Getting Married in The Bahamas

The Sacrament of Marriage

."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."84   

  The Catechism of The Catholic Church; 1601

 

What you need to know?

 

 

Requirements for a couple to be married in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Nassau:

 

  1. The couple wishing to be married in the Archdiocese of Nassau must first contact their own pastor of the parish they presently attend. In the case of a mixed marriage, where one of the parties is not a Catholic, then the pastor of the person who is a Catholic must be approached. This should be done at least six months prior to the date of the marriage.

 

  1. The pastor will begin the process of investigation, the prenuptial questionnaire will be filled out and all the necessary documents, such as, baptismal and confirmation certificates will be given at this time. The couple will be enrolled in a Pre-Cana or a marriage preparation course, which most dioceses provide. This must be done in the diocese where you live.

 

  1. The couple must contact a priest or a deacon in the Archdiocese of Nassau to reserve a parish church, date and time to have the wedding done as they desire and plan. This should be done at least six (6) months in advance. See Parish Directory for a list of priests, deacons and administrators in this Archdiocese. The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Nassau is constituted of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas, which is made up of many islands.

 

  1. Please note that all weddings in this Archdiocese must be held in a church. Please do not be fooled by advertising that suggests that weddings take place in caves, hotels, gardens, malls or on beaches. In the Catholic Church, weddings must be celebrated in church.

 

  1. It is the responsibility of the pastor of the parish where the Catholic party is a member to make all the necessary preparations and investigations according to Canon Law.

 

It means, then, that the parish priest must undertake the investigation, obtain a dispensation, if required, and solicit all the necessary documents required for a valid marriage in the Catholic Church.

 

  1. All of the above information and documentation should be sent to the Chancery where the Catholic party resides and where the investigation and preparation takes place. Your Chancery Office will issue the Nihil Obstat and send to our Chancery all the documents along with the Testimonial Letters. When these documents arrive here at our Chancery Office a visum est will be granted if all the documents are in order.

 

The following documents must be obtained as part of your preparation to be married in this Archdiocese:  

 

Completed prenuptial questionnaires

 

  1. A letter from each party’s pastor, giving his permission for the couple to be married in the Archdiocese of Nassau.

 

  1. A letter or certificate stating that the couple has received the proper marriage instructions and preparation.

 

  1. A baptismal certificate from each party’s parish of baptism. These certificates should be recent, i.e. issued within six (6) months prior to the wedding.

 

  1. A letter from each party attesting that he/she is free to marry. This may be done by their parents or by close relatives or friends who have known the person for most of his/her life.

 

  1. This affidavit must be signed by two (2) witnesses.

 

 When all documents have been collected, the local parish priest of the parish church where the couple worship, the pastor who is doing the preparation for this marriage, must submit all of these documents directly to his diocesan chancery office. The Chancellor of your diocese must issue a Nihil Obstat before forwarding these documents to the Chancellor of the Archdiocese of Nassau. May we suggest that in sending these documents to us, you choose a service where your documents can be traced if lost (UPS/ FEDEX/DHL). It is very risky to send these documents to us by regular mail as they can get lost.

 

Once the documents have been received in this archdiocese, they will be reviewed to make sure that nothing has been left out. They will then be sent to the priest or the deacon in the Archdiocese who has agreed to perform the wedding.

 

 Your documents should arrive in our Chancery Office at least one month prior to the planned date of marriage.

 

 Once we are satisfied that the documents are all in order, a visum est will be issued by this archdiocese. 

 

 Completed documents should be sent to the following address:

 

The Office of the Chancellor

 Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Nassau

 Archdiocesan Pastoral Centre

 West Street

 P.O. Box N 8187

 Nassau, Bahamas

 

Phone: (242) 322-4533

            (242) 322-7744

             (242) 322-8919

 

Fax:    (242) 322-2599

The Office of the Chancellor
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Nassau
Archdiocesan Pastoral Centre
West Street
P.O. Box N 8187
Nassau, Bahamas