Post # 1
I can’t seem to decide!
I always figured I would have a mass. My whole family is Catholic and it is what we have always done. It just seems like a wedding *should* have a mass.
However, the Deacon that is doing all of our marriage prep is very personable and we like him. He could officiate at our wedding and I know he’d make his sermon personal and good. But of course if we have a mass then we have to have a priest. Our parish has a new (to us) priest, and while he is very nice, he doesn’t know us personally and his sermons tend to be kind of circular and wordy without saying a whole lot.
FI’s extended family is Catholic, but his immediate family (parents and siblings) are Methodist. His father switched from Catholic to Methodist when Fiance was a baby and his family sometimes makes references to “all the *rules* of the Catholic church.” As such I would really like a good sermon as their Methodist preacher gives a very good sermon.
Is it shallow of me to not have a mass just because I want the Deacon to officiate instead of the Priest?
Post # 3
No, not shallow. Your just doing what you want and that is perfectly fine!
Post # 4
I would consider more of how you plan to raise your children. The Catholic Church does have some rules about honoring a marriage when children are baptized etc. I know for this and a few other reasons I was in a wedding where they had a small morning ceremony performed by a priest in a Roman Catholic church and then a larger main outdoor ceremony performed by a preacher.
Post # 5
Is Fiance Catholic or Methodist? If he’s not Catholic, I’d definitely go with the non-mass service with the deacon, as in a mass, you would be partaking in the Eucharist and your husband would not be able to.
However, if you are both Catholic, that’s a harder call. How important to you is it to have a wedding mass? I know that for me, I’d regret not having mass…but if it’s not that important to you, then I’d just do what felt right to you. Both forms are equally valid.
EDIT: Would it be possible to have the priest preside over the mass, but have the deacon give the homily?
Post # 6
@edgypeanuts: No. Nothing wrong with it at all, especially if there will be honored guests that will not be able to receive communion.
@Neva: Good call. A deacon is allowed to give a homily at a Mass, so this is a viable option.
Post # 7
I would say pass on the full mass and have the Deacon marry you. You will appreciate a personal service more I think. You have the rest of your lives to take communion together.
Post # 8
I was going to say have the full mass and ask the deacon to preach.
If both of you are Catholic
Post # 9
Go with the Deacon if you and your fiance want that personal touch.
Post # 10
@KLP2010: Your post count is messed up?
Post # 11
As mentioned, you have have priest and deacon preside over the Mass with the deacon giving the homily (the priest might actually appreciate not having to write something since the deacon knows you better).
Another option might be to have a communion service, which looks like a Mass run by a deacon, except there is no consecration. Instead, the deacon takes out eucharist that is already consecrated and distributes that. Some people might give you some push back on that since it’s only technically supposed to be used when a priest is unavailable, but it can’t hurt to ask.
Post # 12
Is having a mass important to you and your FI? The ceremony and ritual meant a lot to us, even though we had a deacon we liked who was available, we went with the priest.
I think the communion service or asking the deacon to give the homily is a good compromise.
Post # 13
Will it make his Methodist family members feel left out if they’re in the minority not taking communion that day? Does your parish invite non Catholics or those not accepting communion to come up for a blessing (usually with hands crossed over chest to indicate?)
In my parish during wedding prep they always say they’d prefer to have a full mass only if the majority of the guests will understand, feel welcomed by, and be able to partake in the eucharist. they want the wedding to be welcoming and inclusive
like other commenters have said, there shouldn’t be any issue with the Deacon just giving the homily. The actual sacrament of marriage is administered by the two of you, to each other, anyhow. A priest just presides to officiate, it’s not like baptism where the priest is conferring the sacrament on the two of you. So really, it’s just about who you want to give the homily and whether you want a mass at all – if you don’t, no need to involve the priest.
Interesting note and not for everyone – in my RCIA class there was a guy who was converting but who had married a Catholic when he was unconfirmed and not taking communion (neither were many of his guests). Instead of a mass, they had a foot washing service like some parishes do on Holy Thursday. It was a way to have something ceremonial and really symbolic that included everyone and symbolized their self sacrifice and commitment to following Christ without any of the concerns about leaving some guests out
Don’t know if I’d be gutsy enough to do this since some guests might think twice about taking their shoes off for a fellow guest or the bride and groom to wash their feet at a wedding, but I thought it was bold and very cool of them and the Priest was very excited to incorporate it into their service
Post # 14
There is always the option of having both! We are doing that, one that we want for the sermon and we are close to a different priest who isn’t as good of a speaker so he is doing the mass!
The only difference between a mass and no mass is the communion, and for us that is such an important and valuable way of inviting God into the first day of our marriage.
Post # 15
I am leaning toward the service without a mass, but I worry because I identify with these comments:
I know that for me, I’d regret not having mass
such an important and valuable way of inviting God into the first day of our marriage
The ceremony and ritual meant a lot to us
And yet, often the same people posted this:
The only difference between a mass and no mass is the communion
not Catholic, I’d definitely go with the non-mass
It just seems odd to me that the ceremony and the church parts are the most important part, yet we should forgo a mass because some cannot participate.
I feel like it may be kind of rude to ask the priest to do the mass but to please let the Deacon do the sermon. Besides that would mean tying up BOTH people for that time and I am not sure that the church would be okay with that (it is a large parish and the deacon and priest are very busy.)
You will appreciate a personal service more I think. You have the rest of your lives to take communion – I think this is probably the right option for us.
Besides, Fiance has a non-Catholic co-worker who always takes communion at weddings because “she serves communion in HER church, so it’s okay.” No amount of reasoning gets through to her that it is improper and rude for her to take the eucharist if she doesn’t believe what it is, and I know it will make my blood boil to see her come up.
bohemianbailie– not everyone has children and the Deacon and Priest are BOTH part of the Catholic church.
Post # 16
@edgypeanuts: Guilty. Sorry.
I did say that I would regret not doing a mass. But my situation is different. Both my husband and I are Catholic AND so are the majority of our guests.
The reason mass is especially important to me is that we are currently legally married, but are still working on having our previous marriages annulled. So, for now, we cannot partake in the Eucharist. So, taking the Eucharist together for the first time as husband and wife after more than a year of not being able to do so, will be a big deal for us and definitely something we want to include in our ceremony. I apologize for letting my personal feelings about what I want at my wedding to cloud the issue.
However, your situation is very different. If your Fiance isn’t Catholic, you might not want a ceremony that is uniting the two of you but at the same time has you taking communion but excluding him. Also, you have a connection with a deacon that would make your ceremony more meaningful to you. In the end, I think that is what matters. Both ceremony types are equally valid. Go with what will make the ceremony most meaningful for you and for your Fiance.