Matrimony

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.

Marrying at St Joseph’s Church:   At least 6 months notice is required to prepare the wedding file and celebration. For available dates: Please contact stjosephparis@orange.fr
1/St Joseph’s Church celebrates the Sacrament of Marriage according to Church & French State requirements
2/Couples who are parishioners & prepare at Saint Joseph’s Church may build their marriage file within the parish.
3/For couples coming from another Parish, who wish to marry at Saint Joseph’s or another Church: files have to be started in your own parish with your Pastor (see below)

Please Note: St Joseph’s Church Priests cannot accept invitations to celebrate a wedding in other churches in Paris or elsewhere in France.
To find an English-speaking priest to celebrate a marriage, other than at St Joseph’s Church, it is best to search online for the Bishop’s Office of the Diocese where the wedding is to take place.

GUIDELINES for MARRIAGE FILES:

a) Certificate of Baptism “for Marriage” “pour Mariage” (for Catholics this must be a recent copy); if your intended spouse is not baptised, a dispensation from you own bishop will be needed. A spouse who is baptised in another Christian Denomination will also require a dispensation. (The priest who prepares the papers will make the request on your behalf)
b) Freedom to marry for both parties must be established and also declarations of both marrying of your own free will. (The priest can advise you on these.)
c) Civil Birth Certificate: In France, you are also required to include a recent complete Birth Certificate (Certificat de Naissance INTEGRAL)
d) Civil Marriage Certificate: see below in article 3
e) Certificate of having completed a Marriage Preparation. (offered at St Joseph’s in English twice a year, October & February, see page for pre-marriage course.)

FOR couples NOT LIVING IN PARIS and wishing to marry at St Joseph’s Church. We ask you to read it carefully and show it to your own pastor/parish priest.

  1. In order to be married here the first thing you require is the consent of your own pastor/parish priest who will be responsible for seeing that you receive adequate preparation (pre-Cana or pre-marriage course) and also the preparation of your Pre-Nuptial Enquiry with papers listed above.
  2. Your priest must send the file to his Bishop’s Diocesan Office for approval, they will transfer to the Diocesan Office here in Paris. The officials in Paris Diocese will in turn sign the file with their seal (“Nihil Obstat”) and transfer to us at St Joseph’s. This may appear complex but it is the correct procedure: Your priest must not send the papers directly to us at St Joseph’s; they must pass through both Diocesan Offices. We should receive your papers at least six weeks before the wedding. The Paris address to which your Diocese should send the papers is:

Bureau des Mariages et des Dispenses, 10, rue du cloître Notre Dame, 75004 PARIS FRANCE Telephone: 00 33 (1)78919170 and Email: mariages@diocese-paris.net

3. According to the laws in France, a person wishing to marry in Church must first go through a civil marriage ceremony. For those not resident in France, it has to be done in the country in which they are living. This civil ceremony is, of course, not recognised as Sacramental by the Catholic Church but is required by French law. You must send to us or bring a copy of your civil marriage certificate with you to Paris; without it, your marriage in St Joseph’s cannot take place.

Please take care to follow all the guidelines on this paper, as doing so will make everything easier for you and for us.

Fr. Martin Coffey, C.P.Parish Priest (Curé), St Joseph’s Church, 50 avenue Hoche, 75008 PARIS
Tel: 0033 (0) 1 42 27 28 56   –  Email: stjosephparis@orange.fr