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Marriage
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Contact Father Declan and he will take you through the process. Please book the date, time and Church with the Parish Office.
It is a diocesan requirement that you give at least three months notice of your marriage. This is also a State requirement in the Republic of Ireland. It is also a requirement of the Diocese that every couple undertake and pre-marriage course prior to marriage.

You must also give notice in person to a Registrar of marriages at least three months before the marriage. The notification may be given to any Registrar. They will issue you with a Marriage Registration Form (MRF) which you will return within one month of the marriage (signed by the Solemniser (Priest), the Bride and Groom and two Witnesses) to a Registrar in order for your marriage to be registered in the State.

Traditionally couples go to the local parish of the bride, but they can go to the parish in which either of them lives.

Weddings –Non Parishioners

Our parish is a very popular destination for weddings, both from other parts of Ireland and from abroad. We whole-heartedly welcome this and do all we can to support and encourage any couples wishing to book any of the churches in our Parish, that is:
St. Mary of the Rosary Church in Cong. St. John the Baptist Church, The Neale & The
Sacred Heart Church in Cross.
The churches can be booked by contacting the Parish Secretary, Marie Molloy either by emailing congcrossneale@gmail.com or by telephone 00353(0)94 95 46030, and are subject to availability.

Couples who are not parishioners, or from the Parish must provide their own priest, as the Parish Priest could not cope with the volume of weddings. If the couple know a priest they are most welcome to ask him and he is most welcome to our parish once he has the necessary documentation.
There is a fee for using the churches in the Parish which applies only to non-parishioners. The current fee is €500 for the use of the church. This is exclusive of any stipend a couple may wish to give to a priest which is a separate matter between the couple and the priest.

Make an appointment, so that Father Declan can give you plenty of time. He will explain the whole process to you and lead you through it in a couple of meetings.

From the beginning Father Declan will want to ensure that you are well prepared for the step you want to take. He will probably recommend that you consider doing a Pre-Marriage Course, sooner rather than later.

What does the process consist of?

All the formalities are looked after in an official document called the Prenuptial Enquiry, which the priest must fill out with the couple.

You will need:

  • Certificates of Baptism and Confirmation
  • Letters of Freedom
  • Civil Licence from the State

And then there’s the Rehearsal… the final preparation.

The prenuptial enquiry

Baptismal and Confirmation Certificate:

You must produce Baptismal and Confirmation Certificates. They can be obtained from the Parishes in which you were baptised. Write to the Parish Priest of that parish; he will send them on to you. If you were baptised or confirmed in Cong, Cross or The Neale and you are filling in your ‘Pre Nuptial Enquiry’ form, with Father Declan, you do not need to get certificates prior to having your ‘pre-nuptial’ form filled in.
If only one of you is a Catholic check out the requirements for a ‘mixed marriage’.
If either of you have been married before, you will probably need an annulment before you can be remarried in the Catholic Church. Check with a Priest.

Letters of Freedom:

Before getting married you must establish that you are free to marry. You must get a Letter of Freedom, a statement from the Parish Priest of your home parish that you have not been married already. If either you or your fiancé (e) has lived for substantial periods (more than six months) as an adult away from the home parish, you need Letters of Freedom from the parishes of the areas in which you have lived.

If someone has done a great deal of travelling, making it impractical to get all the Letters of Freedom, it is possible, with the agreement of the priest, to satisfy the requirement by attending a Commissioner of Oaths and swearing that one has not been married before.

The Pre-Marriage Course

A course gives you a chance to meet and listen to other couples in the same position as yourselves and hear first hand experience from facilitators who are married.

On a marriage preparation course you will look at ways of coping with the stresses of marriage and how to deepen your relationship.

Courses in Our Area

In Ireland pre-marriage courses are organised in every diocese by Accord, The Catholic Marriage Care Service. Information on courses in this area can be obtained from the Parish Office.

There are also special courses, in Dublin, for interchurch couples. These are organised by Embrace, the Interchurch Marriage Preparation Group.

Notification of the State:

In the Republic of Ireland, according to the Family Law Act 1995, you must notify the Registrar of Marriages, in writing, at least three months before the date of the marriage. Find out where marriages are registered in your local area and contact that office or any Registrar.

If marrying outside Ireland the demands of the State vary from one jurisdiction to another. If you contact your local priest in good time he will inform you of all the requirements, civil as well as religious. However, it is good to be informed of the requirements of the civil law in your own country or state.
In the USA it is often a requirement (dependent on area) that marriage preparation should begin six months prior to the wedding. So go to the parish office in good time.

Useful website: www.gettingmarried.ie

This information sheet was adapted from the website. It contains much more about the process of ‘getting married’.

Good luck.