Holy Matrimony



First of all speak to the Parish Priest after Holy Mass to arrange an appointment for fixing a date for the celebration of Holy Matrimony. Do this before you book a venue for your reception etc to make sure that the church is available. 

Please give at least six months' notice. 

Father will explain the various documentary procedures that need to be gone through for both the civil and the religious preparation. These are usually straightforward.

The total cost mainly depends on the couple, not the Church
Those celebrating the Sacrament in church are asked for a fee which covers the use of the church, registration, the work of clergy and an offering. This doesn't come close to what is often spent on other things - photography, car hire or the reception, and is certainly less than that levied by some other ecclesial communities or secular celebrants. 

If an organist is required, they will also need to be paid a professional fee. 

You will also need to pay for flowers (and the services of a florist/arranger) if you want the church to be decorated. 

If desired, a quiet ceremony in the Church can be arranged at very little expense. The minimum required is for the couple to make the vows in the prescribed form, the priest to solemnise them, and two adults to act as witnesses. This might be the most appropriate ceremony for those couples who have been cohabiting and wish to rectify their situation and return to receiving the Sacraments.

From the point of view of the Church, Father will need to be certain of the following:

  • Neither of you has been married before, in either a civil or religious ceremony
  • You understand that Holy Matrimony is an intimate relationship for your mutual support and for the procreation and upbringing of children
  • That you are entering into the sacrament without any kind of pressure from anyone and that you wish to give your free consent to a Christian Marriage

If a Catholic wishes to marry a non-Catholic, the parish priest or the bishop will give permission, provided that the Catholic party resolves to keep the faith, and to have any children of the union baptised and brought up in the practice of the Catholic faith.

All Catholics are bound by what is known as the 'form' of of the Sacrament i.e. in order to contract a sacramental marriage the ceremony must take place in a Catholic church before a priest or a deacon and two witnesses. Wholly 'civil' ceremonies conducted at a Registry Office, hotel, resort etc. do not fulfil this requirement of the Church, and Catholics who attempt matrimony in this way are no longer able to recieve the Sacraments. Please speak to Father if you are in this situation and he may be able to help you to resolve things satisfactorily.