Post # 1
I was raised Catholic, FI was raised Protestant. Neither of us currently go to church. In order to not have to choose a side, we did try out a non-denominational church and went together for about a month, until work schedules caused us to stop going. Now, it’s just like, whatever, we both believe in God and that’s all that matters.
Now that we are getting ready for our wedding in May 2013, I’m realizing that I would love to get married in a church. FI is ok getting married anywhere. I feel “fake” going to just any church to ask to be married there, so I thought about finding out more information on getting married at the Catholic church my family goes to and I was raised in, but I’m wondering if it’s going to be a problem that my FI isn’t Catholic and doesn’t want to be converted. Plus, I haven’t gone to Mass in about two years (however, I did get baptized and complete my first communion and confirmation). Also, FI and I live together, which I know is a big no-no in Catholicism.
I guess my main question is, is it even worth it to ask to be married in the church, or are we going to be turned away instantly because FI isn’t Catholic and because I haven’t been involved in years? Have any of you bees been through anything similar?
Post # 3
@JuicyLucyRN: To get married in the Catholic Church, the couple must participate in pre-marriage counseling (typically called “pre-Cana”). This will include the priest asking you questions about your relationship, your goals, and your beliefs. It’s not a test – he isn’t looking for reasons not to marry you. He’s just trying to gather information so that he can give you more personal counseling.
Post # 4
@JuicyLucyRN: no your fi doesnt have to convert, you can have a “mixed” marriage – catholic and christian. he only needs to be baptised, but i think you need baptism,confirtmation…all the sacraments, which you seem to have 🙂
youll also have to do the pre-marriage classes (any couple getting married in the church does) and you may have ot say youll do everything in your power to raise your kids catholic (he wouldnt have to say anythign)
this is what im doing too, im the non catholic one in my marriage- im getting married in march next year in mexico where i live. and we’ve been attending catholic mass.
As the non catholic party, i also had to go to the local catholic church in my home parish in England, and get a special piece of paper saying id never been married before..and I had to take it to a solicitor and swear it as an affidavit (this, i believe, is standard practice in england, but may not be elsewhere)
In our church there are also a few rules put in place by our church itself – marriage process/paperwork must be started a minimum of 6 months before, couple must have been together for minimum on. so individual churches can have their own rules
Do you live in the same parish as your family? As i undersrand it, first contact needs to be made with your parish church (Determined by where you live)
Living together may or may not be a problem – our priest is aware that we do and hasnt said its an issue. other priests asks couples to cease living together before the wedding.
i dont think you need to worry about being fake returning to the church to get married..but it helps if you can show them that you are interested in attending church. I think priests are wary of people who just want a pretty church wedding and dont think of the meaning behind it (and am in no way saying thats you!)
Post # 5
You’re fine to marry in the Catholic Church. Totally allowed as long as neither of you has been previously married.
Post # 6
There will not likely be any problem getting married in the Church.
However, because your FI is a Protestant, you will have to formally give your word before God that you will do everything in your power to raise your children as Catholics.
Your FI will have to sign a form that says he is aware you have given your word.
He does not have to convert.
In addition, you both have to believe that marriage is forever (no divorce) and that it is sexually exclusive (no open marriage). You also have to be “open to life” (having children if God sends them to you). The priest will ask you to acknoweldge this. These are requirements for having a sacramentally valid Catholic marriage, and they are part of the wedding ceremony as well.
Most Catholic parishes will be interested in you registering and demonstrating an interest in coming back to the Church. Getting married is a good time to do some “spring cleaning” spiritually!
Post # 7
Why do you want to get married in a Catholic church?
You won’t be turned away because your FI isn’t Catholic or because you are not active; however, many churches will not simply marry you having no clue who you are. They want to make sure that you are serious about your faith and take the promises you make on your wedding day seriously. (As PPs have stated, that you will raise children Catholic, that you will be open to children, that marriage is forever, etc)
Post # 8
it depends on the level of strictness of the catholic church. I know a bunch of friends that were unable to get married in their church because one of the couple was not converted to catholism even to the point where they both were catholics but did not attend church regularly. Many times if the priest finds out youve slept together or live together (not sure if either is true) they will not marry you. But then again there are those catholic churches that are laid back enough to not care. You will have to go to that church and ask. You and your FI will have to do the pre-cana tho.
Post # 9
@SthnBelle45: actually Catholic priests are not allowed to refuse to marry people who live together or who are sleeping together! Marrying these couples is considered to be “righting” the wrong they’ve done. Only Protestant pastors can refuse to marry people for those reasons.
Post # 10
Although my ex-husband and I were Catholic, we didn’t have to take any pre-marital course to get married in the church. I wonder if it is decided by each diocese independently?
Post # 11
@anothersmith: thats really interesting actually! i wonder if anyone knows the answer to that!
Post # 12
@anothersmith: I know that different dioceses have different programs couples have to go through (some more strict than others), but I have not heard of ones where couples do not have to go through any. It probably does depend on the diocese.
Post # 13
My FI and I picked out a church and registered that day (post-engagement, while my ring was re-sized). The secretary joked at how happy she was to yet an unengaged couple living at separate addresses register (we played along). 3 weeks later we signed up for pre-cana without any problems. Our order of things (engagement, registering, pre-cana, marriage) was normal.
Post # 14
@anothersmith: Did you meet with the priest regularly before the wedding?
Post # 15
Our friends were married in a catholic church, did live together, groom was NOT catholic, but they had both been somewhat active with the church. They were NOT however granted a catholic mass as the groom was not catholic.
Post # 16
I believe only one of you has to be baptised Catholic but my church requires baptismal records from both of us. We do have to do pre-marital counseling which includes a FOCCUS inventory, meetings with the priest, and your choice of meeting with a sponsored couple for 6 weeks or going to an Engaged Encounter weekend retreat. In the previous weddings I’ve been to though, if both are Catholic, you are able to get a catholic mass in your wedding. However, if it is mixed, then it will be strictly readings, vows, rings, (similar to a Christian wedding) whereas the Catholic weddings would include communion, flowers to Mother Mary, and veil & cord ceremonies if the couple preferred.