(To be read in all parishes on the first Sundays of October and February)
Marriage is a lifelong vocation of a man and a woman to a community of life and love open to children and – between the Baptised – it is a Sacrament. Aware of the many pressures today which can endanger family life, the Church is constantly concerned to make sure that those of you planning to marry are prepared as well as possible. We would like to remind those who wish to marry of the following:
- It is important that a couple go to see their priest in good time before their wedding – normally at least six months notice should be given.
- Married preparation is carried out by a priest, often assisted by a group from the parish. Courses arranged by Catholic Marriage Care and Engaged Encounter are recommended. Natural Family Planning training is also available.
- Catholics are reminded of their obligations to preserve their Faith and to do all they can within the unity of their partnership to have all the children baptised and brought up as Catholics.
- Non-Catholic partners will be informed of this promise but are not asked to make a similar promise.
- Dispensation for a marriage between a Catholic and a baptised non Catholic to take place outside the Catholic Church can only be granted where there is a serious reason and the permission for marriage has been granted.
All Catholics marrying today need the support of the local Church. In this way, they will be strengthened in the preparation, celebration and living out of their covenant with one another.
We wish to thank all those married people who show such constancy and fidelity to their vocation of marriage. May their example inspire those planning to marry in the Church.