Civil Celebrant Marriage Questions


*]Could a practising Catholic woman have a civil celebrant marriage (her son and fiancée) in her home?
*]Could she be matron of honour?

I think that possibly the answer is in the negative in both instances, but unsure.


If the son is a Catholic and has received a dispensation from form, it could happen. If the son is Catholic and does not have a dispensation, the marriage would be invalid in the eyes of the Church and a Catholic mother should not host such a ceremony.


Thank you very much, and much what I thought.
I was unaware that the son being Catholic could apply for dispensation from form. Can you tell me any more about this latter especially since a civil marriage only is anticipated - would he need to apply to his Bishop? He is not a practising Catholic and disinterested due to past experiences and does not plan to marry in a Church of any denomination at all, simply a civil celebrant either at the mother’s home or the registry office. His fiancée is a woman baptised into the Church of England. She does not practise any religion whatsoever also.

I would tend to think that not even a bishop could dispense form where the marriage is planned to be a civil ceremony only. But unsure.


When a couple approaches the Catholic Church for marriage, and one of them is a non-Catholic, it is possible for them to complete the marriage preparation process through the Catholic Church and apply for a dispensation from form to be married in the non-Catholic’s church or in a civil ceremony under some circumstances.

Sounds as if this would not be the path the non-practicing Catholic would take because they would be required to be a practicing Catholic and go through marriage preparation, make promises regarding raising children Catholic, etc, in order to receive the permission for mixed marriage and/or dispensation from form. Yes, the bishop grants it, but it is through the parish pastor during marriage preparation that the couple applies.

Sounds like the son has no intention of practing the faith, so hosting an invalid marriage would indeed be problematic for the parent.


Thank you. Her son does not have any intention of practising his Faith insofar as I know, and your response is what I was thinking, although I was unsure of myself. Anyway, I will advise that my thoughts are that it cannot be done unless they speak to their Catholic parish priest and even then that I am relatively confident that it cannot be done if the mother is not to compromise herself if her son intends to pursue a marriage by a civil celebrant. Put the ball into their court to discuss with her parish priest which would have been the best move in the first place.:slight_smile:

Thank you again



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