In this diocese, church weddings can take place on any day other than Sundays and major feast days.


Your wedding is time of celebration and joy it is also a serious time, filled with responsibility and perhaps even anxiety. We join you in your joy and we want to help you plan and prepare for your marriage in the best way possible. We hope that the information that follows is helpful and look forward to meeting you in person to discuss your for this special day.

 Spiritual Aspects for you both

We would hope that your request to have your marriage celebrated in church is a statement of your belief that marriage is a sacred undertaking. Do you see your request in that light.

By pledging your love for each other before the altar you make Christ’s love present to each other then and throughout your lives. This is what a sacrament is about. Christ being with you in your love for each other. Does this kind of statement of faith have meaning for you? You will recall the preparation you made for First Holy Communion and Confirmation. Is there need for similar preparation for marriage?

How important is God, religious practice, and prayer to you and your partner? Have you discussed these matters together? We would hope that they are important but we recognise that for some couples they are not. If they are of no importance to your we would ask you to think seriously about your wish to get married in Church. While we would like all couples to marry in Church we believe that it is less than honest to request a blessing of the Church unless there is some faith in acceptance of, the Church’s teaching on Christian marriage.

The marriage ceremony states: “The Christian home makes Christ and his Church present in the world of ordinary things. “Would you like to co-operate with God’s grace in making you’re a truly Christian home?

Many of the plans for your wedding day will have been made several months or years before the big day, e.g. booking a photographer, hotel and entertainment. It would be regrettable if you overlooked preparation for life together, the making of a home, parenthood, love and understanding. All these matters will be part of Pre-Marriage Course, which you should complete with a year of the marriage date.

Booking the Church

To reserve the church for your wedding it is necessary to make a booking with the Parish Priest, who will enter it in the diary. Bookings are on a first come first served basis. The Priest will write in the date, church (Quin, Clooney or Maghera) and time of the marriage. In order to avoid confusion this should be done personally and not be telephone. If the date is later changed or the wedding is cancelled you should come back and have the booking cancelled. This will leave the date free for someone else.

 Civil Registration Requirements

Persons marrying in Ireland must give a least three months notice in person to the Registrar, who does not have to be in the district where you live or where you intend getting married. In order to ensure the notification is given in sufficient time, it is advisable to arrange the appointment well in advance. Your wedding cannot go ahead if this is not done on time! You will receive the Marriage Registration Form (MRF) from the Civil Registrar and you will be required to make a verbal declaration of no impediment. Bring the MRF to the solemniser for your wedding. The signed MRF should be returned to the Civil Registrar not later than one month after the wedding. If either of the parties to a proposed marriage have been previously married or widowed they must provide the Civil Registrar with an original divorce decree or death certificate.

Further information can be obtained in the leaflet “Getting Married in Church: New Requirements for Civil Registration” (available for Veritas) which should be read in conjunction with the booklet from the General Register Office – Marriage Provision of the Civil Registration Act 2004. Information may also be found at or

 Annulments and Divorces

If you have been married before and have either a civil or church annulment from a previous marriage, or a civil divorce in Ireland or abroad, you must inform the priest and the civil register immediately. It will be necessary to establish your freedom to marry before a booking can be made.

Documents you will need

  • A recent Certificate of Baptism (dated within six months of your wedding) from the Church where you were baptised and a Certificate of Confirmation from the Church where you were confirmed.
  • A Letter of Freedom from any parish you have lived in for more than six months since you were 18 years of age. If you have lived in many parishes, you can swear an affidavit with a commissioner of oaths and declare that you are free to marry. Ask your priest for further information.
  • A Pre-Nuptial Enquire Form to be completed by the priest from your parish. This special questionnaire concerns general information, conditions which may be obstacles to marriage and personal commitment to marriage (knowledge, freedom, beliefs about fidelity, permanence and children).
  • An Official Receipt of Marriage Notification from the Registrar.
  • Any Necessary Special Permission. If your marriage is an “interfaith” marriage (one of you is not a Catholic), a special permission (dispensation) is needed for marriage. Your priest will apply for these, but be sure to allow plenty of time.
    Some examples are:
    - Marrying a baptised person who is not a Catholic. The non-Catholic will need a copy of his/her Baptismal Certificate, which should be obtained from the Pastor/Rector of their Church of Baptism.
    - Marrying a person who is not baptised.
    - Marriages witnessed by someone other than a Catholic priest. If the marriage is to take place other than in the Catholic Church, the Catholic must also file a dispensation asking for permission to marry in a church other than a Catholic Church.
  • Evidence of Marriage Programme Participation is needed to show that you have not participated in a form of marriage preparation. This Certificate that you receive at the course should be presented along with the above documents.

Other Details

Papal Blessing: If you wish to apply for the Pope’s Blessing you will need a reference from a Priest. This Blessing is available ONLY to practising Catholics (12 weeks notice usually required). The Papal Blessing is given without charge, but if you wish to have parchment, they are available through Veritas at varying prices.

Bride’s Passport: If you wish to obtain a passport in your married name you will need a letter from the priest of the parish or the officiating priest.

Marriage Preparation: Couples planning their wedding can sometimes get caught up in all the external preparations for the big day and forget to set a date and time for this important preparation course. Couples many apply for an ACCORD Marriage Preparation Course at their nearest ACCORD Centre. Each Course runs for approximately eight hours and will cover such topics as:

  • Communication
  • Commitment
  • Conflict
  • Resolution
  • Children
  • Church

There are different types of courses e.g. four evenings over two weeks or two Saturday mornings or the most common format is Friday evening and all day Saturday. It is ideal to have the course at least six months before your wedding. This enables the couples to focus on the course and evaluate what they have heard without being caught up in the last minute wedding preparations.

The course dates get booked rather quickly, so the sooner you book your course, the better. The nearest ACCORD Centre is at Clarecare, Harmony Row, Ennis. (callsave 1850 585000) for details.

Alternative to this course that are available include weekend preparation in Esker, Co. Galway Tel: 091 844549 [email protected] or other venues round the country.

Planning Your Wedding Ceremony

You have great freedom in choosing the content of the Marriage service, readings, words of consent, prayers etc. Your will have lots of choices and decisions to make as you plan this special liturgy. Involve your family and friends and ensure that the ceremony is an intimate and personal celebration.

We will be delighted to assist in planning the service with you and arrange a rehearsal so that you may be relaxed and confident on your wedding day.

Choice of Ceremony

When it comes to the wedding ceremony, the first choice you have to make is whether you will have a Wedding Mass or a Wedding Service.

They both contain the full Catholic Rite of Marriage, and in both cases you receive the full Sacrament of Marriage.

The difference is that at a Wedding Mass, after you have exchanged your vows bread and wine will be consecrated as the Body and Blood of Christ and Holy Communion will be distributed. At a Wedding Service, after you have exchanged vows, the ceremony is concluded with the Our Father and a blessing for all present.

The option that is appropriate to you as a couple depends on the importance that Mass has in your lifestyle. If you do go to mass regularly on Sunday, then the Wedding Mass is the appropriate option. If you do not go to Mass on Sunday, then the Wedding Service is probably the better option for you. Your priest will help you decide – just ask!


Your priest will help you choose from a selection of readings that are available.


The music that you select for your wedding should be appropriate for the sacred occasion. Consult with your organist, cantor and priest well in advance.


Flowers add to the occasion. Please ensure that your florist contacts the Sacristan at least two weeks before your wedding day. Flower arches are not permitted in our Churches. Floral arrangements on seats must be fixed by a bow or blue tack.

Adhesive tapes or drawing pins are not permitted as they damage church furniture.

Red Carpet:

A red carpet may be used provided it is removed from the church immediately after the ceremony.


Confetti, rice etc. are not permitted inside or outside the church. It only takes seconds to scatter but hours to clean up. We ask you to comply with this directive.


Photographers may use cameras and videos in the Sanctuary. However we would ask that they be used in keeping with the sanctity of the occasion. There should be no interruption to the ceremony in any way. Group photographs should be taken outside the church. Church microphones, amplifiers or light fittings should not be tampered with.


It is courtesy to your guests that you arrive on time for the service. We would ask that you allocate extra time for photographs and video to be taken at the bride’s home and outside the church, to ensure that the ceremony can begin in good time. Unnecessary delay lead to loss of the solemnity and sacredness of the occasion.


There is no charge for use of the Churches for parishioners of Quin, Clooney, Maghera. It is customary that a generous donation be given to the Sacristans for the hours of work of preparation and tidying-up that she dedicates to your wedding day. It is also the custom for Altar Servers to receive an acknowledgement for their services. It is usually part of the Best Man’s duties to give the necessary envelopes to the Sacristan prior to the wedding.

Wedding Rehearsal:

This is usually arranged a few days before the ceremony with the priest who will officiate at your wedding.

The Officiating Priest:

Every couple is free to ask the priest of their choice to officiate. Whilst one of the local priest may be working with you in your preparation, your choice of priest is very much respected and encouraged. The officiating priest will be made very welcome in our parish and needs to be on the Solemniser Approved List details of which can be found from the Civil Registrar. This is important particularly if the priest is coming from out-side of the Republic of Ireland.

May we again congratulate you and assure you of our care and support at this important time in your life. Wish you well in your preparations – enjoy!

May God’s Blessing be upon you both now and for the future.

  • Sacristan Clooney: Catherine Ryan, 065 6835785
  • Sacristan Maghera: Bridie Murphy, 065 6834823


Please complete this Wedding Booking Form and return to Parish Office, Quin, Co Clare.



Useful Websites

    Information on Marriage Preparation Courses and ACCORD Centres.
    Veritas bookshop web site containing details of available publications and religious goods to help with your wedding preparations.
    The web site of the Irish College contains the information you need if you are planning to marry in Rome.
    Mount Argus, Dublin
    Mrs Angela O’Rourke, Co-Ordinator.
    Very useful and nice web site to browse
    Telephone contact: 01 2964257


Registrar of Marriage

  • Sandfield Centre, Ennis, Co. Clare 065 6868050
  • St. Camillus Hospital, Limerick 061 326677
  • General Registrar’s Office, Joyce House, 8/11 Lombard St., East Dublin 2 01 6711000/01