- 3 years ago
On my 3rd or so date with my now fiancé, he explained that he’d be getting married in a Catholic church. I made it very clear I would not be converting but a wedding could be negotiable. Now, wedding time is fast approaching, and we’re working out the details.
He did not go to church for the 2 years we dated until after we got engaged. His family also did not attend regularly during this time. He has been attending regularly lately, and I go with him when I don’t have another commitment.
Since it is so important to him, I agreed to have the wedding in his home town, and agreed to have a Catholic ceremony. When we first spoke to the priest, he assumed that we would have the ceremony without mass since I am not Catholic. FI spoke to his mother immediately after this conversation and it was clear she insisted on having a full mass. FI answered that he would need to discuss it with me, and we didn’t end up addressing it at that time.
The next time it came up, his mother was with us. She insisted on the mass as did FI. I mentioned that I found it rude and inconsiderate to those who are not Catholic (all but 2 of my half of the guest list) and is not traditionally done for interfaith couples. My concerns were ignored and i ended up agreeing with a mass at that time.
FMIL has made derogatory comments about my religious beliefs, and has made it clear that they aren’t valued since I am not associated with a church/specific religion at this time.
After considering it for a few days, I brought up to FI how I was very uncomfortable with asking my family to do the full mass. I explained that it has nothing to do with the time, and that after having attended church with him, and experiencing how awkward it is to not be welcome to take communion, I was not ok putting my friends and family in the same position.
He spoke to his parents about it, and apparently there was an absolute melt down. His father, who is normally calm and non reactive, became incredibly upset. His mother said terrible things. She said that the ceremony will only last a total of 10 minutes and that she didn’t even want to bother inviting anyone to the wedding because there would be no point.
FI was upset by this as he doesn’t think 10 minutes is worth it. He asked if it would really be upsetting to my side of the family. He asked me again to have a mass and I stood my ground. I told him that I felt hurt and disrespected that this issue continued to be pushed. I then showed him the schedules I found online showing the difference between the mass vs no mass ceremonies. I explained that everything I had read stated that a ceremony without mass would be a minimum of half an hour.
I suggested that his family speak to their priest regarding the situation. I even offered an alternative that I’d be willing to do a full mass if only he received communion (and I got a blessing) as I am willing to put aside my comfort for him but I refuse to do that to my family. I’ve since learned this isn’t an option, and we suspected that it would cause more conflict with his mother anyway.
He spoke with his mother again, who has accused me of being selfish and disrespectful and said that this entire wedding has been about me and my family. He explained that that isn’t true and asked her to calm down and accept it.
We spoke to our day of coordinator/caterer, and she expressed concern that we weren’t giving ourselves enough time (while his mother is furious that there is too much of a gap). She stated that we’d be looking at a minimum of a half hour ceremony.
FMIL called their priest, who was unavailable and spoke to the secretary. The secretary agreed with FMIL that the ceremony without mass would only be 10 minutes at most.
I’m so frustrated and have no idea why there is so much conflicting information! So, those of you who have attended catholic ceremonies without mass, how long did they last? Does anyone have any advice for how to go about managing this conflict? I’m really fine with anything and everything but the communion piece.
I feel that giving FI his sacramental marriage is a huge compromise on my side, and that having a full mass just isn’t appropriate, but his family seems to think that I am a terrible person because of this…