(Closed) Catholic marrying a Protestant – Full Mass?

posted 11 years ago in Catholic
Post # 3
61 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

So I’m your opposite – I’m Lutheran marrying a Catholic.  We are having a Catholic ceremony (no mass).  Our church didn’t give the option of mass b/c I’m not Catholic but I didn’t want it anyway.  I personally prefer no mass b/c I feel left out of communion.  I take it in my church and I wouldn’t want to be prohibited from taking it at my wedding.  Plus it would annoy my fam even more than it already does that I’m not getting married in a Lutheran church.  Just my 2 cents.  It sounds like your fiance doesn’t mind so if it means alot to you – do it.

Post # 4
6659 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: May 2010

I am episcopalian and Fiance is catholic. Whenever we go to a catholic wedding or service he doesn’t take communion out of respect for me since I can’t take it in the catholic church. Something to think about when considering whether to do a mass, especially since his family will probably not be able to take it as well.

Post # 5
1051 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: April 2010

I too am a Catholic marrying a Lutheran and had these same concerns when initially planning our ceremony.  I wanted a full mass for something as significant as my wedding but felt weird leaving my husband out of something when he’s just as important, not to mention the lack of unity for a tradition meant to unify…

I also always wanted to get married outside which is a big no-no in the Catholic church; however I was able to solve all my problems at once.  We found a priest willing to marry us outside AND willing to give communion to anyone that wants it (sounds takcy but is legit: http://www.rentapriest.com/).  He’s no longer practicing (got married – to a nun no less!) but by cannon law, once a priest, always a priest, and according to my regular NYC church priest, my marriage will still be accepted by the Catholic church.  The main communion problem is the whole transubstantiation/consubstantiation thing, but our priest is willing to give Eucharist to anyone and let decide for themselves what it is and when it becomes it etc.

I realize it’s a situation and solution that may not work for everyone, but since neither of us is planning to convert, becoming less rigid and more accepting and accomodating of each other’s religion has been a major part of our relationship.  This plan will allow me the Catholic mass I desire and still maintain a sense of unity and doing everything together.  And I can get married lakeside;)

Post # 6
173 posts
Blushing bee

I think if it’s important for you to have a full mass, then you should do it.  I’m having a cermony only even though we’re both Catholic – having the full mass was not a huge deal for me and to be honest, I was hoping the ceremony would be a lot shorter without it – it’s not!!  There will always be people at the wedding that won’t be able to participate in Communion (and some of them Catholic) but can still receive a blessing.  So if this is something that is very meaninful to you to do and something your Fiance supports and respects, I say do the mass.  🙂

Post # 7
4122 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

twaila – I would contact your diocese for clarification and checking on the validation. There ARE instances where priests can no longer confer Sacraments, and if he’s left the priesthood and gotten married, chances are this is the case. I STRONGLY would advise you to contact your diocese marriage director.

Another concern I would have is that you would offend Catholic guests.  I myself would be incredibly offended if the eucharist was just given to anyone who wanted it.  The church has guideline and rules for a reason… Now, if you are doing a “protestant blessing” communion service and not having the transubstantiated Eucharist is one thing, but.. really… you need to seek better clarification from your diocese.  Plus, the diocese is supposed to give dispensation for an outdoor wedding.  It IS possible to have one but this is one of those “if it sounds to good to be true” things.  If you think it sounds tacky, what are your Catholic guests going to think? I wouldn’t want people to be thinking “tacky” or “sacrilegious” during my wedding. 

For the OP – it sounds like your Fiance is open to it, and if it’s important to you than I say do it.  Like Fancygirl said, even some Catholics at your wedding won’t be in proper standing to receive.  If speaking with your Fiance he’s OK with it, and it’s really important to you, do it.  Besides, my Lutheran friend is closer to being Catholic than some of my Catholic friends 🙂 She’s totally cool with it and if she was a boy and we were getting married I know she’d be game.. lol.


eta: I just checked the website and it says on there that the marriage “will not be “officially” recognized by the Catholic Church.” There are a lot of other red flags on there of things that are schismatic and not in line with the teaching of the church, including the eucharist part.  

Post # 8
1514 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2009

If it’s important to you and your Fiance supports your religion, go ahead and do it.  My brother’s wife is catholic and they did the full mass.  Our side of the family basically just sat there, but it was really important to her and that’s what we support.

Post # 9
80 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: July 2010

“is it selfish of me to include a tradition in our ceremony that my own new husband can’t participate in with me?”

-No this is not selfish. In life we need to keep our priorities in the following order…

1) GOD

2) Spouse

3) Kids

4) Extended Family

5) Job

6) Self


To receive GOD via the Eucharist is a beautiful thing.  If you you keep GOD first in your life, He will always keep you first as well (via blessings). After all, GOD brought you two together… Why not receive HIM on your most special day.


Post # 10
200 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2010

I REALLY wanted to have a full Mass but my priest said that he didn’t recommend that we do that since my fiance would not be able to receive communion. He felt that after uniting us in marriage, we shouldn’t include something in the ceremony that doesn’t show us fully unified.

My fiance’s only having 8 family members come to our ceremony so them

My fiance also wanted to have a Presbyterian co-officiant and he wouldn’t have been able to do if we had a full Mass so we’ve opted for the simple ceremony.

The priest said that we could do a Mass in honor of our marriage sometime before the wedding or after the honeymoon which I thought was nice.

Post # 11
3871 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

I am a catholic and DH is a lutheran.

Reasons we went without eucharist

-DH didn’t want a long service

-I didn’t want the confusion of only allowing catholics to receive communion.  Everyone could have gone up and everyone who was not a catholic could just be blessed

-My mom really tried to pressure me to having anyway but I didn’t tell her this.. but I told my sisters (who aren’t strict catholics either) that if people want communion… all they have to do is wait til tomorrow (sunday) to have communion.  (hope I didn’t offend anyone… sorry if I did)

-DH at his Lutheran church always got communion… but it feels weird that when he’s in my church he can’t.  I understand why the catholic do this but I just don’t want him to feel left out of something he is used to get at his church.  Plus, it is our ceremony… not my ceremony.

-Having communion for me wasn’t something I really wanted so it wasn’t a big deal for me not to have it.

Post # 12
132 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: July 2010

Similar situation. I am Catholic, my fiance is Presbyterian. We have the option of a full mass and I think that is what we are doing. We are going to see if his pastor can participate in the ceremony, even if it is just to read the Old Testament reading and New Testament reading. It is very important to me and my family to have the full mass. Even though my fiance will not be participating in communion, he knows how important my religion is to me and my family and supports the full Catholic mass. It might help that his father is Catholic too so his entire family except for his immediate family will participate in the Eucharist too. I do feel a little uncomfortable about my fiance not being able to take communion, but he knows how important it is to me to have the sacrament at our wedding.

Post # 13
5 posts
  • Wedding: September 2010

I am Catholic and my Fiance is non-denominational Christian.  Like you, I haven’t been the best practicing Catholic since I went away to college, but I still believe in the catholic traditions.  It was important for me to get married at my childhood church and my Fiance supported me fully in this.  We decided to go with the half mass for many of the reasons listed above.  A full mass wasn’t particularly important to me as I am more focused on the vows and uniting aspect of the ceremony.

I was also persuaded towards the half mass after attending a friend’s wedding this past summer.  She was catholic marrying a non-catholic and had the full mass.  Her priest tried to explain to whole sit/stand/kneel concept and invited everyone to do what they were comfortable doing.  As soon as he said this, all the non-catholics sat down, while the catholics remained standing.  It was so awkward!  The whole groom’s side was sitting along with several on the bride’s family.  After the ceremony, I spoke with my Fiance and another friend (both non-catholic) and they agreed that they were confused about what to do and felt very uncomfortable.

Ultimately, I think you should do what you want to do.  It is your wedding after all!  But I think you should consider how your family/FI’s family/guests will feel.  I know a wedding is all about the couple getting married, but I want my guests to be comfortable and enjoy themselves too!

Post # 14
2767 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2009

I think it is perfectly fine to have a full mass.  Catholic churches know how to invite everyone up to the altar and how to appropriately word that non-Catholics can receive a blessing instead.  I don’t think you should have to give up your beliefs because half the people there are non-Catholic.  

Post # 16
730 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

Fiance and I are both Catholic, but most of his family is Methodist. We didn’t want to create a situation where only my side of the church got up for communion and no one from his side did. But, it was important to us to receive the body of Christ, so we figured out a way for us to receive communion together in the morning, and then just do the liturgy of the word for our wedding ceremony. Good luck with the decision!

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