Churches are special and unique places to get married in - the prayers, promises and the whole service of celebration become part of your marriage, on the day itself and beyond.
The ritual of a Christian wedding ceremony in most cases includes this significant statement: "By the authority committed unto me as a minister of the church of Christ, I declare that [names] are now husband and wife, according to the ordinance of God and the law of the state; in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit."
The matrimonial covenant, by which a man and a woman establish between themselves a partnership of the whole of life, is by its very nature ordered towards 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.
Any Priest or deacon who assists at a marriage must be appointed a marriage officer by the appropriate Government Minister for the purpose of civil validity. All Priests and deacons habitually assigned to the Diocese (including those assigned to apostolates other than a parish) without prejudice to (a) above, are granted for the duration of their assignment, the general faculty to assist validly at marriages celebrated in Churches within the diocese. However, for the licit exercise of this faculty, they have the obligation to obtain the permission of the pastor, or assistant pastor in charge of the parish in which the marriage takes place. It is the serious responsibility of the priest or deacon who will perform a marriage, to make sure that the couple have done the required pre-marital enquiry, submitted a Baptismal Certificate, have participated in some form of preparation, to see to the proper drawing up of ecclesiastical and civil documents and ensure that banns are published or the licence obtained. In the case where there is a Lay Administrator of a Parish, a priest or a deacon will be appointed to see to the proper drawing up of all required ecclesiastical and civil documents. When a marriage is performed in a parish [or mission] other than that of the residence of either the bride or the groom, licit assistance at the marriage requires the permission of the parish priest or priest in charge of the place where the Catholic party resides (C 1115). The American novelty of a “mini bride” is prohibited.
Canons 1079 and 1080 grant special powers of dispensation, in danger of death or when impediments are discovered at the last moment, to those authorized to assist at marriages and to confessors. At a mixed marriage between a Catholic and a baptized non-Catholic a Nuptial Mass may be celebrated after due pastoral consideration of the circumstances. At any mixed marriage, the nuptial blessing is normally to be imparted. Marriages may not be celebrated during Holy Week and especially on Holy Saturday, except in danger of death.
The Proper Place for Celebration of Marriage
Marriages are to be celebrated in the parish in which either of the contracting parties has a domicile or a quasi-domicile or a month’s residence or, if there is a question of vagi, in the parish in which they actually reside. The new Code of Canon Law does not specify the parish of the bride as did the old Code. Permission of the proper ordinary or of the parish priest is required for the marriage to take place in another parish. Marriage is normally celebrated in the parish church. The local ordinary or the parish priest may permit the celebration of marriage in any other church or oratory.
Unconfirmed persons preparing for the Sacrament of Marriage should be properly instructed in good time to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation before getting married. In cases where the scheduled date of marriage of an individual precedes the date of confirmation in his/her home parish, the Parish Priest/Administrator may arrange to have him/her confirmed in another parish which has an earlier schedule. Diocesan policy requires at least three months notification prior to the celebration of a marriage. In cases where one party lives outside the Diocese, a minimum of six months notification is required. The priest/deacon fills out the Preliminary Investigation forms; determines the parties’ freedom to marry and their relation to the parish community. If it is discovered that a person is not confirmed, the priest should inform the bishop, instruct the candidate for Confirmation and arrange to have him/her confirmed in a parish that has a scheduled confirmation nearest to the date of the marriage. The pastor should also see to the party’s reception of the Sacrament of Reconciliation (prior to the celebration of confirmation).
Diocese of Roseau General Pastoral Directives and Special Faculties can be Download HERE
The sacraments make Christ present in our midst. Like the other sacraments, marriage is not just for the good of individuals, or the couple, but for the community as a whole. The Catholic Church teaches that marriage between two baptized persons is a sacrament.
Yes. Marriages between Catholics and non-Christians, while they may still be valid in the eyes of the Church, are non-sacramental. With permission, a priest or deacon may witness such marriages.
Most churches will be able to recommend someone from the parish who can decorate the church for you, but it shouldn’t be a problem to bring in your own floral displays. Just check with your vicar where you can have the flowers as you wouldn’t want a large arrangement to get in the way during the ceremony.
Our pastor officiates all weddings in our church, using the same basic Christian service as the starting place for designing your unique ceremony. She is ready to assist you in building a wedding ceremony that reflects your personal needs as a couple. Wedding ceremonies held in the Sanctuary need to be from one of the Christian traditions, however there is great latitude to include meaningful elements from other faith traditions in the case of an inter-faith wedding service.
No, you do not. You may use music that is meaningful to you. There are some limitations based on which of our facilities you use and the use of the sanctuary organ. We have a highly qualified music staff (please read about them on the staff page of this website) and can assist you in selecting beautiful music for your ceremony.
Yes. Our pastor is the primary officiant of all UniPlace weddings, but is always open to co-officiating your ceremony with the pastor of your home church or a clergy member of your family. Please talk to the pastor to explain your circumstance and work out the details of a shared ceremony.
A child who has not yet celebrated their 7th birthday is considered an “infant” in regards to baptism within the Catholic Church. As long as your child is less than seven years of age, the process and requirements are the same. Depending on the understanding and maturity of your child, this might be a wonderful opportunity for them to share in the preparation for the sacrament.
You don’t have to be religious to have a Church of England wedding, however for a Catholic wedding at least one of you must follow the faith and you’re required to get a dispensation to marry there for the one that isn’t Catholic.
It works the same way as booking a civil wedding ceremony in that places will get booked up months in advance. Talk to your vicar or the church office as soon as possible, particularly if you’re hoping to marry in peak wedding season. Bear in mind most Church of England churches won’t host ceremonies during Lent, although this isn’t usually the case for Catholic ceremonies.
If you’re planning on writing your own wedding vows, a church ceremony might not be for you. In England and Wales you cannot change any part of the wedding vows, however in Scotland you can vary the traditional vows or write your own as long as the minister approves them.
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