It is a joyful moment for the whole community when a man and a women are joined to one another in marriage.

Marriage exists from the very beginning as part of God’s plan for his creation, expressing the fundamental truth that we do not exist for ourselves only. We are all made to live in relation to others and to God.

Of all human relationships marriage stands out as a means by which two people commit to working for the good of the other, and to cooperating with God in the creation of new life. For this reason we hold that it is integral to God’s plan for humanity that marriage is a life-long exclusive union of one man and one woman.


Pope Paul VI articulated four qualities of authentic married love:

  • It is a FREE choice for the other, corresponding to our human dignity, an act of the will rather than just emotion or instinct. That is why the consent is the essential moment in the marriage rite that brings the marriage into being.
  • It is a TOTAL gift of each spouse to the other, sharing everything that they have and are, and receiving the other as gift honouring their dignity as a son or daughter of God.
  • It is marked by FAITHFULNESS, each spouse relating to the other in a unique and exclusive way for the whole of their earthly lives.
  • It is marked by FRUITFULNESS, open to the gift of new life, as well as bearing spiritual fruit in terms of service the wider community and the church.

Both the Church and the State have rules regulating marriage. If you wish to get married at St Joseph’s, or you are a parishioner at St Joseph’s and wish to get married elsewhere, the best thing is to arrange a time to meet with the parish priest at a very early stage in your planning. The preparation involves certain administrative elements, preparation for married life, and preparation for the celebration itself.

All this takes time and we advise allowing a minimum of six months, and ideally longer than that. Whilst it is fine to approach the priest with a date in mind, please do not make any firm arrangements until we have established that you are indeed free to marry in the eyes of the church and that the timing you have in mind is feasible.

Marriage Care


If you are experiencing difficulty in your marriage, feel free to get in touch with Fr Matthew for advice, but you might also benefit from contacting Marriage Care, who offering trained counselling, or Retrouvaille, a programme to help couples rediscover the value of their marriage.


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March 13, 2024


March 13, 2024