top of page

holy matrimony

CCC 1601 – “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.”

The bond between the spouses by its very nature is perpetual and exclusive. The consent by which the spouses mutually give and receive one another is sealed by God himself. Christ is the source of the grace of the sacrament of Matrimony. Christ dwells with the spouses, gives them the strength to take up their crosses and so follow him, to rise again after they have fallen, to forgive one another, to bear one another’s burdens, to “be subject to one another out of reverence for Christ” and to love one another with supernatural, tender and fruitful love. In the joys of their love and family life he gives them here on earth a foretaste of the wedding feast of the Lamb. (CCC 1638, 1639 and 1642)


It is advisable to meet any of the priests of the parish even before planning the wedding date, so as not to choose dates that may clash with parish programs or the Lenten season. It will also give you the opportunity to discuss with the priest about the necessary requirements of documents and procedures. Please do not seek advice from anyone other than the priests of the parish.

The Marriage Preparation Course (MPC) is mandatory in the Archdiocese of Bombay. The list of dates is available with the priests and at the parish office and can also be accessed on the website ( Try and complete the MPC according to the dates convenient to you but not later than three months before the wedding. It is advisable that the MPC is attended by the prospective bride and groom together, but in case one of the parties is employed outside Mumbai and cannot be present, it becomes the responsibility of the other party to complete the course in Mumbai. If the party employed outside Mumbai has access to the MPC in the diocese of employment it is recommended that it be completed there. The certificates of the MPC have to be shown to the priest while the pre-nuptial papers are being filled.

a. Baptism Certificate dated within six months of your proposed marriage
b. Certificate of attendance of the Marriage Preparation Course
c. Postal address of both the parties




  1. The bride- to-be carries the above documents together with the boy’s baptism certificate to the priest of her church. This must be done at least three months prior to the date of the marriage.

  2. She fills up the Pre-nuptial enquiry (PNE) form with the priest who attaches her certificate and files it.

  3. The priest then hands over a letter addressed to the Parish Priest of the boy’s parish with his baptism certificate stating her intention to marry the said boy and requesting him to fill the boy’s PNE.

  4. The boy’s PNE duly filled and his baptism certificate attached has to be brought back to the priest of the girl’s parish for filing.

  5. The priest of the girl’s parish sets the date for BANNS to be read in the respective parishes and the letter for the publication of Banns has to be collected from the priest and given to priest of the boy’s parish for publication on two consecutive Sundays.

  6. After the Banns have been published, the groom-to-be collects his results of Banns and gives them to the priest of the bride-to-be’s parish for filing. This completes the pre-nuptial procedure.



In the case of a mixed marriage or a disparity of cult (marriage with Hindu/Muslim), the couple has to meet the priest to be briefed on the procedure. The MPC has to be completed and the PNE is filled in the parish of the Catholic party. The documents required from the Catholic party are as given above. The non-Catholic party will have to furnish a copy of the proof of birth as well as an affidavit stating intention to marry the Catholic party in the Church (format provided). The Catholic party has to sign the promises stipulated by Church law in the presence of the non-Catholic party while filling the PNE.

Please Note: The Church does not permit a second religious rite of marriage in another place of worship or any religious ceremony since these have certain repercussions on the Catholic party. (Canon Law No. 1127)



  1. The priest (of the parish) who has prepared your marriage papers (and who usually is also the priest who will celebrate your nuptials, unless you would like to contact someone else) must be contacted in advance in order to discuss the liturgy.

  2. If your nuptials are on a weekday you are permitted to have you own lector who should be advised to be appropriately dressed for the responsibility. For the choirs you may contact any of the parish choirs. The choirs have been instructed about the hymns to be sung. Kindly do not recommend any songs not befitting the liturgy.

  3. If your nuptials are on a Sunday, then the liturgy of the Sunday takes precedence and the lectors of the parish appointed for the mass will proclaim the Word of God. You may have a choice of choirs from the available parish choirs but ensure that the choir otherwise appointed to sing for that mass is informed, lest there be a clash on the appointed day. Since the liturgy of the Sunday gets precedence, kindly do not recommend any wedding hymns to the choir.

  4. We do not permit the printing of booklets with the prayers and the readings. These have no place in the liturgy.

  5. If you wish to have your own priest, then a letter from him stating his consent to celebrate your nuptials has to be presented before the wedding so that the parish priest can give him the necessary delegation. If your wedding is on a Sunday, your priest will be permitted only to bless your nuptials.

  6. If there is more than one couple for the wedding mass, the couples are requested to meet the priest of the parish well in advance to discuss the co-ordination of lectors, readings, seating arrangements, choir, celebrant, etc.

  7. About six pews are reserved for the close family members of the couple. If you are decorating these, please avoid using sticking tape.

  8. Please do not light fireworks in the Church compound or playground. Not only is it dangerous, it also leaves a lot of litter. It is best to avoid fireworks.

  9. When planning your wedding gown and the dresses of the bridesmaids and others, please ensure that these are proper for a Church and a time of prayer.

  10. For flower arrangements you may contact the Sacristan. Avoid converting the sanctuary into a garden or a florist shop!


(at least 15 minutes before the mass)


The bride and the groom are the ministers of the rite, therefore the entire focus is meant to be on them.

  1. At the Entrance to the Church When the Mass is about to begin all the members of the family should already be seated inside the Church. Only the bridal couple, the best man and the bridesmaid should be waiting for the celebrant to come and welcome them. Ideally the members of the family should be in the pews standing to welcome the couple into the Church as the entrance hymn is sung.

  2. The Readings & Prayers of the Faithful (for an unscheduled mass) if they are being proclaimed by members of the family or friends of the couple should be properly rehearsed. Kindly ensure that those proclaiming the Word are appropriately and decently attired!

  3. The nuptial ceremony is conducted after the Gospel and homily. However in the case of Disparity of Cult, the nuptials are held before the Thanksgiving Mass. A witness from either side chosen in advance is required and is expected to stand beside the couple as the ceremony progresses. It is advised that the rings be kept in the groom’s pocket or with the best man. If the page boy/flower girl is given the responsibility of the ring cushion, then he should be guided to bring the same forward.

  4. The nuptial vows are best recited by heart and with the couple facing each other. It makes the ceremony very meaningful. Of course there will be nervousness. In that case keep the cue card close to you. The format of the nuptial vows is provided later in these guidelines.

  5. The procedure of offering gifts like flowers and fruits, bible and rosary with commentaries to explain the same is discouraged. If the couple would like to give something for the Church or the poor it can be done placed at the foot of the altar before the mass. Kindly consult the priest about the objects of use for the Church or the poor. In case the couple would like to have a new Bible and rosaries to enhance their prayer life as a family then these may be placed on the altar so that the celebrant blesses them and hands them over.

  6. After the recitation of the Our Father, the Church reserves a special nuptial blessing over the couple.

  7. Communion will be given in the form of both species. During communion use the time to pray for each other, for your marriage and for your families.

  8. There is no need of a separate Thanksgiving Prayer after communion because the Eucharist is itself the highest prayer of thanksgiving.

  9. After the final blessing, the celebrant leads the couple along with their witnesses to the Sacristy to sign the registers. The families follow. Please remember the sanctuary is a sacred place and not a studio for posing for photographs. Also you are encouraged to maintain the sanctity and decorum of the Church when you are gathered near the entrance of the Church and respect those who have come to Church to pray and prepare for the next Mass.

(Please discuss this with your photographer/videographer)

The photographers/videographers should be properly instructed that the Mass is a religious ceremony and under no circumstances should they hinder the proceedings with their movement or instructions. Video-shooting (with the focus lights) may be done only at these points:

  1. During the entrance of the couple into the Church

  2. During the reading

  3. During the marriage rite

  4. The nuptial blessing

  5. For the sign of peace

  6. For communion (of the couple only) not of the people

  7. Final Blessing

  8. While the couple leaves the Church

  9. Signing of the marriage register.

Your cameraman should be instructed about the above, and also the following:

  1. Do not take photographs of the priest at Mass, nor the congregation, nor the choir. One photograph (not the video) can be taken of the lectors.

  2. Cameramen should not be moving about the Church. They should not be standing when not required, but should sit on the side pews. If they are standing they block the view of the congregation, and distract the people and the priest.

  3. No arrangement of studio equipment like big lights, umbrellas, etc is permitted inside the Church.

  4. Cameramen should not go on the altar platform. They can go on the first step for the shooting of points 3, 4 & 5 above.

  5. No photography/ video-shooting is permitted on the altar platform after Mass.

Please remember the sanctuary is a sacred place and not a studio for posing for photographs. In short, the bride, groom, family members, friends and cameramen are requested to co-operate in order to preserve the prayerful atmosphere of the Church and the Sacraments.



Resp 1: Yes, I have

Resp 2: Yes, I will

Resp 3: Yes, I will

(after joining right hands)


Bride: I, (name of Bride), take you, (name of Groom), to be my husband. I promise to be true to you in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health. I will love you and honour you all the days of my life.

(after blessing of rings)


Bride: (Name of Groom), take this ring as a sign of my love and fidelity. In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.




Resp 1: Yes, I have

Resp 2: Yes, I will

Resp 3: Yes, I will

(after joining right hands)


Groom: I, (name of Groom), take you, (name of Bride), to be my wife. I promise to be true to you in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health. I will love you and honour you all the days of my life.


(after blessing of rings)


Groom: (Name of Bride), take this ring as a sign of my love and fidelity. In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.





(after blessing of rings)


Non Catholic party: (Name of Catholic party ), take this ring as a sign of my love and fidelity. In the name of God.

(On stamp paper)

I, _____________________________________ (name in full) an Indian citizen, son/daughter of _____________________________________ and_____________________________________, born on ___________________________(full date), do solemnly affirm and state as under:


That I am a ___________________________ (Hindu/Muslim/etc) by religion and that I am residing at _____________________________________________________________________________________ 
(full residential address) since____ years:

That I am a bachelor/spinster (or That I have contracted marriage with _____________________________________ under_______________________________ Act) and I have not previously contracted marriage with any (other) person in any civil or religious ceremony and that I am free to marry:

That I intend marrying _____________________________________, a Roman Catholic, son/daughter of _____________________________________ and _____________________________________ , residing at _________________________________________________________________________
(full residential address) in the Roman Catholic Church, as per the Roman Catholic Rite.


And that I am doing this of my own free will without any force or coercion from anyone.


Whatever I have stated herein is true and to the best of my knowledge.



Solemnly affirmed at Mumbai


On this _________________________ day of the month of ________________ in the year ________



Identified by me Deponent


Advocate Before me




(Only for unscheduled nuptial masses)

1. A reading from the Book of Genesis 1:26 –28, 31a

God said, “Let us make man in our own image, in the likeness of ourselves, and let them be masters of the fish of the sea, the birds of heaven, the cattle, all the wild beasts and all the reptiles that crawl upon the earth.”

God created man in the image of himself, in the image of God he created him, male and female he created them.

God blessed them, saying to them, “Be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth and conquer it. Be masters of the fish of the sea, the birds of heaven and all the living animals on the earth.”

God saw all he had made, and indeed it was very good.

The word of the Lord.

2. A reading from the book of Genesis 2:18-24

Then the Lord God said, ‘It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper as his partner.’ So out of the ground the Lord God formed every animal of the field and every bird of the air, and brought them to the man to see what he would call them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name. The man gave names to all cattle, and to the birds of the air, and to every animal of the field; but for the man there was not found a helper as his partner. So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept; then he took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. And the rib that the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. Then the man said,

‘This at last is bone of my bones
and flesh of my flesh;
this one shall be called Woman,
for out of Man this one was taken.’

Therefore a man leaves his father and his mother and clings to his wife, and they become one flesh.

The word of the Lord.

3. A reading from the Song of Songs 2:8-10, 14, 16a; 8:6-7a

I hear my Beloved.
See how he comes
Leaping on the mountains,
Bounding over the hills,
My Beloved is like a gazelle,
Like a young stag.

See where he stands
Behind our wall
He looks in at the window
He peers through the lattice.

My Beloved lifts up his voice, He says to me,
“Come then, my love,
my lovely one, come.

My dove, hiding in the clefts of the rock,
In the coverts of the cliff,
Show me your face,
Let me hear your voice;
For your voice is sweet
And your face is beautiful.”

My Beloved is mine and I am his.
He said to me:
Set me like a seal on your heart,
Like a seal on your arm.
For love is strong as Death,
Jealousy relentless as Sheol.
The flash of it is a flash of fire,
A flame of the Lord himself.

Love no flood can quench,
No torrents drown.

The word of the Lord.


4. A reading from the book of Tobit 8:4-9

Tobias rose from the bed and said to Sarah, “Get up, my sister; You and I must pray and petition our Lord to win his grace and his protection.” She stood up and they began praying for protection and this is how he began:

“You are blessed, O God of our fathers; Blessed, too, is your name for ever and ever. Let the heavens bless you, And all things you have made for evermore.

It was you who created Adam, You who created Eve his wife
To be his help and support; And from these two the human race was born.
It was you who said, ‘It is not good that the man should be alone’
let us make him a helpmate like himself.’ And so I do not take my sister
For any lustful motive; I do it in singleness of heart.
Be kind enough to have pity on her and on me
And bring us to old age together.”

The word of the Lord.

5. A reading from the book of Sirach 6:6-12,14-15

Let those who are friendly with you be many,
but let your advisers be one in a thousand.
When you gain friends, gain them through testing,
and do not trust them hastily.
For there are friends who are such when it suits them,
but they will not stand by you in time of trouble.
And there are friends who change into enemies,
and tell of the quarrel to your disgrace.
And there are friends who sit at your table,
but they will not stand by you in time of trouble.
When you are prosperous, they become your second self,
and lord it over your servants;
but if you are brought low, they turn against you,
and hide themselves from you.
Faithful friends are a sturdy shelter:
whoever finds one has found a treasure.
Faithful friends are beyond price;
no amount can balance their worth.


The word of the Lord.

6. A reading from the letter of St. Paul to the Romans 8:31b-35,37-39

What then are we to say about these things? If God is for us, who is against us? He who did not withhold his own Son, but gave him up for all of us, will he not with him also give us everything else? Who will bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? It is Christ Jesus, who died, yes, who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who indeed intercedes for us. Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will hardship, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

The word of the Lord.

7. A reading from the letter of St Paul to the Colossians 3: 12-17

You are God’s chosen race, his saints; he loves you, and you should be clothed in sincere compassion, in kindness and humility, gentleness and patience.

Bear with one another, forgive each other as soon as a quarrel begins. The Lord has forgiven you; now you must do the same.

Over all these clothes, to keep them together and complete them, put on love. And may the peace of Christ reign in your hearts, because it is for this that you were called together as parts of one body. Always be thankful.

Let the message of Christ, in all its richness, find a home with you. Teach each other, and advise each other, in all wisdom. With gratitude in your hearts sing psalms and hymns and inspired songs to God; and never say or do anything except in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

The word of the Lord.

8. A reading from the first letter of St Paul to the Corinthians 6:13c-15a, 17-20

Be ambitious for the higher gifts. And I am going to show you a way that is better than any of them. If I have all the eloquence of men or of angels, but speak without love, I am simply a gong booming or a cymbal clashing. If I have the gift of prophecy, understanding all the mysteries there are, and knowing everything and if I have faith in all its fullness, to move mountains, but without love, then I am nothing at all. If I give away all that I possess, piece by piece, and if I even let them take my body to burn it, but am without love, it will do me no good whatever.

Love is always patient and kind; it is never jealous; love is never boastful or conceited; it is never rude or selfish; it does not take offense, and is not resentful. Love takes no pleasure in other people’s sins but delights in the truth; it is always ready to excuse, to trust, to hope, and to endure whatever comes. Love does not come to an end.

The word of the Lord.

9. A reading from the letter of St. Paul to the Romans 12:1-2, 9-18

I appeal to you therefore, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God—what is good and acceptable and perfect.

Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good; love one another with mutual affection; outdo one another in showing honour. Do not lag in zeal, be ardent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints; extend hospitality to strangers.

Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another; do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly; do not claim to be wiser than you are. Do not repay anyone evil for evil, but take thought for what is noble in the sight of all. If it is possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.

The word of the Lord.

10. A reading from 1 John 3:18-24

My children, let us love, not in word or speech, but in truth and action. And by this we will know that we are from the truth and will reassure our hearts before him whenever our hearts condemn us; for God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything. Beloved, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have boldness before God; and we receive from him whatever we ask, because we obey his commandments and do what pleases him.

And this is his commandment, that we should believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us. All who obey his commandments abide in him, and he abides in them. And by this we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit that he has given us.

The word of the Lord.

11. A reading from 1 John 4:7-12

Beloved, let us love one another, because love is from God; everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, for God is love. God’s love was revealed among us in this way: God sent his only Son into the world so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins. Beloved, since God loved us so much, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God lives in us, and his love is perfected in us.


The word of the Lord.







Celebrant: Now that we have heard God’s word and experienced His Presence in this exchange of vows, let us present these prayerful petitions for (names of bride & groom) and all of us present here.
Our response is: Loving Father, hear our prayer

  1. For Our Holy Father, all the Bishops and Clergy everywhere that they may lead us to deeper faith in God and a strong love for others, let us pray to the Lord….

  2. For (names of bride & groom) now beginning their life together, that they may have divine assistance at every moment, the constant support of friends, the rich blessing of children, a warm love reaching out to others, and good health until a ripe old age, let us pray to the Lord…

  3. For all married persons, that they may continue to give, be able to forgive, and find happiness deepen with the passing of each day, let us pray to the Lord…

  4. That those who have died, especially the relatives and friends of (names of bride & groom) and of all present for this wedding, may enjoy perfect happiness and total fulfillment in eternal life, let us pray to the Lord…..

  5. For those who are sick, lonely, discouraged, or oppressed that they may be strengthened by God’s help and aided by their friends, let us pray to the Lord…

  6. Please pray for your personal intentions….

Celebrant: Loving Father, we trust in your loving mercy and we are confident that you will answer our prayers. May you continue to protect (names of bride & groom) all the days of their married life. We make this prayer through Christ our Lord. Amen.


Celebrant: Let us pray that we may be able to love, since God is love, and love comes from him. Those who love, know God, and experience his presence in their lives.
Our response is: Loving Father, hear our prayer

  1. That the Pope, Bishops, Clergy and Religious may be witnesses to His love by the concern they show to one another. Let us pray to the Lord…

  2. For (names of bride & groom), now married in Christ: that this relationship which has begun with joy, may endure in peace. Let us pray to the Lord…

  3. That in the midst of the difficulties and challenges (names of bride & groom) may remain true and loyal friends to each other. Let us pray to the Lord…

  4. For all here present: that they may be inspired by the love of (names of bride & groom) and so find strength to persevere in their efforts to love others unselfishly. Let us pray to the Lord…

  5. That the departed members of the families of (names of bride & groom) may be blessed with eternal rest. Let us pray to the Lord…

Celebrant: Heavenly Father, by the grace of the Holy Spirit you pour into our hearts the ability to love. Grant a generous increase of this gift to (names of bride & groom), to their families, and to the whole Christian community. We make this prayer through Christ Our Lord. Amen.


Celebrant: God is ever faithful and true in His love for us. As we pray today for (names of bride & groom) who have been united in marriage, let us lift up our prayers and petitions to the mercy of our good Lord.

Our response is: Loving Father, hear our prayer

  1. That the Pope, Bishops, Clergy and the Religious may be steadfast in faith, joyful in hope and untiring in love. Let us pray to the Lord…

  2. That (names of bride & groom) may always remain faithful to one another in spite of their own weaknesses and difficulties of life. Let us pray to the Lord…

  3. That the parents of (names of bride & groom) may be blessed for all their sacrifices and encouragement to help them see the light of this day. Let us pray to the Lord…

  4. For all of us present here; that this celebration may encourage us to persevere in the way of love. Let us pray to the Lord…

  5. That the sick and the aged may find peace and solace in the loving actions of those who care for them. Let us pray to the Lord…

Celebrant: Heavenly Father, may the radiance of your love light up our hearts as we celebrate the wedding of (names of bride & groom). May you bless and protect them as they journey through life as a couple. We make this prayer through Christ our Lord. Amen

bottom of page