Every couple marrying in the Catholic Church is required to give a minimum of three month’s notice to their priest in the Parish in which they reside, and complete a Pre-Nuptial Enquiry Form with the local priest of each party.
There are at least three forms that you need to get before going to meet your priest.
- A copy of your Baptismal Certificate (issued within 6 months of date of marriage).
- A recently issued copy of your Confirmation Certificate (in some cases the Baptismal Certificate may also certify the date of Confirmation).
- A Letter of Freedom from each parish you have lived in since you were 18. (In the Archdiocese of Dublin, a Statement Concerning the Freedom to Marry will suffice).
In the Republic of Ireland, according to the Family Law Act 1995, you must notify the Registrar of Marriages, in person, at least three months before the date of the marriage.
Marriage is the lifelong, irrevocable union of one man and one woman. It is an intimate communion of life and love.
God’s plan for marriage is that a man and a woman give themselves 100% to each other. God intends the spouses to find joy, delight and hope, creating with Him a new ‘wholeness’ so concrete that a new life, a child, is the natural fruit of that love.
Christ raised marriage to the dignity of a sacrament (Matrimony). It is easy to imagine why he did so, for there is no other state, besides the priesthood, that pleads so demandingly for grace. The Marriage Bond is perpetual, exclusive and indissoluble: it cannot be dissolved by any human power (e.g. a decree of divorce, etc.). What God has joined together, let no man put asunder (Mark 10:9).
The sacramental grace of Matrimony enables the couple to reach holiness in their married life, through learning to accept lovingly each other’s limitations, and the burden of raising children. Spouses should also frequently go to Confession and Communion, since these are the usual channels Christ left us for staying on the path of holiness.
The Celebration of Matrimony establishes spouses in a public state of life in the Church and takes place in the presence of a priest (or other authorized person) and other witnesses. The ministers of this sacrament are the spouses themselves, for it is their Consent that constitutes Matrimony. This consent is essential and must be conscious, free and exempt from all coercion.
See also www.accord.ie