"The matrimonial covenant, by which a man and a woman establish between themselves a partnership of the whole of life, is by its nature ordered toward the good of the spouses and the procreation and education of offspring; this covenant between baptized persons has been raised by Christ the Lord to the dignity of a sacrament."
Catechism of the Catholic Church: 1601
THE REQUIREMENTS OF CIVIL LAW IN RELATION TO MARRIAGE
(Republic of Ireland)
(For distribution to couples seeking to marry in the Catholic Church within the Co. Louth part of the Archdiocese of Armagh)
I. A couple planning to marry in the Catholic Church, should first check the availability of the Church*, where they hope to marry, with the parish priest of the parish where the Church is situated. They should then identify a priest who is willing to conduct the marriage. This priest (or deacon), if not one of the clergy of the parish where the marriage is to take place, must have the permission of the Parish Priest of that Parish in order to conduct the marriage ceremony. There are also important implications with regard to the registration of the visiting priest with the General Register Office as a solemniser for the ceremony (see no. 3 below).
2. Only when an approved venue and a priest willing to conduct the marriage have been secured should the couple approach any registrar's office (contact details for registrars' offices in Co. Louth are included below), at least three months before the date of the marriage to make an appointment to give notification of marriage in person. Both parties to the marriage must attend and bring a form of identification. Other documentation may be required. If all is in order, the 'marriage registration form, MRF' (the form to be signed on the day of the marriage), will be issued to the parties there and then ...