Marriage Sacramental Preparation at Immaculate Conception Parish:
As part of its pastoral responsibility the Church requires every couple to participate in a marriage preparation program in order that they will be properly ready to be married. Marriage preparation offers couples the opportunity to develop a better understanding of Christian marriage; to evaluate and deepen their readiness to live married life; and to gain insights into themselves as individuals and as a couple. It is especially effective in helping couples to deal with the challenges of the early years of marriage.
To adequately prepare for this great Sacrament that symbolizes the love of Christ for his Church, those wishing to be married are to contact the parish office at least six months in advance of the proposed date. The couple must meet with the priest before setting the date.
At Immaculate Conception Parish, marriage preparation sessions are offered over three weekends a year. Engaged couples are given the opportunity to hear and reflect upon the experience and call of marriage within the Catholic Church.
Couples may also take their marriage preparation sessions through the Diocese of Pittsburgh, Engaged Encounter or another parish. An updated schedule for our diocese can be viewed here.
For more information on Marriage Preparation at Immaculate Conception Parish contact the parish office.
About the Sacrament
"The matrimonial covenant, by which a man and a woman establish between themselves a partnership of the whole of life, is by its nature ordered toward the good of the spouses and the procreation and education of offspring; this covenant between baptized persons has been raised by Christ the Lord to the dignity of a sacrament.
Sacred Scripture begins with the creation of man and woman in the image and likeness of God and concludes with a vision of "the wedding-feast of the Lamb." Scripture speaks throughout of marriage and its "mystery," its institution and the meaning God has given it, its origin and its end, its various realizations throughout the history of salvation, the difficulties arising from sin and its renewal "in the Lord" in the New Covenant of Christ and the Church.
"The intimate community of life and love which constitutes the married state has been established by the Creator and endowed by him with its own proper laws.... God himself is the author of marriage." The vocation to marriage is written in the very nature of man and woman as they came from the hand of the Creator. Marriage is not a purely human institution despite the many variations it may have undergone through the centuries in different cultures, social structures, and spiritual attitudes. These differences should not cause us to forget its common and permanent characteristics. Although the dignity of this institution is not transparent everywhere with the same clarity, some sense of the greatness of the matrimonial union exists in all cultures. "The well-being of the individual person and of both human and Christian society is closely bound up with the healthy state of conjugal and family life."
God who created man out of love also calls him to love the fundamental and innate vocation of every human being. For man is created in the image and likeness of God who is himself love. Since God created him man and woman, their mutual love becomes an image of the absolute and unfailing love with which God loves man. It is good, very good, in the Creator's eyes. and this love which God blesses is intended to be fruitful and to be realized in the common work of watching over creation: "and God blessed them, and God said to them: 'Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it.'"
Holy Scripture affirms that man and woman were created for one another: "It is not good that the man should be alone." The woman, "flesh of his flesh," i.e., his counterpart, his equal, his nearest in all things, is given to him by God as a "helpmate"; she thus represents God from whom comes our help. "Therefore a man leaves his father and his mother and cleaves to his wife, and they become one flesh." The Lord himself shows that this signifies an unbreakable union of their two lives by recalling what the plan of the Creator had been "in the beginning": "So they are no longer two, but one flesh." (Source: Catechism of the Catholic Church, #1601-1605)
Immaculate Conception Church
119 West Chestnut Street
Washington, PA 15301
Immaculate Conception Weekend Service Times
Saturday Vigil: 5:30pm
Sunday: 10:30am, 12:15pm
Saint Hilary Church
320 Henderson Avenue
Washington, PA 15301
Saint Hilary Service Times
Saturday Vigil: 4:00 PM
Sunday: 8:00 AM
Sacred Heart Church
Claysville, PA 15323
Sacred Heart Weekend Service Time