Sacrament of Marriage


… without love I am nothing at all … St Paul to the Corinthians

(1Cor.13:2)

You have decided to get married. Congratulations. It is a happy and exciting time for you. Naturally, you want to make plans and you want everything to be perfect on your wedding day.

You wish to be married in Church and more particularly at St. Mary’s, which is, undoubtedly, a lovely setting for a wedding.

But there is more to a Church wedding than a nice setting. Marriage is a Sacrament. Choosing to be married in a Catholic Church implies that you have a real spiritual dimension to your life; that you understand the profound nature and commitment of the vows you make before God, asking Jesus to be part of your married life together and the blessing of the Church in your marriage.

Getting married at St. Mary’s

We follow the Southwark Diocesan directions and require at least six months notice for a wedding.

Your home parish is the best setting for your wedding. Generally speaking, we would ask, therefore, if you wish to be married at St Mary’s;

  • You, or your partner have your home within St Mary’s parish;
  • You are going to live in the parish after you are married;
  • You or your partner are members of the worshipping community of St Mary’s, living outside the boundaries of the parish;
  • You or your partner have strong family links with St Mary’s.

Marriage Course

The Church cares about you and your future life together. All couples are required to take part in a marriage preparation course. The Lambeth Deanery organises a number of courses throughout the year led by trained couples experienced in family life. It is an opportunity to meet with other couples who are also preparing for marriage. The dates of the courses can be obtained from the Parish Priest.

Wedding Service Details

Marriages usually take place on Saturdays, between 2.00pm to 3.30pm. A wedding rehearsal is organised sometime during the week prior to the wedding. Hopefully, this will help to put you at ease and give an opportunity for the readers to practice.


Photographs and Videos

The ceremony of marriage is a religious service. This must be kept in mind when planning photographs or a video of the occasion. Please note that there are laws on copyright. A video licence is required by civil law to record a wedding ceremony.

Most companies who specialise in weddings will already have an appropriate licence.

If you intend to print an order of service and include verses of hymns, you must make sure that these hymns are covered by our parish copyright licence.

Note also, that if you intent to use pre-recorded music, a licence is required.

Documents Required

Catholics must provide a new copy of their baptismal certificate. This can be obtained from your Church of baptism and must be issued not more than six months before the day of the wedding. Confirmation details are usually included on this certificate.

A Declaration of freedom signed by each person before a solicitor is required.


For Non Catholic Christians

You must provide a copy of your baptismal certificate.

Catholic Partners Declaration

A Catholic partner, marrying a non-catholic Christian or non-baptised person you will be required to make the following declaration:

“I declare that I am ready to uphold my Catholic faith and to avoid all dangers of falling away from it. Moreover, I sincerely undertake, that I will do all I can with the unity of our partnership, to have all the children of our marriage baptised and brought up in the Catholic Church.”


© Copyright 2007 St. Mary’s-Clapham