What is the sacrament of marriage?

Conjugal union has its origin in God, who in creating man made a person who needs to open to others, with a need to communicate and needs company. “It is not good for the man to be alone, let us make him a companion like him” (Gen 2:18). From the beginning of creation, when God creates the first couple, the union between them becomes a natural institution, with a permanent bond and total unity (Mt 19,6). So that it cannot be changed in its aims and its characteristics, since to do so would go against the very nature of the man. Marriage is not, therefore, an effect of chance or consequence of unconscious natural instincts.


Marriage for the baptized is a sacrament that is united to the love of Christ his Church, which governs it is the model of the love that Jesus Christ has to his Church (cf. Eph 5: 25-32). There is only true marriage between the baptized when the sacrament is contracted.

Civil marriage is contracted before civil authority. This marriage is not valid for Catholics, the only valid marriage between baptized is the sacramental contracted before a Priest or Deacon of the Church.

To celebrate the Sacrament of Marriage, the following are required:

In order to arrange the celebration of the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony, it is important that the couple make an appointment with one of the priests or deacons to begin the marriage process.

Documents and Process

  1. Updated Certificate of Baptism from both bride and groom. (This is acquired from the church from where you were baptized)
  2. Copy of Certificate of Confirmation.
  3. Marriage License from the county of domicile e.g., Cook, Lake, Kane, etc.
    1. If you are already married civilly, a copy of the Civil Marriage Certificate that was issued upon being married is required.
    2. If any of the parties to be married, bride or groom, have been previously divorced and have received the Declaration of Nullity from the Catholic Church, this declaration is to be presented.
  4. Two witnesses for each, the bride and groom, to testify as to the ability and availability of the couple to receive the Sacrament of Marriage.
  5.  Participate and complete the Pre-Matrimonial Class required by the Archdiocese of Chicago.
  6. The Shrine requires an offering of $ 500.00 for the celebration to be held at Marian Chapel and a $600.00 offering for the St. Joseph Chapel. This must be paid at the time of booking the date for the wedding.

Please Note: All documents mentioned above must be handed in and the process completed before any celebration can be booked. This is to comply with all ecclesiastical and civil law for the establishment of the bond of Holy Matrimony.