The marriage covenant between a man and a woman is a life-long partnership. It is not only governed by divine law, but also by the Church, and the law of the land.
Therefore, the couple needs to contact the parish priest at least 6 months in advance for their proposed marriage.
First of all, they are to be:
- instructed in the meaning of Christian marriage and in the role of Christian spouses and parents.
For pastoral reasons, these preparations are normally done by the diocesan or regional organisations. They are organised at fixed dates for a large area, so please make sure that the couple has enough time to attend their sessions.
- prepared for a suitable celebration of the marriage liturgy so that the couple and their families may manifest, and participate in, the mystery of the unity and fruitful love between Christ and the Church.
The appropriate place for marriage liturgy is the couple’s Catholic parish church. If they would like to have it in another place, permission from the Bishop is required. It is essential to check it before booking to avoid disappointment.
There are certain legal and ecclesiastical regulations to follow. Here are a few essential things that the couple needs to obtain:
- Certificates of baptism
- Letters of freedom
- Certificates of marriage preparation courses
- Legal certificates from the register office
If the couple would like to get married outside the boundaries of this Parish, they will still have to do the same preparations plus a few more formalities depending on their chosen place for marriage. It may take more time, so the couple should plan well in advance for their marriage celebration.