Marriage in the Catholic Church

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To arrange a marriage please contact the Cathedral office using the following e-mail address: marriages@cathedral-abdn.org

Please note that for all marriages the Diocese asks that you give at least six months' notice in order to give adequate time for preparation.

WHERE CAN WE GET MARRIED?
Any Catholic marrying in Scotland must marry in a place of worship in regular use. This means -

  • normally in an R.C. Church building, preferably their local RC parish
  • exceptionally, but only with the permission of the bishop, in a church building of another denomination, but with an R.C. priest or deacon officiating
  • very exceptionally, and with permission of the Bishop given for special reasons, in a church belonging to another denomination and with the minister of that church officiating.

WHO DO YOU SPEAK TO?
No matter where you intend to marry, the first port of call for a Catholic must be his or her local priest. The question of where you live is the issue here. Once you have lived in a particular place for a month or more you are regarded as a resident in the eyes of the Church and consequently you are considered to be a member of the local parish.

If you are not sure which parish you belong to, you can refer to the Parish Boundary Map here.

The parish priest therefore has responsibility for preparing and processing your application.

WHEN SHOULD WE MAKE ANY BOOKINGS?
Your own parish priest should be contacted before you confirm any other wedding arrangements, including booking the reception venue.

A minimum period of SIX MONTHS notice is needed by the Church to allow for preparation of the required documents and for planning the ceremony with you. In some cases (for example if you and your partner are from two different countries) even longer may be needed)

EVEN IF ...
Even if you are marrying outside Scotland, a Catholic living in Scotland needs to contact his/her local priest in Scotland.

EVEN THOUGH ...
Even though you are marrying in a church, you still need to contact the civil Registrar.

WHAT DOCUMENTATION DO I NEED?
If you are a Catholic then you will need the following:

  1. A new BAPTISMAL CERTIFICATE from your parish of baptism (Certificate should have been issued within 6 months of your proposed marriage date and must not be a copy or scan). This certificate should include details of your confirmation and any previous marriage (if you have not been married before then the certificate should say that there is no record of a previous marriage). This will not be a problem for your parish as this is a request they receive routinely.
  2. A LETTER OF FREEDOM stating that you have not been married before (Letter should have been written within 6 months of your proposed marriage date and must not be a copy or scan). This document should be such as would stand up to scrutiny in a court of law. It ought to be provided by a priest/parents. If you have been married before don't despair, speak to your priest and ask about an annulment.
  3. A COPY OF BIRTH CERTIFICATE.
  4. A COPY OF YOUR PASSPORT.
  5. A CERTIFICATE OF COMPLETION OF MARRIAGE PREPARATION COURSE.

If you are not a Catholic but are getting married to someone who is a Catholic then you will need the following:

  1. If you have been baptised/christened: either a BAPTISMAL CERTIFICATE (the original is sufficient) or your BIRTH CERTIFICATE with the details of your baptism on the reverse side from the time of the event (If you are not baptised then you don't need to worry about this).
  2. A LETTER OF FREEDOM as indicated above. This ought to be provided by a person of equivalent standing or one's parents.
  3. A COPY OF YOUR PASSPORT.
    All of these documents need to be obtained within six months of the proposed wedding date.

Once you have obtained all your documentation you should make an appointment to see Deacon Tony Schmitz bringing all your documentation with you.