The priests of Saint Anthony’s are indeed happy to assist you in arranging your forthcoming marriage. Please read these notes over carefully as they provide information on our church vision of marriage as well as our local parish procedures.
Our Christian Vision of Marriage
In our Church tradition, marriage is much more than a human contract. It is a solemn covenant and a Christian vocation. The Christian family springs from a sacramental marriage as a reflection of the loving covenant uniting Christ with the Church. Firmly established in the Lord, the unity of marriage will radiate from the equal personal dignity of wife and husband, a dignity acknowledged by their mutual and total love. This love will manifest to all people the Savior’s living presence in the world, and the genuine nature of the Church. This is realized in the Christian family by generous fruitfulness, solidarity and faithfulness, and the loving way in which all the members of the family work together.
In order that sufficient time be given for a proper preparation for the very special sacrament of marriage, the Archdiocese of Toronto requests that engaged couples allow at least six months between the initial arrangements and the actual ceremony. (Complications can easily be avoided if date and time possibilities are explored with the church first).
An initial interview with one of the parish priests will enable him to secure brief biographical information on yourselves and for you to ascertain date and time possibilities as well as an overview of the preparation process.
The same priest will provide you with information about the marriage preparation programs sponsored by the Archdiocese of Toronto. You should register and attend as soon as possible.
The documents listed below should be obtained at your earliest convenience. The priest will arrange to meet with you for a review of these documents and to fill out the formal pre-matrimonial questionnaire or pre-nuptial inquiry. At that time specific details of the rehearsal and ceremony can be discussed.
A priest relative or friend may be permitted to officiate at the marriage. Sufficient notice, however, must be given so that he may be delegated by the priest arranging your marriage, and also be registered with the civil authorities to perform marriages in the city of Toronto. An approved ritual must be followed.
The minister of a non-Catholic party may take part in the ceremony in various ways. The priest who interviews you will explain what is possible in this regard.
Documents You Need to Obtain
- Certificate of Baptism issued within the last six months.
- Confirmation certificate.
- Letter of permission from your own pastor to marry here if you are not our parishioner.
- Letters of freedom of state from parents or a close relative in the form of an affidavit with signatures notarized stating you have not been married before.
- A bride or groom who has been previously married must present an official certificate of the death of the previous spouse, or a “Declaration of Nullity” from a Church Tribunal.
- Certificate of completion of a church marriage preparation program. (The priest arranging the marriage will give you details.)
- A civil marriage license which can be obtained at any marriage bureau in the province of Ontario (good for 60 days but not valid until 24 hours after issuance). Do not wait until the last week to secure this.
A Catholic contemplating marriage with one who is not a member of the Catholic faith is required to have the proper permission or dispensation from our Archbishop. The priest will provide you with a special form for this purpose.