Sacrament of Marriage
‘This is my commandment: Love one another, As I have loved you’.
Marriage is a both a natural institution and one of the seven sacraments of the Catholic Church. It reflects the union of Jesus Christ & His Church.
The following information is provided to serve as a general guide in preparing for Christian marriage.
Please consult your local priest if planning on a church wedding.
How much notice is needed to give to get married in the Catholic Church?
In Ireland there is a Church and a State requirement to give each a minimum of three months’ notice.
What are the initial steps needed to be taken?
Contact the local priest where each of you presently live to let him know of your intention to marry and make an appointment to meet him. This may not be the same priest who will celebrate your wedding with you.
Meeting with the Priest:
The meeting with the priest provides an opportunity for the couple and priest to review & prepare what is necessary for the wedding. Along with completing necessary paperwork, it also is an opportunity to discuss the wedding ceremony itself in regard to readings, music as well as answer any questions the couple may have.
The priest will help and assist the couple in completing the paperwork necessary for the wedding.
What documents are needed?
The following documents are the standard required documents that are necessary for a Catholic to be married in the church.
1. A baptismal certificate that is issued within six months of the proposed date of marriage.
2. Certificate of Confirmation.
3. Proof of Freedom to Marry.
a. This can be established through the traditional letters of freedom from each of the parishes the person has lived in for six months or more since he/she was 18 years of age.
b. Alternatively, it is possible to ask a parent or somebody who has known them all their lives to write a letter stating their relationship to them and to the best of their knowledge they have never been married religiously or civilly in any jurisdiction.
c. Another possibility is for the person to swear an affidavit before a Commissioner of Oaths attesting that he/she has never been married religiously or civilly in any jurisdiction.
Please check with your local priest with regards to methods of establishing freedom to marry as practices vary from place to place.
4. Marriage Preparation Certificate.
5. Complete Pre-Nuptial Form.
What is a Pre-Nuptial Form?
As part of the pastoral care of the Church for you as an engaged person you will each complete a Pre-Nuptial form. The form records when you were received into the Church at Baptism and when you received Confirmation. It also establishes that you are free to marry and helps identify any special permission that you might need. The purpose of the form is to establish you understand the nature of marriage and accept the duties and responsibilities of married life.
The individually completed forms of the bride and groom are sent to the parish priest of the Church where the wedding is taking place and after the wedding the forms are kept in the parish archive.
- The address of the Church where you are being married if it outside the
- The name of the priest who will be performing the ceremony.
Marriage Preparation Course
When course is completed, please provide a copy of marriage course certificate to the priest.
God bless and keep you.
Fr. Vivian Loughrey