Church of Ireland Marriage Council

Click here to edit subtitle

Church Service

Christian marriage is a solemn and public covenant entered into in the presence of God and lived out in the support of a community of faith.

It is clearly the intent of the Prayer Book that marriages solemnized in the Church continue to be nurtured within the community of the Church.  Marriage is not something that happens at one particular moment.  It is a lifelong process.

Those who come to Church seeking God's blessing on their relationship should do so with a clear intention of maintaining an active participation in the life of the Church.

The Church's Laws Concerning Holy Matrimony:

In the Church of Ireland it is required that one of the parties be a baptised Christian.  The Church of Ireland also requires that one of you is a member of the Church of Ireland (or a church in full communion with the Church of Ireland).  At every marriage there must be at least two witnesses.  Both of them must be at least eighteen years of age.

Marriage after Divorce

The Church of Ireland has made provision for the marriage in church of divorced person/s in certain circumstances and where the required procedures are followed.

The Marriage Licence:

For details pertaining to marriages taking place in the Republic of Ireland, please click here:

For details pertaining to marriages taking place in the Northen Ireland, please click here

Date of the wedding:

A Church wedding involves the participation of a lot of people behind the scenes in a voluntary capacity, so adequate notice is essential. The couple will want to talk with their Rector and make arrangements as far in advance as possible in order to reduce difficulties. Planning several months in advance is the norm.

The Rehearsal.

The purpose of the wedding rehearsal is to give the wedding party the opportunity to become familiar with the service ahead of time so they can be at ease during the worship service. Rehearsals are usually held on the day before the wedding.

The Marriage Service

As you plan your wedding, please remember marriage is a sacrament of the church and takes place in the context of worship. As in every service of the church, the Rector is charged with the final responsibility for determining the appropriateness of all arrangements and details.

The liturgy

The Church of Ireland is a liturgical church, and, as such, worship services are defined by the Book of Common Prayer. This means that you must use one of the two forms of Marriage Service in the Book of Common Prayer.

The Eucharist

A Celebration of the Eucharist can be included. When the Eucharist is celebrated as part of the marriage ceremony, all baptized Christians will be invited to share in this sacrament of unity.


Your friends or family of the couple being married. They may practice at the rehearsal. Please consult your rector on suitable readings from scripture. 


Friends or family of the couple being married may also be asked to lead the prayers. 

The wedding Music

It is usually the case that the resident Organist will play at all weddings with organ music. There is usually a fee for this service. Music which does not have as its chief end the glorification and praise of God, is not used and may be best left to the reception! Please click here for some examples of wedding hymns.

Decoration of the Church

The General principle to keep in mind is that a wedding is a worship service in which we seek to worship God with beauty and simplicity. Extravagant decorations are not necessary to create an atmosphere of joy and celebration.