The Sacrament of Marriage at St Luke's & Holy Cross Parish
We are happy that you have asked to have your Wedding celebrated
in the parish of St. Luke's & Holy Cross. To enable your Wedding
day to go as happily and as smoothly as possible, we invite you
to read through this page before your first meeting with the priest,
and to refer to this page from time to time during the preparation.
(Please be advised that all marriages within the Parish take place
at Holy Cross Church.)
1. Civil Formalities
You will need to obtain a Registrar's License from your local Registry
Office. For Harlow, this office is at: Watergarden Offices, College
Square, The High, Harlow, Essex, CM20 1AG. Telephone: 01279 421295/445641.
You will need to provide evidence of identity: birth certificate
or passport (ideally both), documentation if there has been a change
of name, evidence of freedom to mary if previously married (i.e.
decree absolute or death certificate), and recent evidence of residence
in Harlow. The Parish will arrange for a Registrar to attend the
2. Church Formalities
You will need a recent baptismal certificate (sometimes called
a christening certificate in other churches), and a letter of freedom
from your parents or family member stating that you have not been
married before in either a civil or religious ceremony. A Catholic
partner who has lived in any parish other than Holy Cross for more
than six months will also need to provide letters of freedom from
3. Spiritual Preparation
The Church's teaching is that every Catholic who wishes to enter
into marriage should be fully initiated into the Church; i.e. should
have received the Sacraments of Baptism, Eucharist, and Confirmation.
Also the Sacrament of Reconciliation is recommended as part of the
spiritual preparation for the sacrament of Marriage.
4. Marriage Preparation Course
It is the wish of our Bishop that all couples preparing for marriage
attend a Focus Preparation Course organised by Marriage Care. This
involves three one hour sessions at the Chelmsford Marriage Care
Centre. It is conducted by trained marriage counsellors who under
the umbrella of the Catholic Church provide support for couples
at all stages of their married life. It will be necessary to obtain
a Certificate of Attendance before your Marriage. The cost of this
course is £50.00. Booking is done through Mrs. Sue Dennis.
We are able to offer a Flower Arranging Service for
Weddings. It will be necessary for you to discuss with our flower
arranger your requirements and agree costs etc. Angela may be contacted
via this page. You may prefer
to contact a local florist, but whatever arrangement you undertake,
it will be necessary to inform your priest to facilitate preparation
prior to your wedding.
The priest conducting your Wedding will be happy to discuss your
musical needs for the service. There will be an organist available,
a small parish choir, and by special arrangement soloist, and instrumentalists.
It should be noted that Church regulations require that music should
be of a sacred nature, either scripturally based, or in keeping
with the religious nature of the ceremony. Your priest will be happy
to advise. Our Choir-master is Mr. Ambrose Daly who will also be
happy to advise and can be contacted here.
7. Photos & Videos
Photography and video-recording are permitted in consultation with
your priest, who will advise where cameras can be placed. In the
case of video-recording, it will be necessary for you to obtain
a "Private Function License". Your priest is required
to see this license prior to the Wedding Service. So please make
sure that either you or your cameraman has the license to hand.
These can be obtained from: Christian Copyright Licensing (Europe)
Ltd., Chantry House, 22, Upperton Road, Eastbourne, BN21 1BF. Tel:
01323 417711. Fax: 01323 417722.
The fees for your Wedding cover: the organist, the choir, the church,
the priest, the altar server, and the registrar. A total fee of
£250.00 is requested to cover these. A breakdown of these
fees is available upon request. Please arrange for a cheque to be
given to your priest at least one week prior to your Wedding: cheques
should be made payable to: "Catholic Church Harlow, Holy Cross".
9. Clearing up the Church
We are sorry to have to mention this matter but experience has
shown that it is necessary. Please ensure that the Best Man or the
Ushers are instructed to remove all unwanted items from the Church
and Porch after the Wedding. We have in mind such items as: unused
button-holes and orders of service.
We regret that the throwing of confetti is not permitted anywhere
within the Church grounds.