[APG Public List] Preferred time of year for Catholic marriages

Ruy Cardoso, CG ruygenealogy at yahoo.com
Thu Oct 7 15:15:50 MDT 2010

> From: Lisa Gorrell <snrylisa at gmail.com>
> I believe there was a prohibition to being married during Lent.

I have a collection of about 3000 Catholic marriage records from Portugal (1600s to 1800s) and the table below shows how they are spread by month.  I'd not heard of the Lenten prohibition before, but the low percentages for March and April in are certainly consistent with it.  A quick Google search indicated that it did exist, or that marriages were at least discouraged during that time.  There was even a saying: "Marry in Lent, you'll surely repent."  See David Cressy, _Birth, Marriage, and Death: Ritual, Religion, and the Life-Cycle in Tudor and Stuart England_, (Oxford University Press, 2002 reprint), 301.  There was apparently a similar prohibition/discouragement during Advent as well, which may explain the low December percentage.

Jan 14.8%
Feb 11.2%
Mar  2.7%
Apr  5.9%
May 10.5%
Jun  7.2%
Jul  7.7%
Aug  7.6%
Sep  7.3%
Oct  8.6%
Nov 12.7%
Dec  3.8%

Ruy Cardoso, CG(sm)

Certified Genealogist and CG are service marks of the Board for Certification of Genealogists®, used under license after periodic Board evaluation of the certificant's genealogical work.


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