(Closed) Can a catholic get married in an anglican church?

posted 6 years ago in Christian
Post # 3
85 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

YES, but you have to choose it.  Met with a deacon this past weekend, same situation, we were both raised Roman Catholic he said we needed a connection to the Anglican church, we dont have one, I just said it was my choice and he said OK, just make sure you learn the ramifications to your children vs parents being married in a roman catholic church…I’ve decided to choose Anglican, period.

Anglican IS catholic just not under papal authority.  Clever Ann Boleyn told King Henry that he should not allow a pope to have authority over the King of England, so he broke and formed the Church of England. theoretically the Duke of Canterbury is in charge but only theoretically. Anglican churges are associated but can make local rules.  

One other thing..the rules are relaxed (no anulment required) if you had a prior marriage.  

If its good enough for the queen…


Post # 4
1310 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: December 2011

The short answer is yes! However you have to get special permission in order to do this.

You do have to have some good reason to want to be married in an Anglican church – you can’t have a Catholic wedding at an Anglican church just because it’s pretty or something. The most common reason is that your fiance is a member of an Anglican church, or you want to be married by a family member who happens to be an Anglican minister.

If you don’t go though the steps to get permission, then you will not be married in the eyes of the Catholic Church and your marriage will be canonically invalid. Basically that means that you are no longer able to do things like receive Holy Communion, do readings at Catholic services or be chosen as a godparent to a Catholic baby. You would still be welcome at Mass, you just wouldn’t be allowed to participate in Holy Communion.

Note, that doesn’t mean your marriage isn’t legally or emotionally valid, it’s just considered that you and your husband aren’t really bound to each other in the eyes of the Church in the same way as a couple that takes the required steps to have a canonically valid ceremony. To some people this is unimportant but to others they want to try to avoid this situation and still have the ceremony in a different location.

@BlushingBee: Unfortunately I think you’re a little confused – there is no Duke of Canterbury. The Archbishop of Canterbury is who you probably mean. The Anglican tradition is beautiful but it is not Catholicism-lite. It is a completely different religion. For example, Catholics have 7 sacraments and Anglicans only have 2. Anglicans only consider baptism and Holy Communion to be sacraments. They don’t consider marriage to be a sacrament at all.

They also don’t believe in praying the rosary, the importance of saints, the importance of the Virgin Mary, no meat on Lenten Fridays, the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist and so forth.

Very very different. I would say Anglicanism is very similar to Lutheranism and both are beautiful traditions but both are very different from Catholicism.

Post # 5
85 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

@Magdalena:  Yes, I mis-wrote the title but I had a long chat with a priest and he explained that the only difference would be the effect it had on my children, I never said there was no difference in the two but Anglican is Catholic without Papal authority-so obviously there would be differences. Demands brought about by the vatican, who, as we all know, changes their rules from time to time anyway.  I grew up Vatican I, if anyone but Vatican I came to my church they are barred from taking communion.  Oddly there was talk about Vatican I churches being excommunicated for not agreeing to the “new” rules that were made up in the 60’s, eventually they realised how utterly preposterous this demand was, to say, we changed and therefore you are not a valid follower anymore.  You are not correct that we would not be allowed to take communion etc anymore, but it would affect our children but only if they were not baptised and given roman catholic education.

Lutheranism came out of the teachings of John Luther, which have absolutley nothing to do with the Church of England

Post # 6
1310 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: December 2011

@BlushingBee:  I believe it’s Martin Luther not John Luther.

And there is no such thing as a Vatican I Catholic Church, do you mean your parish celebrates the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite? In common terms, the Latin Mass?

If your parish denied communion to people who accepted the Second Vatican Council then it’s not a real Catholic Church, it’s probably an “Independent Catholic Church” and possibly sedevacantist in theology. That would mean they would deny communion to the Pope (who was a theologian at Vatican II). Is yours an SSPX church or SSPV? I’m very very curious now!

You would be able to take communion at your new Anglican church but you would definitely not be allowed to take communion at a Catholic church. Then again there is no card check at the communion line so it is up each individual to respect the Church’s decision.


Post # 7
97 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

Ok now I’m a little confused – why would she not be able to take communion? It is my understanding that only if you convert would that be the case – would she have to convert to get married in the Anglican church? If she didn’t, even though the marriage might not be recognized I don’t think that she wouldn’t be able to receive communion.

Also – at least in the Episcopal church, which is part of the wider Anglican communion,we do believe in the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist. We also believe ourselves “catholic” in that we consider ourselves to be descended from the same tradition as the Catholics (and Russian Orthodox) – we can trace our priesthood back, our creeds come from the same place, etc – and that it is the Catholic church that does not recognize that connection, not the other way around. They are certainly not the same, lots of important theological differences (which would be why I converted), but I think that the Anglicans are as close to Catholicism as Lutheranism. 

Post # 8
1310 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: December 2011

@farmergirl:  any Catholic who doesn’t have a canonically valid marriage in the Church, for any reason, whether they have converted to a different religion or not, has basically separated themselves from the Church in such a way that they are no longer “in good standing” so to speak. This doesn’t mean they are a bad person or something, it just means if you want to do things like receive Holy Communion you have to publically stay in good standing. They are still welcome at Mass just not in the parts that publically indicate you are a practicing Catholic (doing readings, the Eucharist etc). Communion is a very big deal to the RC Church, basically when you receive communion we view it as a way of expressing to the rest of the world “I believe what this Church believes.”

There’s also the issue that if you’re married you’re probably having sex, and if you are a Catholic in a canonically invalid marriage, then you’re TECHNICALLY considered to be having sex outside of marriage. Again emotionally and legally it’s not the case, but this is regarding the internal Church status. It’s not recognized as “official.” If you are having sex outside of marriage you’re not supposed to receive Communion either. Or any other serious thing that you haven’t repented of.

This is tough, I know I myself went through periods where I couldn’t go up for Holy Communion because I had been involved in sexual sin that I hadn’t resolved yet. Obviously nobody knows what you’ve done except YOU but it’s important to me to respect the Church so I didn’t receive communion until I got that taken care of.

The Anglican Communion is fascinating in that the theology is very fluid, there are Anglicans who are very Protestant (for instance in Australia, you’ll find they are just like biblical fundamentalists in the American south) and Anglicans/Epsicopals who are very Catholic-y in that they have smells and bells in their liturgy. The Protesant Anglicans don’t believe in things like the priesthood or apostolic succession and the Catholic Anglicans definitely do and I even know some who have augmented their lines of succession with ordinations from Orthodox bishops! In those cases the Catholic Church ABSOLUTELY recongizes the validity of the ordination, because the Orthodox bishops definitely have apostolic succession and they are passing it on to those Anglicans.

One of my bridesmaids is a breakway Anglican (she left the Epsicopal church because they were too liberal on gay rights for her) and her Anglican parish combines Protestant beliefs and Catholic practices in an intriguing way.

Anglicans and Lutherans do have similar beliefs about the Eucharist, but they differ from the Catholic belief slightly – most Anglicans and Lutherans believe in consubstantiation or “sacramental union,” while Catholics believe in transubstantiation. Great vocab words right haha. So when Anglicans are taught to believe in the Real Presence, most of them don’t mean the same thing Catholics do when they talk about the Real Presence. For most people there’s not a dime’s worth of difference but it’s enough of a difference that we can’t share communion yet. ๐Ÿ™

Again though, if OP gets married in an Anglican church without getting permission (and it’s really not that tough to get) then her marriage will be valid in the eyes of most Christian churches, and in the eyes of the state and that may be all that matters to her.  However in the eyes of the RCC it would not be valid so if OP is not converting, and it does matter to her, it is something to weigh. It can always be fixed later though – they can do a convalidation, which is where the Church recognizes a marriage later on that has already taken place.

Post # 9
1310 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: December 2011

I should also say that the RCC definitely considers marriages between two Anglicans to be valid or two Lutherans or an Anglican and a Presbyterian or whatever combination ๐Ÿ˜‰  it is only Catholics themselves who have to follow Catholic rules to have a canonically legal ceremony. Duh, but I wanted to make that clear ๐Ÿ™‚

Post # 10
3220 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: February 2012

@Magdalena:  I came in here gearing myself up to type a lot… I’m so happy you said everything for me! A million kudos to you. 

For the OP, I do want to 2nd everything Magdalena has said, especially regarding the fact that you shouldn’t take communion if your marriage is invalid.  It’s easy for someone to say “oh well I don’t believe in valid marriages so I’m not doing anything wrong, so I can take communion!” but you have to recognize that many other people believe in the teachings of the Catholic church.  If you don’t agree to follow the rules, you shouldn’t take communion because it shows a huge lack of respect for those people who do live according to the Catecism. 

@BlushingBee:  I’m also really interested in what kind of church you go to? Would the Pope not get communion for following Vatican II?

Post # 11
104 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: December 2012

@Magdelena, Most of what you recommend is correct, but as an Anglican who was raised Catholic, I want to clear up a few things. 

First, the Anglican church has 5 sacraments–only First Communion and Confession are not part of the Anglican tradition–though, you can still CHOOSE to do them, because most Anglican churches are welcoming of bringing in non-Anglican traditions. At my church, most parents allow their very young children to take Communion once they are able to eat solid food, but converted Catholics (like me) wait until their children are old enough to understand the significance and the clergy will have a special blessing and short recognition for their First Communion.  In the Anglican tradition, only the communal confession during the Order of the Mass is required, but any Anglican priest will hear Confession.  Marriage IS considered a sacrament by the church, but again much is left open to the believer, hence the allowing of divorce–not to say divorce is encouraged, per se.  The sacraments are: Baptism, Confirmation/Reaffirmation, Marriage, Ordination, and Final Rites.  If you have undergone any of these as a Catholic, they are fully recognized and reciprical with the Anglican Church–but the reverse is not necessarily true.

Second, the rosary is actually being re-introduced into Anglicanism, as is the deification (glorification, if you prefer) of Mary. You probably won’t hear a “Hail Mary” on an ordinary Sunday, but I have been suprised at how intrigued Cradle-to-Grave Episcopalians are by the Catholic take on Mary–many parishes are moving to include some of these traditions and to educate their parishoners on the issues.  Same with labyrinths, hair veils, and many other Catholic traditions many practicing Anglicans grew up with.  The  Font of Holy Water is about the only thing I find to be completely excluded–not sure if this is uniquely American in exclusion, though.  Anglicanism is wonderful imho, because it allows the believers to bring their own traditions to the table.

Third, every Anglican church I’ve ever been to venerates saints just as much as the Catholic Church does.  The only difference is the Anglican Communion (usually) does not recognize saints added after the Church split from Rome. We also recognize a few saints or “Persons Holy” the Catholic Church does not recognize–Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., a number of abolitionists and civil rights workers, and a number of Anglican priests and nuns who were martyred or who commited great works.  For example, at my church we celebrate St. James (our namesake), have special services for the venerated saints, and also have special services for “Persons Holy”.  Unlike in the Catholic Church, none of these special services is a Holy Day of Obligation.  That simply isn’t done in Anglicanism, though I think the average rate of church attendance is inline with that of a typical Catholic parish.

Fifth, Anglicans practice Lent similarly to Catholics, but giving up meat or taking on another sacrifice is NOT required, it is up to the believer.  Most people I know at my church give up meat, make an additional sacrifice/donate to a new/additional cause, and participate in Lenten quiet days or contemplative prayer.  I choose to donate additional amounts of my time to both my church community and the community at large, but do not give up meat as I have a personal objection to this practice.

Sixth, transubstantiation vs. consubstantiation is a major difference, though few believers (on either side, imho) realize this, BUT the Anglican communion does allow the believer to follow their personal beliefs in this matter.  It is not (unfortunately) the only thing keeping Catholics and Anglicans divided when it comes to taking Communion.  Some of the wording of the Order of the Mass is also at issue, for example we exclude mention of the Pope because Anglicans view him as a Bishop-Among-Bishops, not a recognized leader, per se.


It is important, if you are a Catholic considering Anglicanism or simply an Anglican ceremony, to really do your homework–and to go try out a few Anglican churches.  There are differences between High Church (Anglican churches that are highly orthodox) vs. Low Church (Anglican churches that are more liberal), but both forms are recognized under the larger Anglican Communion.  However, not all Anglican churches are part of the true Anglican Church or are part of whatever Diocese/Archdiocese covers your area–there are a handful of breakaway Anglican churches around the globe.  Most are more theologically conservative and most are more Protestant (Anglicanism is NOT Protestant in the technical sense).  A marriage in one of these churches may not be recognized by both the Catholic Church and the Anglican Communion.


Please feel free to contact me if you have additional questions.  I am very well educated in both Catholic theology and traditions and Anglican ones and am a convert who has “been there”.

Post # 12
40 posts
  • Wedding: March 2013

@1920cottagegirl:  hi, i was browsing and then i found this thread.  We just found out yesterday that we were misinformed (big time!) by our church’s receptionist.  You see, my Fiance and I are both Roman Catholics, but i was unfortunately married before in a catholic church.  Because of the misinformatoin we  were told (and because i was soo overjoyed when we were told an annullmen is not necessary) i didn’t inquire much nor did i do any more research.  So bottom line, we have less than 4 months to go before the big day and was told yesterday that we cannot be married in our Church because my marriage was not annulled.  You can imagine the frustration i’m in since we even finished and received our re-marriage certificate from the Archdiocese last month and not once did they mention the word annullment!  So now, we’re desperate to find a venue for our ceremony since our receptoin has been booked (and our invitations are ready!)  I heard from someone that she knows this couple who apparently “got married in an anglican church without getting an annullment”.  What’s the truth behind this?  We’d love to do our ceremony in a chapel instead but most of the chapels (here) can only accomodate a limited number for guests ranging from 10-25 guests only.  Can we get married in an Anglican church without having an annullment?  If so, is there some sort of “coverting” to become Anglican we or one of us need to do?

Post # 13
751 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

@BlushingBee:  Actually no, Anglicanism is not part of the catholic church beause we do not recognize the authority of the Pope and of the church, it is defined usually as the “Via media” between Catholicism and Protestantism but by no means it associates with the Catholic church

Post # 14
69 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: January 2015

Anglicans are catholic but not Roman Catholic – we believe in the universal catholic (little ‘c’) church. 

Also we have seven sacraments which we do treat slightly different from Roman Catholics. We have two which we believe were instituted by Christ: i.e. Baptism and Communion. The other five are not held as ‘necessary unto salvation’ and while important are treated with varying levels of significance depending on where your church fits within the spectrum of Anglican worship (i.e how Anglo-catholic).

Finally not all Anglicans venerate saints in the same way as Roman Catholics – and praying the rosary and deification of Mary is not that common among global Anglican worshippers. 

Also I dont really agree that Anglicans are not protestants.

But having typed this I realize this doesnt answer the OPs question or even address her concerns ๐Ÿ™‚ Sorry!

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