Marriage is the most important step in life most people take. Marriage is always an important and wonderful thing but when Christians marry it takes on another meaning which is why the Christian Church calls it “A Sacrament” - Christians who are married are a sign of the presence of Jesus to the world about them. For this reason we need to prepare couples for this special step.
Please note that we can only marry couples when at least one is a Catholic and providing they are not divorced (unless that previous marriage has been annulled)
There are four areas of preparation we need to go through with couples:
1. The Church Bureaucracy: As soon as you are considering marriage in one of our churches please contact the presbytery so that you can meet with the priest and fill in the Diocesan Forms. If you can find out where you were Baptised it would be helpful (But, if you are a Catholic, you will have to obtain a recent one nearer the time of the wedding). Beginning to fill these forms allows us to know you are free to marry. All this will be explained when you meet with the priest.
2. The State Bureaucracy: Within a year before the wedding you will need to “Give Notice to Marry” with registrar of the district in which you live - in this area the Registrar's office is that new building on the Promenade opposite Blackpool Tower. You will need to telephone to book a meeting - 01253 477177 (or see here). If one of you lives in another District you will have to go to your own Registrar. Eventually you will be asked to pick up a Blue Certificate each which the church needs to have permission to marry you in the eyes of the state. (Please note that the registrars will be aware that our church has its own authorised person for the actual wedding day). Be that there will be a charge for this service.
3. The Preparation for the Wedding Service: You will meet with the priest a number of times before the wedding, to complete forms, share about the meaning of Christian Wedding (Why do you want to get married in a church?), and to help you plan the marriage service. (Do share with others your thoughts about music and hymns, scripture readings, whether you were considering a Nuptial Mass or Simple Wedding ceremony, readers etc - your experience at other weddings can help you make your day a special one with Jesus at its centre.)
4. Your Personal Preparation for your Life Together: The wedding day is only the beginning of your Christian Married life together. Be aware of others’ experience of married life. Learn more about the special meaning of Christian Marriage. Look at the Church’s suggested scripture readings from the list here. Pray about your relationship and speak together about your Christian life together. The Church in Blackpool also runs short courses for those preparing for marriage (We will let you know when these are).
(This section is still in progress...)