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Sacrament of Marriage

All Weddings in Armagh Parish must be booked at the Parish Office (tel. 37522813) in order to secure the Church.

Couples planning to marry must give the priest at least 3 months notice.

Weddings in St Patrick’s Cathedral and St Malachy’s Church are at set times. Monday to Saturday 1.00pm & 3.00pm.

St Colmcille’s, Knockaconey and the Church of the Immaculate Conception, Tullysaran, time of ceremony as arranged with the priest.

Wedding information leaflet

You have requested to be married in Church. Depending on the type of wedding you are planning, there could be many, many things to think about and decide; from the reception to the car hire, from the flowers to the choice of bestman and bridesmaid. With so much to plan it’s easy to forget or neglect that which is at the centre of it all – you, the one you love, and God. These months before the wedding can be a special time in which to discover more about each other and lay the foundations of a really Christian Marriage,

As you are choosing a Catholic wedding, the sacred nature of the ceremony is paramount. We want your ceremony in Armagh Parish to reflect the important, solemn commitment you are undertaking. The Church will encourage you to concentrate on what is at the heart of any successful marriage – true love for one another lived out in such a way that it enriches you, your family, the Church and our society. We believe that your marriage provides you both with the opportunity to reflect and make decisions about the practice of your faith as well as the many other issues you will inevitably face.

MARRIAGE PREPARATION
Pre-Marriage courses are organised by ACCORD (Catholic Marriage Counselling Service). This is a group of trained married people who are willing to help you work through the issues involved in a marriage relationship.
Some couples are put off by the idea of marriage preparation. A few even think that the Church is interfering. In fact, quite the opposite is true. The Church aims to help you plan your own marriage and grow closer as a couple. It would be rather unfair if the Church encouraged people to marry without any preparation and then expected them to live up to standards to which they didn’t realise they were committing themselves. All couples are required to complete an ACCORD course or an Engaged Encounter Weekend. It is your responsibility to book this ACCORD Course T 3833 4781 10.00am – 4.00pm. www.accordni.com

PRE-NUPTIAL ENQUIRY
There is a considerable amount of paperwork associated with a marriage and this can vary depending on your circumstances and plans. Papers may have to be obtained from one or several other parishes and in some cases approval may even be required from the Diocesan Office. It is therefore important to contact a priest as soon as you decide to marry so that you can be made aware of all relevant documentation.
(i) The usual procedure
Normally speaking, it is only when you have completed your pre-marriage course that you should make an appointment to complete the Pre-Nuptial Enquiry Form. Church Law requires that each partner is interviewed separately.
If you were baptised (and confirmed) in another parish, you should bring along with you a very recent Certificate of Baptism and Confirmation, and a Letter of Freedom from that parish and any other parish in which you have resided for six months or more since you reached the age of sixteen. If the bridegroom is not from Armagh Parish, he should contact a priest in his own local parish, well in advance of the wedding, to have his Pre-Nuptial Enquiry Form completed. That priest will then forward the bridegroom’s Enquiry Form (and Certificates of Baptism, Confirmation and Letters of Freedom – if any of these are required) to Armagh Parish.
(ii) Special circumstances or arrangements
Circumstances may be such that other procedures have to be followed: e.g. If the marriage is to take place abroad, or one or both parties to the marriage is currently living abroad etc. Details or factors of this kind, which will affect preparation, should be brought to the attention of the priest at the earliest opportunity.

Couples marring in Church both in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, must give at least three months notice to the civil authorities.

(iii) Mixed Marriages
If your marriage is one of mixed religions or denominations then a particular procedure is adhered to. All papers will be prepared in Armagh Parish. The non-Catholic party will be asked to provide a Certificate of Baptism, (if he or she is baptised) and proof of freedom to marry. After all pre-nuptial papers are prepared, they are sent to the Archbishop’s Office.

Marriage Schedule Form
This is the government paperwork which every couple planning to marry must complete. For further details and information contact The Registrars Office, Armagh City and District Council T 3752 9615. Couple are asked to please note that you can not get legally get married without the completion of this paperwork.

THE WEDDING MASS / CEREMONY
There are a variety of prayers, scripture readings and essential elements in the Marriage Ceremony which the priest will discuss with you. You may like to involve relatives and friends in readings or prayers. Such participants should be competent and properly prepared. Family or friends may also be involved in the carrying of gifts at the offertory. The priest will try to arrange with you a suitable time for a rehearsal. All who are intending to participate in any way should be in attendance at the rehearsal. This makes for a more meaningful ceremony. The signing of the Civil Register always takes place in the sacristy. The priest, bestman and bridesmaid act as witnesses to the celebration of the marriage and they sign the Civil Registration Form afterwards.

MUSIC FOR YOUR WEDDING
Music will add to the joyful atmosphere of your wedding.Suitable Church music, respecting the sacred character of the occasion.

ORDER OF SERVICE
If you are having an order of service you may wish to share it with the priest before printing. Use this useful tool to create your wedding booklet for printing: http://gettingmarried.ie

FLOWERS FOR THE CHURCH
Each of the four parish churches enjoy the service of flower arranging teams.  In St Patrick’s Cathedral and St Malachy’s Church, flowers are prepared for the sanctuary weekly in neutral colours to accommodate all events in the Churches.  No additional flowers should be placed in the sanctuary with the exception of a candle arrangement.  Flowers may be used to decorate the Church in a moderate fashion.  No pins or adhesive tapes may be used when attaching displays to seat ends.  The throwing of confetti is not permitted at any time in the church or church grounds.

POST-MARRIAGE
If you plan to make your home and begin your married life in Armagh Parish, we look forward to seeing you in the future. You will be part of a very large and ever growing parish community and we hope that you will find it a warm and encouraging place to live. The priests and religious of the parish, and the Accord Marriage Counselling Service are always available to offer help and support. Don’t hesitate to contact us if we can help you in any way. May God the eternal Father keep you in love with each other so that the peace of Christ may stay with you and be always in your lives and in your home.