Family Life Ministry

MarriageMinistries1

Policy on the Place of Marriage

Due to the increased number of requests for marriages to be celebrated outside of a parish Church, some of which have had to be denied, it might be helpful to state again the law of the Church and the policy of the Archdiocese on this matter which is also the policy of the other Dioceses in Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine.

Marriages between two Catholics are to be celebrated in a parish Church. Marriages between a Catholic and a Baptized non-Catholic person are to be celebrated in a parish Church or in a Church of the non-Catholic with the granting of a dispensation from Canonical Form or a permission for Extraordinary Place along with the permission for a Mixed Marriage.

Marriages between a Catholic and a non-baptized member of another Church or denomination are also to be celebrated in a parish Church or in a Church of the non-Catholic with the granting of a dispensation from Canonical Form or a Permission for Extraordinary Place along with the dispensation from the impediment of Disparity of Cult.

The policy of the Archdiocese allows for marriages to be celebrated at a college chapel where there is a Campus Ministry and provided that one of the persons is a student or recent graduate of that college. Marriages are not allowed to be celebrated out of doors.

When a Catholic marries a Jewish person or a person of another faith, e.g. a Muslim or Buddhist, and out of sensitivity to that person and his or her family, the marriage may be celebrated in a suitable public place when the proper dispensation or permission is granted along with the dispensation from Disparity of Cult.

It is important to check immediately with the Metropolitan Tribunal at the Pastoral Center at 617-746-5900 if the couple suggests a place that seems to be out of the ordinary so that wedding plans can proceed without any problems.  It might be a helpful idea to alert your parishioners through the parish bulletin of the necessity for a couple to contact the priest first before other wedding arrangements are made to avoid disappointment and difficulty regarding the place for celebrating the ceremony of marriage.