Marriage dispensation for Catholic/Protestant wedding?

Hello - I am a Protestant minister, and one of my parishioners is marrying a Catholic man on May 31, 2014. The bride-to-be wants to be married in our church, which is the church she was baptized and grew up in, and her parents and grandparents attend. She also would like me to witness the marriage.
The groom wants their marriage to be legal in the Catholic Church, so that he may be able to receive the Sacraments. I know very little about dispensations, but understood that if he contacted the Tribunal, and that we had a priest in the service, this was a possibility. Can you help me to advise this young couple? I have great respect for the Catholic Church, and don’t want to advise this couple wrongly.

Bride and groom have dated for 2 years, and have never been married before. We have met several times about their faith questions. The bride is open to becoming Catholic in the future, but doesn’t want to just “join up” so they can get married in the Catholic Church. She has been reading the Catechism.

We are a UCC congregation. Although we belong to the United Church of Christ denomination, we are theologically and socially conservative, still holding to the Nicene and Apostles’ Creeds, traditional marriage, and maintaining the Trinitarian formula for baptisms, so that we may preserve our Baptismal communion.

Thanks in advance for all your help with my question.

The groom needs to contact his local parish priest. He will handle all the paperwork necessary for permission for mixed marriage and dispensation from canonical form. In the dispensation from canonical form the Bishop will grant you, the Protestant minister, the authority to receive the vows of the couple. There is no need for a Catholic priest to be present.

The couple will need to do all the normal paperwork for being married in the Catholic Church (e.g. proof of baptism, proof of being free to marry, marriage preparation, etc). The groom will promise to do his best to raise the children of the marriage Catholic and the bride will be informed of that promise. The paperwork will then be sent to the Bishop’s office and the proper permissions and dispensations will be granted.

As I said in the beginning, in the dispensation from canonical form the Protestant minister is authorized to validly receive the wedding vows. While a priest may be present, it is not required.

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