Your Special Day


For Catholics, the celebration of the Sacrament of Marriage, or Holy Matrimony, is a public ceremony in which one gives oneself totally to another person for life. It is also a public statement about God being present in human love and commitment – the loving union of husband and wife speaks of family values and also God’s values.

Rathmore Parish Marriage form

Wedding Mass Book

Getting Married in Rathmore Parish

St Josephs Church Rathmore

Church of the Holy Rosary Gneeveguilla

Church of Christ the King, Knocknagree.

Church of our Lady of Perpetual Succour, Shrone.

Congratulations on your engagement! We pray God’s blessing for you in this time of preparation, and God’s guidance for you in your married life. Getting married in our Church means that you will be celebrating the Sacrament of Marriage, one of the seven sacraments in our Church, a time to be enriched with God’s grace. We hope these points will be of help to you in your preparations.

Updated Nov 2016

In Planning to get married in the Catholic Church, the couple must be:

  • at least one of the couple is Catholic
  • both adults, 18 yrs or older
  • be one male and one female
  • Both must be free to marry in the Church
  • Both understand and accept that marriage is a lifelong loving commitment, with faithfulness to each other, and are open to children in their marriage.


Provisionally Arranging a Date, Time, Church

To make the arrangements for the date, time and Church of your wedding in our parish, you will need to contact Rathmore  Parish Office (064 7761669 , email You will then be asked to fill out the  booking form (Form 1) (download here) and to give your offering to the Church within 2 weeks of booking, so as to confirm your commitment to that date, and to be sure of your booking. If we haven’t heard from you by the 2 weeks, we will presume you have made other arrangements and we will then be able to offer that date and time to others.

Why is it only a Provisional Booking?

Every booking is taken on the understanding that both parties are free to marry in the Catholic Church and that no impediment to the marriage exists.  The celebration of the Marriage depends on this being the case.  Early clarification of this point is essential.  While this booking is provisional, the date and time will be held for the couple.

Please note also that if either person has been married before (no matter what the circumstances) the Freedom to Marry in the Church has to be established with your local priest before any provisional booking can be made, so as to avoid disappointment if issues arise.

When the freedom of both parties (download here) is established by their local priest, and when Form 2a (download here) is completed by their local priest and returned to Rathmore Parish Office, the booking can be confirmed.

Regarding the Priest Officiating at your Wedding

You are very welcome to organise your own priest to be the celebrant of your wedding, but please know that the priests of the parish are delighted to celebrate the weddings of those from the parish of Rathmore. Please make contact if you wish to chat further on this. (Fr Pat 086-8351732)

Church and Civil Requirements for your Wedding Ceremony

Civil Requirements of your Wedding

In celebrating your wedding with us, you will be celebrating a Catholic ceremony that usually has civil recognition. For the civil recognition, you must fulfil the legislation of the Irish State. It is your responsibility to contact the Civil Registration Office(locally at the Civil Registrar’s Office, The Lodge of St. Columbanus’ Home, Rock Rd, Killarney, or nationally at and give at least 3 months notice (though 9-12 months is encouraged) to the State and fulfil the legal requirements – if you are living outside the State you may need to allow extra time for this. When the registration is complete, you will be issued with aMarriage Registration Form (MRF). This is the legal form that you will keep in your possession and it will be signed on the day of your wedding by you, your witnesses, and by the priest. It is advisable for you to nominate someone who will take responsibility of this MRF, a legal document, taking it from the Church after signing, holding it for you in safekeeping before you return to the Civil Registration Office within a month.

You can down load wedding checklist here (Download here)

Church Requirements for your Wedding

Pre-Marriage Course:Because your wedding is a special and important moment in your life, the Church wishes to ensure that you have the adequate space and preparation for you as a couple to reflect as you journey forward. With this in mind the Church requires a couple to undertake a Pre-Marriage Course. Nationally, the diocesan approved pre-marriage courses are facilitated by Accord (locally, Accord is located at the John Paul II Pastoral Centre, Rock Rd, Killarney 064 -6633612, or nationally at Contact them to organise your attendance on the course that best suits you. Ideally you should do this at least 6 months before your wedding, so that you have the time for reflection, without the pressures that wedding organising can bring.

Pre-marriage Papers: The Church wishes to ensure that everything is in order for your wedding to take place in our parish, and so you will need to complete Pre-Marriage Papers (Pre-nuptial Enquiry Forms). This gathers the details for the parish marriage register, to ensure that you are both free to marry in the Church, and that your understanding of marriage is the same as that of the Church. Please note that both of you need to fill out the pre-marriage papers with the priest of the parish where you are living, and he will then forward them to us.

Section A of the Pre-Marriage Papers on Establishing the Freedom to Marry is to be filled out with your local priest immediately upon booking your wedding. Then ask your local priest to complete  Form  2A  and return it to Rathmore  Parish Office, so that we can confirm your booking.

Section B of the Pre-Marriage Papers on the Understanding of Christian Marriage should ideally be done 2 – 4 months before the wedding, after the pre-marriage course is completed. If you are living outside the country you will need to allow extra time for this as the Papers will need to go through the Bishop’s Office of your local diocese there and be sent to “Bishop Ray Browne, Diocesan Offices, New Rd, Killarney, Co. Kerry Ireland”. To complete the pre-marriage papers you will include your baptismal certificate, your confirmation certificate and your letters to testify your freedom to marry.

Organising the Wedding Mass/Ceremony

Planning the Readings, Prayers etc: The ceremony is prepared with the priest who will celebrate your wedding, and he will be able to guide you in your planning. You will choose bible readings, and a Gospel, prepare Prayers of the Faithful (bidding prayers), and decide on the form of the vows you will be exchanging. The priest celebrating your wedding should have suggestions for you, as well as resources from your pre-marriage course.

Church Music:You should choose Church hymns or liturgical music that is suitable to the Church, to prayer and to the wedding ceremony. Secular songs are generally not appropriate for the Mass and Sacrament of Marriage. Please convey this to the singers/musicians, ask them for their suggestions from the rich store of liturgicalhymns and music, and talk to your priest when confirming your music choice. Ask the singers/musicians to make contact with the Sacristan before the day of the wedding to determine their location during the wedding ceremony.

Flowers, Candles, Carpets etc: Our Churches have fine architectural beauty, and so flowers should only be used sparingly. Artificial flowers and arches should not be used. Because of safety concerns, candles should not be used outside the sanctuary. Please note that Church Liturgical Items (Advent Wreath, Paschal Candle etc) are not to be moved from their position. No rice, confetti etc may be scattered on the Church grounds. If you choose to have a red carpet on the aisle, please stress to the organisers of this not to use tape of any form, as this marks the tiled floor.

Photographers/ Video technicians are welcome, provided that they are suitably dressed, remain outside the sanctuary during the Mass, and remember to protect the prayerfulness of the ceremony by not causing distraction. Please convey this to those you are engaging for this, either family members or professionals.

Wedding Practice: In booking your wedding practice, please arrange this with the priest celebrating your wedding, and arrange it too with the parish office.

A Final Word

Please remember this in all the preparations for your wedding day, you should create the space for your own prayer and reflection, asking God to guide you as a couple long into the future. Deepen your faith by regularly attending Mass so that all will be familiar to you on your wedding day. Give thanks for the good example of marriage you have received from others.

May the Peace of Christ ever dwell in your home;

May the angels of God protect it,

And may the Holy Family of Nazareth be your model and inspiration