What is Marriage?
The Sacrament of Holy Matrimony, or Marriage, is a Covenantal relationship established by God, in which man and woman commit themselves to live with one another in a bond of married love. It is a symbol of the unending covenant love established by Jesus with His Church through His passion, death and resurrection. Holy Matrimony is in itself an encounter of a man and a woman with Christ himself.
The Grace received in this sacrament gives the couple many needed graces, making their human love remain faithful and fruitful. It is a relationship much like the love between Christ and His Church. Saint Paul himself writes to the Ephesians:
"Husbands love your wives as Christ loved the Church. He gave up for her to make her holy... Man shall leave his father and mother, and shall cling to his wife and the two shall be made into one. This is a great mystery, I mean it refers to Christ and the Church." (Eph. 5:25-26, 31-32).
The union of Jesus with His Church is so intimate that there is no other relationship comparable to it except that found in the love shared between a husband and wife.
The sacrament is administered to those couples who are properly prepared. Arrangements for marriage must be made six months to one year in advance of any desired date. This is necessary as there is much demand for marriage dates at St. Annes and the calendar fills up rapidly.
The Sacrament of Matrimony involves a period of preparation between the two spouses with the guidence of the Church. Both parties must meet with a parish priest and present new copies of their baptismal certificates, then take part in pre-marriage preparation, either on an Engaged Encounter Weekend or on the program presented by lay leaders of our parish (either in English or Spanish). This is a requirement of our parish based on the guidelines of the Diocese of Fresno for marriage preparation. Information about Pre-Marriage Classes can be found here. Those who are already living together should be married civilly before they recieve the sacrament of Matrimony within the Church. To begin the preparation process please contact the Parish office. Parish office contact information can be found here.
Formal weddings are celebrated on Saturdays at 12:30 PM at either St. Anne's Church or Holy Cross Church, or 3:00PM at St. Anne's Church. Formal Saturday wedding ceremonies are not scheduled during the Lenten season.
Simple services outside of mass, known as convalidations (the blessing of an existing marriage with the Sacrament of Matrimony), can be scheduled at other times.
These documents are also available at the parish office:
What to bring to your first meeting at the parish office.
Marriage Ceremony Guidelines and Information.
Marriage Registration Form.
Wedding Photographer Guidelines.
"So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, no human being must separate..." ~Matthew 19:6