Booking your Wedding
The Priests of the Parish wish to congratulate you on your decision to celebrate your wedding in the Church of the Holy Child, /Blessed Margaret Ball.
We hope your wedding day will be happy and relaxed. To assist you in organising the necessary marriage papers and to plan you wedding liturgy, the following guidelines may be useful:
1. BOOKING THE CHURCH
You may be living in this Parish or have grown up in it.
You may be attending Mass in this Parish for some time now while not living here. In order to be able to give the best pastoral help to those who are preparing for this Sacrament, we require that one of the above apply before we accept a request from a couple to be married in the Parish.
It is advisable to book the Church as early as possible. Make sure you book the Church before you book your hotel so as to avoid disappointment. Contact your local priest and he will inform you what is next to be done.
Preparing for your wedding requires that you make contact with your local priest. The Church Community believes in the importance of helping couples prepare for this life-long commitment and so requires that they give at least three months’ notice to the Church.
3. DOCUMENTS REQUIRED
(a) Baptism Certificate (long form) for each party (must be current certificate, written in the last six months).
(b) Confirmation Certificate.
(c) Letters of Freedom. A letter of Freedom is a document stating that a person has not already entered a contract of Marriage. Such documents must be obtained from any parish in which a party to a marriage has resided for a period of six months since the age of sixteen years.
(d) Parents’ Permission. In the case of minors the written permission of parents or guardians is required.
(e) Mixed Marriages. (i.e. where one party is not a member of the Catholic Faith) the Catholic Party must obtain a dispensation from the Impediment of Mixed Religion from the Archbishop. N.B. The Priests of your Parish will be pleased to advise and assist you in acquiring any necessary dispensation.
(f) Papal Blessing. If you wish to apply for a Papal Blessing on the occasion of your marriage, a letter of recommendation must accompany such application from a Priest in your Parish. The Parchments are arranged by:
Veritas, Abbey Street, Dublin 1
The Franciscans, Merchants Quay, Dublin 8.
g) Pre-Nuptial Enquiry Form. When you have all these documents, arrange a meeting with your local Priest who will fill out the Pre-Nuptial enquiry papers with you. This is a form which basically asks a number of questions to make sure you understand the step you are about to take. When the documents have been completed, they are sent to the church where the wedding is to take place.
4. PRE-MARRIAGE COURSES
The next step is to book yourselves on to a pre-marriage course. Again do not leave this step to the last minute. Courses are run throughout the year. They are generally limited to a certain number of couples, so early booking is advisable. ACCORD (the Catholic Dublin Agency for Marriage), organise courses in a number of centres.
For further information please phone 01 4780866. There is an ACCORD office in the Ballymun shopping Centre - Phone 8621508 and also in Blanchardstown: Church Avenue: phone 8201044.
5. STATE REQUIREMENTS
• Make an appointment to meet with any Civil Registrar to give at least three month’s notice of your intention to marry in advance of your proposed date of marriage.
• In preparation for the meeting with the Registrar meet with your local priest, book your church and know the name of the priest who has agreed to celebrate your marriage (he is known in civil law as the Solemniser).
• Make sure the priest who has agreed to marry you is on the ‘List of Solmnisers.’ If he is not on the list ask your local priest about having him nominated as a temporary Solmniser for your marriage.
• You will need the following information and documentation for your meeting with the Registrar:
• Photo identity (preferably a passport or driving licence).
• Names and dates of birth of witnesses
• Name of Church where you wish to marry.
• Date of marriage
• Name of priest who will officiate at your marriage.
• If either of you has been previously married you must provide the Civil Registrar with an original decree or death certificate if widowed.
• Make sure you receive the Marriage Registration Form (MRF) from the Registrar and show it to the Solmniser who has agreed to marry you to ensure all the details are correct.
• Make a verbal declaration of no civil impediment before the Solmniser and your two witnesses not more that two days before your marriage. It usually takes place just as you arrive at the Sanctuary area on the day of your marriage as the Rite of Marriage is about to begin.
• You must return to any Civil Registrar’s office the signed MRF/Form A, not later than one month after your marriage has been celebrated. For the Dublin area the address is:
Registrar of Marriage
Room 1, Joyce House,
8-11, Lombard Street,
6. ARRANGING THE LITURGY OF YOUR WEDDING
It is certainly the wish of every couple that their wedding day be a memorable occasion, literally a day of a lifetime. The couple have great freedom in choosing the content of the Marriage Service.
What kind of Service?
There are two kinds of service in the Catholic Church.
One is a Wedding Service with Nuptial Mass. This is when the wedding itself takes place as part of a Mass. The other is a Wedding Service without Mass. The part where you make your promises is the same in each and both are joyful celebrations. You may find it helpful to discuss the alternatives with your priest before making a final decision.
The Priest will read the Gospel at your wedding. There will be other readings from the scriptures too. You might like to ask some of your guests to read for you. They will need to practise so that they understand what they are reading. There are also the prayers of the faithful or “bidding prayers”. You can write these yourself with the priest’s help. He will have some general prayers that you can choose from or adapt if you want to. Another guest could read these too.
7. OTHER ARRANGEMENTS
Music and Singer
It would be advisable to talk with your local priest about the music you would like at your wedding. There are obviously songs, which may be popular but would be inappropriate for the liturgical celebration of the Sacrament of Marriage. The organist who plays regularly in this Parish will be only too glad to help with the selection of hymns and music.
It is important that you inform our Sacristan about the flower arrangements you have for your wedding in advance. He co-ordinates all of the wedding bookings for the Church and will be able to advise you from the Church’s position on the matter.
It would be appreciated, when making arrangements for photographs of your wedding in the Church, to inform your photographer to be as discreet as possible during the Marriage and Mass. Most photographers if requested co-operate.
8. PARISH PROTOCOL
• It is common practice to inform the Parish Priest, if a priest from outside the Parish is officiating at your wedding ceremony.
• Please try to arrive on time as a matter of courtesy. There may be other weddings on the same day.
• Children should be supervised at all times during the wedding ceremony.
• Confetti is prohibited in the church grounds. We would appreciate if you would adhere to this.
• Please encourage your guests to familiarise themselves with the fire exits.
• Remember you and your guests are in a house of worship and must act accordingly.
9. CHURCH OFFERINGS
Every effort is made to have the Church in perfect condition on your wedding day. This involves heating; lighting and insurance cover for all visitors and guests. It is customary to make an offering in appreciation of towards the cost of the facilities provided. The suggested offering in our Churches - Holy Child and Blessed Margaret Ball is €200 and for the Sacristan €60 and for the Altar Servers €10 each. It is helpful to have the above offerings placed in envelopes, clearly marked and given to the Priest before the ceremony. Perhaps a convenient time would be at the rehearsal. If you would like another Priest to officiate at your wedding, the above still applies.
10. PRIESTS OF YOUR PARISH The Priests of your Parish assure you of every assistance in planning your wedding and wish you every blessing and happiness on your Wedding Day. Finally, we hope you find these guidelines helpful. If you need clarification, please ask any member of the Parish Team. May we wish you both every blessing in your married life together.