(Closed) Catholic/non-Catholic Christian Wedding Mass Issues (very long… but pls help!)

posted 6 years ago in Catholic
Post # 3
Member
13010 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

(1) The blessing in the Catholic tradition is very sacred and bestowed upon any non-Catholic.  From a Catholic perspective, it’s not insulting at all, so I can see why they were put off when you said that it might be offensive to your side of the family.  Regardless, I don’t know anything about your tradition, because I was raised and still am a practicing Catholic, so I don’t know where the offense comes from on your side.  In Catholicism, the blessing is given to anyone not in a State of Grace – which means, you have a sin on your soul for which you have not confessed, you are unbaptized, you have not received the Sacrament of the Eucharist, or you are not Catholic.  My Fiance is Jewish and routinely receives a blessing at Mass. 

(2) In Catholicism, to be viewed as a valid wedding, there are three elements – In a church, said by a priest, during a Mass.  I know the Rite and Catechism says you can receive the Sacrament without a full mass and that it’s routinely done in both conservative and liberal Catholic churches, but at the same time, it seems like your Future In-Laws are very conservative and do not follow the more liberal view that the Sacrament does not have to take place in a full mass. 

Honestly, I have no advice for you.  It seems like your Future Mother-In-Law is dead-set on having a full Catholic wedding, while it makes your family uncomfortable.  Someone has to give here.  Is it possible to bring your parents, and your Future In-Laws, and your Fiance to the church to meet with the priest and discuss what options there are?  Maybe if a priest tells her the ceremony without the full mass is considered a valid marriage in the eyes of the Church, she’ll be a bit more compromising? 

Good luck with all of this! 

Post # 5
Member
94 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

I’m a Catholic married to a non Catholic and we definitely had a mass but only because it was important to ME (DH didn’t care either way). You re right that different parishes/ diocese have different rules which doesn’t help. I strongly suggest you speak privately with the priest or deacon at the parish you’re going to be married at. Our priest told us that he would only consider the wishes of the bride and groom since they were the ones getting married so that helped give us the confidence we needed to put our foot down on what we decided.

At the end of the day you are making your vows and Fiance is making his vows, so I don’t know why MOG is getting such a big say. I understand you’re doing your best to make everyone happy but since you’ve tried to compromise, I think it’s fair to do what you feel is best. 

Post # 6
Member
5296 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: January 1993

I’m a Lutheran married to a Catholic. We compromised on getting married in his church, but no communion. His parents weren’t thrilled, but that was tough nuggies for them. My side had very few Catholics and Darling Husband and I agreed that we didn’t want to exclude half the guests.

You should do what makes you and your Fiance the most comfortable, not just his parents or just your parents. You are adults and it’s your wedding, so you get the final say.

Post # 7
Member
2866 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

Do what makes you and Fiance most comfortable. That being said a Non Catholic taking Communion or kicking up a fuss over getting a blessing would be a bad scene all around. I’ve seen the argument brought up  that ” Oh I take communion/have been baptized in my church so I can take it and be considered baptized in any church” and it just doesn’t work that way. It’s not meant as an insult or to belittle a person’s faith at all. It’s just when you are in a different church you should respect that church’s teachings and principles. The way Catholics and non Catholics view communion are fundamentally different and for that reason alone it would be wildly disrespectful to take communion as a Non catholic. Getting a blessing instead is the appropriate thing to do and I guess it is puzzling to me that your family wouldn’t understand that. 

As for the wedding with no Mass that seems like it would be the best option as you are not catholic. MOG should give the same respect she is wanting and recoginze having Mass could make your wedding feel divided which is the last thing you want to feel on your wedding day. Good luck to you, I have navigated similar waters and it is tough. 

Post # 8
Member
81 posts
Worker bee

To clarify, a marriage ceremony performed in the Church sans a full Mass including the Eucharist (Nuptial Rite outside of Mass) is still considered a Sacrament by the Church so long as the non-Catholic participant is a baptized Christian. I am not sure whether or not your particular denomination is “recognized” as a Christian denomination by the Church (hard to figure out from your post), but your Future Mother-In-Law should not have any qualms about the validity and/or sanctity of your marriage ceremony if indeed her son does receive dispensation to marry you in their parish.
I will repeat what someone else told me in my similar post (although roles reversed between you and your FI) is that the ceremony is about uniting the two of you in Holy Matrimony, and to have a full Mass when one partner can receive the Eucharist and the other can’t (nevermind the Catholic/non-Catholic makeup of your guest list) just doesn’t speak to the process of unification the Sacrament provides.

 

Post # 9
Member
3461 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

Resolving a wedding with two faiths caused a ruckus for us too. We were just about to talk to JOPs before it got worked out.

You have a far more understanding attitude than I would. I would just tell Future Mother-In-Law that if you can’t skip the mass then you want a ceremony in your more inclusive traditions instead… What about having a second officiant from your faith who would give communion to your side?

Post # 10
Member
635 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

I would sit down with the priest who would be officiating the ceremony. He will have far better insight into what is possible in that particular parish. I have to say, though, that any request to give communion to non-Catholics just won’t fly at all. Even if it’s blessed differently, etc., it just won’t happen as Catholics view the eucharist VERY differently than nearly all other denominations. 

Post # 11
Member
981 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

You absolutely DO NOT have to have a full mass with Communion in order for it to be a valid Catholic marriage. This is an acros the board rule of the Catholic church, not just at “liberal” Catholic churches (though I don’t even really know what that means as there is really one set of rules). 

I agree with PPs who suggest you do the Rite of Marriage without the full Mass. If your Future Mother-In-Law has a problem with this, suggest she ask her priest to explain it to her. And remember it is YOUR wedding, not hers. 

Post # 12
Member
347 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2010

@Rachel631:  In regards to your Future Mother-In-Law.  Not having a full Mass when getting married is completely valid.  She is entirely confused.   I would mention to her that it is in the book of rites, and if she has qualms about this, she can talk to a priest who will reassure her that not having a full Mass has nothing to do with the validity of the Sacrament.  There are plenty of Catholic Churches that will refuse mixed marriages to occur with full Masses.  Sometimes they only allow such marriages to take place in side chapels rather than the main church.

In regard to adding readings.  No.  There is a specific form of the ceremony in the Catholic Church.  You cannot add readings.  The form of the ceremony is universal across every Latin Rite Catholic Church regardless of country.  The vows are all identical.  You only get to choose which readings (and that’s new.  Before the 70’s, you’re gospel reading was Christ condemning divorce and stating that anyone who divorces another and remarries, commits adultery.  The Epistle readings was from Ephesians where St. Paul tells husbands to love their wives as Christ loves the Church and for wives to be obey and respect your husband. )

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

I just want to add a thought on communion– for Catholics, it’s a big deal to only take communion at the Catholic church.  Since I believe that the eucharist is the body and blood of Christ, I’m not going to take part in a symbollic ceremony at another church– just as I wouldn’t want you taking part in the eucharist if you believe it is only a symbol.  There isn’t really a way to mesh things where you both get to take communion? 

I definitely understand that it’s a weird part of a wedding– when some people get to go up and others aren’t allowed.  My family isn’t Catholic and they aren’t going to be allowed to participate, and that does kind of suck because I don’t want them to feel less included.  I’m telling them that it shouldn’t hurt their feelings because they don’t believe in it.  If they are only taking a symbol at other church meetings, they should be okay abstaining from what they believe is a symbol at my Mass. 

I agree with a PP who suggested bringing both sets of parents in to talk to the priest.  He may have suggestions or have seen the situation before.  

I’d also urge you to have these discussions before you’re married and before you have children, if you plan to do so.  Your husband will have an obligation to raise his children Catholic.  Are you going to be okay with that? Are you okay with going to Mass with him for the rest of your life and never taking communion?  Or is he okay with you not attending Mass with him?

Post # 14
Member
3220 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: February 2012

Also your family could walk up to receive a blessing from a priest instead of communion– I know you mentioned a blessing but I’m not sure if this is what you mean.  This blessing is not demeaning at all– it’s like having someone pray for you? I don’t see how having a priest say “bless you” is offensive or takes away from their baptism and beliefs. (I don’t mean this offensively at all, just curious.)

Post # 15
Member
347 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2010

@Rachel631:  Question:  Why aren’t you talking to a Catholic priest yet?  The Church will guide you through the process of what is allowed and what isn’t.  You’re going to have to be more obedient to the Church than to your Future Mother-In-Law.  Your Future Mother-In-Law should be satisified with you following what the priest says you can do.  By asking her “is this ok and this ok?” she’s going by probably her own limited understanding of what is allowed and is freaking out.

Post # 16
Member
2125 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2012

I’m Catholic, and I know it’s not possible non-catholics to receive communion at your wedding, regardless of what you have heard or have been told, you should really just scratch the diea of the entire congregation taking communiont hat day, trying to do it by the traditions of non-catholic faith before or after just futher complicates things. 

I’d say scratch the communion all together, who cares what they think. IF you are your fiance’ are okay with it, it’s about you guys. It is STILL a wedding, it is STILL a sacrament between two beleivers in Christ. 

My Fiance is not Catholic, and if we were getting married in the US we would not be having a wedding mass, only the sacrament of matrimony, however we are getting marreid in mexico and it’s compltley taboo not to have a mass, so he will receive a blessing after I take communion and that will be that. His family will not be standing up for a blessing, or taking communion if they are not Catholic. 

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