Catholic marrying an Atheist…in a church??

posted 8 years ago in Ceremony
Post # 3
Member
281 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

We are the opposite, Fiance is the Catholic and I am the most definately not.  If it had been super important to him to get married in the Chirch we would have looked into it more.  But honestly it feels wrong to me to participate in Catholic ceremonies when I don’t believe in the religion (like I’m mocking it somehow), and like it would be a ceremony for him and not us.  Ultimately it wasn’t that important to him, although I think he is a little disappointed, but we are having a beautiful oceanside ceremony that I think eases his disappointment a bit.

Post # 4
Member
626 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

Oh wow.. how important is your religion to you? I bet its hard being with someone who doesnt share your same religious beliefs =[

 

I didn’t mean that to sound snarky– just a genuine interest. Like is it important for you to go to church with any potential future kiddos? Do you want them raised with your religious beliefs? How does your Fiance feel about that?

Post # 5
Member
2867 posts
Sugar bee

I think lying is not an option, I would however go in and speak to the priest.  Be honest and they’ll surprise you! That’s my suggestion.  I know it seems like a hassle to get married married in the Catholic Church, but if you truly want to and you can find support from your Fiance, I’d do it.

There are many times when I just want to elope to a JOP but it’s important that my fiance and I receive this Sacrament.

Post # 7
Member
411 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: January 2011

You’ll have to talk to your church specifically about requirements. My church only requires that A) one member of the couple be Cathoilc and B) that you both agree to raise your children Catholic. It is NOT required that the other member be Catholic, or even religious. Though, a full mass is out if both parties are not Catholic.

Your requirements are in place – but I think I would talk to him about his comfort level. It’s possible he sees the church as nothing more than a pretty building, not the house of God that it is to you. It’s quite possible that it might not be offensive to him. There are plenty of “minimally religious” readings that can be used as well.

I would talk to a priest, and be upfront and honest about your FH being an athiest – they might be much more willing to work with you if you’re honest in the beginning 🙂

Post # 8
Member
435 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 2010

As two former catholics marrying as atheists……

I do not agree with lying, especially to the church.  As much as I dot not believe in the institution, I do believe that you should not make a mockery of what it is. 

My fiances mom is French-Catholic and I’ve told her that we would not get married into something we don’t believe in. 

I would be honest about what your situation is and the priest might be receptive.  They may see this as an opportunity to welcome a new “family” into their church. 

I say be honest, if you can be married there, great, if not, well, it’s a very important moment that may have to be accomodated another way.

Best of luck.

Post # 9
Member
464 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

I think the requirements would be the same as any Catholic marrying a non-Catholic; perhaps any Catholic marrying a non-Christian (if they’re different). The rules for a Catholic wedding are here, and the site also has other FAQs that might be useful. If one of you is baptized Catholic, I don’t think you need permission from the bishop. However, you probably don’t want to have a full Mass ceremony- it just might be awkward for your fiancé to be up front and not participating. Instead, you’d just go for the nuptial ceremony itself. This can certainly be done between a Catholic and a non-Catholic. There’s even a term for a Catholic marrying a non-Christian: disparity of cult.

You likely will need the pre-Cana, but that isn’t really always as scary as people make it out to be. Darling Husband and I went to an Engaged Encounter weekend, and this may be a good option for you. The people at ours were friendly, open, non-judgmental about religion, and just great! For religion, we mostly focused on how that would enter into the relationship, and if the couple is of different faiths, how this would be handled. There wasn’t really any “you must convert!!!” sentiment.

I agree with the others. Check with your priest, and be honest. If being married in the church is important to you, and on top of that having an actually valid marriage (in the church), you don’t want to lie to the priest or anything like that. Explain that you’ve had all these discussions about religion, he isn’t going to try to “convert” you, he respects you, your faith, and your commitment to raise your children in that faith, and you’ve really thought through this decision. That should help if your priest is at all reasonable! It may also help to point out that, through your example, maybe someday he will come to see the faith in a different light (I’m not saying you need to convert him or anything, but one never knows what the future holds- and pointing this out to a priest is certainly not lying!).

Post # 10
Member
464 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

@hedgeknits: Also, that first link I posted has information in the FAQ’s about the non-Mass ceremony. Probably the most comfortable option for the OP! When I said “not participating” in regards to your fiancé, I meant in the Eucharist. He will certainly be actively participating in the wedding!!

Post # 12
Member
318 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: February 2011

If you attend mass regularly and plan on taking your children to mass, you may want to keep in mind that if you marry outside the church you should not be taking communion until you have the marriage convalidated. 

 

Post # 13
Member
690 posts
Busy bee

I’m an atheist marrying a catholic in a catholic church – so far we haven’t run into any real problems.  You should be able to do it without any huge problems, but it definitely is a bit of a commitment.  Fiance and I are currently meeting 1-on-1 with the Priest at his Parish, taking the pre-cana classes at the Church where we hope to get married, and also trying to attend church at least somewhat regularly together.  I guess it depends how unhappy your fiance is about the situation.  But personally I’m more than happy to do it since its important to my fiance.

Post # 14
Member
597 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 2010

I would just say tell him he is baptised with that denomination(whatever it is)…..

I’m a baptised presbyterian, but I attended Baptist churches too…however, for the longest time I was an agnostic. Since I met my fiance though, I have gotten a bit religious again. I attend masses with him. 

I told the priest I was a baptized presbyterian, but when he asked what I am now I responded “Christian” which made him laugh/act surprised. But I think the reason I blurted it out was because I don’t feel protestant anymore if I am attending mass sometimes and getting immersed in the Catholic faith and am even interested in eventually converting, possibly.

If I were you, I wouldn’t admit I was an aethiest. But that’s my personal opinion…….

Post # 15
Member
239 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

As an unbaptized atheist/humanist/agnostic (somewhere in that range lol) marrying a Catholic in the Catholic church, I can honestly say that we’ve had no problems so far. I would definitely not recommend lying. I haven’t had to lie once and can’t imagine having to stick to a story for an entire year leading up to the wedding. That would get very uncomfortable. 

But, the main reason I wanted to post was to say that an atheist spouse might surprise you. Yes, if my guy didn’t care where we got married, I probably would have preferred a secular ceremony. But the church ceremony was important to him, and therefore it was important to me. His religion is a way bigger part of his life than mine (or lack thereof) is to me, so it was important to me to support his faith. This means that yes, I go to church with him to learn about his religion, and yes we are getting married in the church. I don’t feel that I am mocking anyone’s beliefs because I am going there to learn, and I am honest about not being a Catholic (i.e. I don’t try to take communion or anything like that). In talking to the priest, I am not even required to say the lines about God in my vows. (He said I could if I felt comfortable with it, but it was not a requirement.)

Every couple is different, and I hope your talk goes well 🙂 I hope you both can find what you are looking for out of your ceremony!

Post # 16
Member
787 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

atheist- raised christian – I know a few atheists who married into a religious family and they did have the ceremony at a church, but asked the priest not to mention anything about God, or “in the eyes of God” because the SO who was atheist wouldn’t agree with aything spoken being there beliefs, also know a couple who one was Christian one atheist, got married out doors by a ordained minister, no religious mentioned , she(christian) was fine with it, she wore her cross and her family prayed before the ceremony in her room as she got ready,being “God is everywhere” for her she said “God was watching over quietly not to disturb there love. it was cute and sweet that way the guy(atheist) didnt feel pressured into something he didnt believe in in the first place…im sure everything would be fine… 🙂 

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