Orthodox or Catholic Wedding, please give your input


Christos Anesti!

My boyfriend and I are discussing marriage. I am an Orthodox Christian and he is Roman Catholic. If married we would raise children in the Roman church, and he would love to have his priest marry us. My spiritual father (Orthodox) said that he supports the possible marriage and suggests that we have our Roman marriage blessed in my home parish.

My boyfriend says that we should be obedient to our bishops and marry Orthodox. Such a marriage would be accepted in the Roman church (with Episcopal dispensation), and the Orthodox. Roman marriage is not accepted in the Orthodox church, but Orthodox marriage is accepted in the Roman.

What are your thoughts? Any experience with this issue?


If you are not interested in converting and intend to remain Orthodox, I would say marry in the Orthodox church with proper Catholic dispensations for your husband. Then the requirements both churches place on you individually are met.

The problems come in when you look at social factors. Will everyone in attendance be Roman Catholic? Will it cause family problems to have it in the Orthodox church? Is there a reason to cause those problems if you intend to go to the Roman Catholic Church after your marriage? If it will cause family hardships to have an Orthodox wedding, you can keep the wedding small and invite the family to a large reception. You can also look into renewing your vows at a Roman Catholic Mass and inviting the large family to that instead of to the Orthodox wedding. Or you can decide that getting married in the Catholic Church by a Catholic priest is a valid wedding and do that.

You can choose to have a Catholic wedding with or without a nuptial Mass. If you have Mass then as an Orthodox Christian you are allowed to receive Communion together with your husband. If you have an Orthodox Mass with your wedding, he won’t be allowed to receive with you.

Big choices. It boils down to what is important to you. Following your church’s rules, having unity with your spouse at your wedding, having family support, following your convictions and your desires, I hope you find a way to make it all work.


How about marrying in the Eastern Catholic counterpart to your Church?

God Bless and Congratulations!


Hi, bilop!

I’m certain that your intentions are nothing but honorable, but we must resist the temptation to look upon the Eastern Catholic Churches as some sort of convenient “middle ground” between Roman Catholicism and Orthodoxy. They are not. They are whole, stand-alone sui iuris Churches in their own right. Fact is, neither the bride nor groom in this case is Eastern Catholic, nor does the original post indicate any desire on the part of either of them to change canonical enrollment (in the case of the Roman Catholic groom) or convert to Catholicism (in the case of the Orthodox bride). To introduce yet another Church into the mix regarding their upcoming union would certainly complicate rather than smooth this issue… not to mention the fact that the Eastern Catholic priest whom they approach would likely just look at them and say something like, *“Who are you guys and why in the world are you asking me to marry you??” *

In fact, upon reflecting on this thread, I have to wonder how it wound up in the “Eastern Catholicism” Forum in the first place?? :shrug: :confused:


We have 2 families in my parish that are “mixed” families. One spouse was Orthodox, Ukrainian and Russian, the other was Roman Catholic.

They chose to marry in our Ruthenian church so that the Orthodox partners would not be giving up their religious traditions.

The one family has raised 5 children in our parish and are now bringing grandchildren to Divine Liturgy.

The other family has a little boy who is 6 and is getting ready to be an altar server.

Hope this helps…


Only experience is marrying a protestant.
This is truly where east meets west. Since you are the bride I think you should become roman and become a united family as you agree to let the children be brought up roman. My advice don’t keep it split. good luck and may God bless whatever decision you make. May it be the right one.


Well, I was thinking that if the Latin Catholic was willing to change Churches, or attend an Eastern Catholic Church, which he is allowed to do, it would be an easier transition for the bride.

The Children are to be raised Catholic; by raising them Eastern Catholic, the groom is still seeing to his responsibility to raise the children as Catholics, but they would also get their mother’s religious backgroud, by being Eastern.

God Bless


A question that comes to mind - if you are remaining Orthodox - is would having your marriage blessed at your home parish satisfy your church’s standard for recieving the Eucharist? If the Orthodox Church is where you will continue to go for sacraments, not being cut off from them is important.

You may, of course, receive sacraments in the Catholic Church, but depending upon your bishop and or priest, this could be an impediment to receiving at your Orthodox parish. (Contrary to the opinions of some who want to make it sound very cut and dry - whateve there understanding to be - there is a spectrum of opinion and praxis on this score.)

All things being equal, the option that allows you to continue to recieve the mysteries in the church to which you will belong seems important. Just a thought, but if your priest would allow a Catholic wedding with an Orthodox blessing at your home parish that may be something to consider for two reasons - Orthodox folks are as likely to be more comfortable with the ceremonies of the Roman Church (and some Byzantine prayers and chants could be used) and it is possible to have a wedding ceremony in the Roman church outside of a Mass so that you don’t have one family going up and another not.


Marry in an Eastern Catholic Church.


I corrected your spelling, oh boy I’m becoming a perfectionist already :stuck_out_tongue:
I was going to say some of the very same things to her but I don’t know enough about the Orthodox and the Eastern. She needs to understand that her loyalties will be divided and will the people still accept her in the Orthodox (e.g. can she still receive there) say after a few years. There will be the normal difficulties which we must acknowledge as will happen. There will be people or family members who might be afraid she will pull others to the roman. She has been already pulled by her love for her man and so she should join to him in the roman. She is marrying a man and following him is what she should do. Oh well I am getting preachy sorry.
Jo- Dear remember that you are getting married to be with him and attend mass together in the celebration, you don’t want to be doing it alone without him, pretend you are moving two thousand miles away, now do you want to fly home every Sunday to attend your church or unite with him?


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