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You have found your soul mate, proposed to her / him and plan to get married in our Church…
Planning the most important day of your lives can be stressful, so here are some guidelines to help you and thereby avoid unnecessary inconvenience on both sides.
· What is the first thing I have to do?
If you intend to make the Sacrament of Matrimony in a Catholic Church you must be sure that there are no impediments to the marriage.
What are impediments of marriage?
· Lack of proper age
· The bond of a previous marriage or Holy Orders or solemn vows
· Abduction or entering marriage by force
· Blood relationship (all relationships in direct line and to the third degree in the collateral line)
· Involvement in death of a previous spouse
· Disparity of worship (please note that if both parties are not Catholic necessary paperwork may take longer so be sure to inform us of this situation on time.)
· Certain physical and mental defects
· No impediments? Great! So what’s next?
Before you book a venue, a photographer or print your invitations, you should call our Office (Mon-Fri from 9am to 1pm) to check if the desired date and time is available for your wedding in our Church.
· Now you have the date. Let’s talk about some serious things...
The Catholic Church demands that all who intend to make the Sacrament of Matrimony in a Catholic Church must attend pre-Marriage Preparation Classes (pre-MPC). These are offered in our Centre twice per year, in February & September. Please note that this is subject to change so for updates, please call our Office (Mon-Fri from 9am to 1pm), follow our Church Bulletin or visit our Webpage. Pre-MPC are obligatory for everyone. Both Sydney and Parramatta Dioceses offer pre-MPC as well. Check their time schedules if you can’t attend pre-MPC in our Centre.
· Now you have pre-MPC certificate of attendance and the date. It’s time for tedious paperwork… :(
This is also important part of your wedding planing so make sure to follow these guidelines to avoid misunderstandings.
Please call our Office to schedule an appointment with a priest at least two months prior to your wedding day.
IF BOTH PARTIES ARE CATHOLIC
· Birth Certificate (original)
· Baptism Certificate (original) - No older than six months (six months from meeting with priest regarding the paperwork) with a statement that the person is free to marry in a Catholic Church.
· Pre-MPC attendance certificate (original)
IF ONE OF THE PARTIES IS NON-CATHOLIC
· All of the above except Baptism Certificate for the non-Catholic party. If the non-Catholic party belongs to another Christian Church, provide certificates of received sacraments from your Church.
If the non-Catholic party belongs to a different religion, or has no religious beliefs, proof that no previous marriage exists needs to be provided.
- If you were baptised outside of the country it may take some time to get your Baptism Certificate from the parish where you were baptised. Ensure this is obtained at least one month before the wedding. Without your Baptism Certificate or any of the documents above, you won’t be able to make the Sacrament of Matrimony in a Catholic Church.
- If you were baptised in our Church, Baptism Certificate is not required.
· We are almost done! :)
Just a few more steps to get everything ready for the most important day of your lives.
- Our office will make contact with you to arrange a meeting with the priest at least one month before the wedding day.
- Bring all the necessary documents with you to that meeting.
- Have the names of two witnesses ready for that meeting. The only requirements for the witnesses are that they are adults (18+) and sober on the wedding day.
- The rehearsal date and time will be arranged at that meeting.
- The matters of liturgy (readings, music, etc) can be discussed at that meeting. If you have any requests or questions about the liturgy, we can talk about it at the meeting.
- Organist, singers and musicians are not provided. You will have to organise this on your own behalf. There is an option to bring pre-recorded songs and have someone to play them for you at the wedding.
Please note ONLY liturgical songs can be played and sung in the Church. Secular music is not allowed. For the entrance and closing processions instrumental songs may be used. Provide the list of songs (or CD) at the rehearsal.
· Advice and Remarks:
- Throwing flower petals, rice or anything else in front of the Church is not allowed as those customs are supersticious and as such contradict Christian beliefs.
- In order to avoid any inconvenience, please save secular customs or entertainment for the reception after the wedding.
Wanting a priest from another parish to be present or to officiate your Sacrament of Matrimony? Not a problem! Just make sure you inform us about that when you book your date. Please note only Catholic priests can officiate a Catholic wedding.
· Weddings in Lent
Weddings during Lent are generally not recomended, due to penitential characteristic of Lent in Catholic Church (fasting, penance and prayer). Please avoid planning a wedding during Lent unless it is urgent or if you have an unplanned situation.
· Fees and Costs
There are no prescribed fees and cost to make a sacrament of Holy Matrimony in our Church, however, a donation for the Church would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!
The Sacrament of Matrimony in our Church can be celebrated both in Croatian & English or it can be bilingual.
Please note if you want to get married under the Holy Mass, make sure that your guests are familiar with the liturgical responses in the selected language. If you and your guests are not regular church goers, consider just having the Rite of Marriage without the Holy Mass. Also, if one party is non-Catholic consider just the Rite of Marriage outside of the Holy Mass as the non-Catholic party will not be able to receive Holy Communion.
As you are the one getting married, we ask that you call on your own behalf to arrange your own wedding. Please don’t ask other parties (parents or granparents) to call. Don’t be afraid to call us, we don’t bite :)
Marriage is not merely a civil contract and occasion of social rejoicing, but is a Sacrament; and as such it should be celebrated in a manner befitting its sacred character.
Unbecoming amusements and dissipations are especially out of place.
In order to obtain the blessings of married life the state of matrimony should be entered into with devout sentiments and feelings of respect and reverence for the Church's laws concerning it.