Marriage - Banns

1. Where are banns to be published and how many?

Banns are to be published in the place where the parties have their domicile or quasi-domicile. In places where the parties concerned have lost their domicile or quasi-domicile, the parish priest concerned can exempt the parties from the publication of banns provided that he is sure of his/her free state."

The CCBI has decreed that at least two banns should be published before marriage. They may be read in the Church or they may be put up on the parish notice board after making a reference to them in the announcements at Mass. Ordinarily, the banns should be published at least two weeks before marriage.

2. Can the parish priest dispense from one bann?

According to the norms given by the CCBI it is only the Vicar Forane (Dean) that can grant dispensation from one bann. If the Bishop of the place, however, has granted faculty to all parish priests to dispense from one bann, then the parish priest concerned can also do so. (In the Archdiocese of Bombay, the Archbishop has delegated to the parish priests the faculty to dispense from one bann.)

3. Can banns be published in the case of Mixed Religion marriages?

According to the directions given by the CCBI in adapting Canon 1067, the Local Ordinary is to decide whether banns are to be read or not in mixed marriages.

4. When is the oath of free state necessary?

Normally, the free state of a party is established by the publication of banns. But when banns are not being read, two trustworthy persons who know the party well should testify to his/her free state by a sworn testimony. If, however, it is not possible to get two persons to testify to a party's free state, the party himself/herself should be asked to take an oath of free state attested by two witnesses.

5. What is to be done to establish the free state of a non-catholic party in the case of a mixed marriage or a marriage of disparity of cult?

In the case of a baptised non-catholic, if the party can obtain a letter of free state from his/her pastor, this would suffice to establish the free state of the baptised non-catholic. In the case of a non-baptised party, he/she should be asked to sign an affidavit of free state.

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