One of the hardest things for couples to get their heads around is where to start and how the legal process works. Whilst that part is hard, now layer on the complexity when a couple with two different religions or where one is an atheist want to get married in a church with a priest. If you are having a civil ceremony, it’s no issue as there is no religious requirements.
Roughly two years ago, I phoned a Dublin parish office to ask that question on behalf of a couple where one was catholic and the other not. Straight away I was told not a runner. However, thanks to all of you, I’m hearing a few different variations of events and it appears to me that it all depends on who you ask.
Here is what I learnt over the last few days.
- Like me, many of you had a similar experience.
- Couples that successfully found a priest told them that it was perfectly ok and no issue
Out of those who did have success, this is where it went completely on a ‘per case’ basis. Here were the different scenarios of requirements that people shared with me:
- The majority said that once each party agrees to raise a christian family then it’s fine and just get a letter of release from the non catholic parish.
- Some were told that they needed to do the above but also marriage prep course and one to one meetings with the priest.
- Some were told that they had to send a letter for approval with the local bishop
- One extreme case was told that the other religion party would have to get baptised, communion and confirmation.
- Some were advised to go and do the legal part as a civil marriage with the registrar but then could have a non legally binding religious ‘event’.
- Some allowing the atheist wedding but no communion the the person who is an atheist.
- Some allowed the other religious priest/vicar etc to do a joint ceremony
There were many other iterations and my advice as always is to phone your parish directly and talk to the priest directly and see what they say for your case as it really is a varying process. It appears to be very complicated so best to always talk to the source direct.
The good news is…..it appears that it can be done, it’s just really the ‘how’ it can be done.
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