20 Chestnut Street, Centereach, NY 11720

631-585-8760 GIVE

Message to the Engaged Couple

In offering a word of congratulations as you prepare for celebrating the Sacrament of Marriage, I cannot do better than invite you to ponder and reflect on the exhortation used in the Santa Missa – Ritule Romanum (Roman Ritual) sixty years ago before the Church revised the wedding ceremony. In my mind, its beauty is unsurpassed as it describes a grace-filled vision of what the Sacrament of Marriage promises.

As you know, you are about to enter into a union which is most sacred and most serious, a union which was established by God himself. By it, he gave to men and women a share in the greatest work of creation, of bringing forth from the love of two people one who would mirror his divine love. In this way he sanctified human love and enabled man and woman to help each other live as children of God by sharing a common life under his fatherly care.


Because God himself is thus its author, marriage is of its very nature a holy institution, requiring of those who enter into it a complete and unreserved giving of self. But Christ our Lord added to the holiness of marriage an even deeper meaning and a higher beauty. He referred to the love of marriage to describe his own love for his Church, that is, for the people of God whom he redeemed by his own blood. And so he gave to Christians a new vision of what married life ought to be, a life of self-sacrificing love like his own. It is for this reason that his apostle, St. Paul, clearly states that marriage is now and for all time to be considered a great mystery, intimately bound up with the supernatural union of Christ and the Church, which union is also to be its pattern.


This union, then, is most serious, because it will bind you together for life in a relationship so close and so intimate that it will profoundly influence your whole future. That future, with its hopes and disappointments, its successes and its failures, its pleasures and its pains, its joys and its sorrows, is hidden from your eyes. You know that these elements are mingled in every life and are to be expected in your own. And so, not knowing what is before you, you take each other for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death.


Truly, then these words are most serious. It is a beautiful tribute to your undoubted faith in each other, that, recognizing their full import, you are nevertheless so willing and ready to pronounce them. And because these words involve such solemn obligations, it is most fitting that you rest the security of your wedded life upon the great principle of self-sacrifice. And so you begin your married life by the voluntary and complete surrender of your individual lives in the interest of that deeper and wider life which you are to have in common. Henceforth, you belong entirely to each other; you will be one in mind, one in heart, and one in affections. And whatever sacrifices you may hereafter be required to make to preserve this common life, always make them generously. Sacrifice is usually difficult and irksome. Only love can make it easy; and perfect love can make it a joy. We are willing to give in proportion as we love. And when love is perfect, the sacrifice is complete. God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, and the Son so loved us that he gave himself for our salvation. “Greater love than this no one has, that one lay down his life for his friends.”


No greater blessing can come to your married life than pure conjugal love, loyal and true to the end. May, then this love with which you join your hands and hearts today never fail, but grow deeper and stronger as the years go on. And if true love and the unselfish spirit of perfect sacrifice guide your every action, you can expect the greatest measure of earthly happiness that may be allotted to man and woman in this vale of tears. The rest is in the hands of God. Nor will God be wanting to your needs: he will pledge you the life-long support of his graces in the holy sacrament which you are now going to receive.

Sacraments Marriage Procedures

To prepare for the Sacrament of Marriage, the following information will be helpful:

  • Contact the rectory (631-585-8760 or rectory@abvmcentereach.com) and set up an appointment to meet with the priest or deacon.
  • What happens at the initial meeting
    • The initial intake process will allow you to share your hopes and dreams as a married couple. Information about your individual backgrounds will be taken, e.g., date of birth, parents, what sacraments you have celebrated, etc. You also will discuss the date of your proposed wedding.
    • An explanation about the parish’s marriage preparation process, e.g., pre-cana and FOCCUS, will be discussed and arranged.
    • An opportunity for you to ask questions, express concerns, etc.

Frequently Asked Questions

When does the parish celebrate the Sacrament of Marriage?

The times set aside for celebrating the sacrament of marriage are

  • Saturday: 11:00 a.m., 12:30 p.m., and 2:00 p.m.
  • Sundays: 3:00 p.m.
  • During the week: Here there is a great deal of flexibility depending on the parish’s use of the church. For example, a wedding on Friday can usually be done any time in the afternoon.

Because of other parish services, e.g., funerals, confession, vigil mass we cannot deviate from the above schedule on Saturday or Sunday.


How soon ahead of the wedding should I contact the rectory?

Make the initial contact a year beforehand. This gives time to arrange for the initial meeting as well as the marriage preparation courses required by the diocese.


What are the diocesan regulations for marriage preparation?

Participation in a parish or diocesan pre-cana course as well as the FOCCUS marriage inventory survey. A couple is able to fulfill this requirement in any parish or diocese that works with their schedule or living situation.


Do I have to be a member of the parish to get married at Assumption?

It is best to celebrate the sacrament of marriage in the parish where you are currently living and worshipping. However, in certain circumstances, e.g., you grew up in this parish, a wedding can take place at Assumption parish.


How much does it cost?

The fee for the wedding is $600. This includes the musicians.


Can I use my own musicians?

You may use your own musicians, but the parish’s musician must be present to make sure that the sound system, organ, etc. are in order, hence his/her fee remains.


Can I choose the prayers and the readings?

The parish provides a Wedding Planning Guide to assist you in this process. It lists the format of a wedding ceremony and/or nuptial mass, the prayers, readings, and possible blessings. You can download this guide by clicking Wedding Planning Guide.


Can I bring in another Catholic priest or deacon?

Yes. We are glad to provide hospitality to other catholic clergy whom you might wish to officiate at your wedding.


Can a non-Catholic clergy person participate?

Yes. In the case of the marriage between a Catholic and a non-Catholic, another clergy person can participate in the marriage ceremony. He/she would be invited to read a scripture, offer a prayer, etc.


Will the Church provide a priest or deacon to celebrate a wedding outside the church?

A Catholic clergyman is not permitted to perform a wedding of two Catholics outside the church building. Weddings at a catering hall or an outside wedding ceremony are not permitted in our diocese. The wedding of a Catholic and an unbaptized person, e.g., a Jewish person, can be celebrated elsewhere. However, due to parish schedules, it is unlikely that a Catholic priest or deacon would be present.