Post # 1
So I’m running into some issues as far as finding a church to marry my fiancé and I. Neither of us have been previously married or anything like that, it’s seeming to be more of an issue of membership.
The church that is in my geographical parish was the church I attended all throughout my childhood, but I do not attend there any more for personal reasons (among them that the priest was unwilling to perform last rites for my grandfather who was a member of the parish as well). So when I came back after graduating college, I found a new church and began attending, however I did not register. I’ve been attending for close to four years now. When I called for information regarding preparing for our marriage, I was very bluntly told that they only deal with members, they would not prepare us, and that I can’t expect to “just join because I got engaged”. I’m upset and frustrated by this and now I’m at a loss for what to do! Is there someone else I should speak with? Or should I just either get married at the church in my geographical parish or give up on having a church ceremony completely? Any advice would be greatly appreciated!! Thanks bees!
Post # 3
@tigergrrl2008: I’m wondering who must have answered the phone! I’d talk to the priest. I’ve always had better luck with a priest than the people in the office. Explain to him that you have been attending for four years (hopefully, unless it is a huge church, he will recognize you) and consider this to be your home church. My guess is that he will probably work with you.
Post # 4
@tigergrrl2008: You could possibly look for a parish near a university, those parishes tend to be a little more open-minded and “liberal” so to speak. My FI and I were having the same issues when we were trying to find a catholic church to marry in. They wanted us to be members and had to be members for at least a year or two. The university parishes are usually more open to allowing people to marry at their church, they usually have a member fee and non-member fee to marry in the church. Either that or you could look at episcopal churches, some of them will allow you to marry in their church but at a higher fee than if you were a member! Just a few suggestions…I would also agree with the PP that you could talk to the priest rather than the office, I also think it depends on the parish and archdiocse.
Post # 5
@tigergrrl2008: Agreed, talk to the priest. I’ve found that often people who work in the offices aren’t always the nicest people. Don’t give up and don’t let it get you down!
Post # 6
To put it bluntly the people in the parish office were being arseholes. Go ahead and register at the parish and start using donation envelopes. It doesn’t matter how much you put in, the envelope just proves you were there at Sunday Mass. They will keep a record of your contributions (for tax purposes) and you get to wave it in their face if the office ladies get bitchy about whether you participate in parish life.
There’s no rule that you can’t join a parish “just because you got engaged.” Getting engaged is a GREAT reason to officially join a parish.
Keep your head held high – you have a right to access the sacraments! These office ladies are just schmucks. I wish I lived in your area so I could go down there and have a word with them myself… these people are a disgrace to our religion.
Post # 7
Thank you for your kind words ladies! I really appreciate it! I must admit – I was shocked to say the very least. I’m going to make an appointment with the main priest and hopefully he will be a little more understanding and welcoming. I’ve found another church that celebrates the marriage of non-members, but I just really want to get married where I’ve been attending for so long!
Keep your fingers crossed for me and say a little prayer!