04 February 2020




Reverend Monsignori and Fathers:

During our Pastoral Visit last year, we observed that there are questionable practices in our parishes pertaining to our observance of the pre-requisites of the sacrament of Marriage.  Hence, we make the following clarifications and instructions for us to be properly guided in preserving the validity and licitness of the said Sacrament.

  1. Posting of Banns. 1067 The conference of bishops is to establish norms about the examination of spouses and about the marriage banns or other opportune means to accomplish the investigations necessary before marriage. After these norms have been diligently observed, the pastor can proceed to assist at the marriage. In line with this, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) issued the norms on the celebration of the Sacrament of Marriage that also specified the following provisions on the posting of wedding banns;
  1. Marriage Banns shall be announced orally or in print to the faithful for three (3) consecutive Sundays, or holidays of obligation, or on other days where there is a great convergence of the faithful.
  2. The local Ordinary may also allow the posting of the banns at the door or in the bulletin of the church, for a period during which there are three (3) Sundays or holy days of obligation, or other days where there is a great convergence of the faithful.
  3. The banns shall be announced in the proper parish of each of the contracting parties where they are better known according to the judgment of the priest who is conducting the investigation.
  4. Publication of the banns shall also be done in other parish or parishes where there exists a reasonable suspicion that either or both parties might have incurred a matrimonial diriment impediment.

Since banns are considered pre-requisite of marriage in order to determine the freedom to marry of the parties, we remind all our parishes that NO ONE IS EXEMPTED from this.

If, however, one of the parties belongs to another diocese and there is a need for dispensation for his/her banns, his proper local ordinary should be the one to give the dispensation and not the local ordinary of the Diocese of Parananque. This should be properly coordinated to the parish where the wedding will be celebrated.

  1. Certificate of No Marriage (CENOMAR). For the past years it has been our practice that only “single parties” are required to submit their CENOMAR, issued by the PSA (Philippine Statistics Office), as a proof that they have not yet contracted civil marriage. For civilly married parties, we usually require only their Civil Marriage Certificate with the presumption that their status has been changed when they first applied and sought for their CENOMAR for their civil marriage.

However, there were cases in our Diocese, in which parties who had been civilly married, submitted a CENOMAR with a notation that that one of them had been married already to a different person. For this reason, we include the CENOMAR as part of the requirements in wedding for BOTH single and civilly married couple in order avoid legal inconveniences in the process.

  1. Written Permission of their Proper Parish Priest. 1115 Marriages are to be celebrated in a parish where either of the contracting parties has a domicile, quasi-domicile, or month long residence or, if it concerns transients, in the parish where they actually reside. With the permission of the proper ordinary or proper pastor, marriages can be celebrated elsewhere. In line with this, the norm of CBCP states;
  1. No parish priest will solemnize the Marriage of persons who do not belong to his parish by reason of domicile, quasi-domicile, or residence of at least one month, without the written permission of the Local Ordinary or the parish priest, as provided for in canon 1115.

This means that the written permission of the pastors of one of the parties or both is required to licitly celebrate the marriage elsewhere. The parish priest, where the wedding will be celebrated by one or both non-parishioners, should require the written permission of their proper pastors in order to licitly celebrate marriage in his parish. The format of this could be found in our PIMS.

  1. Delegation to Solemnize Wedding. 1111 §1. As long as they hold office validly, the local ordinary and the pastor can delegate to priests and deacons the faculty, even a general one, of assisting at marriages within the limits of their territory.
  • 2. To be valid, the delegation of the faculty to assist at marriages must be given to specific persons expressly. If it concerns special delegation, it must be given for a specific marriage; if it concerns general delegation, it must be given in writing.

Can.  1114 The person assisting at marriage acts illicitly unless the person has made certain of the free status of the contracting parties according to the norm of law and, if possible, of the permission of the pastor whenever the person assists in virtue of general delegation.

By virtue, his office, the parish priest shares with the bishop the authority in giving special delegation to a visiting priest to validly witness on a specified marriage in his parish. Hence, a written special delegation should be required from a visiting priest who would stand as official witness on a specified marriage. The format of this could be found in our PIMS.

Parochial vicars, resident guest priests, priests-on-loan and attached priests of the Diocese of Parananque who are not impeded by the law are hereby granted the general delegation to celebrate weddings in their respective parishes. Hence, there is no need for them to be required of any written delegation in their respective parish as long as they are recognized as such by the Diocese through their appointment letter.

Willful neglect of these requirements would amount to a violation of pastoral courtesy given to the pastors. May we always be conscious and responsible in observing the proper guidelines in order to avoid canonical and legal inconveniences in the process.


In Christ,


Bishop of Paranaque



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