Post # 1
I’m sending my love all the way from wee Ireland, simply because I cannot get the advice I need here.
Myself and my Fiance are both the frist Christians (Born Again) in our homes. Both our families are Catholic, and are finding it hard to cope with the different path we have taken.
I am 22 and he is 28, we are due to be married in April. Our Pastor is working with us and talking with us regularly. He’s brilliant. We are just finding it so difficult as our families have never been to a Christian Church and don’t want to go. A lot of them are making our wedding really difficult as they are refusing to come to the ceremony. Which, in our eyes, is the actual wedding.
Also we’re having trouble with taking advice from our parents relationships as both our parents are divorced. So we’ve never been close to a healthy adult relationship.
If any of you have advice, I’d love to hear it.
Post # 3
Sorry you are going through this. Have they given specific reasons they don’t want to attend the ceremony other than it not being in the Catholic church? On a side note, I’d like to point out that Catholics are Christian too.
Post # 4
I’m sorry that you have to deal with this, but kudos to you and your faith! Would you be able to do something like a compromise for them to come like have the wedding at a park or general location but still have a christian ceremony? Best of luck and enjoy your special day!
Post # 5
Generally Catholics are Christian. But in Ireland its a very different story. They all claim to be Catholic, they get baptised, communion and confirmed, but go to church only to occasions. as I say, just generally. Not always.
I really dont want to do this, as our church building is beautiful, and I dont see why I should have to comprimise. I mean, I am not Catholic but have went to their occasions, I thought it would be okay for them to come to mine. I feel like telling them to just stay at home if thay cant tolerate 2 hours in my church for me. But then again, thats not very Christian is it?
Post # 6
First I would like to say congratulations both on your impending marriage and your rebirth.
Please do not compromise. Have your day. Those who do not want to attend should be forgiven and showered with love, but you should have your day. My advice would be to aways remember to act with humility remembering who first had mercy on you and to honor your Heavenly Father. It may take a while but honoring God with your vows and then with your marriage will show your family what true Christianity is all about. God’s Word says that whosoever loves his family more than Christ is lost and so, I believe, this means not to compromise your convictions. The key is to be firm yet gentle.
I pray for you and your families. May God’s angels protect, guide, and minister to you all.
Post # 7
Hi! I just visited that beautiful wee island on holiday. I think I understand that your problem is a bigger deal than it seems to be in America. I’m a Christian here in the USA, and while I go to a Protestant Church, many of my friends go to Catholic churches. We frequently go to each other’s weddings, have been known to be in the wedding party to stand at the front of the church, and in some cases, I have actually seen weddings with both a Catholic priest and a Methodist minister working together to perform the ceremony. But in Ireland, I know that the tensions between churches has been going on for generations. My family left Ireland over 200 years ago, so that they could worship Christ safely, and I know that there have been terrible incidents that look more like terrorism than Christian love in action within living memory. May I suggest that you look at your relationship with your family in this way… they don’t get the whys you choose to leave the church of your birth, but they do love you, and they also seem to have some understanding about God or they may not have made the decision to have you baptised. If I were you, I would share Christ with them, you can let them know that while you knew about God before you started going to this church, you didn’t really get the big picture until you started worshiping at your new church. You need to let them know that you have not abandoned the teachings of your family, but that you finally understand the wonderful news of the Gospel. By showing your parents that your new church is not a place to fear but a place to learn about the God that they already know. I think that they will feel more comfortable entering the building if they realize that you aren’t abandoning God, but rather embracing Him. One of my dear friends chose to become Catholic, because he didn’t get the big picture until he heard it within a Catholic church. You need to help your family see that they have nothing to fear that the God of the Bible is worshiped and praised in both churches. May God bless your marriage!
Post # 8
It’s YOUR day, don’t compromise..you will regret it later maybe. I am Protestant myself but I would totally go to a Catholic wedding if a family member asked me to. That would be so not a big deal to me. Really. That seems a bit selfish of them to not think of YOU and what YOU want. This isn’t their wedding, it’s YOURS and you have the right to have it anywhere you want. I mean, it’s not like you are having it in a haunted house on Halloween night..that would be pretty creepy maybe, you know? My pastor said to us, it’s about you, it’s YOUR day. Just focus on what YOU want and glorifying the Lord. Really, all we do is for Him anyway. We are personally thinking of taking communion in our wedding ceremony as our first act as husband and wife. I have seen this and it’s truly beautiful. They will see you break bread together and share communion. It’s really something to see. Just a thought, have faith that the Lord will figure out all the details..and get lots of prayer. He can do all things. Much love and God Bless!
Post # 9
Wow, that’s a tough situation. I’m sorry you are going through it during what should be one of the happiest times of your life.
I don’t pretend to know exactly why your family is reacting the way they are, but I will try to guess. It’s my understanding that Catholics are discouraged from attending services in non-Catholic churches. However, it is also my understanding that they are free to attend weddings between two non-Catholics in a non-Catholic church.
The hesitation is the worry that their participation or even mere attendance would be seen as endorsement of the Protestant church. There is also the fear that they would be seen as endorsing an invalid marriage. This is likely enough to make them very uncomfortable with the thought of attending your wedding. However, in your case, as you are both Protestant, being married in a Protestant church, your marriage is seen as presumptively valid by the Catholic Church, assuming there are no other impediements (such as previous marriages).
Perhaps your family still considers you Catholic because you (I’m assuming) were baptized, had first communion, and were confirmed, so are assuming your marriage would be invalid. From what I’m reading, however, it seems that you are no longer Catholic. Once you renounce Catholism by a formal act (usually by formally joining another church) the Church no longer considers you Catholic. Thus, you are no longer bound by Church law. You are two Protestants marrying in a Protestant church and there should be no reason they cannot in good conscience attend, even if they do not agree with the teachings of the church you’ve chosen.
Here’s an article written by a priest in response to being asked by the Catholic parents of a daughter who had joined an evangelical church and was marrying her Protestant boyfriend in that church, if it is ok for them to participate in the wedding. I’m guessing they might have some of the same concerns as your family members.
As the previous posters have said, go ahead with your wedding. There is no reason you should have to change anything. Let your family know that you understand their concerns. but you aren’t changing your plans to accomodate them. Hopefully, they will come around…