Post # 1
I’m hoping to get a little bit of insight and guidance. I am marrying into a family that is very religous but there are so many questions I dont feel comfortable asking them. I’m apologizing in advance if I offend anyone with my questions/ignorance 😛 I did not grow up with a strong religous background and my FH (although his family is VERY religous) isn’t very strict with religion. I feel like I’m offending them by our actions (living together before marriage, not getting married in a church…) but I feel like I would be compromising my own beliefs if we did otherwise. Is there a way to respectfully compromise between our beliefs? Oh yes and what is the difference between being Christian and Catholic?
Post # 3
- Wedding: October 2014 - UK
Catholicism is a form of Christianity, most notable because it believes in Transubstantiation (where the wafer and wine actually become the body and blood of Christ), as opposed to Consubstantiation (which most Protestant churches believe, where the wafer and wine just symbolise the body and blood). They also have no women priests, priests are celibate, and they all ‘report’ to the Vatican in Rome – the leader of the Church is the Pope.
There are other things – Catholics believe you can be absolved of your sins through a sincere Confession and Penance. You confess to the priest, and complete a task of his setting to absolve you – 50 Hail Marys etc.
We also, unlike Protestant churches, pray to Saints and to Mary to intercede for us to God. This sometimes causes confusion, as people can read that as worshipping them, but that is not the case. Mary is strongly revered in the Catholic church, but she is not worshipped – the idea of her interceding comes I believe from an incident in the New Testament, where she agrees to speak to Jesus on behalf of Mary Magadalena. Thus, she (and the saints) act as emissaries.
It’s a lot more… conservative than many Protestant branches of Christianity, although as with any church, and any Christian, it depends on who you speak to. In the UK, most Catholics are fairly chilled out on the Hot Button Issues which upset the Vatican, and to be honest the difference between a British Catholic church and a British Anglican church can be almost entirely academic, as the services are pretty similar.
What branch of Christianity are your Future In-Laws?
Post # 4
- Wedding: October 2014 - UK
@mrsalexander: As for compromises, there are definitely some things you need to do for yourself, I totally agree. Nowadays it is far more common for people to live together before marriage, and frankly I think it’s one of the more sensible options as it doesn’t drop you into a massively unknown and stressful situation immediately after you’re married!!
And again, not having a church wedding is entirely your choice. If it makes you uncomfortable, then don’t do it.
But, could you compromise by maybe having a blessing or a religious reading in your ceremony, or even just a quick prayer at the end? You’re legally not allowed to do that in civil ceremonies in England, so I don’t know if you could over there. But it would be a small thing, that might mean a lot. Hell, the reading from Corinthians – Love is Patient, Love is Kind etc – that doesn’t even sound that religious, and is a lovely reading.
As for in the long term, how would you feel about accompanying your in-laws to church when you go visit? Even if you just sit quietly at the back and let it wash over you, I think they would appreciate the effort, and it’d only be for an hour every so often. Maybe when you have kids, you could trade off and let your In-Laws take the kids to church when you visit, and you and your hubby could get some alone-time! I know taking my children to church would be very important to my Mum, and it’s something I don’t mind at all. It certainly gives them an insight into religion that I’ve found helpful in my lifetime, and mine was balanced with a mix of ideas from various branches.