Post # 1
My fiancee is Russian Orthodox (not practicing – but has been baptised) and I’m Catholic (practicing) and we are in the beginning stages of planning our wedding. We would really like to have a cermony in the Catholic church (I would love a full mass, but I don’t know if that can happen), but are unsure if this is something that is church/priest dependent. We are also planning an east coast wedding from the west coast, so that makes it difficult to ask each priest in person. Does anyone have any experience with this situation? Suggestions on what to do?
Post # 3
I didn’t have that experience for my wedding. But from what I understand with interfaith weddings, most priests would discourage you from having the full nuptial mass. You would be going to communion without your husband, which would show a lack of unity on the day you beomce united.
Post # 4
wow… it’s like you were directly asking MY take on this… but anyways…
i’m catholic and FH is converting to be catholic. (he’s just christian right now) anyways… so in my culture (filipino), we have sponsors–like godparents, that walk down the aisle with us; some are his family some are mine. when we asked his cousin and her husband to be one of the sponsors, they had to decline- they were Russian Orthodox (converted a while ago). their church had very strict rules about them participating in other religions’ practices. and because we are having a full mass, i don’t think they can even come to our ceremony at all!
so i’d check with his priest first and also yours– ours was okay with talking over everything over email and on the phone cause it was really hard for us to schedule a good time to meet. also, some catholic churches can be much more strict than others. so they might not even let him get married there because of his religion, whether he’s practicing or not.
Post # 5
There are complicated rules about Russian Orthodox (RO) members receiving communion in Roman Catholic churches. The Roman rite churches allow it (for those RO churches considered in communion with Rome, which not all of them are), but the RO ones prohibit it. It’s a one-way street. So the priest might not care and you might not have a problem. But if your fiance were required to get a dispensation from a RO church for the wedding…well, who knows how he would get it, since he’s not practicing….which might leave him unable to take communion, which means no nuptial mass (they won’t do it for the reasons Tanya explained above).
Does your fiance intend to become a practicing Roman Catholic? Maybe you could talk to your home priest about him making a profession of faith and confirmation at Eastertime and joining the Roman rite outright.
I wish I could give you a definitive answer, but alas, every priest will probably approach the situation slightly differently. I also planned a wedding from afar and our priest was open to talking on the phone once we explained the situation. You could also consult your local priest for preliminary information.
Post # 6
Thanks everyone for the great tips – I think that we just need to talk to my local priest and then start calling around to churches on the east coast to see what we should do.