(Closed) Don’t want to cancel wedding, but dont know what else to do.

posted 10 years ago in Interfaith
Post # 32
287 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

View original reply
@Interfaith: try http://www.therapistlocator.net/ for a marriage and famiy therapist or ask friends/family for recommendations. if you have a university near you, call their counseling center and ask for a recommendation – they always have a ist of local therapists they refer out to. you can also search on psychology today website. call a few people and talk to them and tell them your situation and if they think they can help. if they can’t, they almost always can refer you to another therapist who can.

i am a therapist – you work with what the couple brings you. clearly you need to work this specific issue out, so as long as you make that clear to your counselor, that shouldn’t be an issue.  although it is likely that this issue and the way you have communicated about it probably might be related to other concerns (i.e. losing your identiy, connection with your family etc. who knows). and remember that “successful” couples therapy doesn’t mean that the couple always ends up staying together.

Post # 33
937 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

@Interfaith- I am Catholic, Fiance is Jewish, so I can totally appreciate where you’re coming from. Fortunately, Fiance and talked about this early on and agreed to have our future offspring baptized and raised primarily Catholic, but exposed to both. The reason for this is that I am the more religious of the two of us. I would actually have no problem with my kids being raised Jewish, but since Fiance is not willing to be responsible for making sure that happens, then I as their Catholic mother am going to raise them Catholic.

@ Arachna- her Fiance doesn’t have to believe in the baptism to be against it. A baptism is more than splashing some holy water on a baby and saying some prayers. It is a sacrament, the first of many that a Catholic child will receive. Baptism is the child’s induction into being Catholic, where he or she is made members of Christ and the church. I imagine that is why her Fiance is having issues with it. I could be wrong, but that’s just my guess.

ETA: I agree with Arachna that I don’t understand how it will be possible to raise a child devoutly in both faiths.

Post # 34
2530 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

I dont have much advice I am just going to say that I understand why your Fiance does not want your children baptized even if his reasoning is different than my own.

I wasnt raised Catholic (I was raised and baptized Methodist) but if I married someone who was Catholic I would not want my child to be baptized. It is the symbolism of it. It is sort of like saying “now you are catholic” and I just wouldnt feel comfortable with that since I dont agree with many teachings of the Catholic church nor do I believe in the religion itself.

I hope you are able to work this out! It sucks that something so silly as religion can separate people like this. If you love each other you will make it work and work hard at it!!

Post # 35
1641 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2011

I can come at this from a different perspective. My Mom is Catholic, my father was Greek Orthodox. My Grandmother on my Mom’s side is Methodist, and my Grandmother on my Father’s side was Jewish!

My parents did not know what to do with me, so they did nothing. They let me learn about all religions, I went to church because I wanted to go (I think I was about 8 or 9 and used to walk myself every Sunday), and never pressured me into believing in what they did, just because they were raised that that is the way that works.

Today we are subject to so much “political correctness”, that I feel society takes things too far. We are no longer allowed to celebrate Christmas, it’s supposed to be “Happy Holidays”, and no trees in schools or Santa at the town hall. We can’t let our kids wear Halloween costumes to school and share candy, because it is against someone’s faith. So, my question is, why oh why are we not teaching our children about other religions? About other faiths, and teach them to embrace the differences in us all, and the freedom we have to choose? In my opinion, we should teach tolerance and undertanding of others’ religions and cultures, instead of hatred and fear. And in my opinion, it is fear- fear if our children learn about something different, they may be drawn to it, after we have pretty much “brainwashed” them into thinking our way is the only/right way. I say brainwashed because most people force their religious beliefs onto their children, as much as they don’t mean to force, that is pretty much what we d by insisting beliefs onto human beings.

So, you may think I’m digressing, but I am not. Instead of “forcing” your beliefs, or his beliefs, on your child ( if you have them..there is no guarantee that you will), why not teach them both religions? Why are ceremony steps more important to you than teaching your beliefs, and letting your child learn about his? It’s unfortunate that this has come up, because the two faiths are so opposite (one believing in Christ as Savior, the other not so much), that there really is no way, and no ceremony, and no Godparent, that will ever clarify anything for your child(ren). Teach them both faiths, and by doing so, teach them tolerance, understanding, and decision making skills. In doing so, you will raise stronger, more caring, leaders. Have Christmas, have Passover…teach them. Isn’t that what parenting is supposed to be?

Knowledge is power.


Post # 36
1154 posts
Bumble bee


But that’s the thing, it’s not a sacrament to me, its just some water.  Its pure symbolism.  I understand and respect that for you and others its a sacrament but I don’t see how someone not Catholic could see it that way.  Plenty of people baptised end up not Catholic.  *shrug*

I am puzzeled how two people who are both non rigid and laid back about their beliefs both invest so much meaning in this ritual.

And how can anyone object to Godparents?  Eh, everyone is different.  I hope the OP works it out!

I don’t think marrying without this worked out would be the worst thing ever either – people change their minds about this stuff over the years, so it might go away on its own or vice versa you can work it out now and run into problems later.

Post # 37
3761 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: May 2010

I understand that you both agreed to raise your kids following the traditions of both faiths.  Baptism is much more than just a tradition and I think you realize that.  However, lots of people end up in the catholic church and convert later. 

I agree that it does sound like you are more interested in a full catholic experience for your children.  You can pray with a child and teach them about church and the sacraments without baptising them.  I think another big hurdle would be the bar/bat miztva and a confirmation.  At that time the child is old enough to make their own decision but at that point it sets out the religion.

My parents were married by a catholic priest.  They were not willing to sign saying they will baptise their children in the catholic churhc.  They said they would go where they felt the most “community” of a church.  Their priest was fine with that. 

Post # 38
113 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: April 2010

@Interfaith:  For such a personal topic I agree that you and your Fiance need to work to some sort of resolution whether it be a compromise of some sort, or realizing that the two of you may not be equipped to work out your differences.  In my opinion, the two best ideas:

1. Couples counseling (as many bees have said)  This issue you are having may not be the only one that comes up throught your lifetime and marriage, so it may be good to work out a way for the two of you to deal with seemingly unresolvable conflicts.  When you find a therapist, you can usually do a quick phone interview and let the person know what your issue is and find out if they have any experience specifically with interfaith couples.

2. As some have mentioned, You, your husband or both together, can personally talk to both a rabbi and a priest regarding their views on this issue.  That may either clear up the issue or at least give you two concrete discussion points for this issue.

Good luck!

Post # 39
350 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: January 1991

“The traditions that are most important to me are for baptized Catholics. Something as simple as crossing yourself, which is done many times during the course of mass, is for people who have been baptized only. If my child isn’t baptized, we couldn’t even pray together at night, because that involves crossing yourself.”


Anyone can say the sign of the cross, even the non-baptized.  It’s a prayer and prayers are not restricted to Catholics.  Non-baptized persons wouldn’t necessarily receive the full grace associated with the act, but it doesn’t hurt.  The same with using a sacramental (like holy water).  The real problem with a lack of baptism is the baby will live with original sin.


“However, the Catholic church requires him to agree to have the children baptized in order to marry us.”


No, they do not.  He does not have to agree to anything to be married in a Catholic church.  You must agree to raise your children as best you can in the Catholic faith. Also, I wouldn’t wait to have your marriage convalidated (you realize that you can’t take communion between the marriage and convalidation, right?)  Instead, contact a priest to talk about obtaining a Dispensation so that the jewish marriage is valid legally, in the Catholic Church, and in the Jewish faith. 



Post # 40
1774 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2009

My heart goes out to you.  I knew I would never marry someone not Catholic, but spent over two years trying to get my ex to convert.  Dumb, I know.  I agree with a PP that you can still go to Mass and pray if you aren’t baptized.  In fact, one of my friends who went to church every Sunday did RCIA a few years ago- her father didn’t want her to be baptized, but she went to Church, and prayed, just didn’t receive communion. 

Post # 41
937 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

@Arachna, I totally hear you. I get that it has no meaning to you- I wasn’t trying to imply that it should. I was just trying to say that maybe Interfaith’s FI realizes exactly WHAT a baptism symbolizes, what it means/how serious it is, and maybe that’s why he’s not comfortable with it. You definitely don’t have to be Christian to understand what it is and what it represents. That would be like me saying I don’t get what Yom Kippur is because I’m not Jewish.

In this day and age, with the prevalence of interfaith marriages growing, it deeply saddens me that there are no resources for interfaith couples to work through and resolve some of these tough issues. I definitely don’t have it all figured out, and I would be lying to say I never worry about having my kids be confused, or resentful, etc.

Interfaith, my heart goes out to you. It’s a tough situation. I really hope you and your Fiance can work it out.


Post # 42
227 posts
Helper bee

My mother is jewish and my father is technically Catholic, but never went to church ever. For my entire childhood and up until my late teens my siblings and I were raised Jewish, as members of a Reform Synagogue. We all had Bar/Bat mitzvah’s, and we celebrated Christian holidays in a secular way so we would fit in with our friends and acknowledge my fathers culture. My parents never forced religion on us, and always let us choose whether to go to synagogue or not. Now myself and all of my siblings are all athiest, like my father.

I don’t really believe in religion, but I cherish the memories I had with my family and the culture that I was exposed to as a child.

I guess what I’m saying is that, despite your wishes to choose the religion of your children, at the end of the day they will choose for themselves regardless of the rites of passage that they have taken, either Jewish or Catholic.

Post # 43
129 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

Granted I”m not a religious scholar on the subject or anything, but I had always been under the impression that in Judaism, the children automatically take the religion of the mother? That being the case, I guess I’m a bit confused about your FI’s hardline stance against baptism…

Post # 44
125 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

@Interfaith: my heart goes out to you.  That’s hard stuff.  I think counseling and/or consulting with some folks of the cloth of your respective religions is a good idea.

I kind of get where you’re coming from.  I’m Lutheran, bf is Jewish.  And we’ve had the “if we ever have kids” discussion and both acknowledged that we’d like to raise them in both religions, and that’s a nice tagline, but…what does it really look like? Seriously?  There isn’t a lot of nearby precedent to draw on for us.  Do we send our kids to religious school and Hebrew school AND Sunday school and church?  First off, that seems cruel 🙂 and secondly, I don’t want my kids to wind up confused/burned out/hating religion/joining some CRAZY religion because they couldn’t stand our interfaith theological gumbo.  (No offense to all members of crazy religions.)

Anyway, my guy thinks baptism is weird.  (For the record, I think a bris would be weird for me.  But it’s important to him.  So I would roll with it.  Possibly with a strong cocktail in my hand.) But I’ve told him how I feel about it.  That not baptizing my children MIGHT not break my heart, but I’m not sure about that.  It might.  It’s important to me.  So he’s okay with it.

I’m glad you’re talking about it BEFORE marriage.  This topic will only become more important and personal to you two over time.

Sorry I didn’t really have an answer, but best of luck.

@ja7975: I’m not a religious scholar either – or even Jewish – but to my understanding, Judaism traditionally passes through the mother, and Orthodox and Conservative Jews still hold to that.  Reform Judaism’s policy is that one Jewish parent – of either gender – plus a Jewish upbringing equals a Jewish child.  I may be wrong on this, but I don’t think so.  At any rate, it seems likely that Interfaith’s fiance is Reform anyway, since he’s entering into an interfaith marriage.  (Interfaith marriages are far more taboo in Orthodox and Conservative Judaism.)


Post # 46
14 posts

It’s cool if you don’t want to share, but I’m just wondering what solution you guys came up with?

The topic ‘Don’t want to cancel wedding, but dont know what else to do.’ is closed to new replies.

Find Amazing Vendors