New Marriage Registry rules, in the Republic of Ireland
Since November 2007, some new rules apply in Ireland, re the civil solemnising of marriage:
For weddings in the Catholic Church, the bishops provide the Registrar General with a list of priests whom he then deputes as wedding solemnisers, who can validly receive the consent of the parties, for the purpose of civil registration. Any visiting priest, therefore, invited to officiate at a wedding in Ireland, but whose name is not on the Register of solemnisers, should apply for recognition as a solemniser, via the local bishop.
The couple must contact the Civil Registrar's Office to initiate the civil recognition of their marriage at least three months prior to the wedding. They must personally attend at the Registrar's Office to make a declaration of no impediment, before a registrar.
A Marriage Registration Form (MRF) is given by the Registrar's Office to the couple, who should bring/mail it to the Church in good time. After their Wedding, this MRF is signed by the married couple, their witnesses and the priest/solemniser. The couple must return this signed document to the Registrar's Office within one month of the wedding. Also, within two days prior to the wedding, the solemniser and the witnesses must hear the verbal declaration of no impediment to the marriage, made by the couple themselves. Normally, this will be made at the start of the wedding ceremony.
Note that the responsibility for initial application to the Registrar's Office, and the return to that office of the completed Marriage Registration Form is being placed on the wedding couple themselves. The normal obligations to the Church for the Sacrament of Marriage will continue as before.
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