Post # 1
OK this is my first post of which will probably will be several hundred. We have found our reception venue finally. And have a date in mind now. But now we are looking for a Church that will coooperate with that date. I am Catholic but I have a problem. I have just moved back to my hometown of Sacramento, CA and do not belong to a church. I have a former Catholic Brother in mind fror residing over the wedding yet no church. The church my parents belong to does not have the date available that we are looking at. Will any church allow a wedding in their church even if you are not a member?? Do you have to actually get married at the Church you are taking the pre-marital classes?? Can you get married in one church yet have another non-residing Catholic priest marry you there?? I was so happy we actually had a reception date but I am now becoming QUITE frustrated of the possibilty of finding a Church. I have researched and looked through articles, websites and have talked to friends about the process of choosing a church. No one seems to know. Has anyone had this problem??
Post # 3
Well, I know just a little. You do not have to get married at the church where you do your counseling (my sister didn’t). Whether a church will let another priest perform the ceremony is individual policy – but generally they will let another priest co-officiate. Also, I am not familiar with the sacraments that a Brother, as opposed to a priest, is allowed to administer (but I assume you have checked).
Many churches will not allow you to be married at the church if you are not a member, or seriously considering becoming a member, unless you have another connection (some Jesuit Universities allow alumni to be married in their chapels). That kind of depends, at least in part, upon the demand for the facilities – of course they serve their members first. If you are being married off season or on a weekday you might have a better chance.
I would just go ahead and make an appointment to talk to a priest at a local church and ask these questions. Someone in the church offices should also be able to help you with questions about the congregation, style of service, age and background of the the priests, etc that might help you decide which local Catholic church is for you. Most people affiliated with one church will also know something about the other Catholic churches in the area, so may be able to point you to a better match if your first choice doesn’t work out.
Don’t get too discouraged. Although it seems like finding an officiant should be easier than it is, we JUST found ours (the sixth we talked with) and I am so happy it was so difficult, as he is just perfect for us.
Post # 4
- Wedding: August 2007 - The Wellington House in Fayetteville, NY
We had a Catholic wedding at a church that we were not members of. The rules may vary slightly by diocese, but in general, I believe most Catholic churches will marry non-members as long as you ARE a member of another Catholic church. So, you will need to re-join a church in Sacremento, but that’s no big deal really.
We live in Chicago but got married in NY. All we had to do was go to pre-cana and do all of our pre-wedding paper work at our church out here. The the priest in Chicago sent all the stuff to the archdiocese of Chicago, which approved it and then sent it off to the archdiocese of NY, which then approved it. It’s all a bit bureaucratic, but no at all impossible.
As suzanno said, just call around and speak with the someone in the church office or the preists at different churches and see what they say. We came across a couple of priests that just really didn’t like doing weddings for people outside of their congregation, but most didn’t seem to mind.
You could always call the archdiocese office and ask them for some tips/advice. They may know which churches in the area are more likely to marry non-members.