Deacon or Priest for wedding ceremony?


#1

What is the difference between one or the other performing a ceremony? How official is it if only a Deacon is present?


#2

[quote="slyon, post:1, topic:176902"]
What is the difference between one or the other performing a ceremony? How official is it if only a Deacon is present?

[/quote]

There is no difference. A deacon is authorized to preside at a marriage ceremony by virtue of his ordination. Read up on the Sacramento of Matrimony; according to Catholic teaching, it is the couple who administer the sacrament to each other, not the priest or deacon. They are the Church's witness.


#3

A deacon cannot say Mass. So if you are only having the wedding ceremony, a deacon will be fine. But if you want Mass, then it has to be a priest.


#4

[quote="Arlene, post:3, topic:176902"]
A deacon cannot say Mass. So if you are only having the wedding ceremony, a deacon will be fine. But if you want Mass, then it has to be a priest.

[/quote]

I believe that the Deacon may witness the marriage even at Mass.


#5

[quote="Joya, post:2, topic:176902"]
There is no difference. A deacon is authorized to preside at a marriage ceremony by virtue of his ordination. Read up on the Sacramento of Matrimony; according to Catholic teaching, it is the couple who administer the sacrament to each other, not the priest or deacon. They are the Church's witness.

[/quote]

Which is why the bishop, with Rome's approval, may appoint a lay person to conduct marriage ceremonies in parishes that don't have priests or deacons. There are a few of those in my own Canadian diocese.


#6

Yes, this is true. However, I believe from the context the OP was talking about having a deacon OR a priest.

When my DH and I married we had both. We had a retired priest who is a family friend of my DH’s come down to say the Mass. But, the deacon in my parish prepared us for marriage and he is the one who did the Marriage Rite at the mass, did all the paperwork for the state/marriage license, etc.


#7

[quote="slyon, post:1, topic:176902"]
What is the difference between one or the other performing a ceremony? How official is it if only a Deacon is present?

[/quote]

If you want to be married during a Mass then you need a priest to be present. If you want to be married outside of Mass, either a priest or a deacon can witness the marriage. The marriage will be equally valid or sacramental whether witnessed by a priest or a deacon.


#8

[quote="Joya, post:2, topic:176902"]
There is no difference. A deacon is authorized to preside at a marriage ceremony by virtue of his ordination. Read up on the Sacramento of Matrimony; according to Catholic teaching, it is the couple who administer the sacrament to each other, not the priest or deacon. They are the Church's witness.

[/quote]

This is only in the latin rite. In the Eastern rites, the priest (or deacon if they have them) marry the couple.


#9

[quote="agapewolf, post:8, topic:176902"]
This is only in the latin rite. In the Eastern rites, the priest (or deacon if they have them) marry the couple.

[/quote]

I don't think a deacon can celebrate a marriage in the Eastern Rites, it has to be a priest because the theology there is that the priest confers the sacrament on the couple.


#10

[quote="Phemie, post:9, topic:176902"]
I don't think a deacon can celebrate a marriage in the Eastern Rites, it has to be a priest because the theology there is that the priest confers the sacrament on the couple.

[/quote]

I have no idea about deacons in the Eastern rite...your point makes sense.


#11

[quote="CB_Catholic, post:4, topic:176902"]
I believe that the Deacon may witness the marriage even at Mass.

[/quote]

Then who does the blessing of the bread and wine which brings about the eucharist which is the main difference between a wedding ceremony and a wedding mass.


#12

The priest does. The deacon can still witness the marriage


#13

the couple who have a deacon witness the marriage probably will not have a nuptial mass.


#14

according to who? I know plenty that are close to deacons that have them witness the marriage while still having a mass.


#15

I suppose if they were really close with a deacon then they might do that. There is no rule that says you have to have a nuptial mass…i didn’t…my husband wasn’t catholic at the time and I didn’t want to emphasize our differences. I guess I just thought that if they were having a mass as well, why not just have the priest there unless they were particularly close to the deacon.


#16

Right but what what I was responding to was teh comment above that said a deacon could do a nuptial mass- now in our case both a priest in deacon were present and shared the responsibilities - but in order for it to be a mass a priest must be present. In that case the officiate would be the priest.


#17

The officiant at the wedding is whoever receives the couple’s consent. That could be the Deacon even if there is a nuptial Mass. The Priest just lets him officiate at the wedding.

Obviously if there is only a Deacon you don’t have a Nuptial Mass but a Marriage Rite alone (what we had) or within a Liturgy of the Word.


#18

When we were planning our wedding there was a deacon we really liked, and we wanted him to witness the marriage and preside over the wedding. We also wanted Mass. So the priest was there for the Consecration and the parts of the Mass that can only be done by the priest, and the deacon did the rest. If we had not wanted Mass, we could have had just the deacon.


#19

And that is my point - you cannot have a deacon ALONE to do a nuptial mass.


#20

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