(Closed) Catholic Ceremony for Non-catholic bride

posted 6 years ago in Ceremony
Post # 3
Member
7992 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2013 - UK

I am not quite in the same boat… Fiance is Catholic and I am non-conformist. I said I didn’t mind which church we got married in as long as it was a religious wedding, and he wanted Catholic, so he got it.

This is still a drama in progress… his Mum wants a mass, I don’t… plus we haven’t even found a priest who will marry us yet (again, long story to do with paperwork, parish boundaries… etc etc).

Anyway, if you don’t want a religious ceremony then why not have a non-religious one on the day, and have a quick convalidation ceremony during a local Catholic mass the next day or next week? Then you will be married in the eyes of the church, but without all the fuss, and without feeling awkward on your special day.

In fact, if we can’t find a Catholic priest to marry us locally, I will try and convince Fiance to do just that… my church is in communion with the Anglicans, so we could get married in an ecumenical ceremony in an Anglican church near our reception venue easily enough. We could then have a Catholic convalidation the following evening, in an understated and quiet way, in his parents’ church. It would tick all the boxes…

Post # 5
Member
2647 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: March 2013

@Jacofblues:  In a Similarish situation. Except that I am technically Catholic (non practicing). I have explored different options. You know the only part that is necessary is the sacrament (ie the wedding). You do not have to have a mass. If you do choose to have a mass I really don’t think it’s pick and choose, though if one person is not Catholic, I’m sure you can leave out the Eucharist. We decided to have mass (very hard to explain to family friend, ie the priest, why I didn’t want it!) and I made myselfcomfortable with it bychoosing all the readings and music myself, with the help of a friend. I chose ones I could associate in some way with. Hope this helps 🙂

Post # 6
Member
7992 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2013 - UK

Actually, I had something else to add… technically it says in the catechism of the Catholic church that a wedding without a mass is the preferred option when a Catholic marries a non-Catholic. So if it’s the actual mass which bothers you, it is not compulsory (except in the opinion of my Future Mother-In-Law…). May I ask if you are having a mass? Technically then you are having a “Natural Marriage” in Catholic-speak, because you are an agnostic marrying a Catholic. This means that you are also (technically) not allowed to have a mass at all. It’s more complicated for me though, because I am a non-Catholic Christian… when that happens then the rules on mass etc during weddings become a bit blurred!

Post # 7
Member
1301 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

@Jacofblues:  I’m sorry your getting married somewhere you are not comfortable. The readings in a catholic ceremony can carry great meaning for marriage irrespective of if you are catholic or not. Try to find readings that you like and ring true to how you love your fiancé. So when you hear them in church they are personal to you and your love. 

Good luck 

Post # 8
Member
3697 posts
Sugar bee

Since by this point it sounds like things are pretty set, and since it means a lot to your Fiance, the best thing to do right now might be to try to get more familiar with what happens at a Catholic Mass. Understanding it better will probably make you more comfortable. A couple of ideas:

– have you gotten to know the priest who will be marrying you? It makes a *huge* difference if your priest knows your situation, understands your reservations, and can help you work through them. If you let him know that you’re confused and unfamiliar with things, he can help make sure to explain stuff, give you cues about the kneeling and standing, etc., and I think that will go a long way toward reassuring you.

– are you making a program for the ceremony? If you’re not Catholic, I’m guessing there’s a good chance many of the guests may not be, either? By putting together a program, you will have a guide to follow, and if you work on it ahead of time it will help you get that much more familiar with what is going on. You can also put in the cues about “please kneel,” “please stand,” etc. Also, if you know that there will be a lot of non-Catholics in attendance, tell your priest about that too, and he will be able to work in those cues for the whole congregation. If you’d like to see a sample program, PM me with your email address and I’ll pass ours along.

– I hope you’re able to find a Psalm you love. I think they are some of the most beautiful passages in the entire Bible, and I would have loved to have 3 or 4 of them if I could have! My favorite Psalm for weddings is Ps. 128, “Blessed are the people God has chosen …”. That one comes from the Jewish wedding ritual – it’s been used for literally thousands of years to marry countless couples. Another really great one for a wedding is Ps. 118, “This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice …” It’s so happy! Keep in mind, too, that you don’t use the whole Psalm top-to-bottom, the reading in the lectionary is usually shorter (around 8-10 verses), and you can always have someone sing the Psalm.

Post # 11
Member
7992 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2013 - UK

Actually, I sort of feel you there… I’m hoping that I won’t be required to have a non-gospel New Testament reading, because although I realise Paul is such an important religious figure, he writes like a civil servant (because he was one) and a lot of his writings etc leave me completely cold, if I’m honest. I also don’t agree with some of his opinions, either. So if you don’t like Psalms then I can sympathise. Have you tried having a read of them and seeing if there is any part you can stomach better than the others? It might be a bit tedious to read the whole thing but who knows… worth a try, right?

Post # 12
Member
3697 posts
Sugar bee

Sure thing! Let me know, too, if you would like the program. If your very Catholic Future Mother-In-Law is in charge of the program, she might forget about some of the stuff she automatically knows about doing, that non-Catholics wouldn’t know. We had a lot of non-Catholics and even non-Christians at our wedding, so we did an uber-thorough program with all the responses. Another bonus: if you’re not having Communion at your wedding, that does away with most of the kneeling. There is still standing and sitting, but it’s quite a bit less confusing!

Post # 13
Member
7992 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2013 - UK

@KCKnd2:  Actually, I could do with a programme template as well, please! About three quarters of our guests won’t be Catholic… they’re mostly either atheists, agnostics, or Christians of other denominations!

Post # 15
Member
3697 posts
Sugar bee

@Rachel631:  I’d be delighted to share what I have. PM me your email address and I’ll send it along later today!

Post # 16
Member
106 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: November 2012

May I ask you why do you feel so incomfortable with some parts of the ceremony ? I ask you this in a very respectful way… I was just wondering because it seems like you have some reserves with the catholic faith and maybe it would be helpful if you can figure out what is it and why is that, and work from there.

I am a catholic and my fiance is not. He is really willing to embrace the whole ceremony and enjoy it even if it can be hard for him. He is nervous and excited but not incomfortable with it. I, myself, have been working on my faith and my understanding of the rituals all the last year because I have also strugled with it in the past. I have to tell you I don’t follow all the kneeling stuff at the mass and it is not necessary to do it if you don’t feel comfortable with it. What is important is what you FEEL (in terms of commitment with your fiance and the family you are willing to build together, and the spirituality). Try to concentrate on the nice part of it, try to connect with your self and your feeelings during the mass and not ONLY on what people are doing or reading…

I actually prefer a traditional ceremony that is part of the tradition than the new ‘personalized’ ceremonies. But this is a personal choice. At least, you know your wedding ceremony will not be ‘dated’ if you know what I mean.

Your wedding is so close, ENJOY IT, let it be, and try to make the most of this new tradition you are incorporating to your life with the love of your husband to be.  

 

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