The Banns of Marriage

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Marriage banns, also called the “banns of marriage” serves as a formal announcement of intent to marry. Traditionally, marriage banns are called in many Christian churches, including those administered by the Church of England and Catholic churches. Marriage banns have been rooted in centuries of Christian tradition, and for many devout couples it is an important part of the wedding process. For wedding banns be considered valid, they must be read or called during services on three Sundays before the wedding. The marriage banns must be read in that church as well even if the wedding is being held outside the parish of the bride or groom,. The banns are considered valid for three months after the last reading.

Firstly, regardless of religion, all couples intending to marry must “post banns.” This measure to find out whether either party may still be married to another person. Sometimes notice of banns appears in the newspaper or can also be posted (and sometimes read out aloud) in your place of worship. In Trinidad and Tobago to “post banns,” both bride and groom–to-be, need to apply with valid identification cards or passports at their respective, closest District Warden’s office. Persons who have been previously married need to provide a copy of the Decree Absolute to the Warden’s office personnel. At the end of the eight day, you are required to “take down the banns.” At this point, you will be given a marriage license. This license is valid for six months, so one have to be sure to wed during that time, otherwise you will have to start this process all over again.
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