MarriageThe Sacrament of Marriage, or Holy Matrimony, is a public sign that one gives oneself totally to this other person. It is also a public statement about God: the loving union of husband and wife speaks of family values and also God’s values.

Congratulations on your forthcoming wedding.
We hope that your wedding day will be full of memories that you will treasure for the rest of your life.

Once your family and friends hear you have set the date, they will start telling you what you must do and what you must not do in preparation for the day. Some of this advice will be correct and helpful, some of it will be
incorrect in regard to Kinsale Parish and will only confuse you.

This leaflet is compiled to help you prepare for your wedding at St John the Baptist Church, Kinsale.
The parish office will be happy to advise you on any queries you may have.

The Parish Office,
Lr. Catholic Walk, Kinsale, Co. Cork
Tel: 021 4773821 (9.30am-12.45pm)

When you have chosen a date and found a hotel that can accommodate you on that date, do not pay a deposit until you have checked that the church is available for that date. The couple must make an appointment with a Civil Registrar to give notice of their intention to marry. This meeting must take place at least three months before the wedding in order to comply with the civil requirements.

The couple will be required to bring the following documentation to the registrar’s office:
 Photo identity (preferably a passport or a driving license).
 Names and dates of birth of witnesses at forthcoming marriage.
 Name of the church where they wish to be married.
 Name of the priest who will officiate.

When all the civil requirements have been completed satisfactorily, the couple will receive a Marriage Registration Form from the Registrar. Without this form, the couple cannot get married.

Couples are required by Church authorities to take part in a pre-marriage course. It is advisable to make enquiries about these as early as possible. The ideal time to do such a course would be before the date is set. This rarely happens, so booking should be made as early as possible after setting the date. The following organizations are approved by the Diocese of Cork & Ross:
 ACCORD Centre, Bantry. Tel 027 50272.
 Carrigaline Parish Tel 021 4371109. Email:

There are two kinds of Marriage Service. One is where the Marriage Promises are made during Mass. The other is where the Promises are made at a special prayer service but without Eucharist.

The choice of the service should be made in the light of the personal faith circumstances of both parties. Most Catholics will choose to make their Marriage Promises at a nuptial Mass. However, where one of the parties is not Roman Catholic, or a non-believer, the wedding service without Mass may be more appropriate. It is important to talk this decision over with the priest who will officiate.

Couples who wish to have an Altar Server must organise this themselves and comply with the following the parish child safeguarding protocols:
• Let the parish know in advance
• The Altar Server (if under 18) must be supervised by a parent/guardian at all times
Altar servers are welcome to use parish Altar server robes.

Many couples think they need only what is called, ‘A letter of Freedom’ – THIS IS NOT SO. The following documents are required:
1. Pre-Nuptial Inquiry form. The priest in the parish of your normal residence will fill this up with you.
2. If your place of baptism was elsewhere, you will need to get a Baptismal Certificate from your church of baptism. (Must not be over 6 months issued.)
3. Letter of Freedom in some cases is required. Consult the priest doing your Pre Nuptial Inquiry form about this.
4. In the case where one partner is not Catholic, a dispensation will be needed. The priest in your parish will apply to the Bishop for a dispensation for you.
5. In the case of couples living abroad, the priest in the parish of your residence will complete your Pre-Nuptial Inquiry form and will forward it to his Bishop who in turn sends it to the Bishop’s office in Cork. Address: Cork & Ross Office, Redemption Road, Cork.

Situations vary from couple to couple. It would be impossible in this short leaflet to cover everything. It is best to contact the priest in your parish six months ahead of your wedding date and he will advise you on the documents needed in your case.

The recording of a video and the taking of photographs are permitted so long as it does not take from the sacredness of the ceremony.

Floral displays in a church should not obscure or distract but rather enhance the liturgical furnishings in the sanctuary.
Before making arrangements for flowers it is imperative that you contact one of the Altar Society members who will advise what is suitable. Eileen O’Brien, Chairperson of the local Altar Society (tel. 021 4773256), or Nora Quinn, Treasurer (tel. 021 4777655).
In order to conform with Health & Safety Regulations, the use of candles in the main body of the church is not permitted.

This should be discussed in detail with the officiating priest. Readings at Mass or Service should always be from the Bible. Samples are available.
Regarding music, Vincent McCarthy, our church organist and key holder for same, (tel. 021 4772998) will be happy to advise you.
You can also contact Alison Eaton from our Church Folk Group (tel. 087 7838508) or Nicola Desmond (email
In choosing music couples should keep in mind that suggested titles are available and can be obtained from the parish office.


The church has always been reluctant to lay down specific fees, preferring offerings on a voluntary basis. Recently, especially in the case of marriage, couples are requesting at least an indication of the fees for church services. In view of this, the following guide regarding marriage fees is suggested.
a) Kinsale Parishioners:
If one of the parties is from Kinsale parish, there is no fee for the church. It is however customary to give a voluntary offering to the priest who helps you with the marriage arrangements, deals with the paperwork etc. Should this priest also officiate at the wedding, most couples would give an offering of €100 to cover the paperwork, plus saying mass. The Sacristan has to attend the wdding rehearsal and ceremony for which the remuneration is usually €50
b) Non Kinsale Parishioners:
If neither party is from Kinsale parish there is a fee of €300 to cover such items as the use of the church and attendance to paperwork by parish office. This fee will also cover attendance of Sacristan at rehearsals and ceremony. In the case of such marriages the couple will be providing a priest from their own parish, or a friend to officiate at the ceremony. It will of course be for the couple themselves to decide what remuneration they give that priest.

Telephone Numbers:
Fr Robert Young PP: 021- 4773700
Sacristy (Richard O’Driscoll): 021-4773717