(Closed) Catholic/Agnostic wedding – what should I expect?

posted 7 years ago in Catholic
Post # 3
Member
3 posts
Wannabee

I have planned two of my daughters weddings to non-Catholics. They elected not to have a mass, as the groom’s family wouldn’t understand all that was happening. The priest helped guide us through the process, and was most accommodating. The ceremony had four scriptural readings (1 Old testament, 1 New testament, 1 psalm, and 1 gospel); all of which were chosen by the bridal couple, and with the exception of the gospel were read by members of both families. After the reading came the exchange of vows, my daughters stayed with traditional, so we didn’t look into alternative vows.Optional wedding items like the unity candle or flowers to Mary will depend on what you and your groom choose.  The music is usually chosen from Catholic hymnals (there are many) or “classical” music scores – no pop music.However I have heard some non-Catholic  hymns used  over the years.  At my own wedding I requested a hymn that was not part of the regular Catholic repatoire – the priest just asked to see the lyrics of “Let There be Peace on Earth” and he okayed it for my wedding. Much will depend on the priest you will be working with, most are not usually in your face. My husband came from a Catholic family of 9 children; 4 of whom married non-Catholics:2 Baptists,1Lutheran, and 1 Episcopalian – only one converted and all of us are still married, with the youngest celebrating their 22nd Anniversary this year.

Post # 4
Member
3220 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: February 2012

1. First, your family absolutely cannot participate in communion.  It’s a big deal and a big no-no.  FBIL and FSIL’s wedding ran out of host because her family too communion when they weren’t supposed to do so– the priest had to announced that they had to stop communion early and it was not okay.  Catholics believe that the consecrated host is literally the body and blood of Christ– most other faiths do not, they just believe it is symbollic.  It’s a huge no no for someone to eat the consecrated host if they think they are just eating bread. 

2. Because you don’t have faith, the church still hopes you will convert and believes you will, in part, be looped into your husband’s faith because of his prayer and way of life.  The Cathecism has a part on this: 

In marriages with disparity of cult the Catholic spouse has a particular task: “For the unbelieving husband is consecrated through his wife, and the unbelieving wife is consecrated through her husband.”140 It is a great joy for the Christian spouse and for the Church if this “consecration” should lead to the free conversion of the other spouse to the Christian faith.141 Sincere married love, the humble and patient practice of the family virtues, and perseverance in prayer can prepare the non-believing spouse to accept the grace of conversion.

I suggest you talk to your Fiance about his expectations, just to be sure where you both stand. 

3.  You will have to raise the kids Catholic– if your Fiance is as pious as you say.  FI’s mother is not Catholic, but his father is.  All the kids went through all the classes and are all still practicing Catholics.  His mom doesn’t go to Mass on Sundays, but meets them out for dinner afterwards. 

Post # 5
Member
3220 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: February 2012

As for what will happen during the Mass, you’ll discuss this with your priest.  He can tell you when you will be kneeling and when you should bow your head.  You should tell him what things you’re comfortable doing– whether you’re comfortable being blessed or bowing your head or whatnot.

This is the same for music– it really depends on the church.  Most churches have a book of acceptable song choices, but you can always ask. (I wouldn’t get your hopes up, though.) 

For Catholics, a marriage ceremony is a sacrament.  It’s right up there with being baptised, taking communion, etc.  It’s not a time for a lot of personalization because it’s not really “yours”, it’s the church’s.  

 

Post # 6
Member
6998 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: February 2011

Bookworm88 is spot on with her answers. I wanted to add that in the catholic church in order to recieve communion you have to go through the sacrament of reconciliation before you are eligable to have communion and since your family has not done this in the catholic church is another reason why they are aboslutely not allowed to have communion.

most likely you will not be able to play your music of choice – but it never hurts to ask! it really depends ont he priest and the parish but all must be approved by the church http://catholicweddinghelp.com/questions/popular-music.htm

you also will most likely not be able to write your own wedding vows – but the catholic vows are really nice – i found this website to be really helpful in planning a catholic wedding – you will find a lot of answers here http://catholicweddinghelp.com/wedding-planning/08-choose-vows.htm

i think its really great that you are trying to respect your FI’s religion and while i understand your lack of belief I think it would be very beneficial for you to go to mass with him a few times before the wedding so you can get an idea of how it will go – you know….when to sit, when to stand, when to kneel.

I wouldn’t worry too much about pre-cana. Each parish is different but I found ours to be a lot more understanding on some subject than i originally thought they would be. I was raised catholic but didn’t practice much in my later teens and early twenties but my In-Laws are super devout so this journey made me really nervous even though I had completed all my sacrements and grew up in the church. I can only imagine how nervous it is making you. Just be honest and upfront about everythign you guys talk about in pre-cana. It will surely bring you two closer together as a couple.

Post # 7
Member
3220 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: February 2012

@totheislnds:  Thank you for that site!! It’s really helpful. 

Post # 8
Member
6998 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: February 2011

@bookworm88:  you are welcome! i found it to be super helpful but really a lot of this stuff depends on the parish/priest and some churches may have different rules or may let some things slide more than others. I used it as a guideline not necessarily fact ya know? its always best to bring your questions to the church πŸ™‚

for instance – a good friend of mine wanted an evening wedding and since the catholic church normally has mass and confession on satudays they usually wont let you have mass after 3:00  but her church did and she got married at 6:30 in the evening so you just never know..

Post # 9
Member
3220 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: February 2012

@totheislnds:  We haven’t had our first meeting with our priest yet, but we should be meeting him soon and can see what our guideline are.  (We got our paperwork in before the 6 month deadline, but we’re getting married on August 4, so we’re lucky that ours is letting us push it close. )

Post # 11
Member
6998 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: February 2011

@bookworm88:  I planned my wedding in 5 months. We did precana in december and meetings with the deacon in January! For a february wedding! We cut it real close haha. Luckily they bent the rules a bit for us. We would have had or wedding later but my brother was betting deployed overseas so it was really important for me to have hin there. See they bed the rules sometimes haha. 

Post # 13
Member
3220 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: February 2012

@Pixie79:  Please be very honest with him– if he has high hopes of converting you, he may be disappointed and confused later in life when you aren’t Catholic and he has to raise the kids Catholic alone.  I don’t mean to sound like a debbie-downer– and if you’ve been honest with him then it’s on him!

Post # 15
Member
102 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

You should be fine with the instrumental music – the trad march certainly isn’t religious.

As others have said, your family wouldn’t be able to receive communion so a nuptial mass is probably a bad idea, but there is a Catholic wedding service without the mass. My partner and I are in a similar position, religionwise – there’s no reason it should be a problem if you’re both accommodating.

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