The Sacrament of Marriage

Human life is governed by different laws than the lives of other beings. Humans possess a spiritual soul with a rich intellectual and emotional life. They live in a society that is firmly organized and not only grants individuals rights but also imposes duties upon them.

In our Strahov Basilica, we also assist in the celebration of marriages.


The basic unit of society is the family – the union of a man, a woman, and their children. In families, new people grow up, the hopes of the future. The Bible speaks about the family right at the beginning. It says there: "God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. God blessed them and said to them, 'Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth'" (Genesis 1:27-28). According to God's plan, the union of a man and a woman is intended to be lifelong and indissoluble. Jesus, when asked if marriage could be dissolved, replied: "For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate" (Matthew 19:5–6).

Church Marriage Valid Also Civilly

Sacramental marriage is publicly contracted by mutual agreement between a man and a woman. This agreement is called "ecclesiastical marriage." Its essence is the expression of mutual consent to marital cohabitation. Jesus Christ wanted to give special sanctification to married and family life. Therefore, He elevated the marital covenant of the baptized to a sacrament. A baptized person, when entering into a valid marital covenant, simultaneously performs a sacramental sign, imparting grace. Marriage further deepens the divine life in spouses and gives them special graces to assist in their marital and family life.

Marriage is a public legal act and as such is governed by the lawful authority of society. Likewise, in the Church, marriage has this character, and the Church as a society establishes the conditions for the validity of ecclesiastical marriage, which is also a sacrament. By the authority it has from God, the Church establishes conditions for the validity of ecclesiastical marriage, including the so-called impediments to the validity of ecclesiastical marriage, some of which are of a generally human nature (e.g., close kinship), others of a religious nature (e.g., between a baptized person and an unbaptized person, the promise of perpetual chastity, etc.). The Church can dispense from these so-called ecclesiastical impediments, i.e., make an exception.

The Church also establishes the form for the contracting of ecclesiastical marriage. Catholic Christians are to contract marriage in the presence of an authorized priest, who at that moment is a qualified witness on behalf of the Church that the marriage was properly contracted. A sincere relationship of love between a man and a woman is beautiful and delightful. When guided by the law of Christ, it is even sacred, deserving to be sealed with a sign. In the sacrament of marriage, the mutual expression of consent is already a sign of God's grace, so the spouses confer this sacrament themselves. The presence of a priest is necessary for the validity of the act. Priestly blessing is something additional. When one of the spouses dies, the other is free and can contract a new marriage.

Important Notice

We only perform marriages for parishioners and those who have a close relationship with our basilica and monastery (e.g., regular visitors, their parents had baptism or marriage here, they are relatives of our brethren, parishioners, or monastery employees, etc.). Thank you for your understanding!

What Needs to Be Arranged Before the Ecclesiastical Marriage

In the case of interest in contracting a church marriage in the Strahov parish, it is necessary to contact the parish priest no later than 3 months before the planned wedding date, but it is better to do so 6 months before the wedding.

Documents Required for Marriage

  • copies of the birth certificates of the betrothed
  • copies of the identity cards of the betrothed
  • confirmation of baptism of the betrothed (not older than 6 months; issued by the parish office of the place of baptism)
  • confirmation of completion of marriage preparation (if the betrothed are not from the Strahov parish)
  • license from the betrothed's own priest for marriage (if neither of the betrothed resides in the territory of the Strahov parish; issued by the parish office of the place of residence of one of the betrothed)
  • information about 2 witnesses: name, surname, address, and birth number (for foreigners, date and place of birth instead of the birth number)
  • certificate of legal capacity to marry, not older than 6 months (issued by the City District Office Prague 1, Vodičkova 18; office days Tue + Thu); this document is necessary for the civil validity of marriage
  • for a widower/widow: copy of the death certificate of the spouse
  • Copies of documents do not need to be notarized. The documents must be submitted to the parish office in full no later than one month before the planned wedding date.

It is also necessary to fill in Registration for Application for Ecclesiastical Marriage form.