February 24, 2014

Wedding Docs 101: Correcting Discrepancies in Church Documents

One of the usual headaches that soon-to-weds encounter during wedding preps is when there is a discrepancy in their required wedding documents, whether it's in their birth certificate or their baptismal and confirmation certificates. I swear, ang hirap mag-asikaso ng mga papeles para sa kasal.

I also had some problems regarding my church documents.. You see, I do not have a "Ma." in my birth certificate, but in my baptismal and confirmation certificates, they affixed a "Ma." before my name. Apparently, there is a rule that every girl must be baptized with a "Ma." in her name, which will serve as her Christian name. Unfortunately, Christ the King would not accept my baptismal and confirmation certificates because of this discrepancy. Sobrang strict nila sa totoo lang.

And so, I had to request for a partial change of my parish records. I tried searching for blogs that would give me an idea on how to do this, but I couldn't find one. And so, by writing this post, I hope that I can help other soon-to-weds in fixing any discrepancy in their church documents... or at least those couples who were baptized/confirmed in churches under the Diocese of Cubao. Hehe.

Here is the step-by-step process in requesting partial changes of my baptismal certificate. I also followed these same steps to fix the discrepancy in my confirmation certificate.
  1. I went to the church where I was baptizedSt. Joseph Shrine in Anonas, Cubaoto ask for a letter from the parish priest requesting for an amendment on my baptismal record. The church required a clear copy of my NSO birth certificate and Form 137, which is the transcript of my school records. Since I didn't have my Form 137, I was asked to bring copies of three valid IDs as reference. I also had to write an affidavit stating the corrections and the purpose of my request.

  2. I then brought the request letter, my baptismal certificate, affidavit and  other documents to the Chancery Department for approval. It is the building in front of the Immaculate Concepcion Cathedral in Cubao.

  3. Once my application for partial changes was approved, I was given a written decree issued by His Eminence, authorizing the parish priest of St. Joseph to correct my baptismal record.

  4. I then brought the written decree and the related documents to St. Joseph. After a few minutes, my baptismal certificate already had the necessary changes made. Yey! :)

Actually, the Chancery decreed that they could not delete the "Ma." in my baptismal and confirmation certificates because it is my Christian name. However, they added in the "Observada" column that despite the "Ma." in my church certificates, they still pertain to the same person. Luckily, Christ the King still accepted my certificates even though my name was not officially changed. Yey again!

Of course, there were some fees involved in the changing of parish records, although I really couldn't remember how much I paid for them. So just to be safe, be sure to prepare at least P1,000 for the documents.

So now, all we have to do is wait for our wedding banns to be released and our church documents are done! Yey! :)



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