Can a Roman Catholic couple request an Byzantine wedding?


Can a Roman Catholic couple request an Byzantine wedding?
We attend a Byzantine church for mass and would love to have a divine liturgy wedding mass instead of Roman Catholic. So… is it allowed as long as they are in union with Rome, as they are… or would they only allow easterners a wedding liturgy.



You can certainly request it but the priest who celebrates the Liturgy needs the faculty to witness the exchange of consent. The priest can only do this if at least one of the parties is also ascribed to his Church. If neither is (as is the case for you), then the priest needs to request delegation from your Latin diocese/pastor to witness the wedding. It should be possible, it seems to me…

You might as well ask the priest at the church what he thinks about it or call up the local Eastern Church’s office and get a definitive answer. Frankly, I’d be interested to hear what the answer is, too…



I’d be interested in hearing the answer too. Off hand, I can’t see why t would’t be allowed, but I don’t know for sure.i


I would imagine that you would simply need the permission of the Byzantine Catholic Pastor and your local Roman Pastor, like what is required when getting married in a different Roman parish? But I wonder if the Bishop(s) must be involved too?

This is interesting and I look forward to reading the answer.


Since neither fiancé is a Byzantine rite Catholic, I would expect that this would not be a simple matter, as some here seem to believe. Surely there is more to being married in a church of another rite, other than one likes the pretty liturgy.


You would need to join an eastern rite church and likely make a change of rite. If you have been attending your church for more than a year’s time, perhaps your pastor could expedite a change of rite.

Are one of you members of this eastern rite parish? If so, it should be easier to request permission. You will need to ask. And you will need to complete the six to twelve month marriage preparation, as well, for your particular eparchy.

My husband and I were married in the Mystery of Betrothal and Crowning. But it was outside of Divine Liturgy and on a Sunday. I had been attending the church for more than eight years, and been a practicing Byzantine member since mid 1980s.

Good luck!


I can not quote you the appropriate document and what not, but I know from prior knowledge that the answer is no, unless one of you is canonically a Byzantine Catholic, this is a no go. This may be possible if you two were to change Churches and become Byzantine Catholics, but changing canonical churches is a lengthy process and unless you are willing to live and practice Byzantine spirituality for the rest of your lives, I doubt the simple reason to get married in the Byzantine rite would suffice a canonical transfer between Churches and Rites.


Why would you want to? I would be careful if I was you as to becoming almost “sectarian” inside the Catholic Church. It is certainly understandable that people, in the religious affiliation one their forum profile specify the rite they belong to. But “raised NO Catholic”? Along with this idea?
You do know there is an actual process of switching rites within the Church? There is a reason for that. Changing is somewhat “discouraged” because if people are allowed to change willy-nilly, it implies that one is maybe better than another. That’s not the case.


changing is discouraged from East to West not from West to East. However it is generally the norm to have been active and involved in the Eastern parish for at least 1 year. the actual process for switching from West to East is fairly simply…a letter to each bishop. In fact my family’s canonical transfer was approved within 3 weeks :slight_smile:

regarding the OP’s question…I’m not sure if it’s allowed or not. I do know that you can have your kids baptized in a Byzantine rite parish if you are members of that parish however if you are canonically Latin, then they will be as well.


A Maronite woman in our area had not been confirmed as an infant and regularly attended our parish. Since her parish did not have a program for adult confirmation, her pastor agreed that we should prepare her for confirmation, and her bishop delegated our pastor to administer the sacrament to her.

However, it would have required papal permission [which would probably not have been granted] for her to marry her Maronite fiance in our parish. [Our pastor did celebrate at her Maronite wedding.] From this I presume papal permission would be required for your case.


I’m almost certain papal permission would not have been required. However, permission from the Maronite bishop would have been required.


Sorry, I misstated a line. It should be:
[Our pastor did **concelebrate at her Maronite wedding.] The Maronite Pastor celebrated.


As I recall it was the Maronite bishop who said papal permission would be needed. That may have been a polite way of saying he would not grant permission.

There was no contention in the matter. The Maronite bishop was very gracious and sent a litter thanking our pastor for his efforts in preparing and confirming the lady.


An eastern Catholic priest that is** delegated** can celebrate the marriage of Latin faithful using the Latin rite, but to use an eastern rite** requires a faculty** from the Holy See. (There is also another case I am not describing here, covered by CCEO 916.4).

According to canon law for Latin Catholics, CIC, an eastern priest can be delegated:CIC (Latin)
Can. 1111
§1 As long as they validly hold office, the local Ordinary and the parish priest can delegate to priests and deacons the faculty, even the general faculty, to assist at marriages within the confines of their territory.
However, the minister is supposed to celebrate according to his own rite, unless there is an exception made,CIC (Latin)
Can. 846
§1. In celebrating the sacraments the liturgical books approved by competent authority are to be observed faithfully; accordingly, no one is to add, omit, or alter anything in them on one’s own authority.
§2. The minister is to celebrate the sacraments according to the minister’s own rite.

CCEO (Eastern)
Canon 674

  1. In celebrating the sacraments that which is contained in the liturgical books is to be observed accurately.
  2. The minister should celebrate the sacraments according to the liturgical prescriptions of his own Church sui iuris, unless the law establishes otherwise or he himself has obtained a special faculty from the Apostolic See.
    The liturgical rite of the ***spouses ***is to be used:CCEO (Eastern)
    Canon 40
  3. Hierarchs who preside over Churches sui iuris and all other hierarchs are to see most carefully to the faithful protection and accurate observance of their own rite, and not admit changes in it except by reason of its organic progress, keeping in mind, however, mutual goodwill and the unity of Christians.
  4. Other clerics and members of institutes of consecrated life are bound to observe their own rite faithfully and daily to acquire a greater understanding and a more perfect practice of it.
  5. Other Christian faithful are also to foster an understanding and appreciation of their own rite, and are held to observe it everywhere unless something is excused by the law.



That is not exactly true. I attended a Melkite church for more than eight years and was married there in 1995. Our Bishop in Newton granted permission. There was no “delay”.
There was just the six month preparation period.

It depends on the Eparchy, the couple or one of the parties attending an Eastern church community on a regular basis. Yes, the Eastern churches have their own Canon Law Code. But this is a pastoral decision, not merely a legalistic one.

Seems like a worthy blessing to pray for.

In the mean time, perhaps the couple should approach the pastor and inquire. After all, he is the pastor. We are not.


This, ultimately, is the answer. So many times on this forum, someone will quote this or that canon, as if it is the ultimate and authoritative answer, but that isn’t always the way things work in real life. Permissions can be granted, and often are as a matter of routine or standing understandings between bishops. To simply quote canon law and leave it at that gives the impression that such things are not licitly possible, but that is misleading.

Bottom line, speak to the Byzantine pastor. He can give you guidance in the matter. He will know the policies of his eparchy and the relationship with the local Latin hierarchy.

closed #17

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