The marriage covenant, by which a man and a woman establish between themselves a partnership of their whole life and which of its own very nature is ordered to well being of the spouses and to the procreation and upbringing of children has, between the baptized been raised by Christ the Lord to the dignity of the Sacrament.
Guidelines for Marriages
The guidelines given below are meant to help those planning to have their wedding / anniversary / jubilee and other celebrations in our Church to organize their celebration in a meaningful way.
Prior To The Celebration
Those wishing to celebrate their nuptials or jubilees in our Church should meet the Parish Priest and inform him about the date and time on which they wish to have their celebration at least three months in advance so that the same may be confirmed and noted on the parish diary without prejudice to the regular services taking place in the Church. Please check the Parish Planner, or if your celebration is on Wednesday evening (we have Charismatic Prayer Service from 3.30 – 5.30 p.m) or if the Church is booked for any other mass or celebration.
Those wishing to get married should after finalizing the date and time of the nuptial ceremony follow all the pre-nuptial formalities as laid down by the Code of Canon Law, the Archdiocesan norms and the parish church regulations.
If an outside priest is invited to celebrate the wedding, the concerned party should inform the Parish Priest much in advance. For the purpose of officiating at the nuptial rite, the letter of delegation needs to be given to the priest delegate. Hence the same may be collected from the Parish Priest and handed over to the officiating priest well in time.
BOOKLETS, LEAFLETS OR OTHER MATERIAL and all prayers and hymns to be used in the liturgy should have the prior approval of the Parish Priest or his Assistant. No booklet or leaflet may be used in the liturgy unless the text of the same is approved by the concerned authority.
The choir master / leader of the choir has to meet the Parish Priest or his assistant before assembling any equipment in the Church. If the Church sound is used then a nominal fee of Rs. 1000/- will be charged. If any equipment of the Church is damaged during the choir performance then the same will have to be replaced by the concerned party.
DECORATIONS / FLOWER ARRANGEMENTS
Prior to making arrangements for decoration / flower arrangement the party should contact the Liturgical Animators and co-ordinate these arrangements.
The altar decoration should inspire awe and reverence to Christ whose Eucharistic sacrifice is perpetuated on the altar and whose presence in Word and Sacrament causes “our hearts to burn within us” (Lk 24, 32). As such, the altar decoration should be simple, minimum and conducive to prayer and worship.
Decorations on the pews should not be stuck with cello-tape or any other sticking material, as it destroys the polish of the benches. It is better if the decoration is tied to the pews. Altar decorations and flower arrangements are to be done in the morning during office hours (9.00 a.m – 12.00 p.m) and if need be in the afternoon from 3.00 p.m onwards. Concerned parties are requested not to disturb the priests during the afternoon hours from 12.00 noon till 3.00 p.m.
No flower arrangements are allowed on top of the altar and the lectern. Flowers are also to be avoided close to the statues of Jesus behind the altar and on the side crucifix.
All decorations, booklets, equipments should be cleared off from the Church immediately after the ceremony is over. If it is difficult for you to do so, you can avail the services of the Church employee by paying a minimal charge.
Video Filming / Videography
Photographer / Videographer should be informed to contact the Parish priest or his assistant before assembling equipment in the Church.
Photography / Videography should film the proceedings from a fixed spot (not too close to the altar) and avoid moving up and down the aisles. He / She should not be a cause of distraction and strictly abide by the instructions given by the Parish Priest or anyone authorized by him.
To avoid unnecessary delay, only the couple is permitted to take a photograph at the main altar. All other photographs may be taken outside the Church. Group photography, video filming before the Blessed Sacrament is not allowed.
The brides, bridesmaids, lectors, cantors, etc should attire themselves with appropriate dresses worthy of the celebration. Wearing of strapless, low-cut (back and front), off-the-shoulder, halters, spaghetti-straps, tubes and filmsy transparent material are strictly prohibited for the liturgical service. Those dressed immodestly are not allowed to read in the Church.
The bridal couple may be wished only outside the church. Wishing the couple in the Church is to be avoided.
Bursting of crackers is to be done in the specified place only.
If refreshments are served in the church compound, all trash is to be collected and properly disposed off at a dump yard and not in the church premises.
No speeches will be allowed inside the church before or after the service. A short vote of thanks may be given with prior permission of the Parish Priest.
The Church fees are to be paid preferably a day before the celebration of marriage.
On auspicious occasions such as weddings / anniversaries / jubilees contribution towards the maintenance and needs of the Church, or for Poor Man’s Fund given in a spirit of generosity would be greatly appreciated.
The couple should strictly abide by the time fixed for the celebration.
Correction in Marriage Registers
- Regarding correction of names – what is to be done if:
- a) A name has been wrongly spelt.
- b) If a name has been changed in the Government Gazette.
- c) If a person is commonly known by another name.
- d) If in the Baptism Certificate the names were given in the Portuguese form and in the marriage certificates the names are given in the English form.
- e) If the party wants the names to be transposed.
- a) If it is a clear spelling mistake the same can be corrected without referring the matter to the Local Ordinary or his delegate, but the correction should be initialled and dated.
- b) The case should be referred to the Local Ordinary or his delegate with a copy of the Gazette where the name has been changed.
It is not permitted to make alterations in the Register and hence please do not change the name in the Register, but when permission is granted, make a note in the remarks column of the relevant Baptismal/Marriage entry that as per notification in the Government Gazette No. ___ dated ____, the name of ______ has been changed to _______.
Having made this note, the priest concerned may issue a fresh Baptism/Marriage Certificate with the name as it appears in the Government Gazette, but the note made in the remarks column of the Baptism/Marriage entry should also appear in the remarks column of the fresh Baptism/Marriage Certificate.
- c) If a person is commonly known by a name other than the one given at the time of baptism, the case should be referred to the Local Ordinary or his delegate and after obtaining the required permission, the following note should be put in the remarks column – “so and so is commonly known as so and so”.
- d) If, at the time of baptism, the name(s) was spelt in the Portuguese form and at the time of marriage it was spelt in the English form and if the parties want the names to be spelt in the Portuguese form in the Marriage Certificate, the case should be referred to the Local Ordinary or his delegate and after obtaining the permission the needful could be done. But, when applying for permission, the priest concerned should send the party to the Local Ordinary or his delegate with a letter and the documentary evidence for the same.
- e) If a party wants the names to be transposed, a note can be made in the remarks column that “so and so is commonly known as so and so”.
- What is to be done in case correction of the date of birth is to be made in the Baptism Register?
It is to be noted that at times people give a wrong date in order to obtain a job or admission in schools and then they want this wrong date to be entered in the Baptism Register. This should never be done. At times people put a notification in the Government Gazette changing the date of birth. Even if a notification is put in the Government Gazette, the date of birth in the Baptism Register should not be changed. If, however, there is documentary evidence of the correct date of birth, only then can the correction be made. The party concerned should be asked to get a Municipal Birth Certificate or a letter from the Maternity Home where the child was born.
Courtesy: Archdiocese of Bombay Catholic Communication Centre