Roman Catholic Rite of Marriage

weddingMarriage Preparation

Knowing that marriage and the family constitute one of the most precious of human values, the Church wishes to speak and offer her help to those who are already aware of the value of marriage and the family and seek to live it faithfully, to those who are uncertain and anxious and searching for the truth, and to those who are unjustly impeded from living freely their family lives. ~Pope John Paul II – On the Family

Hello, my name is Regina De Spain and I coordinate marriage preparation here at St. Thomas Aquinas.

St. Thomas Aquinas invites couples who are engaged or married to join us as we celebrate the beauty of married life. Below you will find listed some helpful information to get you started and provide you with a brief overview of the diocesan marriage preparation program. I am here at St. Thomas to assist you with your marriage preparation, convalidation, and wedding. Please contact me at (623) 935-2151 x 210 or at to request an appointment.

“Dear Engaged Couples” article by Barb Lishko


General Information

We welcome the engaged to contact us as they begin preparations for their wedding day.
Contact: Regina De Spain in Marriage Preparation at (623) 935-2151 x 210 or at

Click on this link to find out more about the Sacrament of Marriage, What is Marriage? 

Why a 9 month preparation process?
To prepare couples adequately to live their call to holiness through the Sacrament of Marriage. The Catholic Church wants your marriage to succeed and has outlined a process to help you both grow in love, and a deeper understanding of one another through a better understanding of the Sacrament.

Where do we begin?
After you are engaged and before you set the wedding date: Contact Regina De Spain or call; 623.935.2151 x 210 or at to set up an appointment for an interview.

What can we expect at the interview?
The interview will be an opportunity for us to get to know one another, collect basic information and go over the whole preparation process in greater detail.

Then what happens next?
You will both complete a FOCCUS Inventory. The FOCCUS Inventory is a marriage preparation inventory, which is a series of questions designed to assist dialogue with your fiancé regarding goals, habits, expectations and values. Your answers are scored, assessed. The inventory is an important starting place for couple discussion and a map of what issues need affirmation, time and attention, and/or problem solving. Once completed you are contacted by mentor couple to go over the results.

Gathering Documents

For all Catholics: Baptism Certificate issued within 9 months of the wedding date. Request the Church of Baptism to forward a baptism certificate “with notations”. We can help locate churches of Baptism if you do not know how to contact them.

If possible, Catholics are also requested to submit photocopies of their 1st Communion and Confirmation certificates.

For non-Catholics: If the non-Catholic is a baptized Christian, we will need a certificate or letter from the Church of Baptism verifying the date. If this is not possible, we will use another means to verify baptismal status. If the non-Catholic is not a baptized Christian, no documents are required.

You may also be given “Affidavits of Free Status” which are to be completed by people who have known you for all or most of your life (i.e., parents, siblings, aunts or uncles) and signed in the presence of a priest or Church employee.

Marriage Prep Courses

Life Skills Class- There are a variety of opportunities available to satisfy this requirement and I will be able to tell you about them in our meeting. These classes focus on many useful sessions from communication and conflict management to finances and family of origin. To search for or register for classes visit the Office of Marriage and Respect life website:

The God’s Plan for a Joy-Filled Marriage is an awesome class based on Scripture and Pope John Paul II’s “Theology of the Body.” It helps couples understand not only what the Church teaches about marriage and sexuality, but why she teaches it. It presents a beautiful vision of the meaning of marriage. To search for or register for classes visit the Office of Marriage and Respect life website:

Natural Family Planning- To ensure you have the tools to plan your family effectively and in accord with God’s plan for marriage, you will have the opportunity to learn about Natural Family Planning by taking a full course in an approved NFP method. The diocese has classes scheduled in over 30 locations. To search for classes by city, parish or NFP method and to register for classes on-line, please visit the Office of NFP website:

There are also on-line options available for some of these courses if that works better for your circumstances.

Why so many preparatory steps?

  • The preparation policy is set by the Diocese of Phoenix.
  • The emphasis is on facilitating the deepening of the relationship of the couple so that our people enter into marriage with a strong, loving, wise foundation.
  • We also emphasize the couple’s relationship to God and through that hope to deepen their appreciation of God’s role in a successful and enduring marriage.

Marriage is the “most intimate of human friendships. Marriage calls for a mutual self-surrender so intimate and complete that the two spouses become “one” yet without losing their uniqueness as persons” ~Christopher West


Guidelines for Music


Planning a wedding is an exciting time, filled with many choices. One of the most important decisions you will make as you prepare the details of the wedding ceremony is the choice of music. Music has long played a vital role in Christian worship. Music sets the tone of the celebration and enhances the Church’s prayer. The music ministry of Saint Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church is committed to providing music for your wedding that is appropriate for worship and reflects your faith as a couple.

Click here to download our music selection document


1  Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring J.S. Bach
2 Prelude in C J.S. Bach
3  Canon in D Johann Pachelbel
4  Air J.S. Bach
5  Andante Tranquillo Felix Mendelssohn
6  Arioso J.S. Bach
7  Andante Con Moto F. Mendelssohn
8  Sheep May Safely Graze J.S. Bach
9  Adagio Cesar Franck
10   To God the Holy Spirit Dietrich Buxtehude
11   Adagio Charles-Marie Widor
12   Sleepers Awake J.S. Bach
13   Largo G.F. Handel
14   Trumpet Voluntary Jeremiah Clarke
15   Rondeau Jean-Joseph Mouret
16   Trumpet Tune Henry Purcell
17   Air G.F. Handel
18   Hornpipe G.F. Handel
19   Ode to Joy Ludwig van Beethoven
20   In Thee is Gladness J.S. Bach
21   Spring Antonia Vivaldi
22   Sinfonia G.F. Handel
23   Fanfare Jacques Lemmens
24   Toccata C.M. Widor
25   Ave Maria Franz Schubert
26   Ave Maria C. Gounod / J.S. Bach
27   God in the Planning Trad. Irish Tune
28   God is Love David Haas
29   When Love is Found Trad. English Tune
30   Let’s Praise the Creator Edward Kremser
31   Love Has Brought us Here Together Rowland H. Prichard
32   Love One Another James J. Chepponis
33   Gift of Finest Wheat O. Westendorf/R. Kreutz
34   Pan de Vida Bob Hurd / Pia Moriarty
35   Panis Angelicus C. Franck
36   One Bread, One Body John B. Foley, SJ
37   Ubi Caritas B. Hurd
38   Taste and See James E. Moore, Jr.
39   I Receive the Living God Anonymous
40 Take and Eat Michael Joncas
41 El Amor Nunca Pasará Eleazar Cortés
42 Una Fiesta de Amor Eleazar Cortés
43 Juntos Para Toda La Vida Estela García-López
44 Te Seguiré Estela García-López
45 Ven al Banquete Bob Hurd
46 Pescador de Hombres(Tu has venido a la orilla) Cesáreo Gabaráin