Ecumenical marriages

An ecumenical marriage is the marriage of two people of different Christian traditions.

The hands of the bride and groom are holding onto the railing.

The couple can be wed either at church or in a civil ceremony, although a church wedding is only possible if one of the partners is a confirmed member of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland and the other belongs to another Christian church or denomination.

The Finnish Ecumenical Council (FEC) approved guidelines for ecumenical or interdenominational marriages for Christian churches and communities in 1996. When planning an ecumenical marriage, partners should familiarise themselves with the notions of the sanctity and permanence of marriage held by the Church or community of their significant other. The couple must also contact both partners’ parishes before the wedding ceremony.

The FEC has published materials for pastors officiating at ecumenical weddings in 1999. These serve as a useful tool not only for pastors, but also for parish workers and those intending to marry. The materials include the rules and practices regarding marriage in the Christian churches and communities in Finland. The FEC has also published materials for dealing with ecumenical situations in 1995.

Who can have a church wedding? 

Getting married abroad

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