Public announcement in church of a proposed marriage. Before the banns could be read, there had to be a declaration of residency of four weeks by at least one of the parties, presented to the cleric at least 7 days prior to a public reading of the banns. The banns were read aloud during church service, following the reading of the second lesson, for three consecutive Sundays, with a query as to whether anyone knew of any reason why the couple should not wed. If one of the parties was from a different parish, the banns had to be read there as well. Once the banns had been read three times, without objection, the cleric issued a certificate and the couple was free to wed at a morning of their choosing in one of the churches where the banns had been read.