In the event that one or both of the parties are not active in the practice of their faith, additional instructional sessions may be required to help them become active again as practicing Catholics. After three months of active participation, further inquiries about celebrating the Sacrament of marriage will be welcomed.
The active practice of the faith is demonstrated by frequent and regular participation in the Eucharist and support of the parish through time, talent, and treasure.
When either party has not yet reached his or her nineteenth (19) birthday, the Church will show special concern for the proposed marriage and will require additional steps in the preparation process. Both sets of parents will be interviewed by the priest. The couple will also be referred to Catholic Charities for evaluation by a professional counselor.
If a pregnancy exists, the Church expresses care for both the couple and the expected child. Every effort will be made to insure that each person is truly ready for marriage. Pregnancy of itself is NOT considered reason enough to omit the usual four months waiting period and the normal preparation process. As with youthful marriages, the couple will be referred to Catholic Charities for professional evaluation.
Blessing an Existing Marriage (Convalidation)
If a couple has entered a marriage outside the laws of the Church (i.e., civil marriage or a non-Catholic Christian marriage) a validation of the marriage is performed after the couple has completed the full assessment process.
If the bride or groom has had a previous marriage whether through the Catholic Church, another Christian Church, or a civil ceremony, the previous marriage must be declared null by the Catholic Church. If either party has been married before, we refer you to the Diocese of Orlando’s Annulment Procedures.
Because the annulment process requires special ministerial attention, the parish employs a regional annulment advocate to help you with the process. Sister Pat O’Malley serves the Churches in Volusia county, and can be reached at (386) 547-2131. In addition, it may be helpful to speak with the priest at the Basilica of St. Paul about this process.