The matrimonial covenant, by which a man and a woman establish between themselves a partnership of the whole of life, is by its nature ordered toward the good of the spouses and the procreation and education of offspring; this covenant between baptized persons has been raised by Christ the Lord to the dignity of a sacrament.
Marrying at St Joseph's Church: At least 6 months notice is required to prepare the wedding file and celebration.
1/St Joseph’s Church celebrates the Sacrament of Marriage according to Church & French State requirements
2/Couples who prepare at Saint Joseph's Church may build their marriage file within the parish.
3/For couples coming from another diocese than Paris, who wish to marry at Saint Joseph's:
files have to be started in your own parish with your Pastor following guidelines below
A pre-marriage course is mandatory. The course is offered at St Joseph's twice a year, October & February, see dedicated page for pre-marriage course.
Please Note: St Joseph's Church Priests cannot accept invitations to celebrate a wedding in other churches in Paris or elsewhere in France.
To find an English-speaking priest to celebrate a marriage, other than at St Joseph’s Church, it is best to search online for the Bishop’s Office of the Diocese where the wedding is to take place. An enquiry can then be made if a priest who can celebrate the wedding in English is available. This is the most direct and quickest way to continue with planning the wedding.
GUIDELINES for MARRIAGE FILES:
a) Certificate of Baptism "for Marriage" (for Catholics this must be a recent copy); if your intended spouse is not baptised, a dispensation from you own bishop will be needed. A spouse who is baptised in another Christian Denomination will also require a dispensation. (The priest who prepares the papers will make the request on your behalf)
b) Freedom to marry for both parties must be established and also declarations of both marrying of your own free will. (The priest can advise you on these.)
c) Civil Birth Certificate: In France, you are also required to include your Birth Certificate in the marriage papers (photocopies are sufficient).
d) Civil Marriage Certificate: see below in article 3
e) Certificate of having completed a Marriage Preparation.
FOR couples NOT LIVING IN PARIS and wishing to marry at St Joseph’s Church. We ask you to read it carefully and show it to your own pastor/parish priest.
- In order to be married here the first thing you require is the consent of your own pastor/parish priest. He, or someone delegated by him, will be responsible for seeing that you receive adequate preparation and instruction (pre-Cana or pre-marriage course) and also for the preparation of your Church Pre-Nuptial Enquiry with the necessary papers listed above
- When all the papers have been prepared, your priest must send them to his Bishop’s Diocesan Office for approval and then they are sent to the Diocesan Office here in Paris. The officials in the Paris Diocese will in turn sign the papers with their seal (“Nihil Obstat”) and send your approved Pre-Nuptial Enquiry document to us at St Joseph’s. This may appear a complex way of doing it but it is the correct procedure and experience in such cases shows that the correct way is, in the end, the easiest and safest way. Your priest must not send the papers directly to us at St Joseph’s; they must pass through both Diocesan Offices. The Paris Office must have your papers at least six weeks before the wedding. The Paris address to which your Diocese should send the papers is:
Bureau des Mariages et des Dispenses, 10, rue du cloître Notre Dame, 75004 PARIS FRANCE
3. According to the laws in France, a person wishing to marry in Church must first go through a civil marriage ceremony. For those not resident in France, it is much simpler to do this in the country in which they are living. This civil ceremony is, of course, not recognised as Sacramental by the Catholic Church but is required by French law. You must send to us or bring a copy of your civil marriage certificate with you to Paris; without it, your marriage in St Joseph’s cannot take place.
Please take care to follow all the guidelines on this paper, as doing so will make everything easier for you and for us.
Fr. Martin Coffey, C.P.Parish Priest (Curé), St Joseph’s Church, 50 avenue Hoche, 75008 PARIS