(Closed) getting married in a catholic church…vent

posted 9 years ago in Catholic
Post # 17
Member
9816 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

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@jedeve: Trust me, I know how much of a hassle this is (I used to cantor weddings in a Catholic church, as well as being a non practicing Catholic/former Catholic school girl).I’ve been through it all.

I got married at a JOP because I was so sick of the whole ridiculous mess. My husband is an atheist anyway so it wasn’t going to happen, we threw in the towel.

I was told my Aunt was “unfit” to be my spiritual mentor because she’s been divorced and it was not annulled, which she understandably refused to do because she has a child as a result of the marriage the church doesn’t want her to acknowlege. Sorry it’s been such a headache for you… trust me, I understand. It’s like they make it hard to get married on purpose to make sure people are thinking it through!

Post # 18
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3165 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

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@Heatherloveskenny: agreed with 
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CatholicBee. This priest is NOT doing his job correctly and you should raise the issue to the Archdiocese. Even if you go with someone else as a priest/officiant, this will stop him from being able to pull that crap with another couple. My FH is not Catholic, my parish priest never said anything about conversion, and he will be the one to marry us. Some people are just stodgy and need a reality check, so report him.

Post # 19
Member
180 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

I was pretty fed up with the Catholic church in the beginning as well. It took a few months to convince my buddhist Fiance to get married in a Catholic church. As soon as the decision was made I started calling churches. My “home” church, the one I was confirmed in was booked for the month of October. Devastating…pretty sure the deacon thought I was crazy when I burst into tears. But the Fiance was set on October.

My sister and I made a list of similar churches in the area (not modern, pretty, big enough to hold all my guests) and found about 30. No one would marry us unless I was a member for at least 1, sometimes 2 years. Who plans that far ahead?

After many tears and frustrating phone calls I found a church that would marry us, BUT…since I haven’t been a member for 2 years it is costing us $1000. Crazy right? 

I’m not sure how that church gets away with all these crazy rules.

The only light in the storm is that the priest is pretty fantastic. He’s funny and really easy to talk to. We are only required us to do a pre-cana weekend retreat, No FOCUS test. They said all the sponser couples were taken. (anyone else have this issue?)

Post # 20
Member
43 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: July 2011

Perhaps it is a regional thing, but here in Newfoundland, Canada the Catholic Church is just happy to have people inside the church walls. You do have to complete a weekend marriage prep course but it’s really just a fun weekend headed by a married couple where you discuss finances, romance, etc.

They are still wierd about other things but getting married in a church, as long as one of you is Catholic of course, is a simple as calling your chosen church, finding a date, attending the marriage prep, and of course paying a few fees!

Post # 22
Member
101 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

Y’all, these stories are just terrible. I’m so sorry you’re going through them! I’m not having a tough time at all – well, so far, so good, at least. 

One thing that a priest told me is that they feel personally responsible, many of them, for the outcomes of the marriages they counsel and perform. I’m not saying that the priest is nice to refuse to marry a Catholic & non-Catholic couple (I’d get terribly upset, since I’m in a couple like that myself!) However, if a priest in his own experience has seen 75% of the couples of different faiths he married eventually get divorced, that may really change his view of things. It’s like a doctor who has seen a failure rate on a certain operation. I’m not advocating for him, I’m just trying to suggest where he might be coming from. 

Also, some brides are horrible to the church – very entitled, very rude. This sometimes makes certain churches wary of brides. Again, I certainly believe that they should approach you with sweetness and love, because that’s their job, but I guess like anyone else they can get beaten down and jaded. 

Aw, I wish you were in my parish! I think you’d be having a great time. It’s too bad about yours there – sorry for your frustrations and being treated like crap. It never feels very nice. 

Post # 24
Member
27 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: August 2011

I’m sorry you’re having such a tough time.  Is it possible that the Catholics in your area are more conservative?  Fiance is not Catholic and we’re also not getting married at my home parish – so it was a double whammy for us. I tried to increase our odds of being ‘accepted’ at a Catholic church for our wedding by targeting churches in urban areas and near universities.  They tend to be more progressive.  That being said – we were rejected by a couple of churches before we found our current one.  It was hard because Fiance was a little anti-Catholic to begin with thanks to the generally negative media coverage, so I hid most of the church-search from him.  Didn’t tell him about the rejections, just called him in joy when we found a church that agreed to marry us.  We love the priest, he didn’t make us join the church (which would’ve been a toughie since it’s 2 hours away from where we live, but only 10 minutes away from our reception), and he didn’t charge us either.  There’s just a donation requested. The only thing is that the priest is asking us to meet with him 4 or 5 times prior to the wedding, (this is in addition to the pre-cana classes which we’re already doing), so we’re making the 2 hour trip down there pretty much on a bi-weekly basis.  It’s basically a bunch of marriage counseling sessions.  It’s a pain to get down there, but it’s sweet that he cares enough to take the time and we’ve found the sessions helpful.  Also – Fiance has built quite a rapport with him, and now no longer feels like the Catholic church is a big bad monster. 

The church, though in a bad neighborhood (not sure yet how grandma will react to the boarded-up houses beside the church), is large, well maintained, historic, and very very beautiful. 

I hope your experience hasn’t turned you against the Church.  It’s hard to generalize that the Catholic church is all bad when it sounds like you may have simply run into a few conservative places that aren’t too flexible.   That’s like meeting someone from the KKK and then deciding that all white people must be bad. 

Post # 26
Member
77 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

I totally understand all of the problems listed in these posts! My Fiance is not Catholic, and he did not want to get married in a Catholic church. I finally convinced him to get married in my high school chapel ( I attended an all girls catholic high school). He agreed and I set about trying to find a priest.

We had already booked the venue, because we loved it and they had our date available, not realizing that it was a Sunday and that would cause a problem. We booked the Sunday before Memorial day because they gave us a discount per head, and this wedding was getting expensive! No one had an issue with Fiance not being catholic or having to be members of the church, but no one would marry us on a Sunday….uugghhh. I tried retired priests and other diocese, but no luck! We weren’t trying to get married in a church that would be holding mass, and obviously only one priest does mass at a time. I didn’t not understand what the problem was!

I finally found a retired Episcopalian priest to marry us, and he said he would come to our venue perform the ceremony ( because no church, chapel, or cathedral would host a wedding on a Sunday). Thank God for him! He has been wonderful, and has done all our premarital counseling in his home! Fiance likes him a lot, and no feels comfortable with him performing the ceremony. It took awhile and a lot of stress, but we finally have the religious based ceremony we wanted.

Good luck everyone! Hang in there!

Post # 27
Member
318 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: February 2011

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@KatyElle: she’s been divorced and it was not annulled, which she understandably refused to do because she has a child as a result of the marriage the church doesn’t want her to acknowlege.

This is a common misconception about anullments, they in no way shape or form make a child of that marriage illegitimate nor do they expect the marriage or the children to be not “acknowledged.” 

Anullment means that the 2 people involved did not enter into the marriage freely, honestly, and with the proper intentions.  It certainly does not mean the marriage never happened and has no bearing on any children of the marriage.  The questions involved with an anullment are nearly all focused on the time when and before the marriage occured. 

 I know it is not the topic for this thread, but I get frustrated with how many people think anulling a marriage with kids is like a retro-active abortion.

Post # 28
Member
347 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2010

My husband and I are devout Catholics.  We waited till marriage.  I was going to daily Mass (unable to now), and we both were going to confession bi-weekly.  We pray the liturgy of the hours together and we both had spent a period of our life considering joining a religious order.

The problem was this.  I was a registered member of a parish I was feeling spiritually starved in but my family felt I was being overly critical of the parish and discouraged me from changing parishes.  I thus went to daily Mass and confession at the hospital chapel, frequently traveled to other parishes searching for a reverant liturgy for Holidays (especially easter) and went to the parish I was a member of all the rest of the Sundays for the sake of my family.  I also volunteered teaching CCD and had volunteered in the Youth group as my way to be active in the parish.

The summer before I became engaged, my parish priest had a stroke.  He just recently passed away, so please pray for his soul.  He was in his 80’s and primarily the problems in the parish revolved around the fact that he was long past retirement and the diocese should have retired him long before he had his stroke and often would become confused by adult baptisms or older children receiving their first Holy Communion.  We had no RCIA program, so when an adult was looking to join the faith, the adult was stuck in the 2nd grade CCD classroom to prepare for his first Holy Communion.  It was just crazy stuff like that.

Neither my husband and I wanted to marry at my parish and my parents didn’t want us marrying in my husband’s town.  However, our parish was being assigned only temporary priests.  We had no idea if the diocese was planning on closing the parish or combining it with another.  So I went searching for other parishes in the area to get married in and got the whole “If you’re a member there, why are you seeking to get married here?”  Priests would talk about how they did not have pastorial authority over me.  I found that my gesture of trying to marry in another parish was like the equivlent in the Church as calling my friend’s Dad and asking him to walk me down the aisle in place of my Dad.  At first I was offended, but eventually I sort of began understanding it, and resigned myself to marry in the parish I was only still a member in because my parents had discouraged me from switching parishes. 

I ended up fed up with my parents a bit for not being willing to consider my husband’s parish as we wouldn’t have had problems there.  Then I became fed up with my parish as the temporary priest there wasn’t allowing us to set a date.  I ended up calling the Dean of the Deanery to try to get help with the temporary priest.  The Dean called him and then called me, but at that point the entire thing had been so stressful that my husband and I decided to delay our wedding so that we could focus on planning it after I was done teaching CCD for the year and after my husband graduated college.  Then the Dean of the Deanery was like “Oh then don’t bother to set your date yet.”

The good news was that eventually my parish got assigned a terrific priest.  I was so surprised the diocese didn’t close the parish and by that time, I was actually sad to leave the parish in order to move to my husband’s city.  The priest whose taken over the parish is doing amazing things over there!

I think had it not been for the problems of my parish, I wouldn’t have had anywhere near the experience that those who are less active in their parishes or in their faith have.  I was truly shocked by how rude one secretary was with me and the assumptions she made about my motivations to seek out another parish.  There was a deep anger and self righteousness that came out that I could see that would push people away from the faith that they might be considering.

That said, I still love being Catholic and am faithful.

Post # 30
Member
3176 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

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@CatholicBee: Just now saw your response. The priest that is doing our pre-cana now actually spoke with the diocease on my behalf, because as it turns out the Parish (ie. that priest) WAS charging people to join the church, not asking for donations but actually telling people you need to pay a $175 dollar sign up fee, which is ridiculous! He was not talking about anything marriage related it was 100% a charge to join the church. And if we were getting married in my home church we would not be going to the parish that my address falls under as that is not my church, I just happened to move into a new zip code, so tradition or not/destination wedding or not, it would have made no sense to be forced to join a church that charged you and that was mean. Thankfully my current priest has been amazing.

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@Heatherloveskenny: That is so great you have such a wonderful priest. Our current priest was the same way to my FH. He flat out told us just because both of us weren’t Catholic meant nothing. His mom was Catholic but his dad was Luthern and he turned out to be a priest! Having someone that understands makes a world of difference.

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