Who can Marry in the Catholic Church?

At least one of the parties must have been baptised in the Catholic Church or who, baptised in another Church, has become a Catholic.  Both parties must be free to marry. The Catholic party must either live in the parish of Holy Name or take part in Mass here regularly.

Legal Requirements

You are required by Civil Law to register your intention to marry at a Registrar’s Office. A minimum of 17 days and a maximum of 12 months notice is required by the Registrar. We recommend that you give notice to the Registrar as soon as possible after you have confirmed the date of your wedding with the priest.  You will need to make an appointment with the Registrar.  If you and your partner live in the same registration district, you are obliged to visit the Registrar together. If you live in different registration regions, you must inform the Registrar of Marriages in both areas.

Click here for information on how to register at Newcastle City Council Registrars or visit your own local authority web site.

Holy Name has its own Appointed Persons so it is not necessary for a Registrar of Marriages to attend your ceremony in the church.

From 4 May 2021, a new, single electronic register came into force to make the system of recording marriages simpler. This means that couples will no longer sign a marriage register which is replaced by a Marriage Schedule.  The schedule is issued by the registrars to the couple and is passed by them to the priest before the marriage can take place. On the day of the wedding, the priest, the bride and groom, the witnesses and the authorised or appointed person sign this schedule.  It is then sent by the priest to the registrar within 21 days of the marriage so that the details can be added to the electronic registrar. The registrar has 7 days to enter the marriage on the electronic register and after this time, the couple may request a marriage certificate from the registrar.

Click here for more information on the new electronic register

Church Requirements

At least six months notice of your marriage is required.

A few months before your wedding the parish priest will complete a Prenuptial Enquiry Form with you. This will establish that at least one of you is Catholic, that you are both free to marry in the Catholic Church, and that both of you understand the commitment you are making to each other in the marriage ceremony. If you are a member of another Church, you will be required to obtain a Certificate of Baptism from the Church where you were baptised.

Your personal preparation also must include taking part in a Marriage Preparation Course. Participants describe the day-long Course at Holy Name, provided by Marriage Care, as ‘worthwhile’, ‘enjoyable’, ‘helpful’ and ‘thought-provoking’. Upon completion of this Course, you will be issued with a Certificate, a copy of which must be given to the parish priest for inclusion in your Prenuptial Enquiry documents.


For a marriage between a Catholic and a person baptised in another Christian Church – normally referred to as a ‘mixed marriage’ – to take place in the Catholic Church, a dispensation (or permission) is required from the Bishop.  In this instance the Catholic party is asked to try – within the unity of the marriage – to have children born of the marriage raised in the Catholic faith.

The marriage ceremony normally takes place in the Catholic Church.  However, the Catholic Church may allow the ceremony of a  ‘mixed marriage’ to be held in a non-Catholic Church if certain conditions are met.  For further details, please contact the parish priest.


You may find the booklet produced by the Archdiocese of Liverpool useful. Click on the link below.

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