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Archive for March, 2015

These are some of the usual church wedding requirements in the Philippines. Always double-check for additional requirements with your chosen church, especially for foreigners and those living or working abroad.

1. Baptismal and Confirmation Certificates:  Secure NEW copies which should  have an annotation: “FOR MARRIAGE PURPOSES ONLY”. These docs must  be secured not more than three (3) months before the date of marriage.  FOR MIXED MARRIAGE (different religions or Disparitas Cultas): a dispensation must be secured from the Archdiocesan Chancery Office at the Arzobispado de Manila, 121 Arzobispo St., Intramuros, Manila (near Manila Cathedral). The forms will be provided at the Parish Office which will be released after the canonical interview with the Parish Priest or his assistant. These have to be submitted one week before the wedding. Make sure that the data are correct especially your name and even the names of parents. Make the necessary corrections early on.

2. Marriage License:  Secure this from the city or municipality hall where either the bride or the groom currently lives. For those who are civilly married, a certified true photocopy of the Marriage Contract with the registry number of the city or town where the marriage was performed must be submitted one week before the wedding date.

3. Canonical Interview:  This interview with the bride and the groom will be done one (1) month before the wedding date and will be conducted by the parish priest or parish assistant. The schedule of the interview will be given upon the signing of the application form and paying the reservation fee. Failure to report on the interview date or failure to notify the office of any change in the schedule could mean cancellation of the application and reservation of the church for the upcoming wedding, unless there is a very grave reason for doing so and the church was informed of the reason whatsoever.

4. Pre-Marriage Seminar: Both the bride and the groom have to attend this. The schedule for the seminar will be given during the canonical interview or you may inquire at the parish office. Some churches may allow attendance in other pre-wedding seminars such as the Catholic Engaged Encounter (CEE) or Discovery Weekend (DW) as a suitable substitute (if you have already attended either one of these, inquire at the parish office if they recognize either CEE or DW in lieu of their Pre-Marriage Seminar.) These seminars are more extensive but costs more. But most about to wed couples give good feedback about their experiences in attending these seminars.

5. Permission from the couples’ parish: a permit from the parish of the bride and the groom must be secured and presented to the parish office of the couple’s chosen ceremony venue. The form will be provided by the parish office of your chosen church.  A parish means the church which  has jurisdiction over the place where  the bride and groom currently resides.

6. Marriage Banns: These will be provided during the canonical interview and have to be immediately brought to the respective parishes of the bride and the groom for posting in the respective parishes where the bride and groom currently resides. These have to be returned to the office after three Sundays. (Note: the respective parishes may ask some requirements for the posting of the banns [i.e. a ID picture from the bride and the groom])

7. Certificate of No Marriage (CENOMAR) – This is a document of proof of singleness or capacity to marry and must be secured from the National Statistics Office. For hassle free way of getting a CENOMAR, get it online thru e-census website. For foreigners, secure an  original “Certificate of Freedom to Marry” from your  embassy. The cenomar has a validity period of 6 months.

8. List of  names and addresses of principal sponsors (Ninongs & Ninangs): This has to be submitted to the parish office one week before the wedding date. Church policy requires at least a pair of sponsors and, ideally, a maximum of six sponsors. Always ask the church their maximum number of sponsors as some churches may penalize you if you exceed the allowable number of  principal sponsors.

For a list of Philippine Churches, click this link  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Roman_Catholic_churches_in_the_Philippines

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