What is Marriage?

Marriage, as designed by God, is a faithful, exclusive, lifelong union of a man and a woman joined in an intimate community of life and love. They commit themselves completely to each other and to the wondrous responsibility of bringing children into the world and caring for them. Man and woman are equal; they are also different. It is this difference that points marvellously toward their complementarity. Man and woman, in their sexual difference, are made for each other. This complementarity draws them together in a mutually loving union that should always be open to the procreation of children.
Catechism of the Catholic Church #1602-1605

Preparing for Marriage

Your Priest has the responsibility to not only assist you in preparing for the sacrament of marriage, but also for the life-long commitment which you are entering into through marriage.

After you contact the Parish office to book the church, you will then be asked to provide some relevant documentation to enable you to get married in the Catholic Church.

These may include:
• Birth Certificate
• Baptismal Certificate (The certificate must be less than six months old and can be requested from the parish where you were baptised)
• Evidence of Death or Annulment if applicable

Before getting married in a Catholic church, all couples will be asked to reflect on their commitment to each other and are urged to undertake marriage education to prepare for married life.

Getting Married

In marriage couples devote themselves to God through commitment to each other and then in turn to their family life.

A Catholic marriage ceremony may either be a ‘Nuptial Mass’ or a ‘Wedding Ceremony’, and must be witnessed by a Priest or a Deacon. The sacrament of Marriage is important for the wider community because it reminds us of the faithful, never-ending love that God has for humanity and highlights the giving-unto-death love that was so much a part of Jesus’ living and dying.

Why Can Marriage Exist Only Between a Man and a Woman?

In marriage, husband and wife give themselves totally to each other in their masculinity and femininity, and only such a sexual union can cooperate with God in the procreation of new human life. Only such a union fulfils God’s plan both for sexuality and for marriage itself. The permanent and exclusive commitment of marriage is the necessary context for the expression of sexual love intended by God both to serve the transmission of human life and to build the bond between husband and wife.

Across times, cultures, and very different religious beliefs, marriage is the foundation of the family. The family, in turn, is the basic unit of society. This makes marriage a personal relationship with enormous public significance.

Marriage contributes to society because it models the way women and men live interdependently and commit, for life, to seek the best for each other. Additionally, the marital union provides the best conditions for raising children: namely, the stable, loving relationship of a mother and father present only in marriage. The state rightly recognizes this relationship as a public institution in its laws because the relationship makes a unique and essential contribution to the common good.

Australian Catholic Marriage & Family Council’s website can also answer some frequently asked questions:

Marriage and Catholic Faith

Sacred Scripture and the teaching of the Church confirm these truths about marriage and deepen them. Genesis 1:27 shows us that the human person’s complementarity as male and female reflects the image of God. A man “leaves his father and mother and clings to his wife, and the two of them become one flesh” (Gn 2:23). The man joyfully recognizes the woman as “bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh” (Gn 2:23). God blesses the man and woman and commands them to “be fertile and multiply” (Gn 1:28). Jesus echoes these teachings from Genesis when he stated: “…from the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female’ and said, ‘[f ]or this reason a man shall leave … and the two shall become one flesh” (Matt. 19: 4,5).

These Biblical passages help us to under- stand God’s plan for marriage. Man and woman enter a lifelong bond of love and life, giving themselves as equal persons completely to one another. By this self-gift, they cooperate with God in bringing children to life and in caring for them.

Moreover, the Church, following the Apostle Paul, declares a valid marriage between baptized believers to be a sacrament — a saving reality and path to holiness. In Ephesians 5: 25-33, Paul teaches that Christ made marriage a sign of His love for the Church. This means that a sacramental marriage lets the world see, in human terms, something of the faithful, creative, self-emptying, abundantly life-giving love of our Lord. This Christian meaning confirms and strengthens the human value of a marital union.

Can a Catholic marrying a person who is not a Catholic, get married in a Catholic Church?

It’s not uncommon for many Catholics who are marrying a Christian from another Church or a non-Christian, to request to have their marriage take place in a Catholic Church. When this is the case, the priest or deacon will complete an application for ‘permission for a mixed marriage’. Catholic partners are asked to reaffirm their faith in Jesus Christ and their intention to live that faith in the Catholic Church. They must promise to share their faith with their children to the best of their ability, by having them baptised and brought up in the Catholic Church. The Catholic partner must inform their partner of this promise and sign the declaration.

What are the “costs” associated with getting married in a Catholic Church?

The Catholic custom is for couples to offer a donation at the time of their wedding; this helps to support the clergy and is greatly appreciated as parishes rely on donations. The donation helps cover the running costs of the parish churches.
True financial hardship will never prevent a Catholic wedding from taking place and anyone experiencing financial difficulties is asked to speak to the parish priest, who will treat your conversation or enquiry as confidential.