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George Mumford wrote:

Hi, guys —

I wanted to marry my girlfriend in a Catholic Church but my question is:

  • Could I get legally married by the courts before having a ceremony at a Catholic Church?

I wanted to legally marry her before I get deployed to Afghanistan and then, when I get back, I was thinking of getting married in a Catholic Church like we always wanted to.


  { Can I legally marry my girl before deploying to Afghanistan and marry her later in the Church? }

Fr. Jonathan, our (priest/canon lawyer) contact replied:

Hi, Mike —

Please pass this on to George.

My answer would be that he should:

  • wait, or
  • get married in the Catholic Church in a simple ceremony and then have a party when he comes back.

If he goes ahead and gets civilly married before deployment, it will mean that he will not be able to receive Holy Communion while he is deployed.

That would be a difficult thing to bear if his faith is important to him.

Fr. Jonathan

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