Frequently Asked Questions about Marriage Preparation
What if we have not been attending Mass anywhere?
You are still welcome to prepare for marriage at the ASU Catholic Newman Center. Many couples use this window of opportunity as a chance to begin practicing their faith once again. They find that they have been meaning to start going to Mass again, but for whatever reason have not done so. If you do not have a parish that you call "home," we welcome you to consider planting yourself at the ASU Catholic Newman Center. We ask that you attend Mass for a few weeks to get a sense of our community. Then, complete a registration card or register online. Once you are a part of the community, then it would make sense to begin your marriage preparation here. Of course, couples enrolled in our program continue to attend Mass at the ASU Catholic Newman Center throughout their marriage preparation and hopefully afterward as well.
What does the full marriage preparation process involve?
Preparation for marriage includes the following:
- A marriage seminar
- Completing a premarital inventory to help you discuss your strengths and weaknesses as a couple
- Review the premarital inventory with a sponsor couple, priest or other delegate
- Attending marriage preparation classes or a weekend retreat
- Attending the diocesan workshop "God's Plan for a Joy-Filled Marriage"
- Completing a Natural Family Planning course
- Attending Mass regularly and prayerfully considering other activities to deepen couple spirituality
- Planning your wedding liturgy
Please see the ASU Marriage Preparation Program timeline for a detailed description of each of these steps. You are also encouraged to print a copy of the abbreviated checklist for your own records.
What does it cost?
The marriage preparation program is $100 per couple, due at initial meeting. Resource fees for classes vary based on location. Please contact us with any concerns.
The usage fee for the Main Chapel is $800 for active registered members of the ASU Catholic Newman Center and $1,000 for non-registered members.
How do we go about arranging to be married in the Old Church?
Currently, the Old Church is not available to be reserved. ASU students, alumni, and ASU Catholic Newman Center members are welcome to reserve the Main Chapel for a wedding. Contact Lisa Rich to schedule a wedding or to begin marriage preparation.
What if one of us has been married before?
If either of you have been married before, whether in the Church or by any other civil or religious authority, even if you are not Catholic, you will need to obtain an annulment before being married in the Catholic Church.
What if one of us isn't Catholic?
Only one person is required to be a baptized Catholic as long as both agree to raise any children in the Catholic faith. The marriage preparation office will assist you in completing the necessary paperwork. As part of your marriage preparation, you will also be invited to participate in specific activities or workshops that will allow you and your fiance to discuss your spiritual/religious beliefs and find the gifts in both your similarities and differences.
We both love nature and feel God's presence there. May we have a Catholic wedding outdoors?
God is certainly present in the beauty of creation. You and your fiancé may have found a beautiful location where you would like your family and friends to gather for an outdoor wedding. However, a Catholic wedding is not just a private affair affecting only your family and friends - it affects the entire community. The church building is an important symbol of your faith community - those who helped form your beliefs, those who will witness your vows, and those who will benefit from your service. You and your beloved will find spiritual strength in the people whom that church represents.
For these reasons, a wedding between two Catholics is generally celebrated in a Catholic church. A wedding between a Catholic and another Christian should be held either in a Catholic church or another sacred location. Permission for this can be requested during the primary steps of marriage preparation. On rare occasions, such as when a Catholic marries a non-baptized person, a Catholic wedding may take place in a sacred location other than a church.
Can we have our civil union blessed by the Church?
You may have your union "validated." In most cases, the steps for this are similar to the full marriage preparation program. Please contact the front office at 480-967-7823 for more information.