How do you get a marriage recognized by the Catholic church?

I am Episcopalian and my fiancee is Catholic. If we were to get married in the Episcopalian church, how hard would it be for us to get our marriage recognized by the Catholic church?

What steps would we have to go through? Would we need a priest there? Does he have to actually perform the ceremony? Do we still need to do the marriage counseling through the Catholic church?

What do you think very strict Catholics (his grandparents) would think about us getting married in an Episcopalian church? Is there any animosity between the two churches?

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

12 Comments to “How do you get a marriage recognized by the Catholic church?”

  • Movements Bowel


  •  Hippie Chick

    they accept cash, even to free you of your sins.

    I was catholic, and i wanted to marry a methodist. My church was going to make us go to classes for 8 weeks, to teach him to be ‘catholic’ and he had to promise to raise the children catholic. After all that they did not really recognize the marriage until the time for divorce came…. then they of course said i was a sinner for divorcing even though they never recognized the marriage to begin with…

  • Ramon Casha

    No idea about Episcopalians but the RCC recognises marriages made in other churches. You cannot, for instance, re-marry in the RCC when you’ve been married in another church.

  • Chas H

    A large gift to the pope will help.

    under $100,000 need not apply.

  • ron.ron93

    You would have to Go to A catholic RIC, or precanier….it is a difference of the Sacraments that you have …But I believe you do consider marriage a sacrament??

  • Amazing Grace

    If you want to marry a Catholic, you would have take lessons before you can marry in a Catholic Church.

  • Mark D

    In order for your marriage to be recognized, you will have to make an appointment with your fiancee’s pastor. You’ll need to present your marriage certificate and legal documentation, your certificates of Baptism, and your fiancee’s certificate of confirmation. The pastor will take and copy this paperwork and have it processed with the Diocese.

    As long as everything is in order and there are no specific regulations within the Diocese, the priest will have you come in and ask some questions. After this, if he is able, he will bless and confirm the marriage in the Catholic Tradition, and will provide you with documentation in that regards.


    I am speaking specifically about the situation this person has stated as I understood the query: A Marriage outside of the Catholic Church and after the marriage, the party seeking convalidation through the Church. Specifically, I’m speaking of Canon 1156-1160, the convalidation of a marriage outside the Church. Furthermore I refer to FAMILIARIS CONSORTIO, section IV, #78, by John Paul II. Here he clarifies the need for immediate Pastoral care and guidance to these cases and illustrates the understanding and validity of the sacrament as it is in between two baptized Christians. Were this a person seeking permission to be married outside the church you would have a valid point, but as far as I understand it this is seeking convalidation after the fact.

    the archaic denial of sacraments to a person in a mixed marriage was done away with years ago by these very documents. My explanation to our friend here is to facilitate the easiest and healthiest manner to inquire and hopefully procure convalidation through the Church in a way that is both in positive recognition of the Marriage ceremony which had previously occurred and in the best tradition of our faith for the sake of the immortal souls of all involved.

  • Roman C

    Talk to your priests. If you have no impediments to marriage, it should not be difficult. The Church will probably consider it valid if it is a first marriage for both of you. Important, talk to both priests first. I know Catholic weddings require extensive counseling before the ceremony can be done.

  • misty0408

    You need to talk to a priest about it.

    Your fiance would need to get a dispensation from the Bishop in order to marry outside the Church. If he does not do this, the marriage is invalid and cannot be recognized by the Church.

    “Such a dispensation MUST be obtained in advance. A Catholic who gets married in a non-Catholic ceremony without a dispensation from canonical form is not validly married under canon law.”

    “How does one obtain this dispensation from canonical form? The process is initiated by the pastor of the Catholic party. He forwards a description of the situation to the bishop for review, and the bishop then informs him whether the dispensation is granted or not.”

    Mark D: I think you are talking about people married outside the Church but want to come back into communion with the Catholic Church, or were married in a civil ceremony who want to have their marriage blessed. That it a different situation than the one being presented. This is a Catholic who is considering marrying outside the Catholic Church. If he wants to be able to continue to receive the Eucharist and be in communion with the Catholic Church he must obtain a dispensation to marry outside the Church. If he doesn’t do this, the marriage is not valid under canon law and he should not receive Eucharist.

  • Veritatum17

    All legal first marriages are recognized by the Catholic church – they may not be sacramental marriages (literally meaning that you got married in the Catholic church), but they are recognized and respected. You are as married as my wife and I, who are lifelong Catholics who married in the Sacrament. Divorce does present an impediment – you’d need to be granted an annulment first, even if it were a purely civil ceremony the first time.

    If you want it to be a Sacramental marriage, you would need a priest or deacon to at least co-preside. My cousin and his wife married in her Methodist church, with his priest and her pastor co-presiding (there were some funny moments – they shared the homily and the pastor kept shouting “Hallelujahs” while the priest was speaking).

    I’m glad you love your grandparents, but it isn’t their wedding. It’s yours. It is up to you how you decide to begin and live in your marriage. Consider this – should they expect you to accept the Catholic wedding vows if you don’t intend on fulfilling them – such as raising the children Catholic?

    If you believe in what the Sacrament calls you to, perhaps consider marrying in the Catholic Church. If not, then don’t – I would much rather you marry wherever you feel comfortable than take vows you do not wish to fulfill.

    To my knowledge, Catholics and Episcopalians in the US get along just fine. There aren’t very many Episcopalians, and their theology, while nominally Calvinist, has not prevented them from enjoying the ecumenism of what our two traditions of the One Faith have in common.

    Enjoy being engaged – don’t stress too much about the wedding.

  • ♥allecat♥ †EWTN†

    You can get your marriage blessed by the church. And thing is, unless you are told the difference, most people can not tell the difference between an Episcopalian and the Catholic Mass. Although the differences are very large theologically….. Usually there isn’t any animosity between the two churches now days……

  • sarah b

    To get married in the catholic church you need to meet with your priest, do the FOCUS, do marriage prep with priest, and do the Engaged encounter. The Priest will have to be there and it will have to be in the Catholic Church if your boyfriend wants to be able to still receive the Eucharist. If you are willing to do all of this for your boyfriend I’m sure his parents wont mind. You also have to be open to children in your marriage. You should only practice NFP to space children. You also have to be willing to let your husband raise your kids Catholic.

    And for everyone who is saying you need money, this is a lie. We were broke and had no money and the church did the wedding for free.

Leave a Reply