The Sacrament of Marriage
There are two Sacraments of Commitment, signs of the reality of God’s presence and God’s activity in our human lives. The Catholic Priesthood is one and the other is Christian Marriage. This is a visible sign of God’s love, self-giving, creative, the effort to learn at the school of love, the love and ever-opening curriculum of love and dedication to the welfare of others.
Catholics wishing to marry in this country or abroad need to complete various documents to fulfil Canon Law. If you live in the parish of St Anselm’s, Tooting Bec, please contact the parish office at least six months before the date of the proposed wedding to arrange an appointment to see the parish priest. This is to enable him to confirm eligibility to marry and that both parties live within the parish boundaries.
Both parties are expected to attend the meeting to commence paper work and when the necessary advice will be given in how to proceed with the documentation.
By Canon Law copies of baptismal, confirmation and letters of freedom cannot be dated more than six months before the proposed wedding date; advice on the documentation required will be given and is individual to each couples’ requirements.
Couples attending St Anselm’s to complete their marriage paper work are expected to attend the Marriage Preparation Course which consists of four evening meetings over four weeks covering the Sacrament of Marriage. The course is usually led by a member of the clergy with the support of a lay team of parishioners. The course culminates in a social gathering of all the parties at the final meeting. At the end of the course all couples are invited to attend Mass on the Sunday after completion of the course when they will be introduced to the parish community and Certificates presented.
All couples are responsible for contacting the parish office to make a follow up appointment with the parish priest once they have collated all the necessary paper work to finalise the documents before they are sent off to Archbishop’s House in London for authorisation and then forwarded on to the place of the proposed marriage, whether in the UK or abroad.
“Lisa and I were married in 2002, have been parishioners at St Anselm’s for over 10 years and have three children, two of whom are attending our parish school. Fr Will invited us to join the Marriage Preparation catechist team in 2013 and we’ve loved helping couples on the course. We never attended a formal course before we married and we’ve learned a lot ourselves, benefitting from the practical and spiritual content in both our married and family life! We look forward to meeting you on courses in the future” Tim and Lisa Mycroft