What is the Sacrament of Matrimony (marriage)?

The Sacrament of Matrimony is a vow of love made before and through God and the Church and therefore we need to approach it with reverence and awe. God has fashioned this Sacrament to show forth His love and to bring life into the world.

Marriage is the call to be open to life, to receive it as a gift, and to bring it into the world. God has intended the act of marital love as the means of expressing our desire for intimacy, one in which we, as responsible parents, are open to the gift of life. Marriage is fashioned by God as the institution by which children are welcomed into the world, loved, and come to know their heavenly Father. Through marriage preparation, the Church hopes all couples will be able to discern how this beautiful vocation is about growing in uniting love and cooperating with God in creating His children.  

What makes a Catholic marriage?

  • The sacredness of marriage: Marriage is not merely a human agreement between two consenting individuals; it is a relationship before and under God (Genesis 2:22).  It is a reflection of the nuptial life of the Holy Trinity.
  • The intimacy of marriage: Marriage is the most intimate of all human relationships, uniting a man and a woman in a "one-flesh" union (Genesis 2:23 -25). Marriage involves "leaving" one's family of origin and "being united" to one's spouse. It is unitive in the making of two into a union of one in an unconditional, selfless and life-giving love.  
  • The mutuality of marriage: Marriage is a relationship of free self-giving of one human being to another (Ephesians 5:25-30). The marriage partners are to be first and foremost concerned about the wellbeing of the other person and to be committed to each other in steadfast love and devotion. This involves the need for forgiveness.
  • The exclusiveness of marriage: Marriage is not only permanent, sacred, intimate, and mutual; it is also exclusive (Genesis 2:22-25; 1 Corinthians 7:2-5). This means that no other human relationship must interfere with the marriage commitment between husband and wife.

How can I arrange marriage preparation at St Patrick’s?

Inherent in the preparation for matrimony is the call to chastity and a true openness to life.  Preparation happens with the priest (potentially with other couples) and includes formation in fertility awareness and openness to life. It is a beautiful time and, if engaged in wholeheartedly, yields much fruit for a long, pure, and faith-filled marriage contract.

The Diocese insists upon at least six months’ notice before the expected date of marriage. To attend marriage preparation at St Patrick’s, get in touch with our parish office.

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How can I have my wedding at St Patrick’s?

No date for marriage can be fixed at St Patrick’s or elsewhere before the priest’s agreement has been obtained.  If you wish to get married at St. Patrick’s and are not a parishioner, you must first approach your own parish priest who is responsible for the ecclesiastical papers, approval and preparation. Only after you have completed this should you contact St Patrick’s.

For the music (which must be sacred), we recommend that you approach our Choir Director, Breda McKinney.

Contact Our Choir Director

St Patrick’s does not allow confetti in the church, nor does Westminster City Council on the pavement outside. For parishioners, it is the custom to make a donation to the church; for non-parishioners, there is a set fee. It is the responsibility of all hoping to get married at St. Patrick’s to obtain, from their local Registry Office, a certificate/licence which allows them to do so. After the celebration of the wedding, the newly married couple will receive a marriage certificate.  

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