Matrimony is a sacrament and as such it is a sign to the world of the invisible God living in our midst - the living God who bears fruit in the lives of two people.
When the Catholic Church teaches that marriage between two baptized persons is a sacrament, it is saying that the couple’s relationship expresses in a unique way the unbreakable bond of love between Christ and his people. Like the other six sacraments of the Church, marriage is a sign or symbol which reveals the Lord Jesus and through which his divine life and love are communicated. All seven sacraments were instituted by Christ and were entrusted to the Church to be celebrated in faith within and for the community of believers. The rituals and prayers by which a sacrament is celebrated serve to express visibly what God is doing invisibly.
In a sacramental marriage, God’s love becomes present to the spouses in their total union and also flows through them to their family and community. By their permanent, faithful and exclusive giving to each other, symbolized in sexual intercourse, the couple reveals something of God’s unconditional love. The sacrament of Christian marriage involves their entire life as they journey together through the ups and downs of marriage and become more able to give to and receive from each other. Their life becomes sacramental to the extent that the couple cooperates with God’s action in their life and sees themselves as living “in Christ” and Christ living and acting in their relationship, attitudes and actions.
Catholic teaching holds that sacraments bring grace to those who receive them with the proper disposition. Grace is a way of describing how God shares the divine life with us and gives us the help we need to live as followers of Christ. In marriage, the grace of this sacrament brings to the spouses the particular help they need to be faithful and to be good parents. It also helps a couple to serve others beyond their immediate family and to show the community that a loving and lasting marriage is both desirable and possible.
Pope Paul VI wrote: “By it [the Sacrament of Matrimony] husband and wife are strengthened and…consecrated for the faithful accomplishment of their proper duties, for the carrying out of their proper vocation even to perfection, and the Christian witness which is proper to them before the whole world” (Humanae Vitae, n. 25).
Any couple planning to be married is asked to notify the parish office as soon as that decision has been made.
You will need to make an appointment with a parish priest at least 9 months before the date of the intended marriage.
The Diocese of Harrisburg requires that the couple make preparations with the parish at least 9 to 12 months prior to the wedding. Expectations of the Diocese can be found here
Wedding dates are reserved on a "First-come, first served" basis.
Weddings are scheduled on Saturdays to begin at 11:00am or 2:00pm.
Please understand no date will be reserved for your wedding until the required paperwork is approved.
A $250 Non-Parishioner Church Fee may apply.
Any couple who is preparing for marriage in a parish other than St. Joan of Arc MUST have all necessary paperwork and documentation in the hand of a St. Joan of Arc priest no later than one month prior to your wedding.
To check the availability of the Church on the date you would like to reserve, contact the Parish Secretary, Susan Robison, at (717) 533-7168 Ext. 100.
***Notification of the cancellation of a wedding is requested to be submitted in writing to the parish office or by speaking directly with a priest.
Marriage Preparation for Newly Engaged Couples:
This is a very exciting time, and we share the joy and the hope that you feel as an engaged couple. We wish to support you as much as we can as you prepare to join your lives together in Christ’s Church. As part of your engagement, the Church requires marriage preparation that is explained in detail here
Parish Wedding Policies:
Please take a moment to familiarize yourself with our parish's Wedding Policy and Wedding Ceremony Policy here.
Contact Information for Wedding Preparations: Parish Office Phone: 717-533-7168
Pastor: Fr. Al Sceski (Ext. 102) - Email Fr. Stephen Arena (Ext. 104) - Email Wedding Dates: Susan Robison (Ext. 100) - Email Marriage Mentoring: Mary Butch (Ext. 115) - Email Music Arrangements: Beth Palmer (Ext. 109) - Email Flowers: Joe Yaklowich (Phone: 717-566-5704)
Organist: By Arrangement Cantor/Soloist: By Arrangement Altar Servers: $10 per Server Maintenance: $25 Non-Parishioner Church Fee: $250
NOTE: Marriage License, Fees and Honoraria should be delivered to the Parish Office the Week of the Wedding.