serving Catholic families & Navan community of Navan


Guidelines for Marriage

The parish community wishes you every blessing and happiness.  Your desire to marry in Church is your invitation to have Christ at the heart of your relationship.  Your wedding day is as special and as individual as you are.  Everything about it should reflect your uniqueness, especially your ceremony.

This is the one day in your lives when you have the opportunity to publicly express your love for each other and make your own special promises and vows to each other. We hope that the following information will be of benefit to you in a practical way as you prepare for your marriage:

Fixing the Date

When deciding on a date, please bear in mind that civil law and church law require a minimum of three months notice of your intention to marry.   In cases where dispensations are required, a minimum of six months notice of intention to marry is required by the Diocese.

Pre-Marriage Preparation

Marriage Preparation Workshops will be held in the Navan ACCORD Centre in 2017, on Friday evenings from 7:30pm to 10:00pm and Saturdays from 9:00am to 4:30pm.

Couples are encouraged to attend these Marriage Preparation Workshops at least six months in advance of their wedding date.

Booking is now online at and booking early is advisable as they fill up very quickly.

ACCORD’s Marriage Preparation Course
Exploring the richness of the Sacrament of Marriage.

The Eight Modules of the Course are:

  • Marriage and your Family of Origin and Self Awareness.
  • Marriage and how to Communicate.
  • Choosing the Sacrament of Marriage.
  • Marriage and your Conflict Management.
  • Marriage and your Sexuality and Intimacy.
  • Marriage and your Fertility Awareness and Well-being.
  • Marriage and your being parents.
  • Marriage and your Commitment.

To book the workshop, contact Accord Navan.
Tel:                   046 9023146


Which Church?

There are two churches in St. Mary’s Parish:

  • St. Mary’s Church, Fairgreen, Navan.
  • St. Oliver’s Church, Blackcastle, Navan.

Documentation Needed

  • A new Baptismal Certificate.
  • A Confirmation Certificate.
  • If you have lived for more than 6 months outside your parish  of residence since you were 18 years of age, you need a Letter of  Freedom from  the respective parish(es).
  • If a mixed marriage; permission or a dispensation from the bishop is necessary.

We advise that you also check the ‘Getting Married’ section of the website of the General Register Office at that provides general information on the solemnisation and registration (in the civil records) of a valid marriage in Ireland

(A non-catholic requires a baptismal certificate and an affidavit stating that he/she was never married before in a civil or religious ceremony). 
A minimum of three months notice must be given to the Civil Registrar of Marriages in Navan. (Tel: 046-9023209).

The priest of the parish in which you are resident will complete the  Prenuptial Enquiry Papers for you.

This should take about half an hour and must be completed at least two months before the wedding ceremony, especially if the marriage is being celebrated outside the parish in which you are normally resident.

The Ceremony

There are two kinds of ceremony in the Catholic Church.  One is a wedding ceremony with Nuptial Mass.  The other is a wedding without Mass.  If one of you is non-Catholic or not a regular churchgoer, you and your family may feel more at home with the latter ceremony.  A wedding ceremony without Mass is the form your marriage will take if one of you is not baptised.

During the days before the marriage, it is recommended to couples to prepare spiritually by receiving the Sacrament of Reconciliation.


Where possible, the musicians or soloists should facilitate the celebrant by singing the various parts of the Mass (Lord have Mercy, Psalm, Gospel Acclamation, Holy Holy, Great Amen and Lamb of God).  As a rule of thumb, the music selected for the ceremony should reflect the meaning and the essence of the wedding liturgy. Secular/pop or pre-recorded music should not be used during the Church ceremony.

Appropriate and prayerful church music is available in many different styles. Contemporary music may be incorporated into the period of the signing of the Civil Register. The list of music should be presented to the priest during the compilation of the wedding booklet for approval.

Wedding Rite & General Etiquette

  • Only the approved Rite can be used in the ceremony.
  • Couples may wish to supply their own wedding candles for the ceremony.
  • The ceremony of signing the Civil Register takes place near one of the side altars.

The bridal party are invited to witness the signing.

  • Encourage all who attend the ceremony to be respectful and silent inside the Church before, during and after the ceremony.
  • Confetti is not used in the Churches or in the grounds.

Choosing Readings and Hymns

When preparing your ceremony, a meeting with the officiating priest is advisable.  A formal printed booklet is not essential. A well-prepared A4 sheeet folded into booklet style containing the words of hymns, readings and the marriage Rite will equally suffice.  Please ensure that only the prescribed rites are chosen.

Be careful if copying the booklets of marriage ceremonies previously attended, that they have used the correct rites and that the service is in the right order.    Couples regularly have to go back to the printer to correct booklets copied from previous weddings.  It is also common, if the booklet is not properly proofed, that the names of the previous couple slip into the text. 

Wedding Rehearsal

A rehearsal is required for all weddings.  It is important that all members of the wedding party be present for the rehearsal.  This includes the Best Man, Maid or Matron of Honour, Groomsmen, Bridesmaids, Flower Girl/Page Boy.  Relatives and/or friends reading during the liturgy should also practise on rehearsal night.

Flower Arrangements

Flower arrangements are a beautiful adornment to any ceremony.  However, they should not be ostentatious to distract from what is happening, nor should they impede the congregation’s view of the altar.  It is inappropriate to place flower arrangements directly on the Altar table as it is reserved for the vessels necessary for the celebration of the Eucharist, nothing should impede the view of the host and chalice.

In some circumstances, a florist may not place the flowers in the church until immediately before the ceremony as they might not be appropriate to an earlier ceremony such as a daily mass or funeral service.   Please ask the florist to arrange with the parish when would be suitable to position the floral arrangements.


A wedding ceremony is a sacred time in which the couple unite their love with the love of God.  In order to maintain this sense of sacredness and yet facilitate your job as the photographer, we offer you the following guidelines:

We would ask you to observe the basic “line of sight” rule throughout the ceremony.

  • As a matter of courtesy, each photographer should discuss beforehand their requirements with the Celebrant.
  • Avoid the altar area of the sanctuary.
  • At no time during the ceremony should the photographer cross behind the altar.

Church Expenses

Bearing in mind that the preparation and celebration of a wedding involves considerable work for the priest, it is customary to give a donation to the priest on the occasion of your wedding.  If the sacristan has to open the church and prepare it for a practice, for the florist and for the ceremony itself, it is only fair that they too be given some token of appreciation. A standard administrative fee now exits for all, parishioner and non parishioner, who wish to use the facilities of the Church for their wedding.

Marriages Abroad

Weddings in Rome for Irish couples (both bearing Irish Passports) are usually straightforward to arrange.  They normally take place at The Pontifical Irish College (+390670476429) or with the Irish Pallotine Fathers (+390669799740) or with the Irish Augustinian Friars (+39064885359).  Weddings can be booked by contacting any of the above named communities.  They will forward you practical information on getting married in Rome.  The paperwork is completed in the usual manner and forwarded by your local priest to your local Bishop’s office.  Your Bishop will issue a Certificate of No Impediment also known as Nulla Osta, and in turn will forward the papers to Rome.

However, take note of the civil requirement of the Italian State Authorities who insist that you apply to the Consular Division of the Department of Foreign Affairs in Dublin for a civil Nulla Osta certificate.  The application forms for this certificate should be completed and returned to the Department of forign Affairs at least ten weeks before the marriage date in Rome, allowing time for the Department to process the application and forward the Certificate to the Italian State Authorities.

N.B. Marriages taking place outside of Ireland other than Rome, are subject to strict stipulation by most dioceses.  The couple should first contact their local priest.

As you make plans for the happiest day of your life remember this is a day that should be stress free, a day to be enjoyed.  A day you can look back on in the future as the day you began your married life together. Therefore any time spent in the planning of this day will make it truly memorable.  So with the choices you make and the options you take, may we wish you a perfect day.


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