Purposes of Documents for Church Wedding (Part 1)

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One thing that many couples complain about is the sheer number of documents required for a church wedding. Aside from the documents required by the government for marriage registration, the Church required us to submit our baptismal certificates, confirmation certificates, wedding banns certificates, parish priest’s permission for the bride, and certificate for attending a pre-Cana seminar. Obtaining these documents took more than a day in our wedding preparation schedules.

I read somewhere in the Internet someone claiming that these documents “are means for the Church to earn money”. I don’t know if that person has an axe to grind against the Church or just ignorant.

So, to set things straight, I’m posting what I know about these church documents and why they are important.

Baptismal Certificate

(Source: Tom Mahony website)

Marriage is a sacrament in the Catholic Church and it requires that at least one one-half of the couple marrying in the Church is a baptized Catholic. The Baptismal Certificate serves as a proof of that baptism. Baptismal certificate may be obtained from the parish church where you were baptized.

Our church required us to obtain copies of our baptismal certificate containing the remarks: “For Marriage Purpose”. This meant that the baptismal certificate hidden by Mother in the baul will not be accepted by the church. We had to get recent copies.

There is no standard price for baptismal certificate. It really depends on the parish church. I paid 50 pesos for my baptismal certificate in our previous parish church in Quezon City. My Beloved Wife Lei paid 100 pesos for her baptismal certificate from their church in the province down south.

Confirmation Certificate

Receiving kumpil in the old times
(Source: Wikipedia)


According to the Catechism, the Sacrament of Confirmation perfects baptismal grace. Through it, the Holy Spirit root us more in the divine filiation, incorporates us more firmly into Christ, and strengthen our bond with the Church. In short, Confirmation or Kumpil gives us the opportunity to receive more grace that will make us better Christians.

Married life is never easy. It demands strength and dedication for us to be always true to our wedding vows. In light of our Catholic Christian faith, marriage demands more grace and firmer faith in God. This is the reason why the Church requires couples to receive Kumpil first before getting married in the church.

Lei is fortunate because she was able to receive Kumpil during her teen years. I was not able to do that, so I have to receive Kumpil in Quiapo Church. Lei paid 100 pesos for her Confirmation Certificate. I, on the other hand, paid 430 pesos for the whole process of receiving this sacrament.

Receiving baptism and confirmation are important for Catholics. These two sacraments prepare would-be-couples spiritually so that (hopefully) they’ll be more open to the grace from our God. The certificates are just documentary proofs that these sacraments were received.

“But Ish, but Ish,” some of you might say, “but these certificates came from the church. They should be free!”

I agree, these certificates should be free IF the paper used was obtained by the church without paying for it, that the parish priest don’t need to eat, that the parish church are exempted from paying electric and water bills. Keep in mind that our churches run because of donations and payments received from all of those requesting for these documents.

Hopefully, I enlightened you a little regarding these certificates. In the second part of this article I will tell you the importance of wedding banns, parish priest’s permission for the bride, and certificate for attending a pre-Cana seminar.
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3 comments:

  1. Here, we have our Family Register - with all the certificates...all readily available when needed. Everything is computerised, all the old old records so if anybody has lost his or hers, they can go and ask for a new one - no problem at all. Just needs a token processing fee.

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    Replies
    1. Wow!!! A cousin in Sabah, already in his 50s, asked me to get his confirmation and baptism certificates and I did - less than RM10, I remember...did not have to pay so much.

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    2. 10 RM is around 140 Philippine pesos. That's cheap huh? You just paid for the paper, and the printing and of course a donation for the upkeep of the church. :-)

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