The Catholic Church believes and teaches that marriage is a sacrament, a symbol of the love of Jesus Christ for his people, the Church. As a sacrament, marriage is also a covenant by which a man and a woman establish a partnership of the whole of life. Marriage is also ordered toward the good of the spouses and the procreation and education of children. It is meant to be a life-long commitment, until death. Catholic parishes have the responsibility of assisting couples to understand and to prepare for the responsibilities of the sacrament of marriage. With that in mind, we offer the following information and guidelines.