Guidelines for Matrimony

Guidelines for those preparing for the
Sacrament of Holy Matrimony 

Dear Bride and Bridegroom,

God welcomes your decision to receive the Sacrament of Marriage and we too, your parish
community, rejoice in your decision. Congratulations to you!

In order that your marriage be a meaningful celebration, a memorable day and a lasting experience in
your life, due and prior preparation is required. The following information will be of use to you.

1. Inform the parish office or any of the priests of your decision to get married at least 3 to 6
months before your marriage. Take the opportunity to clarify any doubts that you may have
regarding the marriage procedure, etc. (look up the FAQ’s on the Archdiocese of Bombay

2. Register for the Marriage Preparation Course 3 to 6 months before your marriage.
Log on to

3. After completing the Marriage Preparation Course, the paper work begins from the bride’s
parish with the filling up of her Pre-Nuptial Enquiry (PNE) form.

Fix an appointment with any of the priests in advance and bring along the following:
  • Baptism certificate (dated not more than 6 months prior)
  • Confirmation certificate (if the entry is not made in the Baptism certificate)
  • Marriage Preparation Course certificate
  • If you were previously married: the Declaration of Nullity of previous marriage bond (Annulment) from the Ecclesiastical Tribunal and the Civil Divorce paper or death certificate (in case of death of the former spouse)
  • If married in court: the Civil Marriage certificate

4. After filling your PNE form, visit the parish office to book the Mass at which your marriage
will be celebrated. If another couple wants to have their nuptials at the same Mass, you will
have to co-operate and make the necessary adjustments.

5. The rite for Disparity of Cult and Mixed Religion marriages will be conducted in church
before the thanksgiving Mass (depending on the nature of the case).

6. In case an outside priest is to solemnize your marriage, inform the priest and submit a
written note from the concerned priest in advance.

For your marriage day –

1. In consultation with the priest concerned, choose the Scripture readings, appoint lectors and
altar servers, arrange for a choir (no secular songs are to be sung, hymns should be from a
regular church hymnal, musical instruments are to be used keeping in mind the nature of the
liturgy). Prepare the prayers of the faithful. No prayers or commentary are to be done during
the offertory procession (only bread and wine for the Eucharist and gifts that are required for
the needs of the Church and the poor are to be offered - no symbolic gifts are to be offered,
which will be taken back later).

2. The flower decorations at the altar should be simple and tastefully done, no flower or other
decorations are to be stuck to the benches/wall, etc. (they can be tied with ribbon or string).

3. Keep in mind that on Sundays of Advent, Lent, Eastertide and other major feasts, the liturgy of
the day must be followed. Outside the regular parish schedule of Masses, the special nuptial
prayers and readings may be used.

4. Familiarize yourself with the structure of the rite, memorize the words of the vows, if possible.

5. Make a good confession to prepare to receive the Sacrament of Matrimony.

6. Arrange for two witnesses in advance.

7. Preparing a booklet for the service is not necessary. Scripture readings are to be proclaimed only
from the Lectionary. The readings, prayer of the faithful, etc. should be proclaimed by trained
lectors or people with a proven capacity to read effectively.

8. Video shooting and photography must not be a disturbance during the Mass. They must be
done from only one place (near the door next to the Divine Mercy picture) and only during the
entrance procession, readings, nuptial rite, sign of peace and the receiving of Holy Communion.

9. The Bridal gown and dresses of the bridesmaids and also of those coming up to the sanctuary
to read, sing, etc. must be decent, modest and in good taste.

10. Bursting of crackers/confetti tubes, etc. within and outside the church is not allowed.

11. Be in time for the Mass especially when nuptials are at the scheduled parish Mass. If you are
late, you will have to wait at the entrance of the Church until after the Gospel is proclaimed and
will have to enter without fanfare and photography/videography.

These directives are for your benefit and are meant to preserve the sanctity and joy of the
celebration of the Sacrament of Marriage. Be assured of our prayers that God may bless you both as
you begin a new life together.

The Parish Team,
Holy Family Church, Pestom Sagar