Marriage is a lifelong vocation of a man and a woman to a community of life and love open to children, and, between the baptized, 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.
- Marriage preparation is carried out by the Priest, often assisted by a group from the parish. Courses arranged on a deanery basis are recommended.
- Catholics are reminded of their obligation to preserve their faith and to do all they can within the unity of their partnership to have all their children baptized and brought up in the faith and practice of the Catholic Church.
- Non-Catholic partners will be informed of this promise, but they are not asked to make this or any similar promise.
- Dispensation for a marriage between a Catholic and a non-Catholic to take place in a non-Catholic Church can only be granted for a serious reason. Couples who wish to marry in a non-Catholic Church should discuss the matter with their priest in good time before their wedding day to see whether a dispensation could be granted.
All couples marrying these days need the support of the local Church. In this way, they will be strengthened in their preparation for marriage, in celebrating their marriage, and in living out 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.
~ Right Reverend Patrick McKinney (Bishop of Nottingham)