Post # 1
So let me start this by saying Fiance and I are both Catholic, but we don’t really practice our religion much anymore. I feel like it was a bit forced onto me as a child, and so I went through the motions of receiving all the sacraments. I haven’t been to church in about two years, and when I do go, it’s usually on holidays.
My cousin got married this summer, and the Catholic mass was long and a little offensive to non-catholics actually. The priest made it VERY clear, as in bringing it up multiple times during the service, that you could not receive communion if you were not Catholic. Yes, I think everyone knows that, let’s not belabor the point. Then he went into this weird little rant about how Catholics are such a segregated religion from everyone else.. it was such an odd thing to hear at a wedding. So after that, Fiance seemed very opposed to a Catholic wedding. I was fine with that, and I have another cousin who is a Christian pastor and would be happy to marry us. My parents didn’t seem to care, but FIs parents were a little concerned. It will be great not to go to all that pre-marriage counseling, but I have questions that people keep giving me very different answers about!
If we aren’t married in the Catholic church, can we not baptise our future children Catholic? While religion isn’t a big part of my life right now, I will definitely want my children baptised.
Can we still take communion if we aren’t married Catholic? My grandma was married outside of the Catholic church 50 years ago and still doesn’t take communion. I would hope that we aren’t considered non-Catholics after this.
Is anyone else forgoing a Catholic church wedding? We are actually thinking about not doing a church wedding at all, as there is a ceremony site at the hotel where we are having the reception and we will have lots of Out of Town guests so this would make it much easier.
Anyone have any thoughts or advice, or have you been in a similar situation trying to decide whether to have a religious ceremony or not? Do you think we should do a separate Catholic ceremony on our own before the big wedding? I’m hoping I didn’t say anything offensive so this won’t turn into a big religious debate, just looking for some input!
Post # 3
you ask some good questions.
Basically, if you are Catholic and you do not marry in the Catholic church, then the Church does not consider you “married,” and therefore you are considered to be “living in sin.” However, missing Mass on Sunday is also a similar level of “sin,” and you apparently don’t care about that, so it is very good that you are evaluating what you want your relationship to the Catholic Church to be. So, yes, you should not receive communion if you go that route, but you also shouldn’t receive communion if you miss Mass and don’t go to confession.
I am not sure if you can baptize your kids Catholic…but I do not know why you would want to, since it seems pretty clear that you do not want to take much of a part in the Catholic Church, and when you baptize them Catholic, you are doing more than baptizing them, you are also agreeing to RAISE them Catholic.
I do understand that you have not felt very close to the Church, but it sounds like now is a time when you might want to begin seeking out what you actually believe. Try reading some books to find out both what you believe as well as what the Church teaches, I would suggest ones by Scott Hahn, or Peter Kreeft.
Post # 4
My husband and I are Catholic, unfortunately we are not as involved as we used to be. We got married in the Catholic church but did not have a full mass….that could be an option for you since it seems that communion was one of the sticking points for you. We had a lot of non-Catholics at our wedding and it worked out nicely.
As for the what the priest says, this is where you would probably want to find a younger priest and be very clear about what you want said during your wedding…messages of love, happiness, etc, etc…nothing polarizing.
I am not sure about baptizing your children in the Catholic church. Somone else may know better than me but I would assume you would need to be a member of a church in order to have your children baptized there.
If, in the end, you are still against getting married in the Church you can have a convalidation of your marriage. It is sort of an official blessing by the church to recognize your marriage. (http://www.catholicdoors.com/faq/qu390.htm)
Hope this makes sense and helps!!
Post # 5
Thanks for the advice, both of you!
@red_rose: I know we aren’t really practicing Catholics now, but I still identify myself as one. I did go to mass as a child, and then kinda lost track of everything in college and grad school. It is definitely something I should really figure out, in terms of if we should step up and take part in the church, or try something else. I definitely want my children to be involved in religion because I believe in it very much, it’s just that the Catholic church is so strict and I’m not sure that we could be involved the way that we really should be.
@MissDane: Very interesting about the convalidation. I never heard of that before.
Post # 6
You don’t have to be married in the Church in order to have your children baptised; in fact, you don’t have to be married at all to baptise your children in the Catholic Church. At least one parent, however, must be confirmed in the Church.
Post # 7
@Mrs. Spring: You’re right they don’t ask you to be married to baptise your children, however I’ve witnessed some cases where church people treat these children as bastards. Wish I was kidding, I’m extremely offended by this.
I was raised catholic and grew out of it due to the kind of things you mentioned, I don’t particularly agree with how they treat other religions, so we’re not having a catholic ceremony cause being a non believer it will feel disrespectful for my entire family.
Post # 8
@Coffee cup: Different churches have different atmospheres, but it always makes me sad to hear when a church makes someone feel uncomfortable or unwelcomed. It does happen, unfortunately, but it’s still sad.