Post # 1
My Finance and I are not religious at all but my parents are uncomfortable with anyone but a priest/person of worship (I’m not sure how to refer to them) marry us. It doesn’t really bother us either way so we decided it wouldn’t hurt anything to go by their wishes. We attend a Protestant Church every sunday with Fiance’s best friend’s family(they are like family to him), and even though we don’t believe in God we feel we walk away each weekend with new things to think about.
We recieved assurance that the preist we were interested in would be willing to accomdate our desire to have a more secular wedding, which were told it was no problem. We set up a meeting with that priest and he sent us an email for things he would like to discuss with us. Most of the stuff on his list was not a big deal but I was caught off-gaurd when he also mentioned he wanted to discuss sexual purity with us. Needless to say we both “did not wait until marriage.”
A little more information: My entire family is Catholic and I was raised Catholic as well but I don’t consider myself a practicing Catholic. While we both have differing views with some of the beliefs of the Catholic Church my Fiance and I wouldn’t mind being married there if it made my parents happy, but my Church does not allow interfaith marriages (exception being between Christians), my Fiance was raised Buddhist, though he does not consider himself a practicing buddhist.
Sex is something that Fiance and I talk about willingly but we both find it a bit uncomfortable to discuss it with the officiant. Is it likely the officiant would turn us down just because of this? Or is this more of a thing where he is asking just to suggest that we shouldn’t? We both aren’t planning to lie but is there anyway to handle this topic gracefully when it comes up? Does anyone have any experience with this?
Post # 3
Honestly, we didn’t really hear very much about it. We did the FOCUS, which is a test that looks at the things you agree and disagree on. As far as sex was concerned, it asked things like: Do you feel that you and your future spouse have similar expectations when it comes to sex? Do you think you would be uncomfotable being naked in front of your spouse? Are you uncomfortable with any of your future spouse’s expectations about sex? Stuff like that which could potentially lead to problems if you and your partner don’t see eye-to-eye.
There is a section about co-habitation, so if you and your fiance live together, that might come up. The degree of strictness about that seems to vary from church to church. Some priests feel really strongly about it, and will ask you to move apart for the remaining time until your wedding, or else they won’t marry you. Others will just make the recommendation, but leave it up to your discretion.
Another uncomfortable subject that may be brought up is birth control and children. In order to get married in the Catholic church, you’ll both be required to sign a document stating that you are open to children and that you will raise your children Catholic. The Catholic church does not allow any form of contraception, and I even had to take a natural family planning class that teaches women to identify fertile days and “safe” days based on changes in their bodies. Nobody asked us flat-out if we planned to use birth control, but it was emphasized that we were expected not to.
I think that’s most of it. It seems like a lot, but for the most part we had a positive experience with marriage prep. We never really had any in-depth discussions about sex, other than listening to a couple of brief speeches from other couples. Again, this may be different depending on your church and priest. I hope this helps. Good luck!
Post # 4
@mari892: thank you so much for the help. I wasnt sure what to expect but hearing your experience has definitely made me less nervous 🙂