Is someone in the family getting married within the next year or so and are your plans to have the marriage celebrated in the Catholic Church? Regretfully, that can sometimes be quite an undertaking and I am using my space on this blog to warn people that they need to give advance thought in order to avoid any misunderstandings or mix-ups.
First of all, the engaged couple has to line up a church. This is not as easy as it might sound because there are very
serious time limitations involved. For many reasons, most young couples plan to get married on Saturday afternoon or Saturday evening. For years, I have been suggesting Saturday morning weddings to young couples but so far, nobody has paid any attention to me. This scheduling reality means that the average parish can only have two formal weddings a week and not every Saturday of the year is available. Nobody wants to get married on holiday weekends such as
Christmas and Easter. I would say that the average urban parish can only handle about 80 or 90 weddings a year. In addition to the fact that most people want to get married on Saturday, weddings also really cluster in June and January, which means even more restrictions. As soon as you think you have a date, call the Church!
Added to the problems of actually scheduling a church, there are other issues that have to be cared for before the actual day of the wedding. These can be troublesome and, if not looked at properly, can appear to be difficulties, but it is because the Church is really trying to help the young couple be properly prepared for this awesome event in their life.
More on weddings tomorrow.