Can a woman keep her maiden name?


A co-worker of mine is getting married soon. She is keeping her maiden name because, as she says, it’s the only link she has too her father, with whom she was very close and who died a couple of years ago. Her husband is okay with this; it was actually his idea. They plan to give their children a hyphenated combination of both last names. I.E., if hers is Smith, his is Jones, the kids will be Smith-Jones.

I was wondering if the tradition of a bride changing her name is just tradition or if there is something in the scriptures or Catechism that addresses this issue specifically??


While it is common in English-speaking countries for women to change their maiden names to their husband’s family name upon marriage, it is not a universal custom and the Church does not require Catholic women to do so. In fact, giving children both the mother’s and father’s family names is customary in Spanish-speaking countries, which are traditionally Catholic. St. Teresa of Avila was born Teresa Sanchez Cepeda Davila y Ahumada, named for her father Don Alonso Sanchez de Cepeda and her mother Doña Beatriz Davila y Ahumada.

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