The Sacrament of Holy Matrimony, or marriage, is a sacrament of Christian service. Marriage is a gift from God where man and woman come together for the mutual good of each other, the procreation and raising of children, and the greater service to God within society. Not only do husband and wife love each other and show that love to the world, but they, in a special way, demonstrate the love of God in their free, faithful, fruitful, and total union. Married couples have a unique opportunity to cultivate the Domestic Church, living out their faith in all circumstances in daily life. Check out the drop down menus below to find resources, preparation processes, and other relevant information.
Congratulations on your new engagement! This is a very exciting time in your lives, and we are so glad that we can join you in your preparation! Because the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony is so important, there is some preparation that needs to be completed before tying the knot. Firstly, you have to be a registered parishioner for at least 6 months at either St. Elizabeth or St. James prior to getting married here. To make sure that you have enough time for all of the preparation, we ask that you contact the parish at least 6 months prior to your desired wedding date. In order to get your wedding date, please contact Father Sean at the parish office at 262-657-1156. Please do not formalize a date with any other venues or vendors until you have scheduled your wedding with the parish. Once your date has been set, the rest of the wedding preparation process can begin!
So you've scheduled a date with our office. Now what? The marriage preparation process is designed to help you not only have a beautiful wedding but to have an amazing and holy marriage. There are several steps for you to complete as part of this process. These do not necessarily have to occur in the order they are listed below.
- Initial Interview with Parish Priest: In order to start building a marriage file, there are some questions Father Sean will need to ask engaged couples. Additionally, this first meeting helps Father get to know the couple as they begin the marriage preparation process.
- Marriage Preparation Conference or Retreat: The Archdiocese of Milwaukee requires engaged couples to either attend a one-day conference or a weekend-long retreat. These days are designed to encourage discussion and reflection while also supporting healthy and holy habits within a marriage. You can see more details along with registration by following this link.
- Inventory and Teaching Couple: All engaged couples are also required to take an inventory that assists couples in discussing key elements of their future marriage. The purpose of the inventory is for the couples to address areas of their relationship that they perhaps had not addressed prior to that point. The engaged couple will meet with a teaching couple, an already married couple trained to facilitate conversation between the engaged, to complete this inventory. There may be several meetings to allow plenty of time for discussion.
- Meet with Mr. Thomas Scuglik, our Director of Music: Part of making a wedding Mass or ceremony beautiful is the music. Couples will meet with Tom to select music and discuss instrumentalists and cantors.
- Mass or Ceremony Details: There are some elements within a Mass or ceremony upon which the couple will need to decide. The most notable of these decisions would be the readings from Scripture. Father will work with you on determining these elements. If you're curious about reading choices, look at the drop-down menu below.
With marriage being a sacrament, it is important to keep the Lord at the center of the wedding. One of the ways this occurs is by His Word, the Bible, being proclaimed. To help couples determine their readings, we have put together a handy guide.
~At least one of the readings you chose must have a * next to it.~
- *Genesis 1:26-28, 31a
- *Genesis 2:18-24
- *Genesis 24: 48-51, 58-67
- *Tobit 7:6-14
- *Tobit 8:4b-8
- *Proverbs 31:10-13, 19-20, 30-31
- Song of Songs 2:8-10, 14, 16a, 8:6-7a
- *Sirach 26:1-4, 13-16
- Jeremiah 31:31-32a, 33-34a
- Psalm 33:12, 18, 20-21, 22
- Psalm 34:2-3, 4-5, 6-7, 8-9
- Psalm 103: 1-2, 8, 13, 17-18a
- Psalm 112:1bc-2, 3-4, 5-7a, 7b-8, 9
- *Psalm 128:1-2, 3, 4-5ac, 6a
- Psalm 145:8-9, 10, 15, 17-18
- Psalm 148:1-2, 3-4, 9-10, 11-13ab, 13c-14a
- Romans 8:31-b-35, 37-39
- Romans 12:1-2, 9-18
- Romans 15: 1b-3a, 5-7, 13
- 1 Corinthians 6:13c-15a, 17-20
- 1 Corthinians 12:31-13:8a
- Ephesians 4:1-6
- *Ephesians 5:2a, 21-33
- Philippians 4:4-9
- Colossians 3:12-17
- Hebrews 13:1-4a, 5-6b
- *1 Peter 3:1-9
- 1 John 3:18-24
- 1 John 4:7-12
- Revelation 19:1, 5-9a
- Matthew 5:1-12a
- Matthew 5:13-16
- Matthew 7:21, 24-29
- *Matthew 19:3-6
- Matthew 22:35-40
- *Mark 10:6-9
- *John 2:1-11
- John 15:9-12
- John 15:12-16
- John 17:20-26
Wedding planning often comes with a lot of questions. Here are some of the most common ones that we receive:
What do weddings cost at either St. Elizabeth or St. James?
Our wedding pricing depends on whether or not you are a registered parishioner at one of our parishes.
- Church Cost: $275
- Organist Cost: $225
- Cantor Cost: $175 (Mass) $150 (Non-Mass Ceremony)
- Instrumentalists: $175 each
- Altar Servers: $100 ($20 each for 5 servers)
- Church Cost: $300
- Organist Cost: $250
- Cantor Cost: $200 (Mass) $175 (Non-Mass Ceremony)
- Instrumentalists: $200 each
- Altar Servers: $100 ($20 each for 5 servers)
Am I allowed to hire my own musicians/singers/etc.?
Generally, our Director of Music, Mr. Thomas Scuglik, has a team of instrumentalists and cantors with whom he works for weddings. It is up to his discretion to permit outside musicians and cantors or to decline. You can discuss this when meeting with him for music planning as part of the wedding preparation process.
Marriage, the unity between man and woman for the good of the other and the procreation of children, was one of the first gifts that God gave His people. In America, it is quite common for interfaith couples to pursue this union. The Catholic Church recognizes that interfaith couples can have meaningful unions, but the difference in belief also presents a unique set of challenges. Because Catholics are called in all times to live their faith fully as their identity, mixed-faith marriages can cause religious tension in the home. For this reason, there are extra steps that must be taken to safeguard the natural ends and purpose of marriage.
If you are a Catholic marrying a baptized non-Catholic:
Your marriage will be a sacramental marriage. In order to pursue this marriage, permission must be given, and the spouses must acknowledge and profess the Catholic marriage vows to a free, total, faithful, and fruitful marriage. They must also both agree to raise their children according to the Catholic faith. As part of the pre-marriage inventory, interfaith couples can discuss some of the more nuanced elements of a mixed denomination marriage.
If you are a Catholic marrying an unbaptized person:
Your marriage will not be a sacrament, but it is a valid natural marriage. The challenges between a Christian and a non-Christian are worthy of mentioning again, as they can pose a great deal of difficulty, particularly in the raising of children according to the Catholic faith. For this reason, these marriages will require a specific dispensation from the bishop in the diocese where the marriage will take place. Father will assist you in completing the proper paperwork, and your teaching couple will support your marriage preparation with these specifics in mind.
Because of the free, total, faithful, and fruitful commitment that spouses make to each other at their wedding, their marriage cannot be dissolved through divorce. A marriage vow is made until the death of one of the spouses. Even if a couple is civilly divorced, a validly married couple is still considered to be married in the eyes of the Church. This is all assuming that the marriage was originally valid. In the event that a marriage was invalid, an individual can pursue a declaration of nullity, which states that a marriage was not valid and therefore, that marriage did not exist.
All marriages are presumed to be valid until they have been declared otherwise by a Catholic tribunal with the diocese or archdiocese. When an annulment is granted, the marriage is declared to never have happened and any marriage bonds are declared "null." Without a declaration of nullity, an individual cannot be remarried validly within the Church. If you were in a marriage previously and suspect it may have been invalid, please call our parish office at (262) 657-1156.
"For this reason a man shall leave [his] father and [his] mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. This is a great mystery, but I speak in reference to Christ and the church." ~Ephesians 5:31-32