Church Wedding Requirements

Bonjour!  Mabuhay!

Filipino weddings are known for its grandiosity, whether held in the city or in remote provinces.  We are not one to let a major family event, such as the wedding of a child or the renewal of vows of our parents, go by without pomp and prestige.  Our seniors would sometimes say, “Kahit ipangutang, makapag handa lang.  Minsan lang ikakasal, kailangan todo ang preparasyon.”

Being a predominantly Catholic country, most weddings in the Philippines are held in Catholic churches.  In spite of the growing popularity of outdoor themed weddings, a lot of couples still choose to go for the traditional church weddings officiated by a priest or a bishop.  It is every young girl’s dream to have her “door moment” (or that ceremonial moment when the church doors open to reveal the blushing bride about to take her first steps down the aisle); and what better way to experience the “door moment” than by the elaborate doors of a huge cathedral or a quaint chapel?

To make sure that you enjoy your “door moment”, free from the worries of lacking documents, I am sharing the following list of requirements and procedures for church weddings.

  1. Marriage License.  Make sure that the license is within the validity period of 120 days from the date it was issued.  Kung kinasal ka na sa civil rites bago ang iyong church wedding, kailangan i-submit ang inyong registered marriage contract sa parish.
  2. Baptismal and Confirmation Certificates.  This is a Catholic Church requirement to prove that you have already received these two sacraments.  The copies must bear the annotation: “For marriage purposes only” and acquired three months before the wedding date.  Tandaan na marami pa ring parishes ang hindi pa digital ang filing kaya’t maaaring matagalan bago nila ma-produce ang inyong kopya.  That is why it is best that this be requested from your respective parishes as early as possible to avoid delays.
  3. NSO Birth Certificate and CENOMAR.  Believe it or not, these could be the easiest documents to acquire.  Ipa-deliver mo na lang by ordering online at www.nsohelpline.com or by calling (02) 737-1111.  Unlike the Baptismal and Confirmation Certificates na kailangan personal mong asikasuhin sa dati mong school o sa parish kung saan ka bininyagan, ang NSO Birth Certificate at CENOMAR ay pwede nang “zero leg work”.  One item off your to-do list just by going online or calling the hotline.  Huwag nang magpatumpik-tumpik pa.
  4. Pre-Cana/Marriage Preparation Seminar.  These are seminars hosted by the parish to help the couple prepare for their married life.  Pwede din kayong mag seminar under other independent organizations tulad ng Catholic Engaged Encounter (CEE), Center for Family Ministries (CEFAM), and Discovery Weekend Philippines (DW).  Siguraduhin lang na accredited sila ng inyong parish.  Kailangan mag submit kayo ng certificate of participation mula sa seminars na inyong sinalihan bilang proof na kayo ay tapos na sa marriage preparation seminar.
  5. Canonical Interview.  Have you seen the movie “Big Wedding” (starring Robin Williams, Amanda Seyfried)?  That hilarious scene where the couple came to see Robin Williams (as the priest) and were interviewed as to how well they know each other.  That is an example of a canonical interview, minus the funny gimmicks.  Kung hindi available ang priest, kahit ang kanyang assistant ay maaaring mag conduct ng canonical interview; ito ay ginagawa one to two months before the wedding.  Maaari din na padalhan kayo ng parish ng listahan ng mga possible questions during the interview.
  6. Marriage Banns.  Ang Marriage Banns ay ang written announcements na pinapaskil sa parish ng ikakasal na babae at lalake.  Ito ang dahilan kung bakit kailangang na-accomplish na ng ikakasal ang mga church wedding requirements at least one month bago ang kasal – sapagkat ang Marriage Banns ay kailangang maipaskil ng at least three consecutive weeks sa kanilang respective parishes.  Kailangang ibigay ng mga ikakasal ang pangalan ng pari na magkakasal sa kanila at ang complete address ng kanilang parochial church para sa request letter for marriage banns mula sa simbahan kung saan sila magpapaksal.
  7. List of Principal Sponsors and Entourage Members.  One week bago ang inyong kasal, kailangang mag submit ng kopya ng inyong wedding invitation sa simbahan kung saan kayo ikakasal.  Siguraduhing nakasama sa wedding invitation copy ang listahan ng mga Principal Sponsors and Entourage Members.  Importante ang list of Principal Sponsors dahil isasama ito sa marriage license.
  8. Confession.  May mga simbahan na nagre-require na mag attend ng confession ang ikakasal, ilang araw bago ang wedding date.

It is best to coordinate closely with the parish office for any other requirements unique to them.  Tandaan, sa ganitong mga preparations, mapapatunayang totoo ang matandang kasabihan na: “Daig ng maagap ang masipag.”  Kaya’t huwag hintayin ang “11th hour” bago asikasuhin ang mga nasabing requirements.

Until my next post, fellow citizens!

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