Interfaith Wedding: Catholic and Wiccan

posted 1 year ago in Interfaith
Member
5676 posts
Bee Keeper

I’m afraid the answer is no. Catholics will usually only co-officiate with other Christian denominations, or Jews. If you want a ceremony within the Catholic church, you are also not permitted to make any significant changes to the order of service. That means no non-biblical readings, no non-Christian music, definitely no handfasting, and usually not even a unity candle (although some churches do make exceptions). So you can’t have a Wiccan co-officiant or use any Wiccan practises within a church wedding.

If you choose to get married outside the church, you would be very unlikely to get a priest to co-officiate, because Wicca is not a recognised religion within mainstream Catholicism. Even if you did find a particularly open minded priest who was not afraid of being disciplined by the church, your marriage would still be invalid in the eyes of the Catholic church. If it is important for you to have your marriage recognised by the church, you will have to go the whole hog, Catholicism wise. If not, you would have to have a Wiccan ceremony and use an ex nun or ex priest to co-officiate (if you could find one), because ex or retired preachers could not be disciplined for helping you.

In my opinion, your two best options are:

1. A Catholic ceremony without a nuptual mass, followed by a handfasting etc etc at your reception venue.

2. A Wiccan ceremony (which would also have to be legally binding, for the next step to take place), followed by a Catholic convalidation… takes 5 minutes and happens within the normal church service.

Member
5676 posts
Bee Keeper

A convalidation occurs when a baptised Catholic marries outside the faith, or outside of a Catholic church, and wants the marriage to be recognised by the church. You will have to give plenty of notice to the priest, the Catholic partner should be regularly attending the church you want to be convalidated in, and you will sometimes have to take a pre cana or similar course as well. The Catholic partner will also have to promise to try and raise their future children Catholic etc etc. In many ways, the process is similar to arranging a wedding, only slightly easier, because it can only take place as part of a regular, public service.

Convalidations usually take place as part of the normal Sunday service. Just before mass, the couple come up and spend 5 minutes having their marriage blessed. Then they are seated, and the rest of the mass proceeds as normal.

Member
269 posts
Helper bee

Sometime it’s exhausting trying to get everyone together without upsetting someone.  Have you thought about an outdoor wedding?  The main thing to keep in mind is that this wedding is a celebration of YOUR love, not a celebration of everyone elses beliefs.  If people don’t want to have an open mind or they become insulted then they shouldn’t bother to come.  If they spoil your wedding day because of their own selfish reasons then that’s on them, don’t let them do it.

Member
5676 posts
Bee Keeper

It would probably be fine, as long as you yourself are a practising Catholic who regularly attends mass. Your FI would probably count as having no religion at all, for church purposes, and your marriage would be counted as a “natural” marriage between a Catholic and a non-Christian. You would, however, probably need a dispensation for this marriage, as natural marriages require the approval of your local bishop.

I know all of this because FI (Catholic) and I (Methodist) are having to put up with a massive load of paperwork and procedural faff from the Catholic church, so I’ve had to research all my options!

Member
5676 posts
Bee Keeper

You can start looking into this at any time. However, the convalidation must take place AFTER a legally binding marriage has taken place, and not before. I would say that you still have time. You can have a convalidation at any stage after your wedding. For example, we might (if we really can’t get the church we want) have a convalidation the day after our wedding.

It would be a huge, huge headache to have a convalidation outside of your family church. My advice is not to bother (gahhh… I could bore you to death with our problems there!). Just have a convalidation at some stage after the wedding within your family church. Talk to the family priest, and ask him to do the paperwork for you. He will also apply for the dispensation on your behalf.

Member
33 posts
Newbee

I mean, Catholicism is as close as Christianity GETS to Paganism, so…

 

…but being serious. A Handfasting is a pretty low-key, non-upsetting Pagan tradition that you can totally incorporate into a ceremony of any faith. But the best way to figure out what goes in is really to sit down with your FI and write out lists of what you want in the ceremony and what he wants in the ceremony, and figure out how to tie it together. Even look up traditions you may not have known about to see what all you can include. I can’t say I know all THAT much about Catholicism, so that’s the best I can do, but it shouldn’t be too difficult, really.

Member
3031 posts
Sugar bee

@notestasiskis:  If you’re not being married in the Catholic Church, any conservative Catholic family members will not consider it a Catholic wedding anyway.  Is the spiritual aspect important to you, or is it just for your family(ies)?

Member
1400 posts
Bumble bee

commenting to follow. this is quite a pickle! I used to be a christian, and then later a pagan (now I’m agnostic).  the old christian part of me would have been totally agahst and 100% against any blatant references of paganasm in the ceremony.  but I was a really uptight and by-the-book protestant. 

all I can think of is to maybe hold your ceremony outside in nature, and talk about love of nature in the ceremony? that’s just about the only thing I could think would not offend christians.

also, a pagan friend of mine has this really lovely tradition of having guests tie ribbons to her backyard tree and have them think of a wish or blessing while they do it. you could do something like that during the ceremony or reception – like with a potted tree you take home and plant?

OR, since you and your SO don’t practice, how about you make the ceremony about you two: non-religious? it is your wedding after all, not your parent’s weddings.  (PS, you can get a non-religious officiant too, but I’m sure you knew that already.)

Member
113 posts
Blushing bee

Just posting to follow! My SO is Catholic and attends mass regularly. I on the other hand, am not…

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