Congratulations on your decision to get married. It’s an exciting time with lots of planning ahead!
Planning your wedding.
The Sacrament enriches your lives in a very special way but it also enriches the community in which you will live. You become witnesses for Marriage to all with whom you make contact. Your parents, family members, friends, colleagues and neighbours celebrate your entry into Marriage and by their attendance at your wedding ceremony offer their continued support to you for your future.
There are certain requirements that need to be fulfilled if you wish to get married in a Church :
- Set the Date and call the Parish Office (046 97 33311 ) to make sure that date is free.
- Make a Date with the local Parish Priest to fill out your Marriage Papers. (These are additional to the Green Folder that you get from the HSE
- All couples are Required to do a Pre Marriage Course. There are various Course available for eg. accord.ie
Accord states that: “The priest responsible for the wedding has an obligation under church law to ensure that each couple are adequately prepared for their wedding and married life. The most surprising aspect for many couples is that a pre-marriage course can actually be very useful and interesting.”
- If you are from outside the Parish you need to get your Baptism Certificate and your Confirmation Certificate.
- If you are from overseas or are not known in the Parish you may need a Letter of Freedom from your Previous Parish at home to say that you are free to Marry.
- You will then need to make an appointment to meet with the civil registrar in person to give notice of your intention to marry. This meeting must take place at least 3 months before the wedding. (The nearest civil registrar is based in HSE Health Centre Arden Road, Tullamore 057 9359534 / 057 9315959). The couple is required to bring the following documentation to the registrar’s office;
- Photo identity (e.g a passport or driving licence)
- Names and dates of birth of witnesses (best man and matron of honour)
- Name of the church where the ceremony will take place
- Date of marriage
- Name of the priest who will officiate at the marriage. (The priest must have agreed to officiate at the marriage)
- If either party has been previously married, they must provide the civil registrar with an original divorce decree or a death certificate if widowed.
- When all civil requirements have been completed satisfactorily the couple will receive, from the registrar, a Marriage Registration Form (MRF). Without the Marriage Registration Form the couple cannot get married nor may the priest proceed with the marriage.
- A Wedding Booklet is not a requirement. Some people want to have it has a keep sake of their wedding. If you are going to have one please liaise with the Priest who is celebrating your wedding. The wedding booklet can include The Readings. There is an Old Testament Reading followed by the Psalm which is usually sung by the Singer and then the New Testament Reading. These Readings are usually undertaken by Wedding Guests. Should anyone need examples of these they can be got from the Parish Office. This will be followed by the Wedding Rite This is where the Bride and Groom exchange Vows or Promises and where Rings are also blessed. This will be done in consultation with the Priest or the Deacon who is celebrating the Wedding of the Couple. Then when the couple are married we pray for them in the Prayers of the Faithful, (also read by Wedding Guests)which can also be got from the Parish Office. It is usual to have about 5 prayers of the faithful with the last one, a prayer for the Deceased. This can be a way for getting people involved in the ceremony,although 1 person can also read all the Prayers. Nor does it have to be 5 prayers. It can be 4 or 6 depending on what couple want themselves.
- Wedding Music : All couples want their day to be special . So they will want to have Music at their event. Some couples make the mistake in thinking the Music they choose for their wedding is about their love for each other only. This is true but it also includes God. Because they have chosen a Church Wedding they have asked to have their Wedding blessed. It would highly inappropriate to have “Hail Holy Queen “ as your dance music,so it is highly inappropriate to have anything but Sacred Songs during the Wedding itself. The Bridal Entry and the Signing of the Registrar and the Recessional piece(on the Way Out) are all places where secular music is allowed, but not during the Wedding Mass itself. There is much sacred music available that is usable during the Mass.
- Wedding Fee : There is no fee for getting married but couples are reminded that they are using the Church Building for which there are upkeep costs such as Lighting, Heating and Sound, the Grounds etc. So all couples are asked to make a generous contribution to the local Church where they are married. The Priest also requires no fee for preparing the couple for their special day but couples are asked to be as generous as possible because the fee received by the Priest will automatically revert to, and help the running costs of the
- Flowers: All couples like to have the place looking well for their special day and will go to a lot of trouble to see that the place is looking very well. It is a pity then that ALL the flowers are taken from the Church to be taken to the Hotel etc. Please think about leaving some Flowers in God’s house as he Couple have started the day by asking for God’s Blessing, rather than denuding the place of all the beautiful flowers.
- Witnesses: You must choose two adults to witness your wedding by signing the register. They don`t have to be Catholics. It is normally the best man and bridesmaid but it could be parents or friends. The Solemniser who oversees the Vows, on behalf of the Church and the Civil authorities can be the Priest or Deacon.
- It can be normal to get married in a Catholic Church without celebrating a Nuptial Mass (but still incorporating the same Readings and Vows etc as in a Mass).This does not make it less than a true marriage and the service without Mass can be equally impressive and joyful. If either of the couple are not Catholic or is not a regular `church- goer`, then family and friends may find this form of service more appropriate. This Service can be presided over by a Priest or Deacon.
I hope these guidelines will be of some guidance in helping you having a wonderful and memorable day.