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Parish News

Wedding Celebrations – St. JP II Chapel
Monday, October 9th 2017

My name is Louise O’ Connor, and my husband Ruadhrí and I wanted to share with other couples contemplating marriage our experience of Ashbourne-Donaghmore Parish.

On 13th June 2017, surrounded by close family, Ruadhrí and I celebrated the Sacrament of Marriage in the recently opened St. John Paul II Chapel in Ashbourne.


It was very important for us to have an intimate church wedding with our families, but we also wanted to celebrate with our friends and extended families.  We discussed our hopes for our marriage with family, friends and Fr. Derek, and after much consideration, we decided to separate the two ceremonies, the Sacrament of Marriage and the civil ceremony.  In this way, we believed we were maintaining the integrity of both of these ceremonies.  The celebration of the Wedding Mass (others chose a Wedding Service) was a moving one, involving everyone from both families in the Liturgy of the Word, the Prayers of the Faithful and the Offertory, music and reflections.  The St. John Paul II Chapel was the perfect setting in which to exchange our vows before God in an intimate ceremony.


A month later, on 21st July 2017 we were civilly married.  The ceremony took place in the Secret Garden of Boyne Hill House, surrounded by family and friends.  The Solemniser on the day was Eileen Morris OSUI.  We chose a ‘spiritual ceremony’ which, although distinct from the church ceremony, we were able to include references to our sacramental marriage: candles, vows, and readings.  A plaited ribbon blessed by Fr. Derek was used in the civil ceremony as a symbol of our commitment to one another in the hand-fastening ritual.  We displayed photographs of the Church ceremony at the reception so our guests appreciated how important both ceremonies were to us.

We were truly blessed with the opportunity to have both of these ceremonies in such beautiful settings (and with beautiful weather!).  The two unique ceremonies complemented each other perfectly and made for an unforgettable experience.  We are sincerely grateful to all involved in making both days so special but especially Fr. Derek for his advice and support in the lead up to the ceremony and his constant encouragement throughout.





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