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Requirements to Get Married in The Catholic Church

Requirements to Get Married in The Catholic Church

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The Catholic Church considers marriage to be a sacred and sacramental event that should be conducted in a holy place. The requirements to get married in the Catholic Church include:

  • The couple must be capable of being married
  • There must be consent by the couple to get married
  • The marriage must follow the canonical form 

Capability to Get Married

Both the bride and groom must be free from any impediments that can prevent the marriage. Some of the obstacles to marriage include:

 

  • Age the bride and groom should be old enough to get married, as per the local and federal laws. They should also meet the Church's minimum age requirement.
  • Previous marriage – the rule is that you cannot marry someone else if you are already in marriage.
  • Relatives – you are not allowed to marry your relative.
  • Fear – you cannot force anyone into marriage.
  • Reason – you must have a sound mind.

 

Consent

Each party must freely give his or her entire self to the other person and accept the other party voluntarily. The Church assumes that the couple's words and actions during the wedding show their intent to get married.

Before the couple takes wedding vows, the priest asks them three questions:

  • Whether they come to enter marriage voluntarily and wholeheartedly
  • Whether they shall follow the path of marriage and love and honor one another
  • Whether they will accept children as a gift from God and bring them up according to the law of Christ and the Church

The Canonical Form

The Catholic Church has rules (Code of Canon Law #1108-1123) to ensure that the marriage takes place in the right way. For the marriage to be valid, there must be a witness authorized by the Church and two other witnesses. The wedding must also follow the Order of Celebrating Matrimony.

The ones listed above are partial requirements to get married in the Catholic Church. Additional requirements focus on administrative details and special circumstances.