Post # 1
Here’s the back story: I was raised Catholic and was practicing Catholic until my college years. At that time, I wouldn’t say I stepped away, but I was not attending mass regularly because I wasn’t getting anything out of the mass. I was really confused and looking for more, maybe doing some soul searching. I met my SO who is a devout non-denominational Christian. Because religion was so important to him, and because I was looking for more and spiritual growth myself, we started attending different non-denom churches together. Some of the ones we tried were too contemporary for my liking or comfort level, so we settled on a more traditional Presbytarian church that we both really like.
So as I’ve explored religions, I’ve realized that my beliefs align more with Protestantism…. but it’s scary and sad for me to deny the way that I was raised and what I was taught by the most important people in my life- my parents. It’s just sad to me! I don’t know why, I’m an adult, I make my own decisions…anyhow, I’m comfortable and satisfied with the church that SO and I attend and the beliefs that we share. Having said that…I’d still like to incorporate Catholic traditions into my wedding ceremony because it’s important to me- it’s an homage to the way that I was raised, homage to my family’s faith, it’s just important to me. I’m very traditional and family oriented, so it’s extremely difficult (so much so my chest feels so heavy) for me to feel like I’m denying and rejecting my upbringing and family’s beliefs. Instead, I want to honor my family and be respectful of all beliefs.
So here’s the problem. My SO says he won’t do the Ave Maria at our wedding ceremony because he doesn’t believe it and it’s not biblically sound. He says he doesn’t believe in and has never prayed to Mary or asked for her to pray for us. He said he’d kneel in front of a cross and pray for Jesus to watch over us. He said he just won’t do it. He said I can do it, but he won’t compromise his beliefs. That would be really sad for me to go alone- but maybe that wouldn’t be as bad as I think.
I completely understand that it goes against his beliefs, but it’s important to me. It’s an important tradition and I can’t deny my Catholic upbringing. I’m not sure if I can have a ceremony without it….
I’m really confused. I told SO that I questioned if he really loved me for not willing to do this one thing for me but he said it has nothing to do with his love for me. I just keep thinking that there are so many men out there who would convert for their woman, there are so many interfaith weddings that honor two different belief systems- so why can’t he honor the Catholic beliefs? He says that’s completely different because he and I share the same beliefs and we are the same religion.
Just don’t know what to do.
Post # 3
Just like you can’t go against your religious beliefs, then it is unfair to ask him to do the same.
Post # 4
I understand where both of you are coming from. I think it’s admirable of him though to not do something that goes against his beliefs, so maybe you can try to think of that as a positive.
Hmmm…is there maybe a compromise? Like you can do the prayer alone, or maybe play the song Ave Maria somewhere during your ceremony?
Post # 5
@yumkarepie: 🙁 That can’t be any fun. But personally, being very strong in my own personal faith, if Fiance asked me to do something that was against my beliefs, I would pick Jesus over him, hands down. Don’t think I love Fiance less for it, but I just love Jesus more. And that kind of sounds like what your Fiance thinks to.
I’m not Catholic, but are there any other wedding traditions you might include that would be less contriversal to him? I’m pretty sure communion is frequently included in Catholic wedding mass (I think?) and since other denominations practice this rite too, would that be something he might be okay with?
And honestly, again this is just MHO, but would you really want to be marrying a man (when it seems faith and relgion are important to you) who would just throw what he believes about something as important as his relgion to the wind for you? I think this is something that needs to be addressed, because not only your wedding, but what about future children? You say you attend the same church together now but will you want your children christened, taking first communion and confirmed in a Catholic church? Or in the church you currently attend?
I totally get that your culture and how you were raise is uber important to you. But it also seems this is one thing your Fiance isn’t willing to budge on. I vote, try to find some other aspect to include that reflects how you grew up without compromising what your Fiance currently believes.
Post # 6
That would be a deal breaker for me on his side, you are asking to break with his religion for a song, not fair, IMO, and I am a protestant and ex catholic.
Post # 7
Compromise works both ways. You should be proud of your Fiance for not compromising his beliefs. Many less devout men would just do what you tell them…
Post # 8
I’d like to echo MademoiselleL.
Could you incorporate an acoustic version of the song, or would he still feel unsettled about that?
Post # 9
I am in a similar situation..one in which i have a tense relationship with my Catholic dad. I have converted to my fiance’s non-denominational Christian Church as well…It was a huge decision for me…Believe me it has NOTHING to do with him not loving you. At the end of the day a husband has to answer for his wife and family. I to was not into denying my Catholic upbringing, but by being respectful to others esp parents.At the end of the day..no wat is in ur heart cuz i guess kids will be in the situation to eventually.
Post # 10
You are putting more weight paying homage to family and their traditions than to your husbands real life faith. Im pretty sure both Catholics and Non-denominational all believe that God comes first in the marriage.
Is it just that Ava Maria is a traditional song that people do at weddings (and you want to please your fam), or does it really mean something holy to you like it does your husband?
To me religion is a deal breaker! My guess is that your Fiance is not going to agree to anything ” Catholic” because the majority of it is blasphemous from his point of view.
I hope there is something yall can work out!
Post # 11
Aw thanks for the quick responses everyone. You’re absolutely right- he has firm beliefs and I really respect him for that. And it’s true, I shouldn’t expect him to do something he’s not comfortable with or something that he doesn’t believe in.
Do any Protestants think it would be any different, if we had the statue and presented flowers as a way of honoring her as the Mother of God and as a model for my life starting out as a wife and potential mother?
I understand that Protestants don’t believe in praying to Mary, so if we just presented flowers as a sign of respect, would that be less offensive?
Post # 12
@yumkarepie: I would see that as an offense to God, IMO. If you are getting married in a church, you would be hard pressed to find a pastor to allow that.
Post # 13
@yumkarepie: I would see the flowers & the statue as idol worship!
hmmmm. I’m not sure in what way to include your heritage in the ceremony…what does your Fiance imagine the ceremony as?
Post # 14
@tksjewelry: An offense to God? But Mary birthed Jesus! What’s wrong with honoring that? We’re not worshipping Mary, we only worship ONE God.
Also, we are renting a church and are allowed to bring in any pastor/priests that we want and can organize the ceremony any way that we want…
Post # 15
I think you could say something about how you see Mary as a role model of a mother and wife…but the statue might not be allowed in a protestant church unfortunately.
Post # 16
@yumkarepie: Like Argentina said more eloquently, I would see that as idolatry and therefore an offense to God. Protestants do not honor her and I know that it is something engrained to us as Catholics, but she is seen as no more than a servant just like you and I. I am not sure how you could bring in most Catholic traditions into a wedding, as I have forgotten more than I remember. Maybe you could go to the pastor performing the wedding and see what he suggests.