you to consider the many things which are involved in celebrating
the most important commitment of your life—one which has irrevocable
consequences in your life, the lives of your children, and your Church.
A marriage preparation program has as its goal the formation, development,
and enrichment, of the faith of the couple with the community (the
People of God, the Body of Christ). Ideally, then, you should be active
in the practice of your faith, and are marrying in the community where
you pray, or, alternatively, you are willing to be challenged about
practicing in the faith you want to witness and explore becoming a
practicing Catholic. As well, if you are practicing your faith in
another parish, you should approach the local parish for marriage
preparation and discuss when and where the sacrament ought to be celebrated.
The formation process for this sacrament begins when you approach
one of the parish priests or deacons, someone you choose who will
share the worship experience of your wedding. This is why going to
Mass is so critical—in living the faith, praying and being present
to the community, there builds a relationship between you and the
ordained minister you see Sunday after Sunday. In this way, there
is a relationship, a meaningful connection, between who you are as
faithful Catholics, your history of Catholic practice, the wedding
day itself, and your future worship as a married couple. This sacramental
preparation will be considerate of the individual needs of a couple,
and yet faithful to the guidelines and expectations of the larger
church community. For example, the Bishop of Sacramento has certain
minimum catechetical requirements. These include participation in
a Pre-Cana Conference, or an Evenings for the Engaged parochial program,
or a weekend Engaged Encounter. There is a communication/stress assessment
tool, and time to reflect sincerely on our faith. Furthermore, just
as you took time in discernment of who you wanted to marry, there
should be a similar investment in how, why, and where, you marry.
This is why there is a minimum period of preparation (of at least
six months) to afford ample time for an honest reflection on all of
these issues, and to build a relationship between the couple and their
These expectations aside, your formation is your obligation. As
the engaged couple, you will, together with the priest or deacon,
explore the meaning of faith, and how best to express (to witness)
your decision to live a life-long commitment of love in the faith.
Practical Expectations and Information
"The day humankind
can understand the power of love, to transform their lives,
and become the people of God we were created to be, imagine
the honor of being the sacrament of the Lord Jesus Christ to
a world that knows Him not.....
"Someday, after mastering
the winds, the waves, the tides, and gravity, we shall harness
for God the energies of love. And then, for the second time
in the history of the world, man will have discovered fire!
Oh, then, for the second time in history, humankind will have
Teilhard de Chardin, S.J.
"What times may we get married?"
The celebrations of the Sacrament of Marriage may be scheduled on
any day but Sunday. Furthermore, if celebrated on Saturday, the times
reserved for these celebrations are: 10am, Noon, 2pm, and 7pm. Please
note all dates and times need to be confirmed with the parish office
staff responsible for scheduling all parish facilities. In order to
be respectful of other couples, who may want to reserve the same date
and time as yours, please make a non-refundable deposit of $100 when
you commit to a date and time, and submit at that time the completed
information sheet which is attached to this packet (Appendix A).
Rehearsals may be scheduled sometime in the future. In consideration
of the joy and obligation to be hospitable to your visiting family
and friends, and still afford yourself the time to enjoy the whole
experience of your wedding time, it is highly suggested rehearsals
be scheduled two days before the date of the wedding (e.g., Thursday
for a Saturday wedding). In this way, you may enjoy the warmth and
joy of your family at the rehearsal dinner, and yet not be preoccupied
with the many "to-do-items" before the wedding since you
would still have a day to prepare for the wedding itself. This is
why we invite to wait until the wedding is closer, so you may learn
when those you will invite to the rehearsal plan to arrive into the
area. Please note, as with the wedding, all rehearsals must be scheduled
with the parish staff responsible for parish facilities.
"Is there any paperwork?"
There are at least three different required documents which will
be collected during the period of preparation: baptismal certificates
for all baptized persons (most especially for the Catholic party);
the statement of intentions and freedom to marry for each party; and
a similar affirmation for each party from their parents, or siblings,
or long-term friends. The purpose is to document the intentions of
the couple to celebrate a faithful/sacramental marriage, with the
freedom to do so; and assert that the witness of faith and love of
the couple is affirmed by the community—best expressed by the
people who have the most intimate history of the couple. These documents
for the celebration of the Sacrament of Marriage are to be collected
by the priest/deacon who is preparing you for marriage. These Documents
should be received in the parish no later than two (2) months prior
to the celebration of marriage. (See Appendix B.)
"May we have a visiting or retired priest or deacon
Visiting clergy are always welcome. At the time of your reservation
of a date and time for your wedding, please have a letter of introduction
from the visiting clergy which would indicate his confirmation of
his intent to celebrate the sacrament with you. This letter would
identify the name, address, and telephone number of the priest or
deacon, and enumerate the preparation process he will share with you.
If he intends only to celebrate the wedding, and wants our parish
to provide the marriage preparation, this letter ought to affirm this
as well—in which case, you need to approach one of our parish
priests or deacons to conduct such preparation. Lastly, these ministers
must contact the priests of our parish at least two (2) months before
the planned ceremony to assure the necessary preparation and paperwork
have been completed, and to receive the appropriate delegation to
celebrate this sacrament in our parish.
"Is there any ‘cost' or ‘fee' to celebrate
You have taught me, O Lord,
from my youth, and I shall proclaim Your wondrous works all
the days of my life...
No other question is asked more frequently, and yet it is so difficult
to answer. Firstly, your sacrament of marriage is a gift to the community,
because it is assumed you are members of the parish, who support the
ministry and needs of the community (which is to say you are engaged
in stewardship, making contributions of your time, your talents, and
your treasure, all so our Church will be all that She can be). Thus,
it is our honor and joy to share the "wealth" of our family,
such as the church building itself, and the expenses to maintain it
(such as, its maintenance and repair; heating or cooling; lights and
utility costs; insurance; etc., etc.). And since your wedding is a
sacrament, we would never want to "charge" for the prayer
(that is, make you pay for the wedding), as if our parish church was
a wedding chapel, a building "used" for a wedding.
All of this being said, you are challenged to consider all of the
expenses you will incur in this celebration (such as, the invitation
expenses, rehearsal dinner, photography, music at the reception, the
reception catering and hall rentals, thank-you correspondence, etc.,
etc.). Many parishes ask couples for a donation of a specific amount
(a "suggested" amount of $500, $750, $1,000, etc.) precisely
because of the large expenses couples incur. These suggested amounts
are an effort to have the couple prioritize the needs and mission
of their parish in their determination of their wedding budgets. On
the other hand, some parishes identify no amount; and sadly, these
parishes often have received nothing, or such small donations that
the expenses of the wedding itself are not covered by their gift.
For our parish, St. Teresa of Avila, we are trusting on the graciousness
and generosity of our parishioners. We invite you to make a donation
that is in proportion to all of the other expenses of the wedding
(10%, 5%, etc.), and in doing so, you are expressing your thanksgiving
for the investment of time and consideration given to the preparation
of your marriage, and it ought to be a sign of your generosity in
assisting the parish to serve all of God's People.
Whatever is your gift, please know that this donation is for the
parish, and not for the minister who assists in your wedding. It is
one of the primary sources of income for our parish, so we hope and
pray you will be generous — and not just on your wedding day,
but as part of your overall regular stewardship, etc. Furthermore,
it is suggested that you make your donation at the time of rehearsal,
avoiding the busy activity of your wedding day.
"May I have flowers, candles, runners, etc.? What
are the ‘Rules?'"
We ask you to treat the parish property as your property—as part
of our family. Thus, the use of anything which may damage, deface, disfigure
pews, pulpit/lectern, or any part or fixture of the church, is profoundly
disrespectful (such as using tacks, staples, tape, etc.). In addition,
flower arches and strewing of flower petals will discolor and damage
our carpets, and constitute a hazard for our guests.
Floral decorations ought not obstruct any aisle or pews, for this
constitutes a hazard in case of fire or other emergency. Our liability
insurance and local fire ordinances prohibit such impediments.
The flowers may be placed in the Church consistent with the liturgical
principles of our worship. Please discuss these with the minister who
will celebrate your wedding.
Due to the possibility of people tripping on them, and since our aisles
are carpeted, please do not employ the use of a runner.
A unity candle, which signs your unity of life, love and faith, may
be used. (We recommend you purchase a large candle which will last for
scores of years, so it may be placed on your family dinner table on
the occasions of significant family events—e.g., your wedding
anniversary, birth of your children, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter,
death of your parents, etc., reminding you, and all, of your faith on
your wedding day.) However, consistent with the aforementioned liturgical
principles, the unity candle ought not be placed on the altar. It ought
to be placed on a table which itself may be near the altar.
For reasons which we hope and pray are obvious, please—no throwing
of rice, confetti, bird seed, etc. Consider a release of birds and balloons
if you and your minister elect to celebrate the conclusion of your prayer
with such signs.
"What about photography? There must be guidelines..."
You are reminded that the wedding is a time of sacred worship and warrants
the respect of all participants. The use of photography, while an important
aspect of our celebrations, must not detract from the reverence and
meaning of your prayer. Please observe these guidelines in the use of
Photography may be taken up to one (1) hour prior to the wedding,
so you may be immediately available to your guests after your sacrament.
During the celebration, photographers are asked not to come into the
altar area, and please do not use a flash.
Consider the use of video cameras, without the use of artificial light.
Thirty (30) minutes are allotted after the celebration for pictures.
"May we have any kind of music, played on any instrument?"
In our faith, music is a ministry. Accordingly, at any sacrament, we
ask that "live" music be used in the celebration—employing
the gifts of musicians, cantors, and choirs. In fact, the more involved
the music in your prayer, the more you create a wonderful experience
which will highlight and accent the celebration. Available, upon your
request, are a variety of highly recommended instrumentalists and vocalists,
all of which are sure to add a unique musical appeal to your wedding
celebration. The music ministers of our parish serve you, and are compensated
by the parish (which is another reason for you to be as generous as
possible in gifting your parish when making an offering). Others whom
you invite to participate in your wedding are to be compensated by you
at rates you negotiate with them.
Please call us if you have any questions!
We are here to serve you!
Parish Office: 530-889-2254
Contracted and Non-contracted Assistants at Wedding
Please be aware that some photographers conduct themselves
in a manner that is inconsistent with our focus of the wedding as
a prayer. This may be manifested by the intrusive way photos are taken
during the sacrament, which is particularly presumptive when one considers
that virtually every photograph taken may be done at a time prior
or subsequent to the prayer. As has been our proposal throughout these
wedding protocols, we are inviting, and requiring, that all people
involved in your wedding be respectful of the sacred nature of your
prayer, the grace of this time as you enter a new mode of living.
With respect to when the photography itself should be done, it is
the height of inconsideration for your post-celebration photography
to be prolonged. Most sadly, after the experience of a beautiful and
loving celebration, the congregation is often treated to twenty, thirty,
or even forty-five minutes of waiting time (or longer!), all so the
wedding party and family may take pictures—pictures which virtually
all of the guests know could have been taken before the wedding itself.
Please consider the benefit and graciousness of taking photos before
the wedding, so that as much as possible, when the sacrament is concluded,
you may process from the place of prayer to the place of social acceptance
and thanks, and from there, ultimately process to your own place of
intimacy as you rejoice in the unity you have created!
The use of flowers always enhances the beauty and grace
of a wedding. In fact, it is one of the first things appreciated as
one comes into the church. While the flowers add so much to the experience
of the wedding, florists truly are often focused on their needs and
not the concerns of the church. For example, it has been the sad experience
of parishes that florists, as well as friends and family helping,
use staples, glue, and other items which damage wood, all as a means
to display the flowers. Please ensure that the florist is respectful
of the worship space, which is truly for you as part of our parish.
Programs for all couples preparing for Marriage
||Sacramento Catholic Engaged Encounter
offers weekend retreats for Catholics preparing for the Sacrament
of Marriage http://www.sacee.org
Diocese of Sacramento Pre-Cana
Catholic Faith Formation
Sacramento, CA 95818
Pre-Cana Conferences are held on 10 Sundays a year from 8:30
AM to 5:30 PM at the Pastoral Center in Sacramento.
Celebrating Your Non Catholic
Marriage in the Church
You are invited to contact the parish office, and ask to speak with
the priest or deacon of your choice.
The information below is offered for your reflection...
“ Getting Married in the Church” ---- “Having
our marriage blessed” ---- “Convalidation or Re-Validation”
---- “Blessing the Marriage”
From the Office of Family Life, Archdiocese of Chicago
There are many phrases to describe the gift of a married couple in
celebrating their marriage as a “sacrament.” Most often,
couples and families call it “getting their marriage blessed.”
Most commonly, a couple has entered into a civil union, or a non-Catholic
religious celebration of marriage, and they now wish to exchange consent
in the Church. The Catholic Church does not recognize their prior
exchange of consent as a sacrament, for a variety of reasons, but
of course, the Church appreciates and values the commitment they have
made to each other, and the moral responsibilities which flow from
With this view in mind, the Church see the couple as exchanging consent
as a sacrament for the first time, and therefore all of the expectations
for entering the Sacrament of Marriage must be fulfilled. The couple
must exchange their consent anew (with the new understanding of what
the Church appreciates and believes about the sacrament of their marriage),
and therefore, the celebration is not simply a renewal of the consent
previously given. The couple must have the proper knowledge, intention,
and capacity to celebrate the sacrament, which is not established
just because they have been living a married life.
For those raised in the Catholic Church, there may be an understanding
that their “real” marriage is the one that takes place
in the Church. For non-Catholics (whose churches require no particular
form for marriage), the requirement for a new act of consent may not
be obvious. In either case, the pastoral minister (priest, deacon
or minister) should explain this in detail.
If the other party does not see a need to give their consent again,
and is adamant that their former consent was good enough, there are
pastoral responses to these situations. (Please discuss them with
your pastoral minister.)
Just like with any marriage, the couple must have the proper capacity,
knowledge, and intention for entering into marriage. They also must
be giving their consent freely. The fact that they have been living
together for a period of time does not necessarily mean that they
understand what Christian marriage is or that they are freely choosing
it. Once their marriage takes place in the Church, they will have
a new relationship with the Christian community, for which new responsibilities
are assumed. This is what is explored in depth in their relationship,
precisely because the couple are bound to each other in a different
way. This is why the preparation process for this sacrament is most
Some areas the couple may explore:
• What were the events leading up to their marriage outside
• What contributed to their decision not to marry in the Church,
but to marry elsewhere?
• How would they describe their marriage up to this point?
Have there been any major arguments or break-ups? Were there any instances
of infidelity? Were there any instances of physical abuse or substance
• If they have children, how would they describe themselves
and how would they describe each other as parents?
• If they already have children, are they being raised in the
• If they already have children, you will also need to explore
issues regarding an intention against having more children. When couples
convalidate their marriage, they must have the same intention as any
other couple entering into marriage; that is, to enter into a faithful,
fruitful, abiding relationship.
• Explore the issues of permanence, since this will be a commitment
to a permanent relationship. Their marriage outside the Church was
not necessarily a commitment to a permanent relationship, since the
state gives both parties the right to end the marriage at any time,
and they may have had that in mind when they married.
• What made them decide to enter into marriage in the Church?
Were there any external factors present in their decision, such as
parental pressure, the birth of a child, problems in the relationship
that they believe “God’s blessing” will cure, etc.?
• What do they think will be different about their relationship
after their Church marriage?
Getting Married when
it's not the first time
Annulment of Marriage in the Diocese of Sacramento
THE TRIBUNAL DIOCESE OF SACRAMENTO INTRODUCTION
What the Catholic Church Assumes Marriage to Be
While the Church does not offer an exhaustive definition of marriage,
it does provide us with a clear description of this unique and most
critical of relationships. This description is drawn from the Second
Vatical Council as reflected in the Code of Canon Law:
“ The matrimonial covenant by which a man and a woman establish
between themselves a partnership of the whole of life, is by nature
ordered toward the good of the spouses and the procreation and education
Thus, a marriage is firstly a covenant, brought into being by the
consent of both parties. This consent, once given by the spouses,
creates the covenant with God, and is presumed, by the Church in law
and in Her practice, to exist in every marriage until the contrary
can be established before a church tribunal. This presumption is grounded
in our understanding of how God communicates the Truth to us —
from our Tradition and the Scripture.
DIVORCED – What Do You Think It Means?
Having separated, and then having concluded a legal process, the marriage
in our society is presumed to have ended (died). For many, this “frees”
them to consider forming a relationship with another which may be
expressed maritally in the future. The Catholic Church is unable to
participate in confirming this decision precisely because, to do so,
would be to contradict the promises and prayers which were made in
the prior marriage. We ask the divorced person to begin a spiritual
and faithful reflection on the meaning of the prior marriage, with
what intent and capacity was that marriage entered into, with the
knowledge, and hopefully the experience, the Church is always present
and supportive of such a reflection.
When someone forms a moral certainty that his or her prior marriage
was not a covenant “joined by God,” which ought to be
the fruit of prayer and a comprehensive reflection process, it is
our hope this person will petition the Church for an annulment. This
petition asks the Church “court” to evaluate if there
is objective evidence to support the internal conviction formed, in
other words, the Church is asked to confirm publically this conscience
choice. This is done through an investigation of the “canonical”
validity of a particular marriage (Catholic or non-Catholic). This
is why we use the term “ court,” where the subject at
issue is the sacramentality of the marriage, considering whether or
not there is information available to invalidate the divine obligations
of the marriage entered into. To do so, the analysis follows certain
rules and procedures, which ensures that all marriages enjoy the presumption
of being holy, and permanent, unto the death of one of the spouses.
This analysis of the conscience of the Christian may only begin after
a civil divorce has been obtained, thus confirming the termination
of the marriage relationship, and that “all matters of this
earth” regarding the marriage have been resolved (i.e., custody
of children, disposition of property, etc.).
Sounds Harsh, But It Affirms Our Teaching From God The Tribunal of
the Diocese of Sacramento is the office designated to investigate
marriages that fall within its competence, i.e. the marriage was contracted
in the diocese, or where one of the spouses legally resides.
An “annulment” is a declaration by the competent ecclesiastical
Tribunal that a particular marriage was canonically invalid from its
beginning (not a sacrament). Or, in other words, that there were conditions,
intentions, and capacities, which make the presumption of the covenant
in marriage as not true. This declaration does not deny that an interpersonal
relationship existed, that a legal marriage was contracted, nor does
it imply that the marriage was entered into with ill will or through
moral fault. The same may be said for the divorce of marriage. Likewise,
an annulment has no civil effects and does not render any children
born of the relationship illegitimate. It is simply, and yet profoundly,
a declaration that the marriage was not a sacrament, which is an action
of the Church (affirming by its law and practice) the conscience of
one of the marital parties that he or she believes he or she is free
to celebrate the sacrament of marriage.
INITIAL INTERVIEW AND PRELIMINARY PHASES–The Petitioner
Those who wish to initiate a petition for an annulment should call
upon their local parish, or the Tribunal, to ask for a set of directions.
At that time you will be told what documents must be procured and
what statements prepared. When you have collected all the required
papers, an appointment will be arranged to help you identify some
possible grounds for the annulment and to explain the rest of the
It is important for you to understand that the word of the parties
alone is not adequate to prove that the marriage is null. While the
word of either or both parties is vital in an effort to respect the
conscience of the Christian, an annulment is a public recognition
of that conscience. Accordingly, the judgment of the petitioning party
must be supported by evidence. For this reason, the petitioner will
be asked to provide the names and addresses of witnesses (family members,
friends) who will be willing to provide testimony as to what they
know regarding the intentions, wills, and conduct of the two parties
in the marriage. The Church holds that certain conditions must be
present at the time one contracts marriage; in other words, for the
marriage to be considered canonically (by law) and ecclesiastically
valid (in other words, for a sacrament to have been celebrated). In
these preliminary steps, the Church is trying to identify any condition
that may not have been present; and if not, what is the strength of
the evidence to support the presumption that this marriage was not
If grounds for the annulment are based in any way on psychological
factors, the petitioner may be required to have one interview with
a psychologist or psychiatrist. The purpose is to examine what effects
such underlying psychological factors may have had on the parties
at the time of the wedding.
Asking the Church to Consider the Question From the above information,
it can be determined whether or not there appears to be a basis for
a FORMAL HEARING. When there seems to be some basis for an annulment,
a PETITION will be drawn up in your name to be submitted to this Tribunal.
The presentation of your petition is not a guarantee of an affirmative
decision by the Tribunal. The outcome will depend on what develops
during the FORMAL HEARING.
THE FORMAL HEARING
An Objective, Impersonal, Deliberation The Tribunal is composed of:
a Judge or Judges, a Defender of the Bond, a Notary (who records or
transcribes testimony), an Advocate (for your former spouse). At a
prescribed date and time, you may be asked to appear and give formal
sworn testimony. Your witnesses will have also been asked to submit
in writing their statements, or invited to appear and testify. Every
witness, as well as the parties, will be contacted by the Judge. Throughout
this process CONFIDENTIALITY is protected.
While the process is done to learn in a public forum whether the internal
conviction of one of the parties can be affirmed, the formal hearing
is not public. There is no confrontation of the parties or witnesses
as in American law. The process is meant to verify the conditions
that existed at the time the marriage was contracted through a deliberative
exchange of views and insights.
Does the Church Know What You Know? When all the available testimony
has been gathered, the Judge(s), after studying the testimony and
the briefs of the Advocate, and of the Defender of the Bond, will
reach a decision. If a negative decision is reached, which means that
the gathered evidence does not support a moral certainty what the
conscience of the petitioner believes, the parties will be informed
of their right to appeal. If an affirmative decision is reached, which
means the Church holds “with a moral certainty” that there
was no bond “created by God,” the parties are also so
informed. Church law requires that each case be reviewed by another
Tribunal, to ensure that the laws of the Church were followed (ensuring
that no undue, inappropriate, influence effected the decision). The
decision is therefore referred to the Inter-Diocesan Tribunal (in
the case of the Diocese of Sacramento, the decision is reviewed by
the Archdiocese of San Francisco) before a final decision is given.
LENGTH OF TIME
Why So Long? The amount of time it takes to process a case depends
upon many factors:
The cooperation in writing the preliminary statement and the cooperation
of the witnesses in submitting their statements.
The cooperation of the former spouse, the respondent.
The required court procedures needed to adjudicate the case, including
the appearances of parties and witnesses.
The number of cases pending on the Tribunal calendar.
The provision of the Church's law that requires all formal cases to
be reviewed by a forum of three judges after an affirmative decision
has been reached. It is impossible to give an exact time, but past
experience indicates that an entire procedure lasts between eighteen
months and two years depending upon the nature of the case. Many cases
because of the abovementioned factors, cannot be resolved even in
this time. Under no circumstance should a Church wedding be planned
until a favorable decision is rendered.
Why Does It Cost At All? More than half of the cost incurred in processing
an annulment is supplied by the Diocese of Sacramento. Those seeking
an annulment are asked to pay a portion of these expenses. The actual
amount always depends on the type of case. At this time, a fee of
$450 is requested for a FORMAL HEARING, a portion ($100) is received
when a PETITION is submitted and the balance is paid in a manner determined
by the Tribunal and the petitioner.
Inability on the part of the Petitioner to pay the entire fee, or
even a portion of the fee, has absolutely no bearing on the final
decision. If the petitioner cannot pay, a letter from the priest,
deacon, or pastoral minister will normally suffice to have the Tribunal
to reduce or cancel the amount of costs. A person is never turned
away from this Tribunal because of lack of money.
Required Documents for Marriage at
St. Teresa of Avila Parish
Baptismal Certificates: Issued from the church of Baptism not more
than 6 months prior to the date of the proposed marriage. (Required
for Catholics; requested of the baptized non-Catholic)
Pre-Nuptial Investigation Form, also called the "Form A"
(one each for Bride/Bridegroom): completed by the minister of your
Pre-Nuptial Witness Testimony Form, also called the "Form
B" (one each for the Bride/Bridegroom): completed by the minister
of your sacrament.
A letter of introduction from any visiting clergy whom you have
invited to celebrate your wedding. This letter will confirm his
intent to celebrate the sacrament with you, identifying his name,
address, and telephone number. The letter will enumerate the preparation
process he will share with you. And if he intends only to celebrate
the wedding, and wants our parish to provide the marriage preparation,
this letter ought to note this as well.
Permission of a Catholic party's proper pastor, if the marriage
is celebrated in a parish that is not where he or she celebrates
their faith (i.e., where they go to Sunday Mass).
Permission from the Catholic party's bishop, if marrying a baptized
non-Catholic. This permission comes by a letter (called a "rescript")
after the bishop is assured the differences in Christian traditions
have been discussed, are not a source of conflict between the couple,
and that there is agreement how the children will be reared.
A dispensation is received from the Catholic party's bishop, if
marrying a non-baptized person. This dispensation comes by a letter
(called a "rescript") when the bishop affirms the decision
of the Catholic to marry someone who does not believe in the life,
death, resurrection of Jesus Christ, Our Lord and Savior, so as
to support the Catholic. Furthermore, the bishop is relieving the
Catholic party from his or her obligation to marry as Catholics
marry. This happens after the bishop is assured the religious differences
between the couple have been discussed, are not a source of conflict,
and that there is agreement how the children will be reared.
- Certificate of participation in a Catholic Church approved marriage
preparation program: e.g., Engaged Encounter, Evenings for the Engaged,
I. Contact a priest or deacon of your choice immediately so that
the marriage preparation may commence.
All required documents are to be collected by the priest/deacon
who will celebrate the wedding.
Once collected, they are to be filed with the parish office staff
of our parish, St. Teresa of Avila.
Documents are to be forwarded through the Chancery Office of the
Diocese in which they are collected (if other that the Diocese of
Sacramento). Documents not so sent and approved by the Chancery
Office of the diocese in which they were completed will not be accepted.
II. Required documents must be received in the parish no later than
two months prior to the proposed marriage date.
III. Until the required documents are received by our parish, any
scheduling, as to date, time, or place of a proposed marriage, is
tentative and conditional on their being received on time.
IV. It is the responsibility of the parties of the proposed marriage
to ensure the required Documents are received in the parish.
V. A civil marriage license, valid in the State of California, must
be presented to the officiating bishop, priest or deacon at least
by the time of the rehearsal, including full names and residential
addresses for your witnesses.
VI. Catholic Rite Marriages (i.e., marriages officiated by a Catholic
bishop, priest, or deacon) will be celebrated according to the official
Catholic Marriage Rite. For example, Non-Scripture readings are not
Appendix C - Placer County License Info
Placer County Marriage License Information
2954 Richardson Drive
(Placer County Administration, in the DeWitt Center Complex)
Auburn - California 95603
ph. (530) 886-5610
Hours – 8am until 5pm – Monday through Friday
Marriage License Information
The State of California issues two types of marriage licenses: a regular
and a confidential license. Each license must be used within ninety
days from the date when it was prepared. It only becomes valid when
a marriage ceremony is performed within that 90-day period, and the
license is signed, witnessed, and returned to the county which issued
the license. A couple who intends to marry may go in person to any
county recorderís office.
A comprehensive list of all counties may be found a: www.csac.counties.org/counties_close_up/county_web/index.html
Please bring a valid picture identification and $56 for the license
fee (in cash). The couple must also be prepared to provide the full
birth names of their parents, as well as the state or country of birth
for each of their parents. (If either party had been previously married,
he or she will also be asked to provide the date of the most recent
dissolution of marriage.) Future certified copies of the license are
available for a fee of $13 per copy.
A confidential license was authorized to address the circumstances
of a co-habitating man and woman whose neighbors, associates, perhaps
even family, all assumed that they were married. Due to the confidential
nature of this type of license, future copies of the license may only
be requested and issued to the couple; it is not a public document,
nor may it be used as such. Lastly, it may only be used within th
county where the license was issued. The costs for this license are
Relevant California Statutes
Family Code Section 307
This section, so far as it relates to the solemnizing of marriage,
is applicable to members of a particular religious society or denomination
having clergy for the purpose of solemnizing marriage or entering
the marriage relation, if all of the following requirements are met:
(a) The parties to the marriage make, sign, and endorse on or attach
to the license a statement, in the form prescribed by the State Department
of Health Services, showing all of the following: (1) The fact, time,
and place of entering into the marriage. (2) The signatures and places
of residence of two witnesses to the ceremony. (3) The religious society
or denomination of the parties to the marriage, and that the marriage
was entered into in accordance with the rules and customs of that
religious society or denomination. The statement of the parties to
the marriage that the marriage was entered into in accordance with
the rules and customs of the religious society or denomination is
conclusively presumed to be true.
(b) The License and Certificate of Declaration of Marriage, endorsed
pursuant to subdivision (a), is returned to the county recorder of
the county in which the license was issued within 10 days after the
Family Code Section 400
Marriage may be solemnized by any of the following who is of the age
of 18 years or older:
(a) A priest, minister, or rabbi of any religious denomination.
(b) A judge or retired judge, commissioner of civil marriages or retired
commissioner of civil marriages, commissioner or retired commissioner,
or assistant commissioner of a court of record in this state.
(c) A judge or magistrate who has resigned from office.
(d) Any of the following judges or magistrates of the United States:
(1) A justice or retired justice of the United States Supreme Court.
(2) A judge or retired judge of a court of appeals, a district court,
or a court created by an act of Congress the judges of which are entitled
to hold office during good behavior. (3) A judge or retired judge
of a bankruptcy court or a tax court. (4) A United States magistrate
or retired magistrate.
(e) A legislator or constitutional officer of this state or a member
of Congress who represents a district within this state, while that
person holds office.
Family Code Section 401
(a) For each county, the county clerk is designated as a commissioner
of civil marriages.
(b) The commissioner of civil marriages may appoint deputy commissioners
of civil marriages who may solemnize marriages under the direction
of the commissioner of civil marriages and shall perform other duties
directed by the commissioner.
Placer County Clerk-Recorder Fax: (530) 886-5687 ó www.placer.ca.gov/clerk