To crown or not to crown a marriage

Note: this is not a question of necessary convalidation, already discussed with my priest.
I am interested to know if someone has crowned their marriage after the conversion of a spouse even if maybe not legally necessary. Has it made a difference, spiritually?
My spouse and me are married civilly. When I got baptised, nothing was done, the marriage was legit. No one thought my husband would ever join. Now, he talked about converting. Even if we had asked for a crowning in the past (sometimes with permission it’s possible even if one partner is as he not orthodox, but protestant) but he didn’t believed in the Christian faith itself back then and I didn’t pushed it as marriage would have been the false reason.
So, any experience?

You might ask this in the Eastern Catholicism forum. Most people on CAF are either Latin rite Catholics or Protestants; and will have no idea what crowning a marriage means.


Well, I have met dozens of people that started by marrying through civil authorities and afterwards married in the church (I suppose the term “crowning” means this). I have also been to numerous such marriages.

I think it’s great since yes matrimony is a sacrament and thus different from “civil marriage”. All those I met that did this were very happy about it, most first got “civil marriage” for legal reasons, others decided not long afterwards they wanted a “church marriage”. I suppose the better part of them doesn’t exactly know what a “sacrament” is, but it was for the better and they are definitely happy for it - not stating a clear notion of doctrine does not imply they don’t know there is a difference, nor that they aren’t joyful for having married in the church.

I have also, mostly by coincidence, but also by invitation, been to masses where spouses “renew their marriage vows”. And those are always, invariably, beautiful ceremonies. Sometimes large with many guest (especially when the number of years makes is remarkable like 30, 40, 50). Other times it were small intimate ceremonies just with the closest family present.

From what I know even if you husband is protestant (or any faith for that matter) it allows for “permission” given a few simple dispositions.

No, that is not what is meant by crowning.

What you are talking about is a convalidation of a civil marriage of Catholics married outside the Church, what the OP is talking about is the crowning done in an Eastern Rite or Orthodox wedding.

In the OP’s situation she and her spouse married when neither were Catholic, or Orthodox (it’s not clear if the OP is Eastern Rite Catholic or Orthodox). In fact it appears neither were baptized at all. When two non-Catholic (and non-Orthodox) marry civilly, they marry validly. If they become baptized, their marriage is a sacrament. If they become Catholic there is nothing that they need to do, their marriage is already valid. They can receive the nuptial blessing if they have not received it before. That is not the same thing as convalidation, which they do not do.

I am not familiar with the Eastern Rite Catholic or the Orthodox processes when two already married, unbaptized people enter the Church. They might do the crowning. Not sure. This is best asked of an Eastern Rite or Orthodox priest.


They are referencing this adgloriam:-



@1ke @JharekCarnelian Thanks guys, I learn something new on CAF every day :slight_smile:

I say any time you get to wear a CROWN you should go for it :slight_smile:


Ok, to make some things clear - (And why do I post this on CAF and not on an orthodox forum? Because I´m here for years now, met a handful of great people I sometimes wish to comment on my issues and like to follow the threads here. :slight_smile: )

  • crowning is part of the eastern orthodox mysterion of marriage. We don´t have the clear rule that a marriage between a baptized and a non baptized is always in the need of convalidation - in our case, my husband is baptized protestant and I was never baptized. Some orthodox churches ask the couple in such a situation for convalidation, the russian Orthodox church doesn´t, generally. Of course I asked my priest, and he is ok with the current situation. He knows my husband as well.
    -I don´t want to re-new my marriage vow, I see my marriage as valid, for life and I´m sure my spouse is on the same page here.
    -I feel a bit strange for this reason when I think of marrying “again” - and I feel a bit worried about my intention, to be honest. My husband and me had not the opportunity to celebrate our wedding with the feast and friend as we wished (his friend circle broke with him in a cruel way on our wedding day) and I fear this “I am sad for not having a nice celebration” is maybe part of it, and a very unholy reason.
    -On the other hand, I feel the connection we have when we are together in church. We just recently started praying and attending together, and it´s a whole new world for me. Part of the crowning option in my mind is the thought that it could be a resource of spiritual strength if we have harder times in the future.

Was you civil wedding very sparse and unattended?
I’ve been considering the function of the congregation in a wedding, or indeed at mass. It’s a little of ”as in heaven, so on earth”, a wider witnessing than just having two witnesses sign the register.
Just a suggesting that your thinking doesn’t have to be unholy. If you didn’t have that ’communal’ feeling at your wedding, it may feel lacking.

Hi, I am Eastern Orthodox and what I know is that one must get a crowning for their communion to be fully accepted by God. I know this is not very romantic per se and I struggle too in understanding why the church accepts civil unions but they say the actual union is only through the sacrament of crowning. Some priests are even stricter saying there is no marriage outside the sacrament done in church.
You should talk with your priest about it really. I seriously doubt he will say the crowning is optional if your husband converts. Before that it wasn’t possible according to EO rules. However the Synod in Crete said that an orthodox can marry a Christian of another denomination if the local bishop approves it. But I am not sure how effective that Synod is since some bishops did not attend, others signed with reservations. But if I ever wanted to marry a Christian outside EO I would definitely want the sacrament done in EO and I would ask about this new rule from the Synod at Kolimbari and what to do to get a bishop’s approval. Me too I would not want to have conversion hovering my husband’s head like an obligation and mingle with our own marriage in a threatening way.

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I have, but it´s different here. They do crown marriages between an orthodox and a catholic/protestant, they don´t do it often, but if the bishop and the priest give their agreement it´s possible kat oikonomia, as you said. In our case he knows my husband (the bishop as well) and I´m not worried for this reason. It was handled like a marriage between non-believers that was and stays valid after baptism. :slight_smile:

So, like Dumbo’s magic feather in the Disney movie?

The strength you seek comes from within and from your mutual dedication to the relationship

comparing a mysterion which works through the grace of god with disney is at best strange.


How do the divorce rates of the EO who are crowned compared with the divorce rates of atheists?

We have the opportunity to test the efficacy of this mysterion. Someone should run the numbers

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If you are simply here to derail the thread and to mock about orthodox people, please stop. I´m not interested in this.


I’m not Orthodox, so take this with a big ol’ spoon of salt, but here’s my 2 cents…

Why feel strange or that wanting to celebrate your marriage in your church is an unholy reason? This could be a wonderful chance to renew your vows as you are spiritually growing together.

Here in America, many, many people renew their vows around their 25th anniversary. It doesn’t mean the marriage wasn’t valid…it’s simply stating that the couple are still vowing their lives to each other. It’s a chance to speak words of love and thanksgiving to your spouse after you’ve got some miles under your belt.

Most young couples get married all starry-eyed and naive. A renewal of vows is a chance to pledge yourself again and say that if you had to do it all over again, you would still marry this person.

Do you have new friends now that you could celebrate with? I mean, any chance for a party could be a good thing, right?

This is wonderful…I am so happy for you. If he does convert, the crowning could be a beautiful celebration of that fact.

I agree with this. It could be a true foundation to build further in your marriage as you grow together in your faith journey. It could unite you more fully and give you another source of grace.

It’s sounds like it could only help and not hurt, right? I wouldn’t worry so much that your motives are absolutely “holy.”

Yes, I am a cradle Roman Catholic who married a baptized Christian in his church. We were married 30+ years when he decided to convert to Catholicism. That is when all the problems started. Lol. Not that I didn’t want him to convert but the parishes we visited to initiate his conversion and regularizing our marriage could not help us. I would have needed a dispensation to marry him in his church, something I was ignorant of because my parents left the Catholic church when I was little.

We were told our marriage was invalid, illicit, irregular, etc no one really knew. An uncomfirmed Catholic can not marry, let alone to a non-Catholic and in his church.

But this was all solved when my husband converted to Eastern Catholicism, we were both confirmed and our marriage was crowned.

Has it made a difference spiritually? He is
on the right track. Me? I believe I was derailed spiritually. I did what my parents taught me, marry a Christian in a church. I did not know about any dispensation and then being told repeatedly that I was not married really hurt. Our marriage is not the same. So I lived a lie for over 30 years? I did not set out to live with a man and not marry. The crowning just left me confused really.

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To the posters who said that it’s maybe not that bad to have this feeling of “wanting to celebrate” again: thank you, this was good food for thought, I’ll think about it again.
No, we didn’t had a celebration with many friends and family. Mine was almost completely not attending, and the"friends" of my husband caused a huge trouble because they were silently against the marriage. He broke with them completely, it was maybe the biggest betrayal in his life, his best man talked behind his back that he wished him the marriage wouldn’t last, for example. For my husband, the ceremony itself was still great and he was so happy about our wedding, but all the stress left me with a bad feel. He, on the other hand, slightly dislikes the idea of marrying again, as he feels a bit strange and like “I don’t need it, we are married, I don’t want to make you think we weren’t”.
When I experienced first communion in church, I thought I would have loved it to share this at our wedding, but on the other hand, we feel in no way differently in our married life- it’s just the ceremony that makes it different. I wonder if recieving communion together would also give us the unity we have had in a wedding at church

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Same for me. It was just awkward. We didn’t have communion as it was done outside of liturgy. A formality, prayers, vows, witnesses, rather sterile.

Indeed, and as a member of a family where one side is Orthodox and one Catholic I find it offensive as well. Catholics mocking these traditions are also mocking members of our own Church.

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