Marriage Preparation


It is possible to get married at St Margaret Clitherow if you are a Parishioner, or if you are a weekly Sunday worshipper. If you intend to get married, or if you are a Parishioner (or attend Mass here) and intend to get married elsewhere in the UK, or anywhere else – please make contact with the priest at your earliest opportunity for advice on the appropriate procedure. It is never too early to make contact – and a minimum of 6 months notice is required in every case – so please don’t delay.
To be married in the Catholic Church both parties must be free to marry, and at least one party must be Roman Catholic – the other party may or may not be Christian, or may be of another faith – or none. In today’s society, this is not unusual. Please note that it is not necessary for the non-Catholic party to convert to Catholicism in order to be married in the Catholic Church.
If you are a Parishioner and you have arranged to be married in a Catholic Church elsewhere in the UK or anywhere else, it is a requirement in Church Law that the Paperwork and the Preparation is completed in the Parish in which you are actually resident. The priest in the Church where you are marrying should have advised you of this – but sometimes this doesn’t happen, and causes problems later.
On rare occasions, for those marrying elsewhere, the priest in that place will undertake to do the Paperwork and the Preparation. Please note that even if this does happen, it is still necessary to make contact with the priest in the Parish in which you are actually resident at the earliest opportunity.
Catholics are bound by Church Law to marry in the Catholic Church. In certain circumstances, it may be possible for permission to be granted by the Archbishop for the marriage of a Catholic and someone of another Christian denomination to take place in another Christian Church (eg Church of England, Methodist Church). In such circumstances, in addition to the Paperwork and Preparation required by the other Christian denomination, full Paperwork and Preparation is also required by the Catholic Church – which should be approached in the first instance by the Catholic party – and at the earliest opportunity – remembering the general requirement by the Catholic Church that all Paperwork and Preparation should begin at least 6 months before the marriage – and ideally well before.
It is often not realized how much is involved in the Paperwork and Preparation process when marrying in the Catholic Church. Allowing good time – and seeking good advice and direction – the vast majority of marriages are totally straightforward. Most, if not all, tension and stresses in the Paperwork and Preparation process for marriages are caused by couples not approaching the priest in the Parish in which they are resident in good time. Some couples come to see the priest once they are Engaged – and before they have set any date for their wedding or decided on a Church for their marriage, or a venue for their Reception! This is a very wise way to proceed.
So, if you are a Parishioner and you are planning on getting married anywhere – get in touch without delay.