First of all congratulations on your decision to get married.
Marriage is very special and a significant celebration for you and your families. Getting married in the Catholic Church is also a very special event. It is not just about the wedding day itself but a lifetime of love, fidelity and commitment to each other in the eyes of God.
Here are the procedures you need to know for getting married in the Catholic Church and the specific details of how you can arrange your wedding at St Michael’s or St Bernadette’s.
Who can be married at St Michael’s or St Bernadette’s?
Both parties must be free to marry and the Catholic party must live in the parish of St Michael’s or St Bernadette’s.
What is the first thing to do?
The first step is to contact the Parish Office to arrange a meeting with Fr Steven. Please note: No dates can be confirmed before this initial meeting.
In our Diocese, we believe that those seeking to get married in the Church should set aside time to prepare for the important step you are about to take. To allow for this, it is a requirement of Salford Diocese that couples give at least six months notice of your wedding.
We will help you plan for your wedding through our Marriage Preparation Course.
What is a Marriage Preparation Course?
- It is a demonstration by the Church community that it cares about you and would like to be involved in this major event in your life.
- It is a chance for you to find out a little more about each other.
- It is a chance to find out a little more about the sanctity of marriage.
- It is an opportunity to meet other couples who will be getting married around the same time as you.
What the Marriage Preparation Course is not…!
- It is not people giving boring talks and lectures!
- It is not people putting you on the spot asking you to say what you think about things.
- It is not an attempt to ‘ram religion down your throat’.
- It is not an attempt to convert those of you who are not Catholic.
- It is not people telling you what you can or cannot do.
So what happens next?
Four or five months before your wedding you should contact the Parish Office and arrange a meeting with Fr Steven to discuss your wedding plans in more detail.
You are required by Civil Law to register your intention to marry at a Registrar’s Office. A minimum of 28 days and a maximum of 12 months notice is required by the Registrar. You will need to make an appointment.
The completion of the Pre-nuptial enquiry with you takes place in your meetings with Fr Steven. This will establish that at least one of you is Catholic, that you are both free to marry in the Catholic Church and that both of you understand the commitment you are making to each other in the marriage ceremony.
If you are a member of another Church, you will be required to obtain a Certificate of Baptism from the Church where you were baptised. The baptised Catholic partner is required to obtain a current copy of their Baptismal certificate and a letter of freedom (issued within the previous six months of the date of your wedding).
Order of Service
Fr Steven will discuss this with you when you meet with him and he will be happy to advise and help you compile it.
The Wedding Ceremony
You are invited to plan your wedding ceremony with Fr Steven. You may choose the Scripture Readings, prayers, compile the Intercessions and select the music and hymns for your ceremony. Fr Steven will help you do this.
The principal duties of Ushers are
- to welcome and direct your guests to their appropriate places
- to provide your guests with the necessary service sheets and booklets;
- to collect service sheets and booklets after the ceremony.
Times of Weddings
Weddings can be celebrated any day of the week except Sunday.. The time of the wedding should be discussed with Fr Steven as soon as possible after booking the wedding so that if there are other weddings on the same day a suitable amount of time can be left between the weddings.
Marriages can be celebrated between the hours of 9.00 am and 5.00 pm.
The fees will be explained at the Marriage Preparation Course