1184 Bishop St, Honolulu, HI 96813
Phone: (808) 585-3300 Fax: (808) 521-8428
Roman Catholics

Roman Catholic Church in the state of hawaii

Diocese of Honolulu

Witness to Jesus

Diocesan Offices

Diocesan Offices

Procedure for Couples Residing in Hawaii Marrying Outside the Diocese of Honolulu

1. Marriage Preparation: Contact your parish in Hawaii to arrange for your marriage preparation (that is, the parish near where you live or where you go to Mass). Marriage preparation ordinarily includes meetings with a priest or deacon, completion of required paperwork, the use of a premarital inventory (such as FOCCUS or PMI) which will be discussed with the priest or deacon, and participation in an Engaged Encounter Weekend.

2. Contact Information: Contact the parish where you wish the marriage to take place. If the pastor there agrees to having the wedding celebrated there, send to him the name, address, phone number(s), and email address for the following:

  • Bride
  • Groom
  • The priest or deacon preparing you for marriage

In many parishes, the pastor may have the marriage details handled by another cleric or parish staff member.

3. Letter of Permission: Once your priest or deacon in Hawaii has established your freedom to marry, he should write to the priest or deacon who will be celebrating your marriage outside of Hawaii.  The letter should state the following [sample letter]:

  • That the pastor of one of the parties (the Catholic party if only one party is Catholic) gives permission for the marriage to take place at the parish outside of Hawaii
  • That both parties are free to marry in the Catholic Church
  • That he will be preparing the couple for marriage

4. Canonical Paperwork: At least three months in advance of the date of the wedding, your priest or deacon is to forward the following authentic documents (not scans, photocopies or faxes) to:

Tribunal and Canonical Affairs, 6301 Pali Hwy., Kāneohe HI 96744

  • Premarital Investigation Form - along with the rescript for any required dispensation or permission (this will be handled by your priest or deacon)
  • Proof of Baptism:
    • For Catholics, a baptismal certificate - it must be a new certificate (not a scan, photocopy or fax) issued within the past year
    • For non-Catholics, proof of baptism may take the form of, in order of preference, a baptismal certificate, a page copied from a sacramental register, an affidavit of the fact of baptism by a parent or other witness, or some other reliable proof
  • Affidavits of Freedom to Marry - an affidavit regarding each party's freedom to marry completed by a parent or other person who has known the party to be married since he or she was at least 16 years of age (some dioceses may require two affidavits for each)
  • A certificate of death, declaration of nullity, or proof of dissolution (Pauline or Petrine privilege) for each previous marriage, civil or religious. (For Catholics with a prior attempted marriage outside of the Church, the lack of canonical form must be established by a Tribunal declaration.)
  • Certificate of participation at an Engaged Encounter Weekend (or, with permission, a similar program)
  • If the marriage ceremony is a canonical celebration of a civil marriage (a validation), then also provide a photocopy of the civil marriage certificate.

The Office of Canonical Affairs of the Diocese of Honolulu will then review and approve the authentic documents and forward them to the diocese where your wedding is scheduled to take place. That diocese will also review the documents and forward them to the parish where the wedding will take place.

Photocopies of all authentic documents should be kept by the parish sending the documents until it is certain that they have arrived at the parish where the wedding will take place.

5. Liturgy Planning: Plans regarding music, choice of readings, and other details of the ceremony need to be arranged with the parish where the marriage will take place.

6. Marriage License: Please ask the parish where the wedding will take place about the marriage license requirements.

Some foreign countries may require a separate civil ceremony in advance of the canonical marriage rite.

7. Validations: For couples already civilly marriage now validating in the Catholic Church, the requirements are the same as a first time wedding. The only difference is that a copy of the existing civil marriage certificate must be provided with the rest of the prenuptial paperwork listed above.

(It is not necessary in most jurisdictions to get a civil license for a validation ceremony.)

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