WelcomeStep 1: Meet with Your Priest or DeaconStep 2: Course OverviewStep 3: Register OnlineStep 4: Online Relationship AssessmentStep 5: Fertility Health Awareness SeminarStep 6: Marriage Mentorship (New!)Step 7: Completion Report and Certificate of CompletionCivilly Married CouplesUseful Info on Documentation and Procedures

Every year we prepare over 1,000 people to be married in the Catholic Church. It’s a precious opportunity for both of you to explore important marital topics and receive faith formation relating to God’s plan for marriage. We are excited for you to begin this lifelong journey in the art of loving.

Non-Catholics are most welcome, as are couples not yet engaged, but discerning marriage.  All couples are advised to take a course at least 4 months before their intended wedding date.

Contact your parish at least six months prior to your anticipated wedding date, longer if you are planning to marry outside the Archdiocese of Vancouver.

The process begins with the initial interview with your priest or deacon to address your faith experience and understanding of marriage in the Church so that you can enter into this lifelong commitment before God well prepared.

The priest or deacon will sign a parish form to indicate that you may move forward in the process and register for Marriage Preparation. Bring the signed parish form to the first session of the course.

Download parish form

For weddings taking place outside Vancouver, you would still need to contact a local priest as there are additional requirements and paperwork.

Read Guidelines For Marriage

Marriage Formation course topics include:

  • Why marry in the Church?
  • Communication
  • God’s Plan for Marriage
  • Prepare/Enrich Couples Report
  • Couple’s Finance
  • Married Couple’s Testimony
  • Fertility Health Awareness

Course Guidelines

  • Couples once registered, must attend the first session and take sessions in sequence. Make-up sessions are strongly discouraged although we would accommodate work demands.
  • As we wish participants to be fully present to each other and to the presentations, no infants, children and pets are permitted.
  • We understand if occasionally, couples may postpone or cancel wedding plans. Refunds can be processed (minus an administrative fee and prorated if applicable) should couples choose to cancel or withdraw from the course.
  • If Marriage formation course is retaken in the future, with the same or different person, we may consider providing a reduced fee.

Chose one Marriage Preparation series and one Fertility Health Awareness Seminar.

Weekday, 5-Evening Courses 2020

John Paul II Pastoral Centre
4885 Saint John Paul II Way, Vancouver
Tuesdays, 7 – 9 pm
Jan 21
Jan 28
Feb 4
Feb 11
Feb 18
CLOSED
St. Andrew Kim Parish
10222 161st Street, Surrey
Thursdays, 7 – 9 pm
Mar 26
Apr 2
Apr 16
Apr 23
Apr 30
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Past Courses (2019)
John Paul II Pastoral Centre
4885 Saint John Paul II Way, Vancouver
Mondays, 7 – 9 pm
Jan 7
Jan 14
Jan 21
Jan 28
Feb 4
John Paul II Pastoral Centre
4885 Saint John Paul II Way, Vancouver
Tuesdays, 7 – 9 pm
Mar 5
Mar 12
Mar 19
Mar 26
Apr 2
St. Andrew Kim Parish
10222 161st Street, Surrey
Thursdays, 7 – 9 pm
Apr 25
May 2
May 9
May 16
May 23
St. Andrew Kim Parish
10222 161st Street, Surrey
Thursdays, 7 – 9 pm
Apr 25
May 2
May 9
May 16
May 23
John Paul II Pastoral Centre
4885 Saint John Paul II Way, Vancouver
Tuesdays, 7 – 9 pm
Jun 25
Jul 2
Jul 9
Jul 16
Jul 23
John Paul II Pastoral Centre
4885 Saint John Paul II Way, Vancouver
Tuesdays, 7 – 9 pm
Sep 10
Sep 17
Sep 24
Oct 1
Jul 23
John Paul II Pastoral Centre
4885 Saint John Paul II Way, Vancouver
Tuesdays, 7 – 9 pm
Nov 12
Nov 19
Nov 26
Dec 3
Dec 10

Saturday, 3-Day Courses 2020

John Paul II Pastoral Centre
4885 Saint John Paul II Way, Vancouver
9:30 am – 2 pm
Mar 7
Mar 14
Mar 21
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St. Nicholas Parish
20675 87 Avenue, Langley
9:30 am – 1 pm
Apr 25
May 2
May 9
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Canadian Martyrs Parish
5771 Granville Avenue, Richmond
9:30 am – 1 pm
May 23
May 30
June 6
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Past Courses
All Saints Parish
821 Fairfax Street, Coquitlam
9:30 am – 2 pm
Jan 12
Jan 19
Jan 26
2019
Canadian Martyrs Parish
5771 Granville Avenue, Richmond
9:30 am – 2 pm
Mar 16
Mar 23
Mar 30
John Paul II Pastoral Centre
4885 Saint John Paul II Way, Vancouver
9:30 am – 2 pm
Jun 8
Jun 15
Jun 22
John Paul II Pastoral Centre
4885 Saint John Paul II Way, Vancouver
9:30 am – 2 pm
Sep 7
Sep 14
Sep 21
All Saints Parish
821 Fairfax Street, Coquitlam
9:30 am – 2 pm
Jan 11
Jan 18
Jan 25
2020

Weekend Courses 

The Marriage Preparation Weekend Course is solely for those couples whose circumstances do not permit them to do 3 Saturdays or 5 weeknights. A Fertility Health Awareness presentation is included in the weekend course. Supporting documents for erratic work schedules will be requested in the application form.

We highly encourage you to register for the 5-Tuesday or 3-Saturday instead of the weekend if you can fulfill these requirements:

  1. Attend the first session of the course
  2. Attend 3 out of 5 Tuesdays or 2 out of 3 Saturdays. You can make up for missed classes in future sessions by arranging it with Angel Jose at ajose@rcav.org.

John Paul II Pastoral Centre (Karol W. Hall)
4885 Saint John Paul II Way, Vancouver
Saturday, Sunday
February 22-23, 2020
9:30 am – 4:30 pm
John Paul II Pastoral Centre (Karol W. Hall)
4885 Saint John Paul II Way, Vancouver
Saturday, Sunday
June 13-14, 2020
9:30 am – 4:30 pm
Past Courses
John Paul II Pastoral Centre (Karol W. Hall)
4885 Saint John Paul II Way, Vancouver
Saturday, Sunday
February 2-3, 2019
9:30 am – 4:30 pm
John Paul II Pastoral Centre (Karol W. Hall)
4885 Saint John Paul II Way, Vancouver
Saturday, Sunday
May 25-26, 2019
9:30 am – 4:30 pm
John Paul II Pastoral Centre (Karol W. Hall)
4885 Saint John Paul II Way, Vancouver
Saturday, Sunday
November 16-17, 2019
9:30 am – 4:30 pm

Fertility Health Awareness Seminar

(must pick one for registration to be complete)

John Paul II Pastoral Centre
4885 Saint John Paul II Way, Vancouver
9:30 am – 12 pm
Saturday, February 1, 2020 FULL

John Paul II Pastoral Centre
4885 Saint John Paul II Way, Vancouver
7 – 9:30 pm
Tuesday, February 25, 2020

John Paul II Pastoral Centre
4885 Saint John Paul II Way, Vancouver
9:30 am – 12 pm
Saturday, April 4, 2020

St. Andrew Kim Parish
10222 161st Street, Surrey
7 – 9:30 pm
Thursday, May 7, 2020
Past Courses
John Paul II Pastoral Centre
4885 Saint John Paul II Way, Vancouver
9:30 am – 12 pm
Saturday, February 9, 2019

John Paul II Pastoral Centre
4885 Saint John Paul II Way, Vancouver
9:30 am – 12 pm
Saturday, March 9, 2019

John Paul II Pastoral Centre
4885 Saint John Paul II Way, Vancouver
7 – 9:30 pm
Tuesday, April 9, 2019

St. Andrew Kim Parish
10222 161st Street, Surrey
7 – 9:30 pm
Thursday, May 30, 2019

John Paul II Pastoral Centre
4885 Saint John Paul II Way, Vancouver
9:30 am – 12 pm
Saturday, June 29, 2019

All Saints Parish
821 Fairfax St, Coquitlam
9:30 am – 12 pm
Saturday, September 28, 2019

John Paul II Pastoral Centre
4885 Saint John Paul II Way, Vancouver
9:30 am – 12 pm
Saturday, November 9, 2019

John Paul II Pastoral Centre
4885 Saint John Paul II Way, Vancouver
7 – 9:30 pm
Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Important Registration Information

  • Payment must be made online with credit card. If this is a problem, please call 604-683-0281 ext. 50223.
  • If only one is attending alone, please e-mail mprep@rcav.org.
  • Registrations will close if the spots are filled and/or 48 hours before the start of the course.

The Prepare/Enrich questionnaire helps couples identify their strengths, weaknesses and major sources of stress. It aims to develop communication and conflict resolution skills before marriage. It is a discussion instrument designed to optimize couple satisfaction.

Learn more at enrichcanada.ca

Instructions to take this assessment will be e-mailed to you after you register online. Couples whose reports indicate they will benefit from a facilitator-led meeting will be contacted to acquire relationship tools to increase harmony.

Fertility Health Awareness is natural, economical, respectful to the body of the woman and consistent with Catholic teaching. It is highly effective in achieving and preventing pregnancies.

A complimentary private consultation is included in the course. Some presentations offered are:

Learn more about Natural Family Planning (NFP)

Some parishes are offering marriage mentorship together with our course, to better prepare couples for married life. You will be invited to meet with a mentor couple picked by you, who will be an invaluable support before and beyond your wedding day.

Civilly married couple now preparing to marry in the Church may choose this program if their parish is offering the marriage mentorship. If your parish does not offer marriage mentorship, please contact our office.

After you have completed all the above requirements, we will send a Completion Report to your priest. Our office may waive a session or requirement in specific circumstances, as advised by the Pastor.

If you are marrying outside Vancouver, we will also e-mail you a certificate upon request. Please notify us as soon as you complete the course.

Questions? Send us an e-mail at mprep@rcav.org or call 604-683-0281 ext. 50223.

We are thrilled that you are now preparing to marry in the Church. The current course may not always be suitable. The Marriage Mentorship program may be an option.

Alternatively, Couples who have been civilly married for 5 years or more may consider attending Worldwide Marriage Encounter weekend as a suitable alternative to marriage formation courses.

Learn more at wwme.org

Questions on Marriage Encounter? Contact Sharon Goh at sgoh@rcav.org.

Next Marriage Encounter is Saturday to Sunday, May 2-3, 2020.

In any case, couples would:

Your priest will assist in the completion of the required documentation.

  1. Dispensation: For a marriage between a Catholic and a baptized Christian of another communion/a member of a non-Christian world religion/a member of no religion, permission is required from the local bishop.
  2. Baptismal Certificate: If you are a Catholic, you must have a new baptismal certificate issued within the six months prior to your wedding. If you have been baptized in another Christian denomination, you may supply either your original certificate or a copy.
  3. Marriage License: please apply for a B.C. marriage license (valid for 90 days). This is not required for a convalidation ceremony.
  4. Marriage Form I: Under oath and individually with the priest or deacon, each fiancé(e) answers a series of questions about his or her freedom to marry.
  5. Marriage Form II: Each fiancé(e) needs outside testimonial of freedom to marry. Normally one parent or sibling does this by completing the form with the priest. Otherwise, you will need two witnesses. They must have known you throughout your marriageable years (Church law: 14 for bride, 16 for groom).
  6. Testimonial Letter: If the Catholic fiancé(e) lives outside this Archdiocese and there is no one available to do a Form II, his or her bishop has to write a testimonial letter.
  7. Marriage Preparation Course Completion Report: The completion report will be sent upon completion of all requirements of the archdiocesan course to the priest who is doing your paperwork.
  8. Letter of Consent: If your fiancé/fiancée is under 19, there is provincial requirement that a letter of consent from his/her parents is provided to the priest, who will also interview the couple and make an assessment.

Please note that if you are getting married in a church outside the Archdiocese of Vancouver, a local priest must complete some of the above paperwork. Please factor in additional time for the paperwork to be sent to the other diocese.

Catholic Weddings take place in Churches

  • The wedding of two Catholics is a sacred and sacramental liturgy. The Church is therefore the proper place for the wedding, hence gardens, beaches, secular “wedding chapels” are not. Learn more at https://youtu.be/c3qH25CqHaA
  • To be married in another parish, permission must be granted from the parish in which you wish to be married, as well as from the parishes where you are registered.
  • A wedding in which only one of you is Catholic would take place in the parish of the Catholic party.
  • The Episcopal Vicar for Marriage may permit you to celebrate your wedding in the place of worship of the non-Catholic Christian party when an extraordinary pastoral reason suggests it.

If the celebrant is a visiting priest:

  • You should discuss your choice of celebrant with your parish priest at the beginning of your preparation.
  • A visiting priest must have permission of the pastor and of the Archbishop, in addition to a license from the BC government.

Sacraments

  • Every Catholic should complete his or her initiation into the Faith by receiving the Sacrament of Confirmation. If you have not been confirmed, the time of your preparation for marriage is an opportunity to prepare for Confirmation as well.
  • The Sacraments of Reconciliation and Holy Eucharist will prepare you for a more meaningful experience of your wedding liturgy.

Wedding Liturgy

  • Your priest/deacon will help you plan your wedding liturgy. You may refer to the Wedding Liturgy Guide resource provided at the course. He will also inform you of any additional requirements that are particular to that parish.