The Sacrament of Marriage


Getting married is one of the most important moments of life and for Catholics it is a great sacrament which brings many blessings and lasts 'till death do us part'.


"Christian marriage is a sacred union which enriches natural love. It binds those who enter it to be faithful to each other for ever; it creates between them a bond that endures for life and cannot be broken; it demands that they love and honour each other, (that they accept from God the children he may give them, and bring them up in his love). To help them in their marriage the husband and wife receive the life-long grace of the sacrament."     The Rite of Marriage


Parishioners of Ballymoney and Derrykeighan who wish to get married are asked to make contact with the parish as early as possible to book a date and begin their preparations.


Those who wish to get married in the Catholic Church must be free to do so (that is they have never been married before or they have been widowed or have had a previous marriage annulled).  


The engaged couple must complete a Pre-nuptial Enquiry with their parish priest who will ask for a newly issued baptism and confirmation certificate (which comes from the parish where the person was baptised).  Other certification may be necessary, especially in the case of a mixed marriage where a Catholic is marrying a non-Catholic.  


The couple are also required to do a pre-marriage course.  Accord NI is one provider of these courses locally.


In addition to the religious preparations, the couple are also responsible for fulfilling the civil requirements for a religious marriage with Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council.


The date and time of the marriage must be agreed with the parish before other arrangements are made.  In our parish marriages cannot take place on Sundays, holy days or during Holy Week.  Marriages are normally celebrated by our parish priest but if the couple wish to bring another priest this can be arranged.


Once the paperwork and administration side of the marriage is taken care of, the couple should give some thought to their wedding ceremony.


Click here for a guide to the wedding ceremony and the options which the couple can choose from.


A few days before the wedding it is usual to have a rehearsal with the bride, groom, and others taking part in the ceremony.  The date and time are agreed with the priest beforehand.


The couple should also go to confession before their wedding day as a preparation for receiving the sacrament.


There is no charge for celebrating the Sacrament of Marriage in our parish.  It is traditional, though, to give an offering to both the priest and the sacristan as a gesture of appreciation for their help in celebrating your happy day.  This is left to your discretion!


Prayer for an engaged couple

Lord Jesus Christ, we give you thanks for the love we share, and for bringing us together.

Teach us to prepare for our wedding by an increase of love towards each other,
by an increase of generosity to others and by the prayers we make for a long and happy life together.


Bless all those who are helping us to prepare for our wedding.
Keep us good-humoured and joyful as the day draws near.

Mary our Mother and Saint Joseph keep us always in love with each other.
Teach us to live as you did and to love Christ with great devotion all the days of our life together.