Sacrament Of Marriage
On behalf of the Parish of Esker Dodsboro Adamstown, we wish you every blessing and happiness on the occasion of your forthcoming marriage! It is important to have reflected on what is most appropriate for your circumstances. The state has its own option of Marriage but if you choose a Church Wedding there are implications that follow from this choice. Should you choose a Church Wedding there are two options: the Celebration of the Rite of Marriage; or the Celebration of the Rite of Marriage in the context of the Mass. In other words a Wedding does not have to be celebrated by having a Mass. If you are not an active Church member, it may be more appropriate not to have Mass with Holy Communion. Your decision ought to respect your own integrity, the integrity of the Sacrament and the integrity of the Priest who will be officiating. The Rite of Marriage in itself is a beautiful ceremony and has a time frame of about 35 minutes and commences with the Word of God as is the case with the Mass. You are welcome to discuss the matter with the person preparing your Marriage papers. We hope that the following information will be helpful to you.
1. Book The Church
It is advisable to book the Church as early as possible – a minimum of 3 months notice is required. The latest time for a Marriage Ceremony is 4 p.m. Please contact the Parish Office (have hyperlink here to the Contact Us page). Marriages can take place on any day except Sundays and major feast days.
A contribution of €250 must be made to the Church when booking the wedding, this is inclusive of €50 to the Sacristan who will be engaged by the Parish on your behalf to prepare the Church, be present during the Ceremony and tidy up afterwards. The remainder of your donation is recorded and divided in a three fold manner: parish upkeep; Diocesan Common Fund; clergy salaries.
2. Civil Registration of Marriage
The couple must make an appointment to meet with the Civil Registration of Marriages and give notice of their intention to marry. The meeting must take place at least three months before the wedding in order to comply with the Civil Requirement. They will need to know that the Church is available prior to this meeting. They also need to know the name of the priest who will solemnise the marriage. The couple will be required to bring the following documents to the Registrar’s Office:
- photo identity (preferably a passport or driving licence)
- names and dates of birth of witnesses
- name of the church where they wish to be married
- date of marriage
- name of the priest who will officiate at the marriage; this presumes that the celebrant is a registered solemniser and that he has agreed to officiate at the marriage
- if either party has been previously married, they must provide the Civil Registrar with an originaldivorce decree or a death certificate if widowed.
If all requirements are fulfilled you will receive a Marriage Registration Form (MRF). Without this Form the couple cannot get married nor may the Solemniser proceed with the Marriage Ceremony.
For more information contact www.welfare.ie or
Registrar of Marriages,
Room 1, Joyce House,
8-11 Lombard Street East,
3. Book your Pre-Marriage course
Courses are run throughout the year but are generally limited to ten couples so early booking is advisable. ‘Accord’ (The Catholic Dublin Diocesan Agency for Marriage) run courses in a number of centres throughout a number of centres in the diocese. In the Dublin area, phone 01- 4784400, online at www.accord.ie (email: firstname.lastname@example.org) to book a course in the nearest centre to you. Inter-Church courses are also available where the catholic party is marrying a person from another faith tradition.
If you are marrying a Christian from another denomination we suggest you attend a Pre-Marriage Course organised by EMBRACE (Interchurch Marriage Preparation Group) 39 Harcourt Street, Dublin 2 Tel: (+353 1) 4784400.
4. Gather the Required Documentation.
Your paperwork for the Church can only commence within the six month period to the date of your wedding. However, you ought to go ahead with an appointment with the State Register as it can be difficult to get an appointment. You should also book your pre-marriage course (Accord) as these can be in heavy demand.
You will need:
A Baptism Certificate – Long Form including Parents Names (not a state birth cert and not an old baptism cert). It is evidence of your baptism and that you were not previously married. This is why it must be dated within six months of the wedding. You can get this from the Church where you were baptised.
A Confirmation Certificate available from the Church where you were confirmed.
A Letter of Freedom: If you lived in numerous places, it may be necessary to get a sworn affidavit stating you were not previously married. A letter of freedom can be got from the priest in the areas in question.
Alternatively there is a form that may be signed by a parent or brother or sister, stating that you are free to marry. In many cases this form will suffice.
Download and complete this form and bring to your appointment with the Priest of the Parish. This form can be obtained from the Parish Office by email at email@example.com or by calling (+353 1 6281018) between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. (Or click this freedom-to-marry form to print, complete and return).
Getting Married to a Non-Catholic Partner
It is the responsibility of the Catholic partner to obtain a Dispensation to marry a non-Catholic. The Diocesan administration fee for the Dispensation is €10. This is done by formally writing to the Archbishop of Dublin (Archbishop House, Drumcondra Road, Dublin 3). The following information should be included:
Name and Age of the Couple;
Date and Place of baptism of the Catholic partner;
How long the couple have known each other;
Stating whether the non-Catholic partner has been baptised and if so where, when and what Christian Tradition;
Place, Date of intended marriage and Name of Officiating Priest.
It is advisable when both partners are Christian to undertake one of the pre-marriage courses that is organised by the Ecumenical Body for inter-church marriages. Accord will assist in this matter. It is worth noting that the couple have the right to choose the Church of either tradition provided it is the Minister of that Church who solemnises the wedding.
5. Fill out Pre-Nuptial Enquiry
This is a form (Click here to download and print, be completed by both bride and groom) which asks a number of questions to make sure that you understand the step that you are about to take. This form is organised by the Priest of your Parish where you are residing for the last six months or more. It is important to be in touch with the Priest to complete this form in good time. It is necessary to bring all your documentation to your appointment with the Priest including the addresses of your witnesses. If your wedding is taking place in another church, you will need to bring the name and address to where your documentation will be sent.
If you are getting married abroad along with all the above documention you will also need the postal address of the Church where the wedding is taking place, the name and address of the Priest who is officiating at the wedding and the address to where the documents will be sent
6. Plan the Liturgy
We are happy to help you choose the readings, prayers and music that mean a lot to you and your partner and try to involve both families in the allocation of readings and prayers. We also recommend that you consult with www.gettingmarried.ie to get suggestions for planning your ceremony.
If you intend printing a wedding booklet don’t begin the process until you have talked to the celebrant of your wedding otherwise it may be a waste of time and effort.
The parish coordinator of wedding music is Ian Brabazon at 6282463/086-8393447 . He is a very accomplished musician and is also qualified in music technology. Ian is a trained organist. Laura Duff 087-9091635 is conductor of our Choir and a singer. She can be contacted for weddings. You can view her web site to appreciate her beautiful voice. She has worked both in Ireland and the United States. The music should be appropriate to the context of a Church Service. We advise that you consider how essential quality music is to enhancing your wedding liturgy.
Arrangements for flowers can be made with your own florist.
9. Your Wedding Day
Please make sure the Best Man has the ring(s) and coin (if being used) and Papal Blessing (if applicable).
10. Return of Marriage Registration From (MRF) to the Civil Registration Office
It is now the couples responsibility to return your signed Marriage Registration Form to the Registrar after your Wedding Ceremony. The signing takes place in the Church after the Religious Ceremony. This should be done as soon as possible as failure to do so would result in the non registration of your Wedding in the eyes of the State.
11. Ordering a Papal Blessing
If you would like to have a ‘Papal Blessing’, you can order them through Veritas. It takes a few months to get it and before ordering you will need to have a letter from your priest stating that you are to be married on a particular date and that you are practicing Catholics.
Living Abroad But Getting Married in Ireland
It is the responsibility of the couple who are living abroad but intending to get married in St Patrick’s Parish to process ALL their paperwork with the Parish in which they currently reside. The Parish of Residence will then forward the documentation to the Chancellery of the Diocese who in turn will forward the documentation to the Chancellery of the Archdiocese of Dublin. It is the latter Chancellery who forward the documentation to St Patrick’s Parish. Therefore it is essential that no later than six months before the wedding, that contact must be established with the Parish of Residence. The pre-marriage course must be completed and evidence supplied that such a course was attended.
Getting Married Abroad?
For information on getting married in Rome see the website for the Irish College in Rome www.irishcollege.org.
Marriages which take place outside the State are normally registered in the country in which they occur and are NOT registered in Ireland. Persons marrying abroad should ensure that all the legal requirements of the country in question are met, and should enquire as to the procedure for obtaining a marriage certificate from that country – the relevant Embassy and/or religious authorities may be able to advise.
In particular, the Italian Embassy, (63 Northumberland Road, Dublin 4, tel: +353 (0) 1 660 17 44) can provide useful information on marriage in Rome. If a marriage certificate is in a foreign language, it should normally be accepted for official purposes in this State if accompanied by an official translation, or a translation from a recognised translation agency. If one or both of the parties to a marriage contracted abroad is or are ordinarily resident in the State, both of them must be over 18 for the marriage to be valid in Irish law.
Certificates of Freedom to marry (also known as ‘Civil Letters of Freedom’, “Certificates de Coutume” or “Certificates of Nulla Osta”) which state that a person is not married, may be needed for marriage in some foreign countries, and are not issued by the General Register Office. Irish citizens living in Ireland wishing to obtain such a Certificate should apply to the Consular Section of the Department of Foreign Affairs, 72/76 St. Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2, Tel.: +353 (0) 1 4082568. Irish Citizens living abroad should contact their nearest Irish Embassy.
The General Register Office has no function in advising on, or in the registration of, marriages which take place outside the State. There is no facility for registering such marriages in the State, and the civil marriage certificate would normally be accepted as the legal proof of the marriage. In cases where a serious doubt exists as to whether the marriage is recognised in Irish law, legal advice may be sought and an application made to the Circuit Family Court for a ruling under Section 29 of the Family Law Act, 1995 as to whether the marriage is recognisable under Irish law.
When you make your appointment with the Priest of the Parish please ensure you have all the necessary documentation for the Pre-nuptial Enquiry Form (see above). You will also need the postal address of the Church where the wedding is taking place, the name and address of the Priest who is officiating at the wedding and the address to where the documents will be sent (the Chancellery).
Useful Addresses & Telephone Numbers:
Registrar-General of Marriages, General Register Office, Government Offices, Convent Road, Roscommon, LoCall 1890-252 076 or 0906-632900;
Department of Foreign Affairs, Consular Section, 80 St. Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2, Tel. +353 (0) 1 4082568 (Civil Letter of Freedom for marriage abroad);
United Kingdom Divorce Registry, Somerset House, Strand, London WC2R 1LP. Tel: +44 207 9476000
General Register Office (N.I), Oxford House, 49-55 Chichester Street Belfast BT1 4HL, Tel. +44 (0) 4890 252 000;
The Embassy of Italy, 63 Northumberland Road, Dublin 4; Tel: +353 (0) 1 660 17 44;
The Embassy of the United Kingdom, 31 Merrion Rd, Dublin 4; Tel. +353 (0) 1 2053700
The addresses of the other embassies appear in the telephone directory under Diplomatic & Consular Missions, Embassies.
For marriages in difficulty Accord offers support from trained Counsellors for couples experiencing marriage difficulties.