What is it?
Marriage, as a Christian sacrament, is a lifelong and faithful union of a man and a woman mutually committed to sharing their life and love together.
Modeled after and strengthened by God’s own love for his people, it’s an intimate partnership in which each person gives the other freedom to grow and which is directed toward bearing fruit.
Congratulations on your decision to get married. The whole Christian community, through its parishes, personnel and agencies, wishes to join with you and your families in celebrating this very special moment in your lives.
We also undertake to assist you in every way we can as you journey to your wedding day and during your married life!
This following is intended to assist you with the initial planning of your wedding. The different issues are addressed in the context of norms in the Ossory. These may vary in other dioceses. Several of the issues will vary if you choose to celebrate your marriage abroad.
Booking the Wedding
The choice of priest or deacon who officiates at your ceremony is completely yours so long as he is a priest in verifiable good standing. It does not have to be the priest of the church where the wedding takes place. If he is not a priest of the church where the ceremony takes place, he will be authorised by the parish priest of that church to officiate at the ceremony. Before giving this authorisation, the local parish priest or priest-in-charge is required to satisfy himself of the priest’s credentials. The visiting priest will be asked to present an acceptable form of photo-ID and a current celebret (a standard statement from the priest’s bishop or superior verifying that he is in good standing). If you wish, you may also invite other priests to concelebrate.
If you are planning a wedding abroad, it is your responsibility to ensure that a duly authorised Catholic priest is available to officiate.
You are free to choose any Catholic church which is part of a parish or from a small number of Catholic chapels which have special permission to host weddings. Permission of the local bishop must be sought to hold a marriage ceremony for an inter-church marriage in a non-Catholic church.
All parishes keep diaries for bookings. Usually they keep them for a few years ahead! The normal procedure for booking a wedding is to make contact with the parish priest or priest in charge of the church. He will check to see if your proposed date is available at the church. Have an alternative date in mind in case you need it.
If the date is available, the priest will enter your name(s), contact details, the name of the officiating priest or deacon and, ideally, a time. That space will then be reserved for your wedding, assuming that no obstacle arises in the meantime which may prevent the ceremony going ahead. Some churches require a deposit at the time of booking.
It is advisable to book the church before you place a deposit for a reception.
Because Sundays and Holy Days are the days when the faith community gathers for worship, weddings are not celebrated in the Diocese of Ossory on those days. A few other days (Christmas Day, Ash Wednesday, Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Easter Saturday) are logically excluded, but you can choose from the other 300+ days of the year!
Because some churches have more than one wedding on the same day, you may be restricted to a choice of hours (e.g 12noon, 2 pm or 4 pm), your local priest will advise.
A useful to do list.