Two wedding ceremonies


I’m Catholic and my fiancé is Muslim. We are planning a Catholic wedding ceremony. In addition, we are considering having a Muslim ceremony following the Catholic ceremony on the same day. Is this against Church doctrine?


This article from Catholic Exchange will link you to the Canon Law.

Short answer, no, this is not permitted.

“§3. It is forbidden to have another religious celebration of the same marriage to give or renew matrimonial consent before or after the canonical celebration according to the norm of §1. Likewise, there is not to be a religious celebration in which the Catholic who is assisting and a non-Catholic minister together, using their own rites, ask for the consent of the parties.”


This is not permitted by the Church.


Wow I didn’t know that.

Question for Gracie, is your fiancé in agreement with raising your children Catholic?


Thank you for your responses.

Yes, my fiancé agreed that I raise our children catholic. This is with the understanding that they will know of his faith.

Since it won’t be possible to have two ceremonies, would it be possible if we had a ceremony in the mosque and had a priest witness the ceremony by getting a “dispensation from canonical form”? With the proper dispensation(s), would the catholic church recognize this to be a valid marriage? My problem is that my fiancé’s parents want the ceremony to represent their son as well as me.


I would definitely ask your parish priest that question. It is up to the Bishop in this case, I believe. Sounds doubtful though.


Probably not.
So let’s ask this question. If his parents are insistant upon the ceremony that you select, then why are you so sure they are just going to roll over and let you raise the kids totally and completely only Catholic?


Without saying anything in particular about your fiance personally, I recommend you read the book Not Without My Daughter, by Betty Mahmoody.

As to the wedding issue… if your fiance has agreed that you basically will have a Catholic home, then he should be prepared to go through with a Catholic wedding.


Excellent post


Yes, your marriage would be valid if the bishop gave you permission for a mixed marriage and a dispensation from canonical form.

Perhaps you could incorporate cultural foods and traditions at the *reception *that honor them, rather than having your ceremony at the mosque.


M’am, have y’all had the inital visit with your pastor? Or have you got that far yet?

You are new to the forum, so I suggest doing a search on this topic (mixed marriages) for some insights, on the obstacles y’all will face now and in the future.


:thumbsup: :thumbsup: Yes indeed excellent post!


What if they have the muslim ceremony first? Just wondering, I mean, if so, then she technically would not be in a marriage that is accepted by the church and would then they be able to get married in the church as the CC says is necessary for a true marriage? Or is this against the rules? I guess then it wouldn’t be a marriage in the Catholic church, but a blessing then. Common sense says you can’t do this, but is this something you could technically do?

Now, poster, I hate to be a downer on this, but have you had a discussion with your fiance about how important it is to a Catholic - especially in regards to children - to raise them and be a part of the Catholic faith? He seems rooted in wanting a muslim ceremony. You will probably have to tell him this is not possible and see how he takes it - it’s a good indicator of how he will accept your Catholic beliefs in marriage. If you are not talking about these things (how the kids need to be raised Catholic and how he can not have a muslim ceremony), you will have problems down the road - when kids are involved, the claws always come out where they are differences of religion. My husband and I are of the same faith, but are different races - even that is hard enough. I can’t even imagine how it is between a christian and muslim.


Yes, I advise all who are in mixed marriages to do this. I feel many that do this have blinders on. My husband and I are of same faith, but different races (I’m west, he’s east), and it is really a lot harder than I thought it would be. I would definately marry him again and love him, but I don’t think some of other mixed couples really give a lot of thought - or not as much as they should. I can’t even imagine the problems we would have if my dh wasn’t christian - we probably wouldn’t have made it this far.

Now, people (not to the poster, but in general) feel they love the person and that’s all that matters. That is not true. They need to have a frank discussion - “this is what I believe and will do - can you accept it REALLY - let me know now before we take the plunge and regret it later”. We may have to make a hard decision we won’t like now, but it will save a lot of trouble later. Sometimes the hardest decisions are the right ones. Again, this is NOT to the poster. I don’t know her situation or what they have talked about. I am just suggesting poster that it’s time for a very frank conversation if you haven’t had one yet and then take a good look at the cold hard facts. If that leads you to the same path (marriage) then I may God bless you.


It would certainly be a sin for her to do so. And it would almost certainly result in an invalid marriage. If the man believes that the Muslim ceremony is the true marriage (which he most likely would, since he is a Muslim), this would vitiate his consent for the Catholic ceremony, making it invalid. Of course, there would still need to be an annulment to declare the marriage invalid, but the fact of the prior Muslim ceremony would be easy to establish.


No. They cannot do this, technically or otherwise. The canon is clear: It is forbidden to have another religious celebration of the same marriage to give or renew matrimonial consent before or after the canonical celebration


And I’d be REALLY careful for another reason: I have a life-long Muslima friend, who’s mother basically ‘automatically converted to Islam’ by marrying the traditional Muslim-way…there is a part of the ceremony where the non-Muslim party basically ‘becomes part of’ Islam and that means raising any children Muslim. Also, one is Muslim because the FATHER is Muslim, so your children, even baptised Catholics (if that ever happens) will be considered Muslims, by virtue of their father.

Really, you need good solid advice on this, before you even consider marriage! Too many non-Muslims only find out the extend of the problem AFTER the marriage has taken place. And I’m saying this although one of my husband’s uncles married a Muslima from Brunei and has been happily married for 20 years to her. He DID ‘do his homework’ on the matter of faith!

Anna x


Are you sure of this? It really doesn’t make sense to me. If they have agreed to raise the children Catholic, it doesnt’ matter what his Muslim ceremony says (now he can put up a fight about it later but that doesn’t mean the children would be raised muslim because of the ceremony - it would be because of his personal objection to raising them Catholic.

What doesn’t make sense to me is this though - I don’t buy what religion the father is the children are. So, if a woman (stupidly) has a one-night stand with a muslim (talking about the act that is stupid and immoral not his religion). She doesn’t know he’s a muslim and has a child (say for argument’s sake he doesn’t about the kid). She returns to the church and has her son/daughter baptized and raised Catholic. One day the father comes around knowing now he has a child/teen/whatever, are you really saying the kid is a muslim, not a catholic, and the father has a right to claim this? I think not.


Maybe I am not understanding here :confused: . If a catholic marries a protestant in a protestant church without the permission of the Catholic church, and later they (or he) wants to come back to the church, they would need to get it blessed in the church.

Now, they are a little different situation because in her situation this would be a little sneaky and maybe the first example is a little more accepted, but when you get down to it, they would be doing the same thing. Getting married outside the church and then being blessed in it to make it “valid” to the Catholic.


Just for the record - In no way whatsover is this plan a good idea.

The technical term for “getting a marriage blessed” in the Catholic Church is convalidation. My previous answer to your question was based on my assumption that the plan to violate church law involved lying to the Catholic priest, so that he would not know about the prior Muslim ceremony and so would not fill out the paperwork for a convalidation.

If instead the plan involved informing the Catholic priest about the prior Muslim ceremony, and waiting the one year period after that ceremony required by many dioceses, then the sinfulness of the plan would be the main deterrent.

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