Congratulations on your decision to get married. It’s an exciting time with lots of wedding planning ahead!
While you need only give four months notice of your intention to marry it is common practice for a couple to book the church a long time in advance. So it is important to contact the Parish Office to make sure that the church is available on the day you require. You will also need to look at participating in a marriage preparation course which is a lovely way for you as a couple to take a look at your own relationship. The Civil Authorities also have state requirements which must be fulfilled.
The following information may be helpful
- After you have made contact with the Parish Office, it is best advised to make contact with the Priest who you would like to celebrate your marriage ceremony.
- The priest will also begin the process of filling out Pre-Nuptial Enquiry Forms and advise you about the various documents that you need to collect. You will need to get a Certificate of Baptism from the parish in which you were baptised and a Certificate of Confirmation from the parish in which you were confirmed. These documents should be issued no less than six months prior to the date of marriage.
- If you have lived somewhere else, other than your present parish, since you were eighteen, then you will need to get a Letter of Freedom from each parish in which you lived for more than six months to state that you did not get married while you lived there. If you have lived in many parishes, you may like to consider a Statement Concerning the Freedom to Marry instead, available from the Parish Office.
- Freedom to marry: The rules governing freedom to marry in the Catholic church can be complicated. The best advice when one party has been married previously (either in a civil or religious ceremony) is not to make arrangements until the diocesan office has been consulted.
- Mixed Marriages: Special permissions are required for full church recognition of marriages between a Roman Catholic and a baptised non-RC or someone unbaptised. Applications are handled by the diocesan office once the priest of the catholic party has forwarded the standard paperwork.
- It is recommended that all couples who are getting married should attend a Pre-Marriage Course . It is better to attend the Course well before the date of the Marriage. If you require further information about Accord Pre-Marriage Courses in the Naas area, please click here.
- Celebrants From Overseas: All diocesan priests in the Republic of Ireland are on the State’s ‘List of Solmnisers’. In order for a priest from overseas to be placed on this list in a temporary capacity, it is necessary for him to send his name, address and telephone number to the Diocesan Office. The Diocesan Office in Carlow will then contact the officiating priest to formalise matters with him.
- Ask the priest who is to officiate at your wedding to help you with the task of creating your marriage ceremony. There are a variety of prayers, blessings, readings, etc. Read through these together and choose the ones you prefer. Please refer to the attached booklet for guidance on planning your Wedding Day and Ceremony; Our Wedding Day. Choose the person(s) who will read at Mass, person(s) to read the Prayers of the Faithful and the people to bring up the gifts at the Offertory. Rehearse the ceremony in church with the priest before the wedding day.
- To celebrate the sacrament of Marriage does not require the celebration of Eucharist (Mass). While it has been generally the custom, it may not always be appropriate for example in a “mixed” marriage or when a couple are not regularly practising. Some couples today find the celebration of Marriage without the Eucharist, to be more appropriate for them.
- Marriages on Sundays, Holydays and some special Church celebrations (Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, St.Patrick’s Day, Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday, Feast of All Souls) are not permitted in this Diocese. Click here for unsuitable dates in 2022 & 2023.