Marriage Marriage in the Roman Catholic Church, also called matrimony, is the "covenant by which a man and a woman establish between themselves a partnership of the whole of life and which is ordered by its nature to the good of the spouses and the procreation and education of offspring", and which "has been raised by Christ the Lord to the dignity of a sacrament between the baptised"(Can. 1055 §1).
The Catechism of the Catholic Church states: “The intimate community of life and love which constitutes the married state has been established by the Creator and endowed by him with its own proper laws. . . . God himself is the author of marriage. The vocation to marriage is written in the very nature of man and woman as they came from the hand of the Creator. Marriage is not a purely human institution despite the many variations it may have undergone through the centuries in different cultures, social structures, and spiritual attitudes. These differences should not cause us to forget its common and permanent characteristics.” (CCC 1602).
Jesus in his teaching always affirmed the original meaning of the union of man and woman as the Creator willed it from the beginning. Though at times the marital bond could be a burden, yet, on the other hand, Jesus who came to restore humanity’s original dignity gives the couple the strength and grace to live marriage in the new dimension of the Reign of God.
Catholic Marriage In order that a marriage be valid in the Catholic Church it is required that the following four elements be present: (1) the spouses are free to marry; (2) they freely exchange their consent; (3) in consenting to marry, they have the intention to marry for life, to be faithful to one another and be open to children; and (4) their consent is given in the canonical form, i.e., in the presence of two witnesses and before a properly authorized church minister. Exceptions to the last requirement must be approved by church authority.
The Church provides classes before marriage to help the participants inform their consent. During or before this time, the would-be spouses should have received confirmation (Canon 1065).
- St Dominic’s Parish asks for the following documents from those who are under its jurisdiction before the celebration of Matrimony:
- When both the spouses are Catholic:
- Parish membership card (updated),
- Baptism certificate issued not earlier than six months,
- Certificate of having attended Marriage Preparation Course,
- Prenuptial enquiry form duly filled before the Parish Priest/or his assistant,
- Certificate of Banns having been read.
- When one of the spouses is a non-Catholic (or of another Faith):
- For the Catholic: All as in no. I (except no. 5)
- For the non-Catholic spouse:
- Birth certificate;
- Certificate of having attended Marriage Preparation Course;
- Affidavit stating free state of marrying a Catholic;
- Prenuptial enquiry form duly filled before the Parish Priest/assistant;
- Certificate of dispensation from disparity of cult/mixed marriage from the Archbishop (obtained by the Parish Priest).