Singapore, Nov 12, 2018 / 03:23 pm (CNA).- The Archdiocese of Singapore has introduced a new policy to ensure couples are taking the time they need to properly prepare for marriage.
Catholics looking to getting married in any of the archdiocese’s 32 churches have to book their wedding date at least one year in advance, according to Catholic News.
Previously, the couples only had to notify the church six months before the wedding. Archbishop William Chye of Singapore made the decision in October after discussing the move with the archdiocese’s priests.
Couples must still undergo the same marriage preparatory programs, including a marriage course and a meeting with the priest who will preside over the wedding.
A Catholic spokesperson for the archdiocese told Strait Times that the new policy emphasizes 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,” he said.
“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,” he added.
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 told Straight Times that he was 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 said.
“Even if you book a hotel, you may also need to book one year in advance but people don’t grumble about that.”