Getting married in a church is an important aspect of being a Catholic. Marriage is one of the seven sacraments, and for the longest time, the Catholic tradition has been to be married inside a church. However, there are some things that you must meet in order for your marriage to happen. The Catholic Church carefully assesses these so that the sacrament of marriage will be meaningful for the couple.
If you are planning to get married in a Catholic Church and wondering what you should do, here are some of the requirements that you must meet:
- Secure marriage license. To be married, the couple must first secure a marriage license. According to the Catholic Church, men who are going to be married must be at least 17 years of age and the woman must be at least 15 years of age. If one or both of the parties is underage, they must get consent from their parents before they can get a marriage license.
- Baptized. Both the man and the woman must be baptized Christians before they can receive the sacrament of marriage. Baptism is the ceremony that welcomes a person in the Catholic Church so it is just proper that a person receive this before getting married.
- Opposite sex. The Catholic Church opposes same sex marriage, even if it is only civil marriage. Getting married in the Catholic Church is just for man and woman as dictated by the definition of marriage.
- Not related. Another condition set by the Catholic Church is that the couple should not be closely related. In some cases, second cousin marriages and even first cousin marriages are done but these are rare and the Catholic Church still discourages this type of marriage from happening.
- Freedom to marry. Both the man and the woman must be free to marry. The only case where a married person can marry in the Catholic Church again is if the spouse is diseased. You can also have your marriage nullified if you are separated from your spouse and you want to marry another person.
- Pre-marital counseling. Couples are also required to go through pre-marital counseling. The counseling sessions are usually conducted by the priest who will marry the couple. The sessions are conducted so that the couple can understand the real meaning of marriage and what it symbolizes in the Catholic Church. It will also help them know their duties as being husband and wife. The other things that are discussed in the counseling include the symbols in the ceremony, such as the rings, the veil, candles, etc.
These are some of the things that you have to go through and the requirements that you must have before you can get married in the Catholic Church. If you have concerns and questions regarding your upcoming marriage, the best person to consult is your local parish priest. You must take time to speak with your parish priest regarding the ceremony so that you can fully understand your duties as a married Catholic.