For Catholics, the Sacrament of Marriage, or Holy Matrimony, is a public sign that one gives oneself totally to his or her spouse. It is also a public statement about God: the loving union of husband and wife speaks of family values and also God’s values.

Couples interested in being married at Immaculate Conception Church in Elkton or Saint Jude Mission Church North East should contact the parish office at 410 398-1100 approximately one year in advance to schedule a meeting with a priest and learn about marriage preparation in the Catholic Church.


MARRIAGE PREPARATION IN THREE EASY STEPS – Catholic Diocese of Wilmington, Office for Marriage and Family Life


STEP ONE – Couples should contact their parish/pastor or marrying clergy

Couples should contact their pastor, priest or deacon as soon as possible to assist with marriage preparation.  If they are not parishioners in the Catholic Diocese of Wilmington, they should reach out to the pastor of the parish in which they are preparing for the Sacrament of Marriage.  The couple should communicate with their marrying clergy regularly to ensure that everything is in order concerning the sacrament.  Couples are encouraged to speak with their pastor, priest or deacon to learn more about how to get involved in the parish community.  Marrying clergy should then connect them with the Diocesan Office for Marriage and Family Life to begin the process of registering for the approved Pre-Cana program requirement in the Diocese of Wilmington.


STEP TWO – Couples should speak with a representative in the Office for Marriage and Family Life

The Diocese of Wilmington provides an excellent educational component, Life Skills for Couples, through Ascension Press, as the required marriage preparation course in the Catholic Diocese of Wilmington.  Life Skills for Couples is specifically designed to introduce the couple to the rich and engaging teachings of the Catholic faith and the Sacrament of Matrimony. Throughout this process, the couple will gain insight into themselves as individuals and as part of a couple. Practical advice and spiritual resources will be shared with the couple that will support a life-long and joyful Catholic marriage.  

 Click here to register for Life Skills AFTER Step One.


STEP THREE – Couples should participate in the Sacrament of Reconciliation

The Office for Marriage and Family Life encourage all couples to participate in the Sacrament of Reconciliation since the Church invites all Catholics to prepare themselves spiritually prior to their marriage by celebrating the Sacrament of Reconciliation. The regular practice of the Sacrament of Reconciliation keeps marriages healthy and strong.


Friendly Reminder:

There are only 1-2 virtual Pre-Cana sessions per month with a limited number of participants per class.  With that said, we ask that all those in charge of marriage preparation in the parishes understand that couples should be registering for Pre-Cana at least 3-4 months BEFORE they are getting married.  We have had several instances when couples are calling the office a week before the class or 2-3 weeks before their wedding and classes are already closed.

-There will be NO Pre-Cana Virtual Sessions during the month of July.  


All course registrations are closed two weeks before the class OR once a course has 15 couples registered.   Because of the self-completion part of the program, couples must register for the Pre-Cana courses at least 3-4 months before the date.  All information for the Diocesan requirement for Pre- Cana can be found on our website -

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the Office for Marriage and Family Life via phone or email -

Director – Dr. MaryAnn Wallen (

Administrative Assistant – Mrs. Tara Riddell (

Phone # - 302-573-3130




  Download Immaculate Conception Parish's Wedding Booklet        


Download the Wedding Information Sheet:   Bring this to your meeting with the priest.             




  Wilmington Catholic Diocese:

The Office for Marriage and Family Life provides various formational, educational, supportive, social and spiritual enrichment programs and resources for individuals, couples and families.    click here


Natural Family Planning-

These links are provided for information on Natural Family Planning:


EWTN Catholic Answers with Jason Evert