Matrimony: A Sacrament at the Service of Communion

Holy Orders and Matrimony, are directed towards the salvation of others; if they contribute as well to personal salvation, it is through service to others that they do so. They confer a particular mission in the Church and serve to build up the People of God.

Congratulations on your engagement! 

The marriage covenant, by which a man and a woman form with each other an intimate communion of life and love, has been founded and endowed with its own special laws by the Creator. By its very nature it is ordered to the good of the couple, as well as to the generation and education of children. Christ the Lord raised marriage between the baptized to the dignity of a sacrament. The sacrament of Matrimony signifies the union of Christ and the Church. It gives spouses the grace to love each other with the love with which Christ has loved his Church; the grace of the sacrament thus perfects the human love of the spouses, strengthens their indissoluble unity, and sanctifies them on the way to eternal life.

Married couples will lead Christian lives especially by educating their children in the faith. The Christian home is the place where children receive the first proclamation of the faith. For this reason the family home is rightly called "the domestic church," a community of grace and prayer, a school of human virtues and of Christian charity.

This information as well as additional information about the Sacraments of the Church can be found at: The Vatican Website

Steps To Get Married

Step 1: Meet With Your Priest Or Deacon 

When: Recommended 8-12 Months before the wedding.

As soon as possible after your engagement, contact your priest or deacon to assist you with your marriage preparation. At the initial meeting he will determine if you and your fiancé(e) are free to marry in the Church; he will provide you with information for completing Steps 2-6 of this process; and he will set up a schedule for future meetings.

 Step 2 - Marriage Preparation Inventory

When: As soon as possible or after meeting with your priest or deacon

Complete a marriage preparation “inventory,” which is a set of questions to help you assess the strengths and weaknesses of your relationship and any areas that need further discussion or attention.  Typically these marriage inventories are from FOCCUS or Fully-Engaged.

Step 3: The Marriage Preparation Course / Retreat

When: Recommended 8-12 months before the wedding

The Archdiocese offers an excellent marriage preparation program designed to introduce you to God’s plan for your marriage. The course also includes virtue-based instruction on communication, conflict resolution and financial decision-making. Some parishes offer this program within the parish with a mentor couple.  View and/or Register for Archdiocesan Marriage Prep Class

Step 4 - Natural Family Planning Intro Course 

When:  Recommended at least 3-6 months before your wedding, but the sooner the better.

Natural Family Planning (NFP) is not only effective for planning your family it is also highly effective in overcoming obstacles that compromise your ability to become parents.  More NFP Info

Step 5: Sacrament Of Reconciliation

 When: Before the wedding as necessary

The Church invites all Catholics to prepare themselves spiritually prior to their marriage by celebrating the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Even if you are not of the Catholic faith, you still would benefit from spiritual direction.The regular practice of the Sacrament of Reconciliation keeps marriages healthy and strong.

Step 6: Liturgy Planning

 When: Before the wedding

The priest will provide a booklet to help you plan your wedding ceremony. Watching the USCCB video Saying I Do...What Happens at a Catholic Wedding is very helpful for this process.  Click Here to View the Video

***The Above 6 Steps are available in a trifold brochure in both English and Spanish. Please click here for ordering information.***

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To change your Marriage Preparation class dates with the Archdiocese of St Louis please email [email protected].                                                           

Have additional Marriage preparation questions?

Matrimony FAQ


Looking for your sacramental certificate? Contact the parish in which the sacrament took place to obtain your certificate. If the parish is closed, you can obtain the certificate from the Office of Archives and Records.

Sacramental Request Form

There are many options to choose from for your marriage preparation. Take a look at all of the options available to you!



The Archdiocese of St. Louis offers Marriage Prep classes through the Office of Marriage and Family Life. Click the link below to see the class schedule and register!



If you've already registered for an archdiocesan marriage prep class, click the link below to submit your payment. 



Supporting Ministries

Marriage & Family Life


20 Archbishop May Dr. St. Louis, MO 63119-5738

Natural Family Planning (NFP)


Email Ministry

11700 Studt Ave., Ste. C St. Louis, MO 63141

Worship, Office of


Email Ministry

20 Archbishop May Dr. St. Louis, MO 63119-5738