Marriage ceremony - Roman AND Maronite?


God has blessed me with the man of my dreams! We plan on getting married this upcoming June 2014.

My fiance is technically Byzantine but was raised in the Maronite Rite. I was raised in the Roman rite. When we first got engaged (a month ago) we were rushing to find a church to be married in - we did not realize at the time the proper (and we are still trying to learn) the proper way to have two rites be married…so being completely naive at the time, we booked a church and reception with a Roman rite church.

We both met at and attend a Roman rite church, despite him growing up in the Maronite rite. He is not officially a member of any church, and I am a member of a Roman rite church (but it was booked for the summer)…

My fiance’s uncle is a priest, and we did not realize that he would be unable to perform the Mass in a Roman church…and recently went to visit him, and he was heartbroken. We really want him to be involved, but feel stuck in that we have a Roman rite church and reception hall (and photographer!) already booked in the city we both currently live in (with deposits made) and already began marriage prep in our city with the ROMAN rite priest.

**Now for the question: **Would it be possible to have a Roman rite Mass (performed by my Roman rite priest) and a Maronite marriage ceremony (performed by my fiance’s uncle priest) within the same church, the same day, same time? We heard (though with no specifics) that the Maronite priest could potentially receive permission to perform a Maronite marriage ceremony IN the Roman church that is OUTSIDE of his diocese, and that our Roman rite priest WITHIN the diocese could perform the Mass. Is this truly possible? Or is it too good to be true? Does anyone know the specifics of how to receive these permissions?

I think this would really be beautiful; symbolic of my Western spirituality and his Eastern spirituality coming together as CATHOLIC (universal), two lungs breathing, two becoming one.

We both thought that since we were both Catholic and that both East and West were unified, this would be a simpler process! :frowning: P


I don’t know for sure, but I believe what you want is possible. This is why my priest and his wife did when they were married. The Byzantine ceremony is not a part of the Divine Liturgy, so they had a Byzantine wedding with the Byzantine priest first (in a Roman church), then a Mass with a Roman priest. The Mass immediately followed the wedding and the Byzantine priest concelebrated.


Thank you, that reply truly brought some hope! It’s wonderful that worked out for your priest! I truly do hope all of this is possible. Prayers would be appreciated!

Does anyone happen to know of whom to ask for this permission, and if the process for this permission is laborious? And does anyone know for sure if a Maronite rite priest can perform a marriage ceremony within a Roman church, AND if a Roman rite priest can concelebrate with a Maronite priest in a Roman Rite church during our marriage ceremony?

Thank you!!


Ask the pastor where the wedding will be performed. He may need to ask his bishop so ask as soon as possible.


If you are a parishioner you can use the church for your wedding while the Maronite priest uses the Maronite rite to marry you. If your fiancé is canonically Maronite you don’t need any special permission. Additionally, a Roman rite priest doesn’t need special permission to concelebrate either (he should, however, learn the entrance to the altar chants and the institution narrative in Syriac). The only cases permission would be needed is the following: (1) a non-Maronite priest wanted to celebrate the Maronite rite, (2) a Maronite priest wanted to celebrate a non-Maronite rite, (3) the male party was non-Roman yet was being married in the Roman Rite (that would require a dispensation).

But don’t take my word for it, contact the Eparchy of Brooklyn’s chancery and inquire about marriage between a Latin woman and a Maronite man (


I’m not sure how these things work within the church but being that you’re getting married in the Roman Rite I would talk to your priest and ask him what you’re asking here. He should be able to give you the answer your looking for. If he’s not able to give you an answer he should know who you need to talk with within the church to see if you can make this happen.
A small word of advice for once you’re married. Invite God to come home with you and invite him to sit at your table. Do that and God will bless you both everyday.


This seems to be more complicated than it appears at first glance. One oddity is that the gentleman is not canonically a Maronite. (I will assume “Byzantine” in this case means that he his canonically Melkite). It’s also not clear whether his uncle is a Maronite priest, a Melkite priest, or a Latin priest, nor is it clear to me what he (the priest) had to say about the situation. Since he knows the the canonical status of both parties, he should be able to give the proper guidance regarding the necessary permissions/dispensations.


Yes, to clarify:
My fiance is canonically Byzantine, although we are unsure of which origin at this time. His father is canonically “Byzantine” but his mother is Maronite, they both decided to baptize their children (including my fiance) in the Maronite church.
His uncle truly is Maronite priest - he is the brother of the mother.

So, since my fiance took the rite of the father, he is Byzantine, but he grew up in the Maronite rite, receiving the sacraments and spiritual upbringing of the Maronite uncle/priest.

We spoke with the uncle a few days ago, but he was so heartbroken that he was not able to give us a clear answer at the time. He said we would have to ask our Roman priest to receive permissions, which we will be doing - I suppose I’m asking all this here to receive any information we can get since it sounds so complicated!


OK, that’s much clearer. :slight_smile:

If he wishes, the gentleman should be able to accomplish a canonical transfer to become formally ascribed to the Maronite Church. In the circumstances, this should be very easy. He will need to do this though the the bishop of whichever Maronite eparchy he’s in. His uncle should be able to speed the process along.

That gives rise, though, to one further question: since his father is “Byzantine” but without specification, is it certain that he’s “Byzantine in union with Rome” or Orthodox? If the former, then the canonical transfer could be done. However, if the latter, he is already formally and canonically Maronite, since in the case of a “mixed marriage” children are ascribed to the Church of the “Catholic” parent. His uncle should again be able to sort this out and give the appropriate advice.

Also, his uncle is correct in that he will have to make contact with the Latin pastor to keep things straight. My suggestion is to leave those details to him: I’m pretty certain that he’ll get it worked-out with a minimum of fuss and bother.


Thank you Malphono! He is Byzantine in union with Rome (all of us are in union with Rome), and I do hope this process works out! Thank you for making it clearer! :slight_smile:


Although I’m spotty on East-meets-West moments in the liturgy, I’m sure that either priest could concelebrate a Mass of the opposite rite. I would consider either 1) Trying to have a Maronite Qurbono at your Roman rite church, or 2) Having a Roman rite Mass, but have your fiancé’s uncles perform the Maronite rite of marriage within the context of the Roman rite Mass.

All of this is very complicated, and it’s likely you’d need to get both the Roman rite bishop, and the Maronite eparch involved to settle on something. Best of luck though! If it can be done, it would be a fine example of the Church “breathing with both lungs.”


Welcome! Unless there are complications which are not evident, his uncle should be able to facilitate the matter, and it should all be able to be worked out with a minimum of difficulty (and in a reasonable time frame).

Best wishes. :slight_smile:


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