marriage without a priest

Under the present matrimonial laws the blessing of the union by a priest is not, in certain circumstances, essential to the contract and the sacrament. If a Catholic couple wish to marry in a place where for a month there will be no priest qualified to join them in matrimony, they may simply express their mutual consent before two witnesses, and thereby they are validly and lawfully married. In danger of death, this may also be done even when there is no such expected delay in the coming of the priest.

New Catholic Dictionary

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