Marriage

We are so happy that you are planning to celebrate the Sacrament of Matrimony.

The special graces of this sacrament are to help both of you respond to your baptismal call to holiness as you start your own family together. We pray that you are using the time of your engagement not only to plan your wedding, but to plan your marriage. Our parish and our diocese help provide you with programs to help you do just that. Aside from participating in these programs, we urge you to attend Sunday Mass together and to develop the habit of praying together. It is only in being total gifts of ourselves that we can be truly happy.
It could take from 4 to 6 months to prepare for your wedding, so please plan accordingly. Contact the Parish Office (813-626-2984).

Frequently Asked Questions

Should I get Married in Church?

Can. 1055 §1. The matrimonial covenant, by which a man and a woman establish between themselves a partnership of the whole of life and which is ordered by its nature to the good of the spouses and the procreation and education of offspring, has been raised by Christ the Lord to the dignity of a sacrament between the baptized. §2. For this reason, a valid matrimonial contract cannot exist between the baptized without it being by that fact a sacrament.

What is required to get married in the Catholic faith?

Roman Catholics are required to be married 1) in church 2) by a Priest or Deacon.

Can. 1063 Pastors of souls are obliged to take care that their ecclesiastical community offers the Christian faithful the assistance by which the matrimonial state is preserved in a Christian spirit and advances in perfection. This assistance must be offered especially by:

1/ preaching, catechesis adapted to minors, youth, and adults, and even the use of instruments of social communication, by which the Christian faithful are instructed about the meaning of Christian marriage and about the function of Christian spouses and parents;

2/ personal preparation to enter marriage, which disposes the spouses to the holiness and duties of their new state;

3/ a fruitful liturgical celebration of marriage which is to show that the spouses signify and share in the mystery of the unity and fruitful love between Christ and the Church;

4/ help offered to those who are married, so that faithfully preserving and protecting the conjugal covenant, they daily come to lead holier and fuller lives in their family.

What is required to get married at Blessed Sacrament?

It is the policy of the Church of the Blessed Sacrament and the surrounding Catholic churches that anyone seeking the sacraments of Baptism, First Eucharist, First Reconciliation, Confirmation and Matrimony must be a parish member of our church community at least 3 months prior to being able to receive the sacrament.

How long is preparation for marriage?

To insure understanding of all that their gift involves, the Diocese of St. Petersburg requires at least 4 months preparation time. Youths under 19 years require special counseling as part of their preparation. Arrangements must be made 6 months in advance.As for children, catechesis seeks to strengthen their awareness of the Father’s love, and the idea of Real Presence. Parents, Pastors and catechists are responsible for determining when children are ready to receive First Communion. Parents should be involved in preparing their child for First Communion. Catechesis for First Communion is separate from catechesis for Reconciliation.

What is the marriage preparation process?

1.Preliminary Interview: The first step is meeting with the parish priest call 813-626-2984 to set up an appointment to begin the planning and preparation for married life. This should take place at least 4 MONTHS prior to the wedding, and BEFORE any arrangements are made with regard to invitations, reception hall, etc. This will avoid unnecessary duplication of effort or misunderstanding later. During this interview, you will be provided with an explanation of Pastoral Guidelines for Marriage Preparation.

2.Setting the Date: The final date for the wedding will not be set until the entire assessment process has been completed and the decision to proceed has been made by the priest and the couple.

3.Assessment – Determining Readiness: The parish has a variety of methods to assist in determining the maturity of the couple and their readiness for marriage. A FOCCUS inventory (cost $15/couple an online inventory) will be administered and diocesan forms will be completed. In addition, there may be consultation with parents or other relatives as well as pre marriage counseling and evaluations. These steps may result in a decision to delay the marriage. (See # 6)

4.Instruction: After the readiness for marriage has been determined, the couple will finalize the wedding date and begin their instruction process. We will outline the sacramental preparation required (PreCana Weekend Retreat, Pre Cana, Remarriage, Convalidation, interviews with the priest, etc.).

5.Wedding Liturgy: The couple will plan their wedding liturgy with the priest. They will participate in the decisions regarding the ceremony, scripture, music, vows, etc.

6.Delaying the Marriage: A delay is designed to provide time to overcome the circumstances which made the delay advisable. Some of the reasons for delaying the marriage are: ◦ The non-practice of the faith by the Catholic party, especially when there is no intention of returning to the practice of the faith.

  • A substantial lack of appreciation for the spiritual and sacramental aspects of marriage.


  • A lack of readiness by reason of immaturity, age or undue social pressure. The likelihood of a separation of the couple for an extended period after the marriage (e.g., military service, continued education, etc.). The unwillingness of the couple to participate in any of the steps of marriage preparation that apply to them as well as missing forms including but not limited to Baptism information and marriage license.

    Appeal: There is an appeal process for couples who disagree with a decision to delay their marriage. If the couple wishes to appeal, they should submit their petition in writing to the Bishop of St. Petersburg.

    These Pastoral Guidelines for Marriage Preparation apply to all Catholics domiciled in the Diocese of St. Petersburg even if their wedding will be celebrated in another diocese. For more information check out the Diocese of St. Petersburg: Office of Evangelization for more information at http://www.dosp.org/ministries-offices/marriage-preparation.

    What are the costs for the Church?

    The fee for the Church is a donation for the upkeep of the facilities. It is also nice to show the altar servers your appreciation, $10.00 – $25.00 each is the usual gift.

    -There is no set gift for the Priest. It is left to the judgment of the couple to make that decision.

    What is Journey to Matrimony ?

    Journey to Matrimony is an extended one day program offered on designated Saturdays throughout the year. It is also the preferred preparation program for those marrying for the first time. This comprehensive experience uses various presentation methods with the goal of enriching and enhancing the remainder of the couple’s engagement. It is our hope that Journey to Matrimony will also provide a firm foundation on which couples can build their future as they prepare to enter the Sacrament of Marriage and spend a lifetime together.

    For more information visit http://www.dosp.org/ministries-offices/marriage-preparation

    What is Pre-Cana?

    Pre-Cana retreats are a marriage preparation program designed for engaged or newly-married couples to help them have strong, successful marriages. Pre Cana is an experience centered one-day program. Various presentation styles are used to aid in the preparation of couples for the Sacrament of Marriage.

    The program is typically held at our retreat center in Lutz. The address will be included in your confirmation letter. The program begins at 8:45 a.m. and ends no later than 5:00 p.m.

    For more information visit online at http://www.dosp.org/ministries-offices/marriage-preparation

    One of us is currently an inactive Catholic. Can we still get married at Blessed Sacrament?

    In the event that one or both of the parties are not active in the practice of their faith, additional instructional sessions will be provided to help them become active again as practicing Catholics.

    The Church of the Blessed Sacrament Pre-Cana team sponsors one-day Pre-Cana retreats on Saturdays, four time per year as part of the Diocese of St. Petersburg Marriage Preparation Program. All couples seeking marriage or convalidation within the Diocese of St. Petersburg are welcome to attend. Retreat work materials, books, continental breakfast and lunch are provided. Pre-registration is required.

    For more information visit online at http://www.dosp.org/ministries-offices/marriage-preparation

    One of us is under 19. Can we still get married at Blessed Sacrament?

    When either party requesting a marriage has not yet reached his/her 19th birthday, the Church will show a special concern for the proposed marriage and will require additional steps in the preparation process. Both sets of parents will be interviewed by the priest. The couple will be referred to Catholic Charities for evaluation by a professional counselor. A review of the completed file by the tribunal will be necessary to proceed.

    One of us is under 19. Can we still get married at Blessed Sacrament?

    If a pregnancy exists, the Church will express care for both the couple and the expected child. Every effort will be made to ensure that each couple is truly ready for marriage. Pregnancy of itself is not considered reason enough to omit the usual and normal preparation process. As with youthful marriages, the couple will be referred to Catholic Charities for professional evaluation and a review of the completed file by the tribunal is needed to proceed.

    One of us is under 19. Can we still get married at Blessed Sacrament?

    If the couple has entered marriage outside the laws of the Church, a validation of the marriage is permitted after the couple has completed the assessment process of these Pastoral Guidelines.

    Resources for our Community

    Community Service

    Providing educational classes and services to our community.

    Food Pantry

    Mondays from 10:00am to 12:00pm
    Wednesdays from 9:00am to 10:30am

    Garage Sale

    Every Wednesday at 8:00 AM to 11:00 AM

    Secure Payments

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    MASS TIMES & OFFICE HOURS

    Please join us! We are currently having Daily Liturgy Masses at regular scheduled hours. For Weekday Masses join us online through our Facebook page.

    Parish Office Hours
    Mondays through Fridays: 9:00am to 5:00pm 

    Weekend Masses
    Saturday 4:30pm (English)
    Sunday 7:45pm
    (Spanish)
    Sunday 10:00am (English)
    12:00pm 
    (Spanish)

    Daily Masses
     8:30am: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, & Saturday
    7:00pm: Wednesday
    If you are in need of the Sacrament of Reconciliation, please call the office to make arrangements

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    Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church