Preparing for Marriage at Newman Hall
Welcome to Newman Hall and congratulations on your engagement. We hope we can be helpful to you as you nurture your growing commitment to one an other and prepare for your wedding. Two basic themes shape marriage preparation programs in the church: the maturity and the readiness of the couple to become married, and the willingness of the couple (when both are Christians) to live their lives in conformity to Jesus in the community of faith.
Please contact the Pastor, Fr. Bernie Campbell, or the Campus Minister, Fr. Bill Edens, and they will advise you of other necessary elements of preparation required by the parish (such as reserving the chapel for the proposed date and time) and by the Diocese of Oakland.
We advise you to begin this process at least six months prior to your expected wedding date. It is permissible to invite a priest or deacon from outside the parish to perform the ceremony, but it’s still necessary to discuss arrangements with a staff priest, who will meet with the two of you, arrange for the church to be reserved, and follow through on the paper work and other necessary matters.
Couples must also complete a formal marriage preparation program. Newman Hall hosts two-day seminars in the fall and the spring on consecutive Saturdays which fulfill this requirement; registration forms with specific dates and a detailed description are available at the front desk or on the table at the foot of the stairs in the lobby.
If the seminars at Newman conflict with your schedule, the Family Life Office of the Diocese of Oakland offers a variety of courses which fulfill the requirement and which are briefly described on the back of the Newman seminar registration forms. Call (510) 893-4711 or visit the Family Life Office web site for more details and the dates those classes are offered. Finally, preparation classes may be taken at another Catholic parish or diocese if the closer-by options are unworkable.
In Catholic marriages that involve a person who is either a Christian of another church tradition or who has never been baptized, the Catholic party is asked to do their very best to see that their children will be raised as Catholics.
In ecumenical and interfaith marriages the church is open to the participation of a non-Catholic minister in the wedding service. It is also possible for a Catholic to be married under non-Catholic auspices.
When meeting a couple who wish to marry in the church, a priest must ask, “Were either of you ever under any circumstances previously married?” If either party has been married before, the church will need to look at the circumstances of that marriage. That “look at” may involve some time or it may be resolved fairly quickly. No firm date for a wedding can be set until there is a resolution of the matter.
Once the preparations for marriage and the paper work have been completed the priest will look at the wedding liturgy with the couple. In the case of an ecumenical or interfaith wedding it is the normal practice to celebrate the marriage with a Scriptural service with no Mass.