Marriage preparation should begin at least six months before the desired wedding date. To begin the process, please call the parish office (573-445-7915). The typical process is as follows:

1. Complete the Marriage Preparation Information Sheet (you can print it here: MARRIAGE-PREP-Info sheet or our parish secretary, Mary can e-mail it to you) and return it in one of the following ways:

a. scan and e-mail to office2@ourladyoflourdes.org

b. place in a sealed envelope marked “Attn. Mary” in the offertory collection basket

c. mail to: Mary, Our Lady of Lourdes, 903 Bernadette Drive, Columbia MO 65203

2. Schedule a date for your wedding in conjunction with Mary and the priest or deacon who will preside at the wedding.

3. Complete the online marriage preparation survey that will be used by the priest or deacon who will guide you through your preparation; Mary will e-mail you the online link. You will usually meet with the priest or deacon two or three times to discuss the results of the survey.

4. Schedule a meeting with the priest or deacon who will guide you through your preparation and preside at the wedding (if one priest or deacon will guide you through your preparation and another will preside at the wedding, contact both of them to discuss when they would like to meet with you and to initiate any other coordination that needs to take place).

5. Register for and attend an Engaged Encounter weekend or Pre-Cana Conference. Engaged Encounter information and dates in the Diocese of Jefferson City can be found at www.diojeffcity.org.

6. Schedule a rehearsal date and time in conjunction with the parish secretary and the priest or deacon who will preside at the wedding.

7. Closer to the wedding date, meet with the priest or deacon who will preside at the wedding to plan the wedding liturgy.

Important Considerations

Church teaching and law states three important provisions in regard to marriage:

Both parties must be free to enter into marriage. If either the bride or groom has been married before and an annulment has not been received, the annulment process must be initiated and completed before a wedding date can be scheduled. If either of you has been previously married, please contact Becky Sander immediately.

If either the bride or groom is not Catholic, the Catholic person will be required to sign a declaration indicating he or she intends to continue to practice and live the Catholic faith and do all in his or her power to baptize and raise the couples’ children in the Catholic faith.

Anyone baptized in the Catholic Church or received into it must be married in the presence of a priest or deacon and two witnesses, unless a dispensation from Canonical Form has been granted. If you have any questions about this, please discuss this with a priest as soon as possible.

Other notes:

Planning documents can be found on this page.

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops have produced a video intended for engaged couples entitled, “Saying I Do: What Happens at a Catholic Wedding“. It serves as an introduction to the Rite of Marriage and answers questions frequently asked about Catholic weddings. All couples are encouraged to watch this video before starting to plan their wedding.