Holy Matrimony

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.


Add a Spiritual Dimension To Your Marriage

Marriage it is a sign not only of the love of the couple for each other but of the love of God for the couple and the love of God for his people.

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.

 The Officiant

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.

Special Cases

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.

Marriage Preparation

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

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    Scripture Readings

    In the wedding Mass and in marriages celebrated without Mass, the following selections may be used. Please indicate the readings of your choice

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Why does the church teach that marriage is a sacrament?

    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.

    Do Catholics ever validly enter into non-sacramental marriages?
    Can I decorate the church with my own flowers?
    Do we have to use a specific wedding ceremony?
    Do we have to use specific music?
    Do we have to use a member of your ministerial staff to perform our ceremony?
    What if my child is no longer an infant?
    Do I have to be religious to have a church wedding?
    How far in advance should I book my church wedding ceremony?
    Can we use our own vows in a church wedding ceremony?