Post # 1
My fiance and I are getting married at my church. He is a very religious Presbyterian and we have asked his pastor to co-officiate with my Catholic pastor. Most of my cousins and my sister had a non-religious fiance who didn’t attend worship services regularly or a non-Christian fiance where the nuptial mass was not an option. How does this work? What is the non-Catholic pastor’s role in the ceremony? We do not meet with my priest until after the holidays due to his schedule.
Also, my family is very religious and prefers a nuptial mass, which is allowable since my finace is a baptized Christian. However, I’m feeling uneasy about this since the sacrament should be a sign of unity and he would not be able to celebrate the Eucharist. My sister’s and her husband had a full mass and he did not take communion, but he is not religious and also my mom’s really good priest friend officiated the ceremony. I know I am an adult woman, but I want to respect my mother too and my Catholic faith; however, I find it odd to take communion while my fiance cannot. What have others done?
Thanks in advance. This is causing me a lot of anxiety! I’m very involved in my church (i.e. teach CCD, serve on the parish council) but also want to respect my fiance and his religious beliefs too.
Post # 3
I don’t have any personal experience with this exactly… but could you have the full mass, but you personally don’t receive the elements? Or would that be weird?
I have a friend who is a Presbyterian ordinand, married to a Buddhist. She often attends worship with him, but never takes communion regardless. However, when they are at a service where she wouldn’t be *permitted* to (e.g. they say “this table is open to all confessing Christians”), he doesn’t take communion either, because he doesn’t want to participate in something she’s excluded from. You might be able to talk to your officiants about this and find a solution that works for you. Or you might get stuck explaining to your family that you don’t feel right having the sacrament at the wedding when your fiance can’t participate
Post # 4
I’ve never been to a Catholic wedding where only one of the bride/groom took communion. Most of the weddings I’ve been to were not the full mass. I’m not having the full mass, but it doesn’t make the marriage any less of a sacrament.
I’m sure when you meet with your priest he can guide you to the best decision for you and your fiance.
Post # 5
I think a lot of people (priests and marrying couples alike) are turned off by the disunitive symbolism of one spouse taking communion but the other not. This means they do not usually have a nuptial mass. Although it’s great you are respecting your faith and your mom’s wishes, if this makes you uncomfortable then you shouldn’t do it in your wedding. The short-form Catholic wedding ceremony is exactly as valid as the nuptial mass form. Maybe you could have a mass in the morning for you and your family to take communion in private. Your parents would get to celebrate your marriage in the church with you, but you would not be in the awkward position of taking communion without your fiance at the wedding itself.
As for the role each would take, I bet there’s a good deal of flexibility here—or at least there could be. It would really depend on the personalities of the priests involved. But if you did have communion in a Catholic church then the Catholic priest would have to do that part, I bet. Good luck and try not to stress out about this too much! It will work out!
Post # 6
You’ll need to ask your priest… but there are ways for them to participate. Usually, it will not be a full mass in your situation..
Post # 7
- Wedding: July 2010 - Catholic Church & The Engine Room at Georgetown Studios
My brother and sis-in-law had a Catholic Ceremony co-officiated by her Presbyterian minister. She’s my Maid/Matron of Honor and has a Weddingbee account tigs_pal if you want to PM her to find out how they handled it. My memory is suffering, but I remember things went very smoothly
Post # 8
Hi! I’m the sister-in-law mentioned above 🙂 I am Presbyterian and my husband is Catholic. When we decided to get married we chose the Catholic church for a variety of reasons not relevant to this discussion :). We were very blessed to have a great Jesuit Priest who would not allow a communion mass, he stated that it would be weird to start a marriage with a ceremony (communion) that only one of us could partake of. We had Catholic ceremony, not a mass. Your priest should be able to tell you more about how/if your parish does this. My Presbyterian minister and friend was “allowed” to do the readings (not the gospel), wear his robes, walk in and out with the priest, but his role was (officially) really only a litergist –which would a bit of a strech for some Catholic churches I hear, a lot of churches require the reader to be a confirmed Catholic…(which my minister actually was, but had left the Catholic church many years earlier) Ms. Pretzel is right, it was a lovely ceremony and there weren’t any problems with our arrangement, but I can’t claim that the Presbyterian minister was a co-officient, the Catholic church we were married in didn’t seem to “allow” that. My dad is a Presbyterian minister and he has invited the local Catholic priest to be a co-officient at wedding ceremonies that he has done. As far as I know, that works well, too, the two officients just have to talk and decide who “does” which parts…only one of them can sign the marriage certificate after all…..Good luck with whatever you plan!
Post # 9
I agree with what has been said about not having the nuptial mass when both parties are not Catholic. BUt I am actually wondering what your priest would say if you propose what worcesterbride suggested. Could you have the full mass, out of respect of what your mother wants, but BOTH you and your husband refrain from receiving? that way you get the mass and the pair of you still looks unified. If you ask, I’d be really interested in knowing.
My own wedding I had someone who was not Catholic do a reading. So hopefully your church wll at least allow that. I wouldn’t be surprised however, if your church had the same stance as the PP abot not actually allowing the minister to co-officiate. I honestly, have no experience. Just a hunch.
Post # 10
You need to talk to your priest about what you’re allowed to do. The Catholic Church’s laws on marriage run under the tradition that weddings aren’t the big hoopla’s they are today where you get a lot of variety in choices. Canon Law runs under the assumption that the man and woman marrying are both Catholic and that either of them will simply inform either of their parishes that they wish to get married and that they would simply meet at either of their parishes on that specific date and get married. You can get exceptions, but there is a limited number of exceptions you can actually take and of the exceptions you can take, there are a lot of hoops to jump through either for the priest (which discourages him from being accomidating) or for both you and the priest.
Talk with your priest and DO NOT book anything else, until you’ve got everything straight and set up at you Catholic parish.