Post # 1
This is my very first post. I’ve been lurking for awhile and learned so much from everyone, so I figured you all would be able to answer my question!
I know for Catholic weddings that you have to choose from certain options for your readings. If it’s an interfaith ceremony, do you still have to choose from those options, or do you have more freedom? I have the same question about the music – can you use secular music in an interfaith ceremony? I am just wondering because if it’s not a sacrament, I was unsure if the same restrictions applied as they do in Catholic weddings.
Thanks in advance
Post # 3
If it is a Catholic mass, then they have to be one reading from the Old Testament, one from the Acts of the Apostles, and one from the Gospels. What you pick within these parameters is entirely up to you. Most parishes will give you a guidebook (“Together for Life” is a popular one) to help you with some of the most popular passages, but you are not limited to those. Assuming you are getting married in the Catholic church, there really aren’t any exceptions, even if it is an interfaith marriage.
If you are not getting married in a Catholic church (perhaps just having the marriage blessed by a priest present), then there should not be any rules about your readings.
For a Catholic/Jewish wedding, you should be able to find readings that work. The Old Testament is sacred text for both faiths, and there are plenty of suggested passages for the second reading and gospel reading that don’t mention Jesus. Just look for ones that talk about love and God, and they should be okay for your wedding.
Post # 4
To have a valid wedding (in the eyes of the Catholic church), whether in a Catholic church, Methodist church, Jewish temple, garden, backyard, or anywhere else, you need to have permission from your priest and bishop to marry (before giving permission they check that you were not previously married, that you are not related, that you are both of age, that you both understand what marriage is, etc). If you get married without first receiving permission, the Catholic will be separated from the sacraments and unable to receive Communion.
That said, if you receive permission to be married, you can either be married in a Catholic church or outside of a Catholic church. If married in a Catholic church, you must follow all of the “rules” for marriage, such as no secular music and the required readings (one New Testament – not necessarily Acts, one Old Testament, and one Gospel). If you are married outside of a Catholic church, you follow whatever ceremony the Rabbi/Cantor requires (so you do not need to follow the Catholic “rules”).
Despite what others on here claim, a “co-presided” Jewish/Catholic wedding is illicit (illegal) in the Catholic Church. You either have a Catholic ceremony (possible with some Jewish things added in) presided by a priest or a Jewish ceremony (possibly with some Catholic things added in) presided by a rabbi/cantor. There’s no mixing.
Post # 5
Tell us more about your wedding. Is it in a church? Synagogue? Who is presiding?
Post # 6
Thanks for your responses!! I am feeling very confused right now over our ceremony and I am not sure what we are going to do. I have a family member who is a priest and I want him to marry us, because he is family. However, when I think of what is meaningful to me, in terms of readings and music for our ceremony, it is pretty much all secular. For example, there is a secular reading that has made me cry every time I’ve read it and I really want it to be read at our ceremony. To be honest, the Catholic part is not important to me, but it is to my family. I’m just feeling so torn and stressed out about it right now. I don’t want to have a ceremony that I don’t feel a connection to, but I also don’t want to upset my family. (The Jewish part of the wedding would be traditional elements, such as the ketubah, chuppah, and 7 blessings, which are all things I love and want to include, so that is less of an issue for the time being at least!)
Sorry for the long vent! Are there any other bees who feel similarly torn between a ceremony they want and making their family happy??
@jedeve – thanks for the welcome we are definitely getting married outside at our venue (which I know we would need a dispensation to do in the Catholic Church) and that is less of an issue, but as you can see above, I am having issues with everything else!
Post # 7
@jbird: If you have a dispensation to be married outside of a Catholic church, then you can have whatever readings your rabbi or cantor will allow. There are no restrictions from the Catholic standpoint.
Basically, if you have a dispensation to be married outside of a Catholic church, the wedding is an entirely jewish wedding run by the rabbi/cantor. The Catholic Church accepts that wedding as valid because they’ve done the necessary investigation to ensure you are able to marry. You can include Catholic elements, but that’s at the rabbi/cantor’s discression.
Post # 8
@CoffeeHound: thanks for the info! Do you happen to know how it works if I get a dispensation to marry someone Jewish, and then also get a dispensation to get married outside of a church, but still want a priest to perform the wedding (with a rabbi participating only to give a blessing, not officiate)? Is that scenario possible? And if it is, am I then bound by the rules of the Catholic Church in terms of music and readings?
I really appreciate everyone’s help here!!
Post # 9
@jbird: You need 2 dispensations. The first is a Dispensation from Disparity of Cult (which is approval for a Catholic to marry a non-baptized person). The second is a Dispensation from the Canonical Form of Marriage (which is approval to be married outside of a Catholic church). How do you get these? Meet with a priest. He’ll make the request to the bishop and get all of the approvals.
A priest can only marry inside of a Catholic church. If you have your wedding anywhere except in a Catholic church, a priest or deacon cannot participate in the wedding. You can find people who claim to be priests who will marry you, but they’re not Catholic priests (even if they lie and say “once a priest, always a priest” – your wedding will be invalid). It is illicit (illegal) for a Catholic priest to co-preside over a ceremony with anyone other than another Catholic clergy. No matter what people say, you can’t have a priest/rabbi co-wedding. That would make the wedding invalid and would get the priest in a lot of trouble.
Outside of a Catholic church, your only option is to have a rabbi perform the entire wedding. A priest can be present, but cannot participate in the wedding. However, once you are married by the rabbi, the priest can offer a blessing (the same blessing he would offer any married couple). This option require a Dispensation from the Canonical Form of Marriage.
If you get married outside of a Catholic church, there’s no limit to what you can do with things like readings. Inside of a Catholic church, there is a limit. However, if you want a Catholic wedding and still want a secular reading, one option is to have the priest read it during his homily. That’s perfectly fine.