Post # 1
My Fiance is Catholic, and I am not, though I support his faith. We want to have an outdoor wedding and we already know that the Church won’t allow it, so we’re hoping to have two ceremonies. One that is outside and coincides with my beliefs and desires, and one in the Church (which I’m not averse to. Any touch of God in our ceremony is a-ok with me).
When we visited with the priest, he said that we’d have to do the Church ceremony first and if we didn’t, the Church wouldn’t recognize our union and therefore Fiance would be living in sin and could not have the Sacraments. Ever. Seriously, this is what he told us. This priest actually made me cry.
First question: is that right? FI’s Mom (very devout) said she’d never heard of that. It seems like it wouldn’t matter but again, I’m not Catholic, so I wouldn’t know.
Now we’re thinking perhaps we could just ask the Church to give us a blessing.
Second question: Does anyone know how and if that would work? Any advice would be much appreciated.
Post # 3
I have a friend and she is having a Hindu ceremony. Her Fiance is white and Catholic. They did engagement courses at the Catholic church and the priest is blessing their ceremony.
Other than that, I don’t know, but that’s what they’re doing. I’m so sorry the priest made you cry, though! That’d be really upsetting.
Post # 4
I am Catholic as well but I’ve never heard of this either! Maybe it’s just that church? Other than that, i’m sorry but I don’t have any other adivce being that we are doing a traditional Church ceremony. Sorry
Post # 5
Try another church. I think the requirements vary slightly from church to church.
I know people that have Destination Wedding weddings and then before or after have a small ceremony in the Catholic church. I don’t see why you couldn’t do the same.
Post # 6
I’m pretty sure he’s right. If your Fiance marries outside of the Church, he cannot receive sacraments.
Post # 7
That sounds a bit off to me. I think if you never get married in the Church, then you’re refused sacraments, but if you just do them in an opposite order…? I’m no expert, for sure, but I would think they’d encourage any marriage within the Church!
Post # 8
Church law requires you to be married in the church unless your Bishop/Diocese gives you permission to be married outside the church. What your priest said about you having the church ceremony is “technically” correct. If you’re already married (like you’ve signed the marriage license and alreayd had a ceremony and eveything) before you have your church ceremony, it’s a real wedding in the church’s eyes. You’d already be legally married, so another wedding doesn’t make sense. Also, because the church will not recognize a non-Catholic wedding (even though you’d be legally married), your husband would be “living in sin” so to speak, and that’s why he wouldn’t be able to receive the Sacraments.
What couples often do is have their secular/non-Catholic wedding and then later have their marriage “convalidated” by the church. This means that the church realizes you had a non-Catholic wedding, but they do a special ceremony to bring your marriage into the church. Here’s a link that explains it pretty well: http://www.americancatholic.org/newsletters/cu/ac0604.asp. It’s not a “wedding” ceremony; it’s a convalidation ceremony, so they’re a little different. If your marriage in convalidated, though, your husband will be able to receive/complete the Sacraments again, since he would now be married in the eyes of the church.
Post # 9
The priest is correct. Both my fiance and I are tradional Catholics and in order to receive the sacraments you must not be in the state of mortal sin. Getting married outside of the Church is a mortal sin, obviously. You must have a ceremony at the Church before having the outside ceremony. My Future Sister-In-Law did this same thing, she had a private ceremony at the church with just family and then had another outdoor ceremony with everyone.
Post # 10
@Mrs. Spring: Extra thanks. I’ll look into convalidation…could be a good option if our timing doesn’t quite work out to do a small ceremony beforehand.
Post # 11
No problem, Miss Helen! I’ve known a few couples who’ve done this (in fact, one couple was in my Pre-Cana course), so it’s definitely not uncommon. Best of luck to you and your Fi!
Post # 12
I had a priest make me cry too regarding our wedding, which we are having in a Catholic Church 🙁 Some can be very brash! I hope you figure it all out.
Post # 13
Yeah, that is news to me. Since the Church won’t see you as properyl married, if it’s not a Catholic ceremony, he would be considered “living in sin”, until you had the marriage convalidated. (But if it’s just the same to you, I’d recommend doing the Catholic ceremony first. As it might be really importatn to Fi and/or his family. Also, Fi wouldn’t have to feel like he’s starting his marriage off still living in sin.)
But the Catholic Church is always welcoming people back into the state of grace through reconciliation. So I don’t see where the priest can say that he will be refused communion forever. And you actually said “sacraments”. Uh so is he saying, that he’d never be able to go to confesison either? It sounds too bizarre.
The only thing I can think he might be getting at, is if your Fiance knows the Chuch’s stance on your wedding ceremony, and goes through with havingthe non Catholic ceremony, knowing he’d be in sin, that when he went to confession, he wouldn’t be truly sorry??? (You’re not really absolved unless you are sorry. IE. can’t just say sorry.) I don’t know. It’s a stretch. And the priest really should be judging the sincerity of the remorse, particularly before the confession. Maybe he was jsut trying to scare you. Uh but that would mean he’s lying and he needs to go to confession.
Post # 14
The pope goes to confession more than I do so I’m sure the priest does too 😉
Is there a reason you can’t “try” and follow the churches directions? Do a small intimate family church wedding and then do the secular thing? Even if later that day or the following week? I even have been to a wedding where the couple did immediate family only at the wedding and hosted a large grand black tie affair that night for the reception.
The other, yet hard to accomplish option, is to petition your diocese for a Catholic outdoor wedding. Mind you, the bishop himself has to give the dispensation and they are hard to get. I actually saw a post from a bee yesterday who DID just get her dispensation. Said she had to write a “strongly worded” letter to the bishop and called weekly… mind you, I don’t think the strong words were “how dare you deny my Fiance sacraments.” It was more about how they are trying to do things right, wanted to do things right, and couldn’t find a church the proper size, or available, etc…
Post # 15
Don’t know if this helps you, but we’re actually doing what KLP suggested…our Church wedding is on Friday & our outdoor wedding is on Sunday. Hopefully, since the events are just two days apart, most of our guests will be able to make both. Granted, having two weddings (with receptions & rehearsals, albeit rehearsals = only wedding party) is pricey…so we’re throwing a rather intimate wedding weekend, just under 70 guests (including us), & doing it all locally. Following the Church & having our dream outdoor wedding CAN be done!
Post # 16
We’ll be doing the smaller Catholic ceremony first.
@Tanya123: Yep. He said sacraments. No communion for the Fiance. But you’re absolutely right, Fiance won’t take communion now because the Church says that he’s living in sin and FI’s stance is “their house, their rules”. He doesn’t go to confression about our relationship because he’s not sorry and has no intention to quit, hehe. I’ll be glad when the Church sees us as married. Actually, we may just get the family together and do it as soon as possible.
@KLP: Oh yes, I’m familiar with that post. She was kind enough to send me a copy of the letter she wrote and I must say, it was beautifully written and very heartfelt.
I have to say, I feel very blessed to get to have two weddings to the same guy. I get the best of both worlds! I can to the ultra traditional AND the just a little bit different versions of the same thing. It’s going to be so awesome 🙂