The Sacrament of Marriage
Christian marriage is
'a 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; this covenant between baptized persons has been raised by Christ the Lord to the dignity of a sacrament’ Code of Canon Law
The Catholic Church takes marriage seriously. We believe it is fundamental to the happiness of the persons involved, an essential ingredient for maintaining a loving stable relationship from within which to bring up children and as such a basic building block on which human society is built.
Couples often focus only on the wedding day itself. We try to help them focus on what happens afterwards.
- Those who wish to be married in the Catholic Church need to meet a number of criteria which include:
♦ That at least one person is a baptised and confirmed Catholic.
♦ That both partners are free to marry, i.e. that neither are married nor have previously been married.
♦ That both partners are marrying freely after due though and consideration.
♦ That they intend, as far as they are able, to enter into marriage as a life-long vocation.
♦ That both partners wish for their marriage to be open to the possibility of children.
♦ To establish these criteria and to offer proper preparation the Church requires a minimum of 6 months notice.
- Recognising that couples often need to book reception venues well in advance provisional booking can be made as that process is underway. We advise that this is done simultaneously as the day for the hotel may not suit the church or vice versa.
- A booking for marriage only become formal after the paperwork and marriage preparation has been completed.
- At present a Catholic priest acts as state witnesses for marriage and so civil documentation needs also to be completed in preparation for a Catholic marriage. These documents will be signed during the ceremony. Catholic marriages may take place after a civil ceremony has been completed elsewhere such a ceremony is often referred to as a Convalidation.
- Couples who live outside of the parish in which they wish to marry need to undertake all marriage preparation in the parish where they reside. Formal permission for the wedding will be granted only after this has taken place. Please note a priest may not marry without formal permission being granted.
- Also please note that the Church in Scotland does not allow the Sacrament of Marriage to take place outside of a building currently set aside and presently in use for Catholic worship.
- Catholics, with permission of the bishop, may marry in non-catholic churches by the ministers of those churches and using the marriage rites common to those churches. However they must undertake Catholic marriage preparation and meet the criteria for Catholic marriage.
If you would like to discuss your plans to marry, please contact Fr Andrew Kingham.