Sacrament of Marriage
This wonderful sacrament of love and commitment is a very important step in the life of Christian man and woman, it requires much thought and discernment. The time of preparation is very important, not just to make sure that everything is all right on the day, but to make sure that the couple have thought about marriage and the many years that are ahead. People who have discerned that they wish to get married should in the first instance contact the parish office to make an appointment to meet Fr Mark for an initial meeting at which further details and a booking can be made. This should normally be at least 6 months before the wedding and more if possible. In the Catholic Church both parties have to be free to marry, that means that they have not been married before, if either have been married before, they should still contact Fr Mark to explore any options that may be possible.
There are two priests and two deacons who assist at marriages, once you have booked and it has been decided who will assist at your wedding, you will do the rest of the preparation with that priest or deacon, so by the time of the wedding you know each other quite well. Preparation also includes two sessions with local link couples in our parish who give some of their time to help prepare others for marriage. There is some paperwork, both for the Church and for the Registrar's Office and there is the preparation of the Order of Service, so quite a lot to prepare, that is why the long notice is important.