Post # 1
We are trying to get married in a Catholic church in Santa Barbara. However, we are brand new to the area and do not have a home parish. It seems to be the norm that the local churches require you to be a parishioner for a year before one of their priests will marry you. You can still use the church with permission, but you have to pay extra and find a priest who will marry you.
My home parish is hours away and I am not real close with any of the priests. Any advice on finding a priest??
P.S. my fiance is non-Catholic and is not wanting to convert at the moment. He is considering it, but is not quite ready to make that move. Info on dispensations is helpful too!
Another thing… I am having a hard enough time finding a venue with availability. Now I have to find a venue AND a church with availabiliy on the SAME day. Seems next to impossible. We are hoping to get married this year (August-October). I know we are late to the game, but please help!
Post # 3
I think you should consider becoming a member at a parish there in Santa Barbara. I’m assuming you live there now. Then I’d look around and make a list of churches you’d like to get married in. Then call each parish and ask if you can join today and still get married on the date you want. Some might say yes. My Fiance registered at our parish the same day we asked the priest to do our marriage prep for us (we’re getting married where I grew up). It wasn’t a problem.
Just a word of caution though, most churches want 6 months to a year notice if you want to marry in the Catholic church. You’re literally right at the 6 month mark. I’d start calling around ASAP.
Post # 4
1. Find a parish you would like to become a member of. This parish should be a parish you want to regularly attend Mass at, that you want to be involved in. The priority should be that the parish will help you grow spiritually rather than merely be a pretty wedding venue.
2. Find out when their regular confessions are. Go to confession. Make a good confession. Discuss with the priest your delema: You want to get married, you just joined the parish, you’ve been told that you have to be a parishioner for a year before you can get married. Mention your impatience, you’re restlessness and any concerns you have about delaying the wedding putting you in an occassion of sin. Whatever is pertinent. Regardless though, this can touch on areas of sin in multiple areas of your life. Tell the priest you want spiritual direction on what to do. If he advises you to follow the parish rules and to be patient, than delay you’re wedding until you’ve been a parishioner long enough. However, seeing that you are serious about practicing your faith because you treated him as a priest and not as the owner of a venue, he may be willing to help you get started on the process sooner.
You may deal with some rude individuals. My experience is that parishes tend to resent being treated as venues. They want people to be actively involved in their parishes. They do not want random people hoping in and out. As such, the parishes that typically require such a long waiting period after you register is because they want to see that you’re actually serious about being a true member of their parish.
Here is one priest’s prospective of it (I find it funny. Some may find it offensive)http://www.rev-know-it-all.com/2009/2009—10-04.html
Post # 5
@fakeitfast: Are you living together? Are you a ‘good’ catholic?
These questions aren’t vital, but if you are a ‘good’ catholic, it might make the job easier. If you’re a practicing catholic and go to mass weekly (or even daily), you might be able get to know a priest faster and show that you’re serious about your marriage.
If you are serious about your faith, or even if you think you might want to become serious about it, you can just start attending events in local parishes and get to know people. This should make finding a priest an easily solved dilemna. Once you have a priest and a church, you should be able to get around the year rule, if the priest approves.
Post # 6
That is the boat I’m in as well. One church I looked at won’t let non-parishioners marry there at all, another was already booked on my day. The church I finally got will let us get married in the church, but since I’m not a parishioner I have to pay extra, get marriage preparation at my home parish, have my home parish send a letter proving that I am a parishioner there and I had to find a priest certified in the state we’re getting married in to marry us.
I would suggest contacting priests at local churches to see if they are available. If you’re looking for a priest you have a connection with, go to mass at different churches and when you find a priest you like, meet him after mass (most priests stand at the front door after mass “greeting” parishioners) and ask him to marry you 🙂
Also don’t overlook deacons. We finally found a deacon who was available to marry us. He can’t celebrate the mass, but the priest preparing us suggested we shouldn’t have a mass because my fiance isn’t Catholic.