The Sacrament of Holy Matrimony

Here are the first steps toward having your wedding at the Cathedral

First Step: Read
Review the Basic Information booklet about celebrating the Sacrament of Marriage at the Cathedral by clicking here.  

Second Step: Call
Call Alma Suerdieck, Office Manager, at least six months in advance to check the availability of the church for your proposed wedding date.

Third Step:  Complete the Agreement
Download and complete the Agreement forms by clicking here.  This Agreement includes a checklist that will help you complete all the necessary arrangements.

Fourth Step: Secure the Date
Bring the forms, required documents, and deposit to the Parish House to secure the wedding date you have chosen on the Parish calendar.  

I have questions...
Please call Alma Suerdieck at the Parish House 209-463-1305.  She will be happy to help you!

Getting married at Annunciation

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Christ himself elevated the natural institution of marriage to the dignity of a sacrament during his public ministry.

He worked his first miracle at a wedding (John 3:1-11) and he taught that marriage in the New Covenant is permanent and holy (Matthew 19:3-9).  The apostles taught on the beauty and significance of marriage throughout the New Testament (1 Peter 3:1-12).  St. Paul even taught (Ephesians 5:21-33) on the mystery of the relationship between the members of the Church and Christ the bridegroom as analogous to the relationship between husband and wife in the sacrament of Marriage.

Christian Marriage is a sacrament that orders the husband and wife to serve one another.  This service is based on the Christian virtue of charity and is done in a spirit of care and concern for the good of the spouse and child(ren) following the example of Christ.  If this sacrament provides grace for salvation to the individual, it is only as a secondary fruit.  The principle effect of the grace of the sacrament serves to strengthen the couple’s unity and deepen their love and affection so that their loving service assist them in growing closer to God.  The ultimate goal of marriage is the same as Christian life; to respond to God’s grace and be happy with Him in heaven forever.

Made to love… made for family

God is the source of love and so his role in the family is irreplaceable. In fact, “man would not exist were he not created by God’s love and constantly preserved by it.” (Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World, 19)  What is a family? More importantly what is the Christian family? It is the loving union of one man and one woman with the purpose of the procreation and upbringing of children. In the Christian view marriage is a sacrament, instituted by Christ.

The family that prays together, stays together.”

Because of this truth, “parents have the specific responsibility of educating their children in prayer, introducing them to gradual discovery of the mystery of God and to personal dialogue with Him” (Familiaris Consortio, 60). Parents should also “eagerly carry out their duties of education, especially religious education, which is primarily entrusted to them” (Vatican II, Pastoral Constitution on the Church, 48). And because, “there is no family that does not know how selfishness, discord, tension and conflict violently attack and at times mortally wound its own communion” familial religious formation must focus on “family communion [which] can only be preserved and perfected through a great spirit of sacrifice. It requires, in fact, a ready and generous openness of each and all to understanding, to forbearance, to pardon, to reconciliation” (Familiaris Consortio, 21).

Common Questions

When Jesus elevated marriage to the dignity of a sacrament he was building upon the existing natural reality that man and woman were made for union with one another in marriage. God made them male and female and from the beginning the institution of marriage has been for the benefit of the spouses and the loving care of their children. It is a faithful, exclusive, lifelong union of a man and a woman joined in an intimate community of life and love that is open to children and is the most basic unit of human society.

Because marriage is a vocation that involves both the help of grace from God and the cooperation of the spouses with one another, the Church has required various amounts of preparation for the engaged to help them be well equipped for their new life together. Marriage preparation takes many different forms throughout the world because the needs of couples are different according to culture and circumstances. Once entered, marriage is a permanent state of life which requires sacrifice and commitment. For this reason the Church seeks to help the engaged not only learn useful skills and grow in their relationship with one another and with God, she also assists them in making a good decision to marry so that they can be ready to say "I do" and commit to living out the full expression of married love. Couples who make the most of the time of their engagement find themselves more ready for the challenges that lie ahead for them in the exciting adventure of marriage and family life.

It is perhaps best to let this answer come directly from the Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, 349:
"The Church, since she is faithful to her Lord, cannot recognize the union of people who are civilly divorced and remarried. 'Whoever divorces his wife and marries another, commits adultery against her; and if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery' (Mark 10:11-12). The Church manifests an attentive solicitude toward such people and encourages them to a life of faith, prayer, works of charity and the Christian education of their children. However, they cannot receive sacramental absolution, take Holy Communion, or exercise certain ecclesial responsibilities as long as their situation, which objectively contravenes God's law, persists."

Pope Francis: Marriage Preparation is Important

Marriage is too important to rush

Recommended Books

Why Have a Catholic Wedding?

Sacraments 101: Matrimony (why make it Catholic)

Saying "I do": What Happens at a Catholic Wedding?

Saying I Do: What Happens at a Catholic Wedding

Marriage: Made for Life

Made For Life

The Family: Like a Cathedral (Intro to the Humanum Film Series)

The Cathedral