Statutes of the Eparchy of Saint Maron of Brooklyn about Marriage
Statute 62. Preceding the celebration of the Sacrament of Marriage, the couple is encouraged to have their engagement blessed by the priest as indicated in our Maronite liturgical books. This ceremony, called the “Ritual of Betrothal” traditionally takes place at the house of the bride-to-be. The priest ordinarily wears a jibbee and stole for this celebration.
Statute 63. Those intending to marry must notify the pastor at least 6 months prior to the planned date of the wedding.
Statute 64. At the initial meeting, the pastor must determine if both parties are free of any impediments to have their marriage celebrated in the Catholic Church.
Statute 65. At that first meeting, the Pre-Marital Questionnaire is to be completed by the pastor or a priest delegated by him, by asking the questions to the proposed spouses separately and under oath.
Statute 66. If one of the parties is awaiting the nullity of a former union, a marriage date cannot be given to the couple until the final Decree of Nullity is received.
Statute 67. Marriages are not to be celebrated during Lent, unless there is a very serious reason, in which case a dispensation from the Eparchial Bishop is needed.
Statute 68. Both parties must present the pastor with original Certificates of Baptism to be dated within 6 months of the initial meeting with him.
Statute 69. If a dispensation or permission is required from the Eparchial Bishop, this request with the entire marriage file is to be submitted to the Chancery at least 3 months prior to the proposed date of the wedding.
Statute 70. Three banns of marriage are to be published in the parish church on 3 consecutive Sundays prior to the wedding if both parties are Catholic.
Statute 71. The couple must attend together the marriage preparation program as required by the Church and determined by the pastor. That is to include: a) At least 3 meetings with the pastor or a priest delegated by him; b) The completion of a compatibility test similar to “Foccus”; c) Participation in classes organized either by the parish or the local Latin Diocese; d) Sufficient knowledge of Natural Family Planning.
Statute 72. The Sacrament of Marriage is to be celebrated by the pastor of the groom (if both parties are Catholic), or a priest delegated by him, in a sacred place, that is, in the parish church, or other Catholic Church or Chapel.
Statute 73. Before the celebration of the Sacrament of Marriage, the spouses and the members of their wedding party who are Catholic, are encouraged to receive the Sacrament of Penance.
Statute 74. If both spouses-to-be are Catholic, it is encouraged that the Sacrament of Marriage be celebrated during the Divine Liturgy so that they may receive the Holy Eucharist.
Statute 75. The pastor of the place where the marriage was celebrated must record without delay, in the Marriage Register, the names of the spouses, their Churches sui iuris (Rites), Church of Baptism, their parents, their witnesses, the date of the Marriage, and the celebrant. Also, if any delegation and/or dispensations or permissions were given, they are to be notated.
Statute 76. The pastor must be sure to notify the churches of baptism of the Catholic spouses of their marriage. Statute 77. The Sacrament of Marriage must be celebrated observing carefully all of the civil laws in force regarding marriages where the parish is located. Especially in regard to the following: a) The celebrant must have the proper license to act as the officiant, if so required; b) The couple must present the celebrant the civil Marriage License before the celebration of the Sacrament; c) The celebrant must complete and return the civil Marriage License to the proper authorities observing the instructions on the License.
Statute 78. Priests are to encourage parishioners who are in irregular marriages to reconcile themselves to the Church, and to assist them in the process of seeking a marriage annulment from the Eparchial Tribunal.
Statute 79. The celebration of all of the Sacraments is to be carried out exclusively according to the approved liturgical texts of our Maronite Church and this Eparchy.