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EagerlyEngaged Evan wrote:

Hi, guys —

I am a practicing, baptized, unconfirmed Catholic. My fiancée has not been baptized and has not received any of the sacraments but we would like to be married in a Catholic Church.

  • Will we still be able to get married in the Church?


  { As a couple, If we lack some of the sacraments, will we still be able to get married in the Church? }

Eric replied:

Hi Evan,


Just contact your priest. You will need a dispensation (permission) from the bishop for disparity of cult but the priest can handle that and it is routine.


John replied:

Hi, Evan —

Eric is correct, however If I might challenge you and ask you a few questions.

You say you are a practicing Catholic.

  • By that, can we assume that you attend Sunday Mass regularly and participate in the other sacraments (e.g. the Eucharist and Confession)?
  • Do you accept the authority of the Church and Her doctrines?

If so, I'd encourage you to enter an RCIA program and get confirmed.

Confirmation is an important sacrament through which the Holy Spirit empowers us to live out the Christian life.

Now, let's talk about your future spouse.

  • Is your fiancée a believer in Jesus Christ who simply was not baptized?
  • Does your fiancée espouse a non-Christian faith?
  • Is your fiancée interested in becoming a Catholic and receiving Baptism etc.?

Forgive me for being blunt; but if you are truly a practicing Catholic, I would think you would take the sacrament of marriage a bit more seriously.

  1. For one thing, I would want to complete my initiation into the Church by receiving Confirmation.
  2. Secondly, I'd think twice about marrying a non-believer.
    (if your fiancée is either an atheist, agnostic, or other non-Christian)

Catholicism is not a club we belong to. We can't pick and choose what aspects of the faith we believe. Hence, when choosing a spouse, we need to make sure we can live out our Catholic life with person who is willing to accept it and accept our bringing up the children as good Catholics. That is not always possible when marrying someone who does not share our Catholic faith.

So you need to ask yourself:

  • Why do you want to be married in "a Catholic Church"?
  • What are you asking us?
  • Can you have a Catholic wedding, which entails a sacred sacrament?
  • Do you want to enter into an indissoluble covenant; in which you intend to follow all of the Churches teachings concerning love and marriage?

    Or, again, to be blunt:

  • Are you looking to rent a beautiful setting to get married in?

Although I'm being blunt and perhaps cold, I'm challenging you for a purpose my friend.

Marriage is a huge step. The Church views it as a Sacramental Covenant, not just a legal contract. It isn't just about you and your fiancée. By asking for a Church wedding you are bringing Jesus Christ and, yes, the rest of us who make up His Body (the Church), into your decision.

This is a good time for you to look at your own situation and hopefully take the next step in your walk in faith. This is a good opportunity for your fiancée to see your faith in action and perhaps be moved to enter the Church as well.

I wish you the best of luck and pray that the Holy Spirit does a mighty work in both of your lives and in your pending marriage.

Under His Mercy.


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