Congratulations on your engagement! You are in one of the most exciting (and hectic) seasons of your life. Beyond the wedding day there is married life. Let us help you get ready.
In the Catholic Church, Marriage is an important religious event. For Catholics, the Sacrament of Marriage, or Holy Matrimony, is a public sign that one gives oneself totally to another person. It is also a public statement about God: the loving union of husband and wife speaks of family values and also God's values. As such, preparing for marriage often means some deep reflection on how God fits into your life, your future and of course, your marriage.
The wedding ceremony will express your belief that God will be with you to support you in your life together. For a wedding in the Catholic Church at least one of the couple must be a baptised Catholic. Couples who plan to get married in the Catholic Church are also required to attend a Marriage Preparation course. This course will really help you to deepen your relationship and understand more deeply the difference a Christian marriage makes. Courses are held at the Centacare office in Warragul. You can download an enrolment form at www.centacaregippsland.org.au or phone 5622 1188.
If you have been previously married in either a civil or religious ceremony make sure you discuss this with the Priest when you first contact the Parish.
The Wedding Ceremony
Two ceremonies are available:
- There is the wedding ceremony within the celebration of the Eucharist (often called a Nuptial Mass). Where both parties are practising Catholics they normally choose the Nuptial Mass.
- There is the wedding ceremony within a celebration of God’s Word. This ceremony does not include Holy Communion and is most often chosen by couples of different Christian traditions or mixed faith.
Please discuss with the Priest officiating at your wedding which is the more appropriate ceremony for your situation. He will also assist you in selecting the Scripture Readings, Prayers, Vows and music for your wedding.
Some Practical Matters
- WITNESSES: Law requires two witnesses over the age of 18 to sign the marriage certificate and register.
- CHARGES: We ask for a fee of $400, which will cover the use and upkeep of the Church and other expenses. This fee goes to the Parish. Please pay this fee at the time of the “practice” or at the Parish Office prior to your Wedding day. If you would like to give an additional personal donation to the Priest/Deacon officiating at your wedding it would be appreciated.
- DOCUMENTATION: You will need to contact the Priest to arrange your wedding at least six months prior to the date of your marriage. By federal law at least one month’s notice needs to be given before a marriage can take place.
The State and Church requires you to produce the following documents:
- Birth certificates or extracts.
- Baptism Certificates (Catholic and Non-Catholic)
- If you are Catholic and do not live within the Cranbourne Parish you will need to obtain a letter of ‘Freedom to Marry’ from your local Parish Priest.
- If you are under 18 years of age you need special consent from your parents.