St. Martha Catholic Church – Marriage Check List
__ 1. Are you a Registered at St. Martha Catholic Church?
You must be an active, registered member of St. Martha Catholic Church for at least one year in order to be married at St. Martha Church. If you are an active, registered member of another Catholic Church and wish to be married at St. Martha Church, contact your local pastor to begin marriage preparations at your Church.
__ 2. Complete and submit the Preliminary Wedding Information Sheet.
The couple must complete the online Preliminary Wedding Information Sheet. Our pastor will review your request, and an email with his decision will be sent. If you are a member of St. Martha Church, he will assign a priest or deacon to begin the marriage preparation process. The couple will be contacted via email to schedule an appointment.
__ 3. Has either party ever been married before?
If either future spouse has been in a previous marriage, they must speak with a priest or deacon before choosing the wedding date. In such cases a date cannot be reserved. A priest or deacon will determine what process needs to be followed (annulment, lack of form, Pre Marital request for Dispensation/Permission form, etc.) before marriage preparation can begin and the date set.
__ 4. Meet with priest or deacon & take the Pre-Martial Inventory (PMI).
There is more information on meet with clergy and PMI available at https://www.stmartha.org/meet-with-clergy/. In addition the deacon or priest will complete the Diocese of Venice Pre-Nuptial Questionnaire with the couple.
__ 5. Meet with priest or deacon to review the completed PMI results.
__ 6. Freedom to Marry AFFIDAVIT Forms.
Each person is given two Freedom to Marry affidavit forms to be completed and signed by two different family members or friends, and returned to the office. They are testifying that, as far as they know, the bride and groom are free to marry. Note: that the forms must be signed in front of a priest or deacon and have their local parish church seal affixed to each form.
__7. Baptism Certificate must be provided.
Both parties (if Christian), must acquire an updated/current Baptismal certificate (dated no sooner than six months before the wedding), as well as a copy of the Confirmation certificate (if Confirmed) from the parishes of origin. For a request form, click on our Baptismal Certificate Request form.
__ 8. Witness to Love Program (WTL) is introduced by a Priest, Deacon or Marriage Prep Coordinator (MPC).
There are Six Workbook Chapters and Videos to be completed by engaged couple and their mentors. The priest or deacon will attend chapter five meeting,
“The Summit of Love; God’s Plan for Your Marriage, and the discussion on the “Theology of Marriage & The Sacrament of Matrimony “.
Couples will receive a WTL Certificate upon completion of the marriage preparation program. As Pope Francis said about love, “Love is a relationship”, and “Build a house together on the Rock of True Love, God !” (Pope Francis Dialogue on Valentine’s Day 2014 in full click here)
__ 9. WTL Engaged Couple picks a Mentor Couple.
Once a Mentor Couple is chosen, the Engaged Couple must contact the MPC to set up a meeting.
WTL Marriage Prep Program is a program endorsed by our Bishop Dewane. Please come and build a Relationship that will last forever. The WTL program takes about 8 Months to complete. More WTL information is available at https://www.stmartha.org/witness-to-love/
__ 10. Marriage License. You must get a marriage license in the State of Florida. When applying you both must be present with a legal form of ID. Information on obtaining a Marriage license can be found at the Sarasota County Government web site (http://www.sarasotaclerk.com/about-us/marriage-services). The marriage license must be used within sixty days of issuance.
__ 11. Choose your Marriage Scripture Readings.
St Martha Church uses Celebrating & Living the Sacrament: Together for Life booklet (Sixth edition) for couples to choose their Readings, Psalms, Gospel, etc. You will either be given a book to complete or you can complete online (https://togetherforlifeonline.com/selectionform/sixthedition/) and email to Sara Brinn.
__ 12. Choose your Music
Our Music Director, contacts the couple via e-mail to select the music and address any questions concerning a soloist or instrumentalist. Only Liturgical music is allowed, no other form of music is permitted (modern, broadway, movie themes, etc.). The music that is shared in the Sacrament of Christian Marriage expresses not just the love of the couple for each other but, just as important, the love of God for them and for all His people. Appropriate music for this spiritual celebration is of the utmost importance and must be chosen thoughtfully. You may contact Virginia Bray with any questions.
Additional Important Information:
All marriage preparation documents, wedding fee, “Together for Life” readings, and the marriage license must be received on later than 3 weeks prior to the wedding date.
If the Sacrament of Marriage is being celebrated outside St. Martha parish or the Diocese of Venice; and the marriage preparation process is being done at St. Martha, permissions must be obtained in writing from both parishes. The entire marriage file will be sent to both diocesan Marriage Tribunal Offices for their approvals.
If the marriage preparation process is done outside the Diocese of Venice and the engaged couple is being married at St. Martha’s, their file will be sent to the Diocese of Venice Tribunal Office (1000 Pinebrook Road, Venice, FL 34285) for final review and approval. Please allow at least one month for this process to be completed. The approved marriage file must be received back to St. Martha’s two weeks prior
to the wedding date.