The matrimonial covenant, by which a man and a woman establish between themselves a partnership of the whole of life, is by its nature ordered toward the good of the spouses and the procreation and education of offspring. (Catechism of the Catholic Church 1601)
For Catholics, the Sacrament of Marriage, or Holy Matrimony, is a public sign that one gives oneself totally to another person.
It is also a public statement about God: the loving union of husband and wife speaks of family values and also God’s values. As such, preparing for marriage often means some deep reflection on how God fits into your life, your future and of course, your marriage.
Most sacraments are celebrated by a priest or bishop, but in marriage the couple themselves mutually confer upon each other the sacrament of Matrimony through their consent:
‘I take you to be my husband/wife,’
The priest receives this consent and gives the blessing of the Church. The giving of consent results in the marriage bond, which is permanent and irrevocable.
There are two purposes of marriage: the mutual welfare and support of the couple, and the procreation and upbringing of children. To be a valid marriage, the couple cannot deliberately exclude either of these purposes.
If you plan to get married:
- Do not make any bookings until you have spoken to a priest.
- It is your local church that normally completes the paperwork, even if you intend to get married elsewhere.
- If one of you has been married before – in either a civil or religious ceremony -, this will need to be investigated before you can proceed; this can take time.
- You need to comply with the civil requirements for marriage: the wedding cannot take place without the necessary certificate/licence from the local authority.
Notice for Marriage
The Catholic Church requires a minimum of six months’ notice to arrange and prepare a couple for marriage.
Setting a date for your wedding ceremony is always done in consultation with the priest.
Before you arrange your marriage please contact the Parish Office to receive a Wedding Pack.