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Do you want to get married in Malaga Cathedral? Well, now you can
Church

Do you want to get married in Malaga Cathedral? Well, now you can

The Bishopric will allow the celebration of marriages in the mother church of the diocese while El Sagrario remains closed pending major repairs

Jesús Hinojosa

Malaga

Friday, 28 June 2024, 18:04

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The cathedral in Malaga is a church in which weddings are not usually performed. The last marriage ceremonies were conducted in 2019 and they were an exception after a break of more than 30 years. The reason? There was a need to host weddings that were already planned for the church of El Sagrario (the tabernacle), which has been closed since then while awaiting a solution to stop further movement in the crack that is splitting the church in half due to the problems with the subsoil's consistency on which the church stands.

However, in view of the prolonged closure of El Sagrario church, the Bishopric has decided to allow the sacrament of marriage to be celebrated again in the Cathedral. Meanwhile, repairs to the church now depend on a new round of archaeological excavations in its crypt and surrounding grounds to assess what can be done.

One of the weddings that took place in 2019 in the cathedral as a result of the closure of El Sagrario. Migue Fernández

Diocesan sources consulted by SUR have clarified that this is something "extraordinary" that will be facilitated "during the time that the Sagrario parish of the cathedral remains closed". Questioned about the days and times when weddings can be celebrated, the sources replied that "the liturgical celebration of marriage will be carried out according to criteria that the Cathedral Chapter is drawing up, of which the interested parties will be informed personally in due course, once they are finalised."

However, those engaged couples who are interested in being able to get married in the mother church of Malaga's diocese will be able to apply for permission from September, "once the calendar of events planned in the cathedral for the next religious study year has been finalised", according to the Bishopric. To do so, they can go to the office of the parish of El Sagrario during opening hours (10.30 to 12 noon). They can also apply by telephone (952 21 19 35) or by email (sagrario@diocesismalaga.es).

The crack that is splitting the church of El Sagrario in half. Salvador Salas

Therefore, from next year onwards, the cathedral will once again be able to host weddings, albeit temporarily, while the situation of El Sagrario church is resolved, a matter that could take several years. As SUR has learned, the new round of archaeological surveys required by the delegation for the Junta's regional ministry of culture is scheduled to begin in July, as a preliminary step to the final authorisation of all plans to reinforce the foundations of the subsoil under El Sagrario church.

The Cathedral's architect, Juan Manuel Sánchez La Chica, together with Adolfo de la Torre Prieto, have proposed from the outset that the best solution to stop the movement of the crack and reinforce the foundations of the church would be injections of reinforced materials applied at a depth of eight metres, below the level of the archaeological remains found there. However, in order to do this, drilling would have to be carried out to reach this level, and this is what worries the archaeologists from the delegation for the culture ministry, who fear that this would damage the remains of the ancient mosque that was initially used as a cathedral after the reconquest of the city by the Catholic Monarchs.

Extend archaeological surveys

In order to dispel these doubts and fears, it was finally decided to extend the archaeological surveys already carried out by the bishopric in order to have sufficient information to direct the injections where they would do the least harm, but have the most benefit. The culture delegation has opted to bunch them up.

The archaeological excavations carried out in recent years by the Bishopric, at the request of the regional government, revealed "a powerful archaeological timeline." According to reports from the culture delegation, the findings span from the Late Roman period, and Palaeo-Christian remains were found. Some of the specific finds include pieces of a ceramic lamp or lantern decorated with a cross, plates and patens (the dishes that hold the host during mass) with the symbols of the lamb, the dove and the peacock, which could date from the 4th and 6th centuries AD. These remains were cleaned and catalogued to become part of the collection at the Museum of Malaga.

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