Catholic Cleric’s Role in Wedding at Non-denominational Church

Dear Catholic Exchange:

Can a Catholic get married in a non-denominational church and still be a Catholic? Can a priest perform a wedding in a non-denominational church?

Thank-you very much,



Dear Marian,

Peace in Christ!

Normally, a Catholic marries another Catholic in a Catholic Church according to the Catholic form of marriage with the assistance of a Catholic cleric. Nonetheless, any of these elements can for good reason be dispensed with by the bishop.

Please see our Faith Fact Catholic-Protestant Weddings.

You also might want to check out a few paragraphs from the Directory for the Application of Principles and Norms on Ecumenism (nos. 143-160).

Here is a sample:

"With the previous authorization of the local Ordinary, and if invited to do so, a Catholic priest or deacon may attend or participate in some way in the celebration of mixed marriages, in situations where the dispensation from canonical form has been granted. In these cases, there may be only one ceremony in which the presiding person receives the marriage vows. At the invitation of this celebrant, the Catholic priest or deacon may offer other appropriate prayers, read from the Scriptures, give a brief exhortation and bless the couple" (no. 157).

United in the Faith,

Eric Stoutz
Information Specialist
Catholics United for the Faith
827 North Fourth Street
Steubenville, OH 43952
800-MY-FAITH (800-693-2484)

Subscribe to CE
(It's free)

Go to Catholic Exchange homepage