Can a deacon celebrate a wedding in another diocese?

My fiance and I have just started planning our wedding, and we want to get married in my home town. We also want his father, who is a deacon, to perform the ceremony. The thing I don’t know is if a deacon is allowed to perform the ceremony outside of the diocese he is from. Does anyone know if this is even possible, and if so, what procedures need to be followed? I already know what he needs to do on the civil end, with the state, I just need to know about the Church side of things.
Thanks a lot!

Yours in Christ,

Yes, its possible with permission from the pastor, proper paperwork, etc.

Just talk to your fiance’s father, he will know all the required steps.

Just make sure if it is in another state from where he resides that he has the proper credentials to witness the marriage civilly.

Thanks! :slight_smile:

I presume a priest is preparing you for marriage he will know the answers. I think the proper parish will need to give his consent. He sort of has the ‘privilege’ of marrying his parishioners. He can delegate another priest or a deacon to celebrate the marriage. I’m only guessing, but it’s a reasonable educated guess, that the bishop of the diocese where the wedding will happen may need to give permission. The deacon probably has faculties from his proper ordinary to celebrate marriages. This faculty is probably habitual. Sometimes when faculties are habitual a sacred minister can exercise them outside the territory of his proper ordinary unless the local ordinary prevents this. I’m not too sure if this applies in marriage cases. It may involve some paperwork and the investment of some time but I’m sure that it can be quite easily arranged.

Good wishes to you and congratulations on your forthcoming mariage.

If it is a wedding mass, of course the priest would say the mass but the Deacon could do the Marriage Rite.

Is this also a matter for the Bishop to OK? After all, Deacons “work” for the Bishop, not the parish priest.

The deacon needs written permission from his own bishop and permission from the pastor where the wedding is to be held. I can’t remember if he also needs written permission from the bishop where he is going.

I want to say the the deacons bishop would write a letter to the bishop requesting the permision from the other bishop. My memory is a little foggy, I’ll have to look it up.

One other thing to mention, he will have to register in the “book” at the clerk of courts office where the wedding is to be held so he will be a legal person to witness the wedding. This must be done where ever the clergy member presides over a wedding. It is the “clergy register book” i think it is called, not 100% sure. This is the civil side of validity I am referring to.

But no matter what the requirements are, the ministers you will deal with will know what is proper, it’s not your responcibility so let them worry about the permissions.

In simple words, yes it can be done as others have stated.

For the civil side, in the state it will take place in, he has to file a form with the secretary of the commonwealth. I already looked that up for my state. Thanks for all the help with the Church side of things, everyone!

You and your fiance should talk to the pastor of the parish where you intend on getting married and explain the situation. Once the pastor is in agreement, your next step is to contact the deacon you wish to preside over your vows.

The proper procedure would be for the visiting deacon to request a letter of good standing from his director of the Diaconate or Chancellor of his diocese. This letter would be sent to the bishop of the diocese where the wedding is taking place. The letter should state that the deacon has faculties in his home diocese and is in good standing. It should also request faculties for a specific date for a specific function (a marriage) at a specific church. The bishop of the receiving diocese will either grant or deny faculties for the wedding and will send a copy to the pastor of the parish where the wedding is being held, to the deacon who is requesting faculties, and sometimes even to the deacon’s home diocese.

If there are certain state requirements are required (as the presider, the deacon also assumes the role of the state’s official in the ceremony), your pastor should be able to help you and the deacon get that process started.


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit