Post # 1
We wanted to add communion to our ceremony since FI’s family is Catholic and it’s a big part of their weddings, and even though ours will be in a Methodist church I wanted to include elements that were relevant to both denominations. Initially, we wanted just the two of us to do communion. The way the Methodist church does it is to come to the front, get your bread, dip it in the cup and go back to your seat. Our pastor has told us that he’ll let us do communion, but if we do then he does it for the entire congregation (guests), and if we want it to be just us then we REALLY REALLY have to convince him otherwise.
The situation is this: the majority of my family are non-practicing Christians, but I have several immediate family members that do not believe in God at all. I don’t know if it’s a good idea to have everyone go up for communion and leave those people out? Plus, do Catholics have a problem with doing communion in a non-Catholic church? I just don’t want to make anyone feel awkward, but I totally understand wanting it to be open to everyone…
Post # 3
I’ve been to many many Catholic wedding masses and I am not Catholic and it has never bothered me to witness communion. It’s a nice ritual and I’m no offended standing on the sidelines and watching.
And there is a way for non-Catholics to participate, which is to signal, I believe by crossing your arms across your chest (Catholics can probably correct me–I don’t really remember how it was exactly) and instead, you receive a blessing, without partaking in the bread or wine.
Post # 4
I am an atheist and I always just remain seated during communion.
There is usually an announcement about something to the effect of:
“Catholics may come up and receive communion, non-Catholics may come up and receive a blessing and anyone not wishing to participate may remain seated.”
I have never felt left out – I know that it is disrespectful to take part in a ritual I don’t believe in.
Sorry I can’t answer your question about doing a communion in a non-catholic church!
Post # 5
I’m Catholic and I’ve been to weddings at Anglican churches that had both Anglican masses and interfaith masses.
The last one I went to, the groom’s side were Catholic Italians, and the bride’s side were waspy and not very religious at all. But it was still held in an Anglican church.
When it came time to have communion, the priest announced that anyone baptised as a Christian was invited to come recieve communion, no matter what denomination you were. I thought that was great because he communicated that very clearly. Sometimes I’ve not been sure if I should go up and have decided not to. But never have I been made to feel excluded.
I think you can definitely have communion at your wedding even if there are some people there who do not believe in God or who are non-practicing Christians or who are Muslim, Jewish, etc. Your guests will surely be there to love and support you and will be well aware of your religious beliefs.
Definitely do communion if it’s important to you. I know that NO ONE will (or should) get offended during this part of the ceremony, because it’s important to you and your FH.
Post # 6
It depends on how traditional Catholic they are. My family would not take communion in a non-Catholic church because it’s not the same. Catholics believe in transubstantiation, so Methodist communion is just symbolic to them and doesn’t really “count” per se, for lack of a better way to phrase it. However, I do like the previous person’s suggestion about inviting anyone to partake. As for non-practicing, again, it depends on the people, but most I know would just remain seated respectfully.
Post # 7
I am Catholic, and had a Mass for my wedding. In the Catholic church, we ask that only Catholics receive communion, and we are asked not to receive communion in other churches or if we are in a state of mortal sin. As Amaryllis said, we believe in transubstantiation and the need for valid succession in the eucharist, and other churches do not share these beliefs.
At my wedding, we had many non-Catholics. Our priest made a brief announcement that anyone who was not receiving could come up for a blessing, and showed them how to hold their hands to ask for one (arms crossed over the chest). Some people did this, while others remained seated. It wasn’t awkward, and it worked well. You might also try putting something brief into your program.
Post # 8
What @Amaryllis said! 🙂 As long as your pastor is willing and able to word his announcement so that it’s clear that any practising/baptised Christians are invited to take communion, I don’t think there’ll be any huge problems, unless your man’s family would be offended by taking non-Catholic communion. Then again, I assume they’re supportive of your decision to marry in a Methodist church, so perhaps that won’t be an issue?
Post # 9
@MsGolightly: Sorry but the “waspy” comment was slightly offesnive. I would keep from using that term, especially like that, unless your goal in to offend somebody.
Ms. BBQ: I don’t think it would be a huge problem. We are having a Christian/Jewish wedding so there will be parts that the Christians can’t fully participate in and parts that the Jews can’t fully participate in. People are generally understanding and respectful of other peoples beliefs and traditions.
Post # 10
As others have already stated, many of the Catholics probably won’t be willing to take communion at a Methodist church because it’s not a “real” communion. I think things were different at MsGolightly’s Anglican/Catholic wedding because, if I remember correctly, Anglicans do actually believe in transubstantiation.
That being said, some more liberal Catholic priests are willing to come and witness a non-Catholic wedding ceremony. Perhaps you could talk to a priest your FI is close to, and maybe they could come and perform the eucharist? Of course, then only Catholics would be able to partake. That aside, I’m 99% sure that Catholic priests can perform it wherever they want. All my high school masses were performed in that most holy of all school areas, the gym.
Also, not all Catholic wedding ceremonies involve communion. Many do, but it’s not required for a wedding to also be a mass.
Post # 11
Just to ditto what the above posters said, Catholics technically should not receive communion outside of a Catholic mass. Some would, some wouldn’t. One important thing to remember though is since the Eucharist is so important to Catholics, a non-Catholic communion ceremony probably won’t feel like their Catholicism is being honored. I doubt they would be offended or anything. It’s just that to Catholics, Catholic communion and non-Catholic communion are two very, very different things.
If it means something to you, definitely do it. If you are doing it for the Catholics, I would suggest finding another element to include? Maybe the Prayers of the Faithful? Or the Sign of Peace? Or the Our Father? Those are things Catholics would not only recognize but it would be comfortable and meaning for them to participate in.
Post # 12
@GreenEyedMoon: Catholics shouldn’t receive communion in an Anglican or Methodist church. The reason is that the act of coming into communion with a church community is a statement that you have the same beliefs as other in that community. A Catholic cannot state that in an Anglican or Methodist setting. Hopefully one day we can, but as of now, it would be a grave sin to accept communion in an Anglican or Methodist church and a Catholic would be required to go to confession before being able to receive communion again in a Catholic church.
Post # 13
Personally I would talk to our pastor and explain to him why you just want to have the two of you take communion. Personally I think it is a really special moment to just share between the two of you rather than have everyone who wants to come up. I was raised Catholic, but am now Protestant. I have been to mass weddings where everyone goes up, but that seems more impersonal or not as special for the bride and groom. For my wedding I want just my FH and I to take communion together for the first time as man and wife. I would talk to the pastor and try to work it out so you can have the ceremony be what you both really want. Best of luck!!
Post # 14
I realise that your wedding has almost certainly come and gone, but I had a quick suggestion:
“The way the Methodist church does it is to come to the front, get your bread, dip it in the cup and go back to your seat.”
In the Methodist-esque tradition I was raised in, servers handed around small shot glasses of (fake) wine and pieces of bread. You held these in your hands and prayed whilst everyone was served. Then, after everyone, including the preacher (who doesn’t eat/drink ahead of you) has both elements in their hands, you pray together, eat the bread at the same time, and drink the (fake) wine at the same time. This might solve the problem, because people can then just subtly ignore the bread and wine as it is passed around, and it won’t be obvious who has taken them and who hasn’t.