Couples must wait a year for church wedding

Couples must wait at least a year – up from six months – to celebrate their nuptials if they want a church wedding in Singapore.

Singapore’s archdiocese says Archbishop William Goh Seng Chye changed the policy for booking churches for weddings after discussions with the archdiocese’s priests.

The new policy aims to ensure couples take the time they need to prepare for marriage properly.

The change in policy has not altered other aspects of the archdiocese’s marriage preparation requirements.

As was already the case, all couples must attend marriage preparatory programmes. They must also meet the priest who will preside over their wedding.

A spokesperson for the archdiocese says the new policy emphasises the importance of the commitment of matrimony and helps Catholics prepare for it.

“In response to the feedback and to help our fellow Catholics prepare for such a major commitment in their lives, the Archbishop, in consultation with his Senate of Priests, is looking to refine the recommended policies presently in place,” the spokesperson says.

“It marks the beginning of a journey that the Church and the couple take together to prepare the couple for their commitment to each other.”

Numerous other Christian dominations in Singapore have similar requirements, which may range from six to nine months prior to the wedding day.

Daniel Seah is an engaged Catholic in Singapore who plans to get married in 2020. He says he is happy with the new policy.

“In my opinion, the divorce rate is quite high and I think the Church is looking at ways to help couples discern deeper if this is the right person for them before they walk down the aisle,” he says.

“Even if you book a hotel, you may also need to book one year in advance but people don’t grumble about that.”


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