Can I "marry" someone?


#1

In the state of Colorado, anyone can “marry” you in a civil sense. You can actually “marry” yourselves, by filling out and signing your marriage certificate and returning it to the county clerk.

So my question is, if someone asks me to “marry” them (i.e. say a few nice words, “preside” over the ring ceremony etc.) and the couple is not Catholic, can I do it? I ask for two reasons: one, this happens sometimes-- lots of non-religious people ask friends or relatives to do this for them. Two: I am a wedding planner and if, for example, the officiant didn’t show or fell ill, or got into an accident on the way to the wedding and was unable to do it, would it be okay for me to do it?


#2

If neither party is Catholic, and the marriage is a valid one, then yes.

You could not participate in an invalid attempt at marriage such as:

same sex "marriage"
a marriage attempt between two people, one or both of whom have been previously married
a couple who excludes an essential property of marriage


#3

1ke: Is a Catholic judge prohibited from marrying people in civil marriage who do not meet the Catholic understanding of marriage, but who do meet the criteria set up by the state?

Is it a different case if performing the marriage is done as part of the requirements of a civil servant, does this fall into the same category as having to refuse immoral acts which are allowed by the laws of the state, such as abortion or assisted suicide, or does it depend on the type of marriage we're talking about? That is, is it one thing to be asked to marry a previously-married man and woman and another thing to be asked to marry a man to a man or a woman to a woman? Does the 1st Amendment cover this?


#4

I would be very reluctant to do this because, even as their wedding planner, you may not be privy to things that would make the marriage invalid. For example a previous marriage, Catholic baptism, or something similar. If it is a common occurance to ask friends or professionals who help with weddings, I would even go so far as to put something (discreet and professional) in my brochure stating that you don't officiate at weddings.


#5

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