Post # 1
I just scheduled FI and I’s first meeting with my priest. I am freaking out every so slightly. I have no idea what to expect. My priest is an older gentleman and I’ve known him for many years. He performed my first communion, my quincenera mass, my confirmation, etc. I’ve always wanted him to officiate my wedding as well and I’ve always wanted the traditional church wedding, but that’s almost certainly not going to happen with my amazing, wonderful, perfect man for me, Wiccan fiance. We’ve worked out our as FI and I are an interfaith, intercultural couple. I just have no idea what to expect as far as what we’ll be asked, what we should have prepared. We haven’t experienced much judgment from anyone regarding our difference of ethnicity or religion, but I’m so worried that we will be during the meeting. I know that Fr is more openminded than I give him credit for, but I’m still uneasy.
I know my situation is a little more unique, but can anyone give me an idea of what to expect in this first meeting?
Post # 3
@HonoraryNerd: I hope I can help some, because I was REALLY nervous about the same thing. Fi is catholic and I’m methodist. He goes to church EVERY sunday unless he’s extremely sick and I only go when I feel like I have to go with him. I was brought up to believe that you don’t have to go to church to believe in what I do. Plus… his church is really just a saveface/social thing.
Anyway!… So obviously I’m not catholic and I was REALLY scared they were going to say I have to convert. I just didn’t know what to expect. I had met our priest a few times over the past 6 yrs, but not enough for him to know who I was.
With our priest, it was really painless. He asked me normal information such as “name, birthday, address, etc” to fill out paperwork. We told him how I was not catholic nor baptized (long story). I think I got lucky in my area I didn’t have to be baptized to be married in a catholic church. He asked us how we were going to raise our children religion wise, obviously FI is a lot more religious than I am, so catholic it is. We signed a paper say we were going to raise our kids in the catholic religion and help them learn/follow it the best we could.
Then we got assigned a couple to go through counceling with since we didn’t wanna do a group retreat (you HAVE to do one of these. the 2×2 has like 4 or 5 meetings every week or two, you set it up with your couple). And then we had to take this test that asked us a bunch of questions to see if we were both on the same page. Mainly it was just to make sure anything we didn’t answer the same on, to make us aware so we could talk about it. Except we kinda cheated….. we were texting each other even though we were separated while taking the test (oops!) haha.
But that was pretty much our first 2 meetings in a nutshell. Nothing too bad =)
Post # 4
@HonoraryNerd: Please try not to be too nervous 🙂 Catholics marry people who are not baptized every day! That’s really the category where your FI falls: non-baptized. It’s the same as if you were marrying a Jewish person, a Muslim person, an atheist.
Your priest will help you obtain a dispensation to marry this non-baptized person. I have never heard of a case where the dispensation was refused. Perhaps if the partner was extremely anti-Catholic or something. I’m sure that’s not the case with your relationship.
Your priest may question your FI being Wiccan because many mistakenly confuse it with Satanism, which obviously wouldn’t be OK. But if your FI can very briefly explain what Wicca is about and how it is quite inoffensive, that will that care of that.
Post # 5
My dh wasnt catholic or baptized but it all worked out. We had both agreed to raise our children catholic and that seemed to be the main concern for then. As far as him not being catholic.
Post # 6
I’m nervous too! One of my biggest fears is that our priest is going to flip out and give us a huge lecture since we are cohabiting :S
Post # 7
@agrinste1: My priest barely batted an eye at our cohabitation. Main concerns are that you are both going into this marriage with your eyes wide open and a plan for your life together.
Post # 8
I was really really nervous too!! me and my FI just went and it was very very easy, and I could kick myself for getting so worked up. We went in indivdually and he asked us questions like are we baptized, confirmation, etc where our parents names, and asked if we lived together etc. then brought us both back in and told us about the wedding and what to expect and that we have to meet once a week for 4 weeks with a couple for counsling. 🙂
Post # 9
What is meeting with a couple for counseling like? That sounds like the most nerve wrecking part! In my case, my FI is Catholic, I’m a baptized Christian. However my dear FI is very shy, and isn’t very chatty unless it’s just me so my main concern is having to do all the talking!
Post # 10
- Wedding: February 2014 - Windstar on Naples bay
It depends on the priest and the diocese. When I got engaged I joined his church, confirmed catholic and took the precanas. However life for busy and I didn’t attend regularly. Apperantly the priest didn’t like that a.) I came out of the blue asking for marriage (despite my FI having taught Sunday school for over 10 years there) and b.) that I didn’t attend regularly (and probably that I didn’t give very often in the offering plate. I barely make enough for gas.) He never really refused to marry us but he kept making excuses and kept rescheduling our appointments. Finally I got frustrated and went with my old church (and I’m not even getting married there anymore either long story) at the 4 month mark because I needed times, and stuff for my invitations. He bothered to follow up with us the other day (1 month prior to the wedding) when FI told him we went else where he told us he was glad that we were getting married somewhere else. Then added he was glad that we found something. Both FI and I are very upset about this. I made a huge effort and yes I slacked off lated but I have a life to lead and a wedding to plan that I was already behind due to his ridiculous demands and paper work and stuff. We’re happy our current pastor has so willingly accepted us. It’s such a vast difference between the Catholic Church and others. So I guess I’m saying don’t worry too much but be aware that some are more strict then others.
Post # 11
It really depends on your priest. If you have known them for a long time, and they know you, the relationship is just better. We have three preists involved in our wedding, and have had different interactions with each of them;
1. Local priest who is doing our prep; The only reason we picked him was because he was the only priest we were sure was going to be at the church were we are doing our prep at up to our wedding. He is new, and a little bit more “traditional” than either my FI or I really get along with. He did read is the riot act about co-habitation. It was very uncomfortable. If we were getting married at this church, I would change to the new paster, just because I’m not comfortable with the asitant priest. Even our sponsor couple (who we spend much more time with than the priest) was surprised by the riot act we got read, and that we “picked” this priest (Our parish was going through A LOT at the time we decided to get married.)
2. Priest at my home parish; My FI likes this guy, and so do I. He is a lot more laid back, but still wants certain things in his church. We both respect him, and he is a lot more inline with what we like a priests. His parish does exchanges with priests and sisters from around the world. Right now, he has an indian assitant priest, and has one convent with exchange sisters from India and one with exchange sisters from Africa. It’s pretty awesome for a VERY small town to have this.
3. My uncle, who is a priest and doing our cermony; So excited for this! Being family it’s so speical to me. While he did have to ask the hard questions (has my FI been married before was a bit awkward to ask and answer, even though my FI has not) I’m so greatful that he found time to do this for us.
I did talk to my friends after we met with priest #1 and found out that it is VERY unusual to be read the riot act like we had been. None out of the 3 of them who had been married and cohabitating had the priest even bat an eye at it.
Also, I LOVE our spounsor couple. I look forward to our meetings all day when they are scheduled.
Post # 12
@Jaejohns: I LOVE our spounsor couple. They are great. We just go over the FOCUS. My FI can both be chatty or closed around new people. For some reason, he is REALLY chatty in these meetings. I think it’s because the couple is open, and is very intent on helping us. We get along with them well at a personal level.
Post # 13
Don’t be nervous! One thing to think about is if you fiance is baptised (even if not practicing). That changes the nature of the wedding (Catholic to unbaptised person = natural marriage, Catholic to baptised person = sacramental marriage). It doesn’t practically matter much, but your priest will probably suggest skipping the full Mass if the Groom and many guests will not be receiving Communion.
Our priest sat down with us, talked about what the Catholic view of marriage is and then we had to go through a list of questions. If he goes through the full list it may seem ridiculous or even insulting- some of the questions are like, is your Groom also your brother, are either of you intoxicated right now, are you mentally impaired and unable to consent to marriage etc. It’s just basically the international Catholic standard of marriage, in case you are in a country where it’s okay to marry your Dad, the Catholic Church still wouldn’t perform the ceremony.
You will also be required to go to pre-martial counciling. I would highly recommend Catholic Engaged Encounter if you are given the opportunity (or you could suggest it). It’s a weekend focused intensely on just you and your partner, and I found that they were very respectful of non-Catholic participants.
Post # 14
@HonoraryNerd: sorry if you already met with him I didn’t read the other posts. But my meeting was a breeze. No FOCCUS test, we did not get split up and spoken to individually, and no prodding questions. We pretty much just talked to him for about 15-20 minutes and filled out paperwork and got the little marriage book where we pick out our readings & gospel from. it was nice. I didn’t feel judged and we left feeling really good about our wedding.
ETA: my fiancé is not catholic either and there was no judgement (although he is Christian) .