(Closed) Catholic wedding cold feet

posted 7 years ago in Catholic
Post # 3
Member
2522 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 2013

Does your Fiance attend Mass regularly? Is there a parish he wants to be married at? If so, he should go into the office and talk with the parish secretary about RCIA.  I’m not sure when new initiates (ie RCIA classes) begin for most parishes since actually yesterday was the confirmations/baptisms and I was confirmed at a campus parish where it’s classes sync up to the university semester schedule so regular parishes might handle their classes differently (the parish secretary would be the person to talk to).  I think if he could locate an RCIA instructor via the parish secretary, you could sit down and get counseled on some of your questions.  A priest should be able to do this too, so maybe call the parish and set up an appointment to go over these things with a priest.  Also, if you ever have questions, feel free to ask them on this board! 

Like you, I was from a protestant background and after taking RCIA, really came around to Catholicism and joined the Church two years ago yesterday!

EDIT: Catholic weddings are overwhelming when you don’t come from that background and I do have a lot of problems with some parts of it, I won’t go into details.  I think the goal though is to find a priest that’s understanding, warm, and kind-hearted, they can guide you through all the paperwork, plans, etc.  They can really counsel you and generate much needed discussions for your marriage.  I think your Fiance would benefit from RCIA.  It’s unfortunate but a lot of cradle Catholics don’t know a lot about Catholicism b/c of the less-than-stellar childhood education.  Our RCIA instructors told us about some of the lackluster instruction that goes on for children.  However, RCIA is very very valuable even if you don’t plan on converting!

Post # 5
Member
2522 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 2013

@apex: Yikes.  Yeah, I might be searching for a different parish/priest if they were being hurtful.  Not answering questions is discouraging.  I’d start looking at other parishes but you’re within 5 months of the wedding so my ideas may not be very good.  There are a lot of other Catholic bees that should be able to give you some good guidance and ideas.

Post # 7
Member
2522 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 2013

Yeah, unfortunately during the Mass, you can’t really read stuff that isn’t part of the Mass/readings.  What I would suggest is at the end of the Mass or during your reception, say that you want to read something about how you feel about your SO.

Post # 8
Member
225 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2011

Hi, I’m sorry you are having cold feet about your catholic ceremony **Hugs**

It’s ok, I think it’s totally normal and very understandable because you don’t know the faith and on top of it you have to deal with a dissagreable priest.

I’m catholic and my husband was not. We got married in the courthouse last year and this year we want to get married in the Church. The first thing we did was to approach the priest of out parrish who sent us directly to RCIA classes. We just went to one class, sat down and listen and when it was over, we talked to the deacon of the parrish, we explained our situation and he welcomed us in the class and gave my husband a couple of books. Ever since, we started going to RCIA classes every week.

We had so many obstacles!! We just wanted to get married by the church and for my husband to be baptized, but we didn’t know all the rules (yes, not even me and I’ve been catholic my whole life), we were confussed at times and on top of it we had to deal with a mean priest, who did everything he could to make things more difficult for us and for my husband not to get baptized. (By the way, he seem to dislike me and all other women). There were times when I was soooo angry, because I didn’t understand all the rules, because I thoughts all this rules didn’t make sense and at times I thought they were stupid.

My husband on the other hand, was super patient, the RCIA class really helped him a lot, he understood everything better and got to know the faith a little bit more. Last month we went to Engaged Encounter, (that, a precana, or something like that, is a requirement in order to get married in the Catholic Church) and that gave us a whole different perspective, we really loved going there. There were other couples like us, who were convalidating their vows, or who were one catholic and one not catholic. Every time we had a difficulty, we talked to the deacon or the pastor of our church, who, unlike the mean priest, was completely helpful and understanding.

So, I would recommend you to talk to another priest or deacon, explain your situation and sit down on a couple of RCIA classes and maybe Engaged Encounter too. Don’t be scared! Some people in the church are very strict and unwelcoming, but there are others who are very kind and welcoming. Don’t feel discouraged!!

Post # 9
Member
1025 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

@apex: I’m sorry it’s been such a hard road!

1) Is it too late to change parishes? It sounds like it might be a good option, especially if you want to find somewhere to go long-term.

2) As far as the reading goes, you can’t have instead of a reading that is part of the Mass. But you might be able to ask the priest if someone could read it as part of the homily, or after he says “The mass has ended.” The mass is set (mostly) in stone so that weddings remain focused on Christ, and not just on the couple. I think it is hard for people who don’t grow up hearing “your wedding isn’t about you!” to be told that by some grumpy priest. I grew up Catholic, so I had no expectations of planning my own ceremony, so it was no big deal. But I’d imagine if I didn’t, it’d be frustrating. So it’s not that your reading is “wrong” or “bad.” 

3) Check out http://www.foryourmarriage.org. It has a lot of great resources on Catholic weddings and marriages.

 

Post # 10
Member
1310 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: December 2011

Regarding the reading problem, @beekiss gave you a really good suggestion! You may be able to read your secular selection at the end of the liturgy as a “reflection.” Or since you do believe in God, perhaps you can each compose your own pesonal prayer for your marriage you would like to say/read during that time. However that would be well after the actual vows part.

One of the things the Kentucky priest might be able to explain if he wasn’t busy being a chump, is that in the Catholic faith tradition the form of the liturgy itself is considered very sacred. It’s usually not considered appropriate to mix readings from Scripture with non-sacred readings. It almost puts them on the same level – like, here is what Jesus, the Son of God, had to say about marriage, and oh yes here is what Mari Nichols-Haining said, too. From the Church’s point of view, they don’t want that. What she says is very nice and may be meaningful for you personally, but she isn’t on the same level as the Bible and they want that to be clear.

The other thing to consider is that Church doesn’t view a wedding as an expression of the couple’s personalities. In Wedding World we are always told, “make the wedding about yourself, about your likes and dislikes, showcase your style and your personality, customize, personalize, stamp your personal taste (if not your actual monogram) all over your wedding etc” but the Church doesn’t consider that the point of the wedding. The point is not to “reflect you as a couple,” the point is to unite you in the eyes of God and your community in a sacred context. This sounds really weird and counter-cultural compared to the messages we get from TV and other wedding media but honestly I think it’s a healthier way of looking at it.

But it isn’t wrong that you want a meaningful ceremony, I think you just have to try to move away from “meaningful= customized.” One thing that might help – have you picked your other readings yet? There is really a lot to pick from, just from the Bible.

Post # 11
Member
23 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: June 2012

I’m sorry you’re having such a bad experience with your FI’s parish! In terms of your question about why you can’t have your favorite reading, I think this webpage can help explain a little bit: http://www.catholicweddinghelp.com/questions/secular-readings.htm

That whole website is really helpful for anyone having a Catholic wedding, By The Way.

(Totally unrelated side note: this is my very first post! Ahh!)

Post # 12
Member
226 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

I don’t know if this helps, but its important to recognize that a Catholic wedding ceremony isn’t just a ceremony, but a sacrament. And sacraments are a huge part of catholicism. Thats part of the reason why you can’t add things in to personalize it. I was raised Catholic and to me, there is something really beautiful about the consistency from wedding to wedding that you see in the Catholic sacrament of marriage. It sounds like you are trying to get more information on Catholicism and thats really wonderful! I would recommend looking at the sacraments, it may help you.

Now, on the other hand, I am not having a Catholic ceremony because I do not agree with the politics of the Church right now (not trying to start a fight, thats just how I feel for myself at this time)– and a lot of that comes from the church being so rigid. So I totally understand your frustration!

Best of luck

Post # 13
Member
4419 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: December 2010

The Catholic faith is complicated and steeped with tradition. Your reading, although beautiful, doesn’t reflect Catholic tradition or beliefs… I think you’ll have a hard time convincing the Priest to allow it to be read during the Mass or even following the Mass… 

I used to teach RCIA. I really think it would be good for the two of you to attend classes together, especially if he isn’t able to answer your questions because he doesn’t know the answers himself. That’s the thing with a lot of Catholics, they belief what the Church teaches because the Church teaches it and they have faith in the Church–especially cradle Catholics. They don’t take the time to find out the “why” behind what the Church teaches… People who convert to Catholism want to know the “why”. 

Your sponsor couple for your pre-cannon classes should be able to answer your questions… In fact, that is what they are there for, but many times they are cradle Catholics too, who haven’t asked “why”.  

If you are interested in finding answers to your questions, I’d be happy to talk to you and try to answer them… Most of my books are in storage, but I could dig them out to get the answers for you.  One of the best places for getting answers about why the Catholic Church believes what they belief is the “Catholic Catechism”.  There’s an online version that’s searchable, if you’re interested in looking at the actual text. http://www.scborromeo.org/ccc.htm

Post # 15
Member
4419 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: December 2010

@apex:  I’m so glad you’re feeling better about it!!!

I don’t know if this will help you understand a sacrament, but this is what the Catholic Catechism says about the Sacrament of Marriage:

1661 The sacrament of Matrimony signifies the union of Christ and the Church. It gives spouses the grace to love each other with the love with which Christ has loved his Church; the grace of the sacrament thus perfects the human love of the spouses, strengthens their indissoluble unity, and sanctifies them on the way to eternal life (cf. Council of Trent: DS 1799).

1642 Christ is the source of this grace. “Just as of old God encountered his people with a covenant of love and fidelity, so our Savior, the spouse of the Church, now encounters Christian spouses through the sacrament of Matrimony.” Christ dwells with them, gives them the strength to take up their crosses and so follow him, to rise again after they have fallen, to forgive one another, to bear one another’s burdens, to “be subject to one another out of reverence for Christ,” and to love one another with supernatural, tender, and fruitful love. In the joys of their love and family life he gives them here on earth a foretaste of the wedding feast of the Lamb:

How can I ever express the happiness of a marriage joined by the Church, strengthened by an offering, sealed by a blessing, announced by angels, and ratified by the Father? . . . How wonderful the bond between two believers, now one in hope, one in desire, one in discipline, one in the same service! They are both children of one Father and servants of the same Master, undivided in spirit and flesh, truly two in one flesh. Where the flesh is one, one also is the spirit.

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