A wedding is for a day but a marriage is for life. There is much to be done for marriage. However quite often much is done for the wedding. Sometimes the stress of planning for the wedding drives a wedge between the couple so much so that by the time they exchange vows, they are ready for a divorce.

Quite often one of the parties actually wants to exit the relationship but because the invitation cards have been sent out or because of societal pressure, they continue with the charade of the wedding.

A spiritual preparation for marriage is a must. The preparatory programmes available are Engaged Encounter and Marriage Preparation Course including a preparation with the priest who will be witnessing to the exchange of vows.

In the past, some couples have gone through the motion during these preparatory sessions and presenters are fully aware that this couple is not ready for marriage. There is nothing that can be done because at times the course is just a week before the wedding date. Unprepared as the couple is, they continue on with the wedding to disastrous consequences.

Booking the wedding date with the Church a year in advance will give all parties concerned time to truly deliberate the readiness for marriage. Of course no one will be totally ready for marriage but we need to do our best to be prepared to live out our wedding promises.

The Archbishop, after discussing with the Senate, has decided that going forward, bookings for weddings must be made a year in advance. This decision is effective immediately. There are of course unique instances where deliberations have to be made.

Again – booking the wedding date a year in advance gives all concerned the time to work out issues that may be present.

For instance, one party may be a divorcee and it may take quite some time to have the necessary paperwork done.

Imagine the frustration when it is discovered three months before the wedding date that the ceremony cannot take place in Church due to some irregularities that will need nine months to sort out.

Sometimes parties concerned are not aware of other impediments that they are carrying and so if this is surfaced earlier, the parties can be at peace some time before the wedding date.

Getting your wedding date a year ahead is not something unusual because couples do book the hotel or restaurant a year in advance. Sometimes there is greater importance placed on making sure that a booking for the reception is secured than a date where the Church is available. Couples have in the past run into such difficulties and then they go shopping for the next available Church for the wedding.

The more couples pay attention to their marriage, the more they will draw the graces that are given in a marriage. The Church wedding is not just a ceremony. It is the moment when sacramental grace is bestowed upon the Catholic couple; graces that we cannot do without in marriage. 

Contact your Parish Priests or the Parish Office for more details about booking your wedding date.

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