Question: We are planning to go to Cuba this winter and we would really love to get married in their Russian Orthodox Church that just got built in Havana. Can you suggest how can I get in touch with them and book our wedding.
Answer: In recent years, several Orthodox Churches have opened in Cuba. The first was the Greek Orthodox Church of St. Nikolaos (the patron saint of sailors), located in Habana Vieja, on January 25, 2004, in the presence of then Cuban President Fidel Castro and Ecumenical Patriach Vartholomeos (Bartholomew I). In fact, this was the first Orthodox Church to be constructed in Cuba after approximately 50 years. Of the few thousand Orthodox residents in Cuba, only 50 are Greek.
The second was the Russian Orthodox Church (also known as the Church of Our Lady of Kazan), also located in Habana Vieja and inaugurated on October 19, 2008. President Raul Castro was in attendance as was Metropolitan Kirill of Smolensk and Kaliningrad. The Church has a potential flock of about 10,000 including Russians, Ukrainians, Moldovans and the children of mixed marriages with Cubans.
In a brief consultation with Russian Orthodox personnel, they said that the church does indeed carry out marriages, but that one must be a member of an Orthodox Church – it need not be the Russian Orthodox – in order to be married in this church. The current priest speaks only Russian, although others of his staff speak Spanish.
Contact information for the Russian Orthodox Church in Havana is as follows:
Iglesia Ortodoxa Rusa
San Pedro e/ Santa Clara y Sol
La Habana Vieja, Cuba
Telephone (53-7) 864-7962