Under "Guidelines" you will find our Marriage Guidelines booklet with information to help plan your wedding.
The marriage of a Christian man and woman symbolizes the marriage of Christ to His bride, the Church. Therefore, a valid Sacramental marriage between two baptized Christians is a Sacrament and can only be dissolved through death.
A Sacramental marriage is between two baptized Christians who are free of any impediments to being married. Catholics must be married in the presence of a priest or deacon of the Catholic Church and two other witnesses. For a serious reason, a dispensation from the "form" of Catholic marriage can be requested and then granted by the bishop.
The Diocese of Savannah requires couple to:
Permission may be granted for a Catholic to marry a baptized Christian of a Protestant denomination. However, both must promise to respect each other's religious beliefs and the Catholic must promise to remain Catholic and baptize and rear their children as Catholics.
If a Catholic desires to marry a non-baptized person, the Bishop must grant a dispensation for this to occur. The marriage is not considered a Sacrament as a sacramental marriage must be between two baptized Christians. It is considered a "Holy Bond." The Catholic must promise to remain Catholic and baptize and rear their children as Catholics.
Because of original and acual sin, sometimes Christian marriage ends in a "civil divorce." While the Church allows for this legal procedure, the Church still considers the marriage to be a valid sacramental marriage even after the civil divorce is granted. Therefore, the Catholic is not free to marry again in the Catholic Church.