Congratulations on your engagement!

A church wedding is a unique and special ceremony for contracting marriage. In planning a church wedding you are choosing to ask our Lord's blessings on your marriage and to have it sanctified by his Word and prayer. The wedding liturgy speaks to the marriage contract in ways other than the concerns of a civil ceremony or a social reception. The bride and groom exchange their vows as an act of worship within God’s house.

By asking Jesus to be present at your wedding you are beginning a marriage centered in Christ and his Word. Be assured he is pleased to join a couple in the fellowship of a Christian marriage. While this is an intensely personal event in a couple’s lives, it is much more than a private celebration. This ceremony takes place in the presence of a congregation of worshipers. Those assembled participate in this event to express their support, joy, and faith through prayers, acclamations, and songs.

The Maronite tradition offers many alternative expressions to help the bride and groom personalize their celebration. Many of these choices flow from the sacramental nature of the wedding liturgy. Our Lady of Lebanon Church is committed to making your day memorable and prayerful for all, and we have a large hall available to host a reception. As with other sacraments, the sacrament of matrimony is not a luxury or an option, but a serious responsibility. To help facilitate the planning of this joyous event, you will find the guidelines below helpful.

Marriage is a Covenant

The Sacrament of Marriage is a covenantal union in the image of the covenants between God and his people with Abraham and later with Moses at Mt. Sinai. This divine covenant can never be broken. In this way, marriage is a union that bonds spouses together during their entire lifetime.

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. (CCC 1661)

The love in a married relationship is exemplified in the total gift of one’s self to another. It’s this self-giving and self-sacrificing love that we see in our other model of marriage, the relationship between Christ and the Church.

Marriage is based on the consent of the contracting parties, that is, on their will to give themselves, each to the other, mutually and definitively, in order to live a covenant of faithful and fruitful love. (CCC 1662)

The Church takes the lifelong nature of the Sacrament of Marriage seriously. The Church teaches that a break in this covenant teaches goes against the natural law of God:

The remarriage of persons divorced from a living, lawful spouse contravenes the plan and law of God as taught by Christ. They are not separated from the Church, but they cannot receive Eucharistic communion. They will lead Christian lives especially by educating their children in the faith. (CCC 1665)

Marriage Reflects the Holy Trinity

We believe that God exists in eternal communion. Together, Father, Son and Holy Spirit are united in one being with no beginning and no end. Human beings, likewise, were created by God in God’s image for the purpose of communion with another human being.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church states, “The Christian family is a communion of persons, a sign and image of the communion of the Father and the Son in the Holy Spirit” (CCC 2205). The Sacrament of Marriage is “unitive, indissoluble and calls us to be completely open to fertility.” Christian marriage at its finest is a reflection of God’s self-giving love expressed between the love of two people.

God created man and woman out of love and commanded them to imitate his love in their relations with each other. Man and woman were created for each other…Woman and man are equal in human dignity, and in marriage both are united in an unbreakable bond. (United States Catholic Catechism for Adults, Ch. 21, p. 279)

You are encouraged to seek the counsel of the clergy as soon as possible. Please do not set a date for your wedding prior to speaking with the clergy. Please contact the church office as soon as possible before setting any dates or making any arrangements for receptions, at least six months prior to when you would like to have your celebration of marriage.


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