Sacrament of Holy Matrimony

Preparing for Marriage at Saint Joseph Parish

It is necessary for a couple to contact our pastor 9-12 months prior to the anticipated time of the wedding. (It is recommended to contact him as soon as a formal engagement is decided.)

Diocese of Harrisburg Liturgical Norms for the Sacrament of Marriage (PDF)


And they shall become one flesh.

“Authentic married love is caught up into divine love and is governed and enriched by Christ’s redeeming power and the saving activity of the Church, so that this love may lead the spouses to God with powerful effect and may aid and strengthen them in sublime office of being a father or a mother. For this reason Christian spouses have a special sacrament by which they are fortified and receive a kind of consecration in the duties and dignity of their state. By virtue of this sacrament, as spouses fulfill their conjugal and family obligation, they are penetrated with the spirit of Christ, which suffuses their whole lives with faith, hope and charity. Thus they increasingly advance the perfection of their own personalities, as well as their mutual sanctification, and hence contribute jointly to the glory of God.” – Gaudium et Spes, #48.

The Sacrament of Holy Matrimony

In the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony a Christian man and woman are joined together in a bond of exclusive committed and faithful love. As a sacrament, matrimony reflects the love of God who is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Marital love is so powerful and wonderful that it shares in God’s own creative power in the conception and raising of children.

Grace is poured out upon the Husband and Wife

“How can I ever express the happiness of a marriage joined by the Church, strengthened by an offering, sealed by a blessing, announced by angels, and ratified by the Father? . . . How wonderful the bond between two believers, now one in hope, one in desire, one in discipline, one in the same service! They are both children of one Father and servants of the same Master, undivided in spirit and flesh, truly two in one flesh. Where the flesh is one, one also is the spirit.” (Tertullian, Ad uxorem. 2)

Reflections for Marriage Couples and Those Preparing for Marriage


  • The Nuptial Blessing provides a beautiful example of the prayers prayed during the celebration of the Rite of Marriage. It is a source of inspiration for those preparing for marriage and for those already married.