Post # 1
Hello fellow Catholic bees,
I’ve already had a civil ceremony a few weeks ago but I’m also planning to have a church ceremony abroad (my parents live in another country). The church my mom goes to requires a letter from my home parish stating that there’s no impediment for me to be married at the Catholic church. The problem is: 1) I don’t have a home parish, I haven’t gone to mass in years and 2) my husband is not Catholic.
My mom kept saying I should meet a priest and get “canonical” papers stating that we both are free to marry at church. The thing is, I just don’t feel comfortable calling up churches I don’t go to (I really hate to be turned away). I don’t even really know where to start. I read that most churches require you to meet up with the priest 6-12 months before your date and I only have 3 months (my mom pretty much sprung this on me a few weeks ago)
Any info/suggestion would be greatly appreciated.
Post # 3
We’re getting married at the parish I grew up at, but live hours away. We were required to do all of our preparation through our home parish, which we didn’t have at the beginning of the wedding planning process. We went in to a parish we’d occasionally attend and asked if they’d be willing to do it for us as long as we registered as parishioners. They were happy to do it and we registered on the spot. We did start attending weekly, as well as making our financial contributions. I doubt they would have been so accommodating for someone who just wanted paperwork, but had no intentions of joining the parish.
Post # 4
Technically, you actually do have a home parish, even if you’ve never set foot in the church there. A parish is a geographic division of a diocese in much the same way that a county is a division of a state. Your home parish is determined by where you live – whatever parish’s territory you happen to be in, that’s your home parish (and under Canon law, you have a right to access the sacraments there. They may not be thrilled about providing you with the papers if you haven’t been attending Mass, etc., but they have a responsibility to do it and cannot deny you.)
I would figure out what church you live closest to you, call them up and confirm that you’re in their territory, and then talk to the priest and explain the situation. They will be the best people to help you.
Post # 5
@dodkalm83: I think you’re dealing with the “Affidavit of Freedom to Marry” paper, which I can scan to you if you PM me, or you can google it.
This document consists of a template; what you need is: 2 people who can testify that you have never been married before (civilly or religiously). These 2 people (preferably family members) need to sign for you in front of your local priest, and the priest will then stamp it and sign (because he is an eye-witness of those 2 people giving testimony of your freedom to marry your future husband).
I’m also celebrating my wedding abroad and have been dealing with 3 countries to gather everything. Ask your mother to get an appointment at the Episcopal Office; they know what to do.
Post # 6
@dodkalm83: If you don’t go to church and don’t Know your home parish, then why do you want to be married in the Catholic Church?
You don’t call “churches” you call your home parish and ask for the form, they will probably not turn you down because this is a normal requirement, but the 6 months time frame is also required. you will have to meet with the priest, he will ask you why you want to marry in the Catholic faith…..