God wants your happiness
God has a unique plan for each of us but for all of us his goal is the same: happiness. Our happiness depends upon others, for we were made for each other. For many of us this togetherness is celebrated in the sacrament of marriage. Marriage remains the foundation stone for family life and for society. While many in our country today find marriage difficult, the Catholic Church wants marriage to succeed, for when it does it becomes a source of love and stability for the couple, their children and the whole community.
Who can get married in St John’s?
If you or your fiancee is a Catholic, resident in the parishes of St John’s, or if either have very strong ties with the parishes (e.g. your parents live in the one of the parishes), then you may celebrate your wedding in either church. If you or your parents are regular Mass-goers in St Mary’s, Kinnoull, then you may, with the permission of the Rector of Kinnoull and the parish priest, celebrate your wedding there. Regrettably, because of the workload of priests these days, and the number of weddings etc., if you have no connection with the parishes, it is unlikely that permission will be given for your wedding to be celebrated in these churches.
The stages of preparation
We pray and hope that your wedding day will be joyful and memorable. However, the church is more concerned with your marriage as such and not just with ‘day one’. To that end, the Church asks that couples be prepared as well as possible, a preparation that involves not only a spiritual exploration of your marriage and relationship but also a personal and practical one.
If possible, we would like you to attend four meetings in order to prepare for your marriage.
1. The first meeting will be with the parish priest. This can best be arranged by telephone, or by writing to him, or emailing. The contact details are given overleaf. This gives you an opportunity to get to know him a little, and for some initial information to be exchanged. The date for the wedding can be discussed and he will ask you to obtain certain documents (again details overleaf). He may fill in some of the forms with you that are required by the church. He will also indicate the civil arrangements that must be made with the registrar. While at least six months notice is required by the Catholic Church, it is desirable that you contact the parish priest as soon as possible, and preferably before booking the reception.
2. Ideally, the second meeting will take the form of the filling in of a relationship inventory under the supervision of a FOCCUS facilitator. This helps you discover more about each other in a non-threatening (and often fun) way. It is thorough and has been properly tested. This may be done with others, though you will fill in your own inventory.
3. The third meeting will be a follow up to the second with the facilitator in a one-to-one couple situation. The outcome of the inventory will be discussed.
4. Lastly, you will be asked to meet with the parish priest again. The results of the previous two meetings will be discussed. He will then share some catechesis on Christian marriage with you and complete the paperwork. He will also discuss the ceremony with you and arrange a rehearsal and any other follow-up arrangements.
Is there a charge for getting married?
The civil registrar will charge you for the registering of the marriage and the registrar’s office will inform you of the amount.
The Catholic Church does not charge for the celebration of any sacraments but, if within your means, a donation is very welcome. The amount will depend on your circumstances, however, given the cost of weddings, some suitable sum should be considered.
Very Rev Steven Canon Mulholland MA STL VE
St John’s 20 Melville Street Perth PH1 5PY
01738 622241 01738 259371
Church Documents Required
1. a current extract from the register of the church in which you were baptized (within 6 months of the wedding date) showing the date of your baptism and your freedom to marry
2. A note of your confirmation from the church in which you were confirmed (very often this is to be found also in the baptismal register so check first with the priest who holds your baptismal records).
For those of other faiths or none:
1. a note from a competent person (parent or company/ registrar) to state that you have not been married before
2. If applicable, some note or certificate of your baptism (does not need to be current).
It is always best to check with Perth Registry Office, 3 High Street, Perth, in plenty of time, though 3 weeks’ notice is usually enough, if both partners were born in the UK. A few days before the wedding, you will be asked to collect the marriage schedule, to be signed on the day. This must be returned to the registrars within three days.