banns

(Old English: bannan, to summon) Public proclamations of an intended marriage, as a help in discovering matrimonial impediments, if any exist. Three publications, on different Sundays or holy days, are required unless a dispensation be granted, and ordinarily the marriage should not be celebrated until at least three days after the last announcement. The publications are made in the church or churches of the parties; and if either of them, after arriving at a marriageable age, has lived in any other locality for six months or more, the publishing of banns may be required in that place. There are similar regulations regarding banns for those who are about to receive Holy Orders, as an aid to the revealing of possible impediments.

New Catholic Dictionary

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