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 Marriage Preparation

Planning your wedding can be one of the most exciting times of your life. We are happy that you have chosen Ascension or Sacred Heart to be part of your special day. We want to help you plan a wedding liturgy that is both spiritual and sacramental. We as Catholics believe that marriage is a lifelong commitment and that it is a sacrament when it occurs between two baptized Christians.

Since planning a wedding can also be one of the most stressful times of your life, we have prepared Wedding Guidelines t to help guide you through the process. By answering common questions about getting married at either of our parishes, these guidelines that we trust you will follow, are here to help you.

Contact Us

​Father Michael Sikon
​Pastor
Father Alvin Aberion​Parochial Vicar​
​Joan Duncan
​Formation Office/Sacramental Preparation
​Debra Flemming
​Organist


 Preliminary Planning

Parish Registration

The exchange of wedding vows in the Catholic Church (Holy Matrimony) is a sacrament when it occurs between two baptized Christians. All sacraments, including marriage, are celebrated in the presence of a faith community. Also, registration as a member of our faith community signifies your commitment to practicing the Catholic faith which includes regular attendance at Sunday celebrations of the Eucharist, receiving the Sacrament of Reconciliation on a regular basis, and living other tenants of the Catholic faith.

Days and Times for Weddings
Wedding liturgies may take place at Ascension and Sacred Heart parishes any day of the week with the exception of Sunday. Friday and Saturday weddings are the most common. Saturday weddings may be held as late as 2pm in the afternoon. Friday weddings may be held late afternoon or in the evening. Although weddings may be celebrated during Advent and Lent, we prefer other times of the year for this celebration because of the prayerful and penitential nature of these seasons.

Steps in Sacramental Preparation
The wedding preparation process is designed to help you assess your readiness for sacramental marriage. Church law requires that engaged couples entering into marriage participate in a Sacramental Preparation Program. This should be completed three to six months prior to your wedding day. There are two options offered at our parishes: Sponsor Couple Program and the Diocese of Greensburg Catholic Engaged Encounter. If you live out of town, you have the option of attending Marriage Preparation in the diocese where you reside. You simply need to provide us with verification of completion.

 Steps in the Marriage Process

12 Months Prior to Your Wedding

 ___ Contact Joan Duncan to tentatively schedule wedding date.

10-12 Months Prior to Your Wedding
___ Schedule a Marriage Preparation introductory meeting with Father Michael Sikon or Father Alvin Aberion.
___ Decide on an option for marriage preparation. Sponsor Couple or Engaged Encounter
___ Father will schedule the taking and review of the FOCCUS Communication Inventory.

1-3 Months Prior to Your Wedding
___ Schedule a meeting with the pastor to discuss details of the marriage liturgy, and to complete necessary paperwork, including the Liturgy Planning Sheet from
      "Together for Life” booklet.
___ Discuss and view suggested wedding music for the marriage liturgy
___ Turn in copies of your baptismal records to the pastor in the Parish Office.
___ Contact Debra Flemming to discuss plans for your liturgy and music.

Weeks Prior to Your Wedding
___ Turn in your marriage license to the parish office for processing.

Wedding Rehearsal
___ Priest, organist, server and cantor fees are due at the Wedding Rehearsal.

 Stipends for Marriage Litrugy

Marriage Liturgy Stipends​Amount due at Wedding Rehearsal
​Clergy: Father Michael Sikon or Father Alvin Aberion​$250
​Organist: Debra Flemming​$150
​Cantor
Pay with Cash
​$75
​Altar Servers (Two) 
Pay with Cash
$20/server ($40 total)
Check should be made payable to the name listed above or cash if indicated.

 ​Helping Troubled Marriages

All marriages run into difficulties from time to time. Like anything else, good maintenance is required. Occasionally attending a Marriage Retreat will allow you to improve your covenant relationship with your spouse, and perhaps avoid serious issues later.

Retrouvaille | A Christian Peer Ministry
There is hope for reviving a troubled relationship, especially when it's hanging by a thread. One of the best programs is "Retrouvaille" (pronounced ret-trov-eye). Retrouvaille is a French word meaning "rediscovery." If your marriage is tearing the two of you apart, or if there is little or no communication, or if you are considering separation or divorce, we believe Retrouvaille can help.

Retrouvaille is a weekend presented by couples who have experienced the same difficulties in their own relationships. It is not a spiritual retreat, sensitivity group, counseling session or seminar. You will not be asked to share your problems with anyone else, but rather encouraged to put the past behind you and look beyond the hurt and pain so that you may rediscover each other in a new and positive way.

For more details, please contact Rich and Marianne Mader at 412-462-0523.

Counseling
There are times, however, when issues and pressures become so great that they affect the communication of love and respect that was once the hallmark of a loving relationship. All relationships take work, and in differing amounts at different times. Without the necessary care and attention, marriages can wither and couples can slowly and quietly drift apart. Sometimes, too, the rift is so large that it seems as if the marriage is hopelessly lost.

For more information on how to help a troubled marriage, please contact Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Greensburg.