Post # 1
My Fiance and I were discussing the possibility of nixing the whole big church wedding and reception for a plethora of reasons. The only thing is, we dont even know if we are “allowed” to have a nuptial mass, just us, the priest, and a witness in the Catholic church. We don’t want to go get married at the JOP and have a convalidation later on if we can avoid it. Of course, we will still do FOCCUS, pre-cana, and engaged encounter, but:
-will we still need to set a date 6-12 months out for this?
-how does a mass with 4 people even look; there would be no point of getting a cantor and alter boys and such right? Would it just be weird with just us singing the songs? Like, who would present the gifts, etc? Would this just be a waste of the priest’s time? Who the heck would do the readings?
My friend of mine told me that the Catholic church wont marry you unless there is some sort of ‘celebration’ afterwards and the nuptial mass is well attended, but that cant be right (I hope). Pardon me for my ignorance; we just dont want to go to the priest asking for crazy things lol.
Post # 3
– Yes, you will still need 6-12 months. This has nothing to do with time necessary to put a party together but to properly form yourselves for the sacrament and marriage.
– there would be no presentation of gifts. Priests routinely say masses with just themselves. Mass is the highest form of prayer we have on earth, so while it would be low key and may not have the “singing” it’s done. Another option might be to just have the priest offer you communion already consecrated with your vows and not do the consecration.
– Never heard anything in regards to what your friend said.
Post # 5
I’ve seen some extremely low key Catholic weddings. Not having been invited to them, hence low key. But just seeing them being performed, while I’ve been standing in line for confession or at church for some other reason.
I think you’ll be ableto do it the way you’ve described.
Post # 6
My friend of mine told me that the Catholic church wont marry you unless there is some sort of ‘celebration’ afterwards and the nuptial mass is well attended, but that cant be right (I hope).
Your friend is talking out of her you-know-what. There’s no requirement for a reception and you don’t have to have the wedding or Mass (if you choose to have a Mass) well attended. You just need the 5 people: bride, groom, two witnesses, and priest.
Post # 7
Great topic!!! I actually had to go and find out about this myself a couple months ago when were considering elopement. They do make you wait the same amount of time as everybody else but all you need is the bride, groom, priest and witnesses. My grandmother “eloped” so to speak when she got married, the rite was actually performed in the rectory in the priest’s living room…
Post # 8
Yep!!! We briefly considered this b/c of the cost of the wedding. We’d have his parents, my sister, and my aunt to serve as witnesses. I think some priests aren’t up for it for an entire Mass (I think my priest would shy away from it and would want to know why, and I don’t think finances is a good enough reason for him).
Post # 9
Granted it was a special circumstance, but my friend got married with less than 6 months notice in the Catholic church. She had to get the approval of the archdiocese but she was able to. Her mom was dying and only given a few months to live, so they chose to move the date up. The family was very close with their priest and he knew the family well and the situation. So I think in rare instances you can make a case to not have to wait, but I don’t know how it would be handled for just wanting to elope unfortunately.
Post # 10
There are two different pieces to Catholic marriage ceremony: the rite of marriage, which is your standard 20-minute wedding ceremony with the vows in it, and the nuptial mass, which is the same as any other mass except that it is attached to your wedding. To be married in the church you have to have the rite of marriage performed, and it is certainly possible to do that with just yourselves, the priest, and two witnesses. I suppose it would be up to the priest as to whether he wanted to perform a full mass with just the four of you present, but the nuptial mass is not required for a Catholic marriage to take place. However, you could still take communion as a couple without doing the full mass, if the full mass wasn’t possible. Also, most churches ask for a 6-month waiting period, but if you know the priest and have a valid reason for wanting to do the wedding earlier (family obligations, etc.), there’s some flexibility there. Good luck!
Post # 11
Of course you can! Well kinda – you will still need the 6 mos and the prep. We thought of doing it also and planned on having our ceremony in the chapel at my church rather than the big church. We were calling it a “planned elopement” – but my mom had a fit (hence the desire for the elopement). Like other’s mentioned – your friend is totally off base and you can just do the marriage rite rather than a full mass if want to (although it sounds like you do want a full mass and I think that’s great).
I’m a cantor and you I don’t think you have to have one if you don’t want vocal music. You will need to still have a responsorial and you may be able to do it spoken without a psalmist – depends on the priest. There is a push for community involement during the psalm using music. But do still have an accompanist for instrumental music. You’d miss that.
Good luck! I think it sounds lovely. It’s just so nice to hear from people who actually know about the catholic ceremony and appreciate it rather than seeing brides who just want to get married in a church because it’s pretty/my mom made me do it.
Post # 12
Talk to your priest. Tell him what you want to do and tell him your reasons. If you have thought it out well and are still willing to go thought all of the preparations, you might be able to convince him to do the kind of ceremony you are wanting. There is no reason why you have to have a large wedding just because you want a Catholic ceremony, but you do have to talk to your priest about what you want. I can’t imagine any reason why he would decline doing it.
Post # 13
You guys are awesome, thanks so much. I knew something was fishy, people have been getting married in our faith for forever and I know not everyone has a “big” church wedding.
We really dont want to have to forgo the ceremony (and just do it at JOP) if we dont have to as this is the part that Im looking forward to the most. A lot of people dont love the length of the nuptial mass, but I do b/c I just feel it really lends weight to the importance of the sacrament and gives proper time to really “feel” the transition we are going through. Short ceremonies are really great too, but there are sometimes where I’m like “ok that was kinda quick, what happened” haha!
thank you thank you!
Post # 14
How did this end up going? I’m really curious about doing a small ceremony with only the rite of marriage.
Post # 15
@aquawater: I’ve been to a few. They’re very nice and intimate. Usually the two witnesses or even the bride and groom will do the readings.
Post # 16
My SIL and Brother-In-Law got married in the Catholic church, just their immediate families (so 5 witnesses). Their church has a smaller chapel, and the priest married them in the chapel. They still had to do premarital counseling, but had a lovely ceremony.