Marriage Preparation at St. Michael’s
Marriage Preparation as a Requirement
The Diocese of Calgary requires all couples who wish to marry to take a marriage preparation course prior to the wedding. It is a necessary requirement in order for the parish to allow the marriage to take place.
Engaged couples may complete the marriage preparation program through St. Michael’s For Better & Forever program, where engaged couples are matched with a married couple who becomes their sponsor. Then, both couples will meet at the sponsor’s home for five or six sessions where they explore specific themes and learn from each other’s experiences.
Couples may also complete this marriage preparation requirement through other Diocese-sponsored events, such as the Engaged Encounter Program, For Better & Forever program, or from Catholic Family Service.
What you need to do
There are several steps required in order to marry within the Catholic Church. To get started, contact our Secretary at 403 249 0423 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a meeting with one of our priests, as well as to record the prospective date of your wedding. This initial meeting is important as it will cover several areas such as the wedding date (venue and time), review the other requirements, and the marriage preparation course to be taken.
- Pre-Nuptial Questionnaire: This questionnaire is completed during an interview with the Priest or Deacon. The document certifies the freedom and willingness of the couple to marry.
- Freedom to Marry form: this form must be filled out by a family member or a very close friend. It verifies that both persons are free to marry. The person filling out this form must have known the person to be married for at least 10 years.An individual form must be submitted for each of the bride and groom.
- Baptism Certificate: both parties are required to submit a currently-dated baptismal certificated, which can be obtained by contacting the church where the baptism took place. Non-Catholics are also required to submit a certificate if they were baptized. Please ensure that the date on the Certificate is current — meaning, within six months of the wedding date.
- Marriage License: this can be obtained from any registry office and should be purchased within a 3-month window that covers your intended wedding date (a marriage license that is older than 90 days at the time of the wedding is invalid). Note that both the bride and groom are required to purchase the license together from any Alberta Registry Location. This document must be given to the Parish Office at least 10 business days prior to the wedding for processing.
- Pre-Marriage Preparation Course and Certificate: this certificate will be received from the director of your pre-marriage preparation course. It confirms that you have successfully completed all the requirements of the program.