Roman Catholic Diocese of Hamilton in Bermuda
FOR THE CATHOLIC MARRIAGE OF NON-RESIDENTS IN THE
DIOCESE OF HAMILTON IN BERMUDA
The Diocese of Hamilton in Bermuda promotes the principle that the Holy Sacrament of Matrimony is ideally celebrated within that community of Faith which is the couple’s local Catholic parish. However, in order to come to the aid of those couples who, due to personal circumstances, choose not to celebrate their weddings within a local parish community, the Diocese of Hamilton in Bermuda will allow for the celebration of weddings of non-resident Catholics. The requirements for the Catholic marriage of non-residents in Bermuda are listed below.
1. The couple must first contact a priest in Bermuda who might be willing to do the wedding, and then ascertain if it would be possible to have the marriage on the date and time they desire. This should be done at least eight to twelve months in advance.
No weddings are being accepted at St. Anthony’s Parish in Warwick.
The following is a list of Catholic Parishes in Bermuda which may be contacted:
St. Theresa’s Cathedral St. Anthony’s Church
P.O. Box HM 1191 P.O. Box WK 532
Hamilton, Bermuda HM EX Warwick West, Bermuda WK BX
Tel: (441) 292-0607 Tel: (441) 238-1784
Fax: (441) 292-2477 Fax: (441) 238-5086
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Email: email@example.com
St. Joseph’s Church St. Michael’s Church
P.O. Box MA 5 P.O. Box PG 271
Mangrove Bay, Bermuda MA BX Paget West, Bermuda PG BX
Tel: (441) 234-2321 Tel: (441) 236-2166
Fax: (441) 234-2321 Fax: (441) 232-2695
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Email: email@example.com
St. Patrick’s Church Stella Maris Church
P.O. Box FL 267 P.O. Box GE 78
Flatts, Bermuda FL BX St. George’s, Bermuda GE BX
Tel: (441) 236-9866 Tel: (441) 297-0512
Fax: (441 232-2824 Fax: (441) 297-0512
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Email: email@example.com
2. A period of preparation before marriage is required and the couple must make the necessary preparation in the parish of the bride or the groom. Accordingly, a couple must contact their local parish and arrange to be interviewed by their parish priest so that all the necessary pre-nuptial investigations can be made. The local parish priest must give permission for the wedding to take place in another parish. (Canon 1115)
3. The couple is to be prepared for marriage according to the requirements of the diocese in which they reside. All necessary Church documentation is to be completed in the country of origin.
In Bermuda, the designated priest will conduct the rehearsal, officiate at the wedding, enter the marriage into the parish records and send out all the necessary notifications.
Please note well that a tentative wedding date will be scheduled into the marriage appointment book only after the appropriate pastor in the country of origin who is preparing the couple advises the designated pastor in Bermuda of the following:
a) the couple is free to marry;
b) that he has agreed to prepare the couple for marriage;
c) that he will send all the required documentation to his diocesan Chancery office for review and approbation (Nihil Obstat). In return, the Chancery will send the documentation and approval to the Chancery Office in Bermuda:
COURIER ADDRESS: Most Rev. Robert J. Kurtz, C.R.
#2 Astwood Road
Paget, DV 04
Phone No. (441) 232-4414
MAILING ADDRESS: Most Rev. Robert J. Kurtz, C.R.
Diocesan Chancery Office
P.O. Box HM 1191
Hamilton HM EX
In summary, the documentation goes from Chancery Office to Chancery Office.
4. Along with the standard documentation for all marriages in the church, the Diocese of Hamilton in Bermuda requests the following:
a) A letter from the proper Pastor giving his permission for the couple to be married in a parish of the Diocese of Hamilton in Bermuda. The proper Pastor is the Pastor of the bride’s parish if both parties are Roman Catholic or the Pastor of the Roman Catholic party if one of the intended spouses is not Roman Catholic.
b) A letter or certificate stating that the couple has received the proper marriage instructions and preparation.
c) A baptismal certificate from each party’s parish of baptism. The certificates of the Catholic parties must be recent, i.e., issued within six months prior to the wedding. Please make sure that the complete mailing address of the church is listed on the Baptismal certificate.
5. In order to expedite matters and to insure the safe reception of all documentation from the diocese of origin of the couple, we request that all documents be forwarded to the Chancery Office in Bermuda by courier service. Courier Services available are DHL Worldwide Express, Federal Express, International Bonded Couriers, Mailboxes Unlimited, Sprint International, United Parcel Service.
6. The papers must arrive by courier service in the Chancery Office in Bermuda at least 90 days before the planned date of marriage. When the Bishop in Bermuda confirms that all is in order, the documents are then sent to the parish priest who is to witness the wedding. At this point the date of the wedding is confirmed. All documents will remain in the parish where the marriage is celebrated.
7. It is recommended that the couple work with one of the wedding consultants or marriage planning agencies who deal with weddings in Bermuda. The couple is responsible for the Bermuda wedding license. The wedding agency will assist with this. The parish priest in Bermuda should have the license in hand 1-2 weeks in advance of the wedding.
8. If the couple intends to invite a guest priest or deacon to celebrate the wedding, that is, to witness the marriage in the name of the Catholic Church, special requirements apply. The visiting priest or deacon will require a license from the Bermuda Government to serve as a Marriage Officer. A letter of testimony will also be required from the Bishop or the Religious Superior of the priest or deacon declaring him to be in good standing with the Church. The letter of testimony is to be provided on the form made available by the parish priest in Bermuda. The parish priest in Bermuda needs to be aware of this situation in order to guide the process.
9. Fees and stipends totaling $1,400 are to be paid to the priest in Bermuda two months before the wedding. Cheques should be made payable to the name of the parish church where the wedding will be celebrated.
Fee for the Church $ 750
Contribution for Diocesan Ministries 500
Stipend for the priest 150
10. At the same time, fees for the organist, instrumentalists, soloists, leader of song or other services connected with the wedding are to be paid separately by the couple in consultation with the parish priest of the church where the wedding is to take place.
11. The Parish Priest in Bermuda will advise the couple regarding Diocesan policies and appropriate practice for ceremonies related to the Marriage Rite.
12. The decision regarding the celebration of the wedding during a Eucharistic Liturgy (Mass) or a Liturgy of the Word (Scripture Service) is to be determined by the Priest in Bermuda in consultation with the couple.
13. The Diocese requires that all weddings of baptized persons take place in a Church.
14. Before coming to Bermuda, the couple, with the assistance of their Pastor, chooses the scripture readings for the Mass during the course of their marriage preparation. The Parish Priest in Bermuda should be informed of the readings chosen well in advance of the wedding. As part of his preparation to deliver the Homily, the Parish Priest will choose the Gospel to be proclaimed.
15. Only liturgically appropriate music is permitted during wedding celebrations.
16. The Parish Priest in Bermuda is authorized to determine policy regarding: the opening procession, type and placement of floral decorations; use of candles; rice or confetti; policy on photographers; music for the liturgy of the Eucharist or the Scripture Service.
17. A very helpful resource for the planning of your wedding is a book entitled “Together for Life” by Fr. Joseph Champlin (Ave Maria Press: 2005). It is available at most Catholic bookstores or it can be ordered directly from the publisher at (1-800-282-1865) or at www.avemariapress.com.
In conclusion I want to assure you that the Catholic Church in Bermuda wants to assist you in making your Marriage a truly sacred event. All of the above policies and regulations are spelled out only to assist the process of effective planning and to avoid misunderstanding. May the Lord be with you and Bless you.
8th December 2006 Most Rev. Robert J. Kurtz, C.R.
Hamilton, Bermuda Bishop of Hamilton in Bermuda