Marriage as a Sacrament

In the book of Genesis (2:18-24) there is a poetic rendition of the creation of man and woman. God, the eternal Potter, forms a man from the clay of the earth. He wants the man to be happy, but happiness is not provided by any of the beasts he is allowed to name. So God put the man to sleep and from his side, forms a woman, flesh and bone, as he is. Coming from the side of the man, this woman is his equal. The two become one flesh and share forever a unity that is begun by the breath of God. What God has joined together, people must not divide.

When a man and a woman come together in marriage they do so to fulfill the plan that God has set before them. Marriage in contemporary times has two levels. The first level is that which is recognized as legal in society. The second is that which is recognized by the Church and it is called sacramental. In the former, the marriage vows spoken in ceremony are all that is needed. Much more is demanded from a sacramental marriage.

For a marriage to be sacramental a number of aspects must come together. Each party must enter the marriage freely. No event, person or circumstance must be pressuring them to marry at this time. To marry only because a child in on the way is not to marry freely. To marry because you’re getting older and chances for a match are fading is not to marry freely. Persons trapped by some addictions are unable to be free enough to covenant a sacramental marriage.

All of those spoken and written promises come together in the midst of the Church, the People of God, and the presence of Jesus Christ Himself. The Christian community is the Body of Christ. For Catholics, a marriage covenanted outside the Catholic community is not sacramental. It is a marriage legal in the eyes of the state.

What is Marriage?

Marriage Preparation

Contact Fr. Kevin Tanel: or (920) 921-0580 ext. 604

Holy Family Parish is eager to aid couples in planning a truly Catholic celebration of their wedding. Marriage is a sacrament, a consecrative action of Christ. It begins with the wedding and continues throughout their married lives. The parish marriage preparation program should therefore be looked upon as a great opportunity to prepare both prayerfully and wisely. This program is in line with directives from the Archdiocese of Milwaukee and the Catholic Province of Wisconsin.

To be married in the Catholic Church:

• At least one of the partners to be married must be a registered and participating member of a Catholic church. Preferences in wedding dates are given to Holy Family Parish members.

• The Catholic partner(s) must give evidence of some faith and trust in God. This includes regular participation in the Sunday Mass.

• The couple must complete Church papers indicating one’s sincere intentions.

Marriage preparation includes the following elements:

• Preparation with the church must begin no less than six months prior to the date of the wedding.

• The couple must provide recent copies of baptismal and confirmation certificates.

• The couple is required complete the FOCCUS premarital inventory.

• The couple is required to participate in the Archdiocesan Marriage Preparation Class.

• The couple is required to watch 6 short online videos through Formed.

• The couple is required to meet with their Presider several times, including a meeting to plan the ceremony.

Marriage Preparation Links

Below you will find additional information that will help you plan your wedding at Holy Family. If you don’t see what you’re looking for, please contact Fr. Kevin Tanel at (920) 921-0580 ext. 604 or

Holy Family will provide the book for you at one of your Priest meetings.



Below are downloads to generic wedding programs.  One is for a Nuptial Mass Ceremony, the other for a Nuptial Liturgy of the Word Ceremony.