(Closed) church attendance for marriage

posted 9 years ago in Catholic
Post # 3
Member
1084 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2009

Are you getting married at a church close to where you live?  I don’t think anyone will make sure either way but it might be a bad look if you live nearby and never attend.  But I don’t think it’s a requirement.  We got married in a catholic church out of state and we weren’t really asked about it.

Post # 4
Member
2434 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2008

I think it depends on the church, but I think my experience was pretty common.  I got married in a Catholic church and I had to get a letter from my home parish that stated I was member in good standing (ie I was a member of the parish and I attended mass on a regular basis).

And I don’t think they’re going to take attendance and make sure you’re going to church once you contact them.  I think the idea is that if you care enough to get married in the church, you care enough to attend.

Post # 5
Member
5993 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: May 2010

i believe alot of churces do – i know some popular churches (ie, churches that are very beautiful) will only marry you if you or a immediate family member are registered members

you might be able to get around it if you do the pre-martial counselling with them but they may expect regular attendance – afterall, part of the cermony is this question “Will you accept Children lovingly from God, and bring them up according to the law of Christ and his Church” – kinda hard to say yes if you dont attend

goodluck!

Post # 6
Member
6009 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: May 2009

Ummm, I don’t think any Catholic church can “force” you into attendance?  Some churches maintain that they will only marry parishoners or encourage you to attend weekly services, but I don’t see any way they could enforce your attendance.  Honestly, how would they even check to make sure you’re going?  You don’t have to sign-in to get into church.  Even people who are parishoners don’t even go to church regularly; we have like 17,000 parishoners at my church, but I think there’s probably only a couple thousand of us that attend every Sunday.

Post # 7
Member
2434 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2008

Mrs. Spring- I think parishes can look at attendance based on putting envelopes in the offering basket.  When you are new to a parish and ‘sign up’ they send you the envelopes.

I think you are right that they can’t ‘force’ you to go to church, but some parishes are very reluctant to marry people that aren’t actually committed members, so they can opt not to marry you.

Post # 8
Member
4567 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

I know alot of Catholic churches require you to attend for at least 6 weeks before marrying you, and won’t marry you at all if you’re not Catholic. This is especially true of the older (usually more beautiful) churches that are in high demand… you must be a member or the child of a member. The purpose of marrying in a church is to get married before God and have the support of a church community, not just because it’s “pretty”.

Post # 9
Member
6009 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: May 2009

Interesting, rosychicklet.  I always thought they tracked you by your envelopes, but my husband maintains it’s not a very reliable way to guage attendance, since you can send the envelopes in through the mail or never use your envelopes at all even if you go to service every week.  I do think people are “cheating” the system, though, which is kinda sad. 

Post # 10
Member
5993 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: May 2010

Mrs Spring… oh they know if youre there or not, im sure my priest knows exactly what im up to because someimes i get a “oh you werent here last week” or “how is your neice now, better?” (she goes to a catholic ladies highschool he gives weekly mass at) so someone is keeping the gossip on me 🙂

 

Post # 11
Member
6009 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: May 2009

Lol, eloping!  That’s funny!

Post # 12
Member
1580 posts
Bumble bee

The only way to get the real answer to your question is to talk to the pastor at the church you want to get married at. It can’t hurt to ask, and priests are generally very nice. In many places, there is a big initiative to use the marriage as a time to get young adults re-involved in the church, so they most likely will not try to scare you away.

I’m pretty sure either the bride or groom has to be a registered Catholic to get married in the Catholic church (not necissarily registered in the parish where you will be getting married, but probably at the parish where you are doing the prep work). And like rosychicklet said, there is paperwork that needs to be filled out stating you are in good standing with the church. In one of your first meetings with the priest they ask you if you are Catholic, if you will accept children and promise to do everything possible to bring your children up Catholic, etc. I’d just be honest with him and he can point you in the right direction.

In most diocese, it take at least 6 months to prepare, so don’t wait too long before you contact your priest and ask him. I had to do lots of digging to figure out exactly what was required (living in VA, getting married in PA, didn’t know much about the marriage requirements). Just go online and find the phone numbers for the church and ask to speak to the priest directly to get your questions answered.

Post # 13
Member
4385 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

i think it really depends on the priest/church. my sister got married in the catholic church, and we rarely attended. best way to find out is to ask!!

personally though, i like the idea of getting married in a church where i know the minister/priest, and have a relationship with the church. you might want to consider going semi-regularly 🙂

Post # 14
Member
342 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2010

Definitely check with the church you plan to get married in.  I live in NY but am getting married in my mother’s church and they needed a letter of dispensation from my “home” church in another town before they would agree to marry us.  This, of course, required me registering with a church in my town and attending mass there regularly. 

Post # 15
Member
1080 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 2010

In order to get married in a cahtolic church you have to go through pre canna classes with your Fiance. I also know that if the church you want to get married in is not your parish you will be asked to pay more money (more often than not)

Post # 16
Member
1135 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

My church has a requirement to be a “registered parishoner in good standing and active in the community”. Therefore, my Fiance and I registered and have been attending Sunday masses for the better part of the summer and will continue to do so through the wedding. We’re not super consistant about going though.

There is also the pre-cana course work which is at least 6 months as a requirement of the Roman Catholic Church. We are looking at starting ours in the next month or so.

I will tell you though that our parish has no problems with us living together before marriage as we registered as one household – our envelopes say E. W. and C. K. on them. But that envelopes can be tracked to a point since the envelopes don’t have mailing addresses on them and I don’t think they are designed to be mailed. Ours suggest you drop off your donation at the parish office if you should miss Mass.

The office secretary told us that on top of the above, the church requests a goodwill donation for the actual use of the church on your wedding day. Most give between $200-$300 for the wedding Mass.

We did some “church shopping” before we picked our current church because neither one of us were parishoners where we lived. My Fiance belonged to a church near his parents house  (over an hour away) and I last belonged to the church at college (on the other side of the state). So, we needed to agree on a church and priest first.

Good luck in your research.

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