(Closed) Location, Location, Location…of a Jewish Catholic Wedding

posted 8 years ago in Interfaith
Post # 4
Member
350 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: January 1991

This isn’t meant to be a religious post, just a fact-based post based on religion.  If you want to have a marriage valid in the Catholic Church, I would like to give you information in order to assist with performing a proper wedding.  If you do not care if the marriage is valid or not (but I assume you do, since you want to raise your children as Catholic), then say so and there will be no need for clarification.

Do you have a Dispensation from the Canonical Form of Marriage?  The answer to this question will determine where you are married and by whom.

If you have a Dispensation, you will be married by the rabbi anywhere the rabbi allows, including outside.  A priest can come to your wedding as a guest and offer a blessing after the wedding ceremony, but the entire wedding is run by the rabbi according to jewish tradition.  The priest will sit in a seat as a guest during the entire wedding.

If you do not have a Dispensation, you will be married by a priest in a Catholic church.  The rabbi will not be allowed to preside but may be present and may only comment when laypersons are allowed to comment in a church (i.e. before the wedding and immediately before the dismissal).  The rabbi will sit in the pew the entire rest of the wedding. 

 

Regarding the time of marriage, many churches will marry you after the anticipation Mass on Sunday night (so at 7:00 pm).  It makes for awkward timing with dinner, but it’s an option.  You can also look for a church that does not offer Saturday night Mass or that offers it earlier (some have Mass at 4:30). 

As far as finding a church without a lot of symbolism, you might want to visit a local college to see where they celebrate Mass.  Often it’s a “multifaith” church that purposefully doesn’t have a lot of symbolism permanently hanging.

Post # 6
Member
5984 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: January 1999

Hi there!

My Jewish hubby and I chose to marry in a beautiful, neutral, indoors location in St. Louis, MO called the Jewel Box.  Our ceremony was not “official” like yours in the sense that we were married by an officiant/celebrant, but we did include components of both faiths.  We were married under a chuppah, had readings from the old testament read by friends (so as not to offend those of the Jewish faith), a unity candle, the men wore yarmulke’s (as well as many of our guests), we received blessings from the officiant, and the stomping of the glass at the conclusion of the ceremony, etc. (except for holy communion, of course).  We have received so many compliments on how creative and personalized our ceremony was.  I can not wait until we receive the DVD! 

I don’t know if this helped you at all, but you can make it work!

Blessings on you and your future marriage!

Melissa  :o)

P.S. Here are some pics of the lovely ceremony venue.

Post # 7
Member
350 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: January 1991

@Miss Emily Marie: OK.  My question still holds, though.  You need the dispensation from Disparity of Cult to marry a non-baptized Christian, but the Dispensation from the Canonical Form of Marriage is optional.  That dispensation allows you to be married outside of a Catholic church. If you seek that dispensation, you would not be married in a Catholic church.  If you do not seek that dispensation, you would be married in a Catholic church.

So as to your question about being married outside or in a Catholic church (without crucifixes et al.) that would depend on whether you seek the Dispensation from the Canonical Form of Marriage.

Post # 8
Member
4 posts
Wannabee
  • Wedding: August 2011

Miss Emily,

There are a few rabbis that will co-officiate in a Catholic Church with christian symbology. We’ve co-officiated many Catholic Jewish weddings in a Catholic Church on a Saturday, as well as outdoors with a Roman Catholic Priest where the couple received dispensation in Northern California and Mexico.

We’ve also traveled to Guadalajara Mexico to co-officiate with a Roman Catholic priest performing all the sacraments. They had to get a dispensation and had some hoops to jump through, but it was possible and we were there. It was the first co-officiated intermarriage in the Conservative Jewish community in the city of Guadalajara, as of 2008.

 

Post # 9
Member
1079 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

To answer your question: I would suggest a historic house, museum, or a hotel if you can find with that’s really old and restored. I do know what you mean about hotels not looking like the site for a ceremony. Where are you in the country? I can think of a number of options.

Post # 10
Member
866 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 2011

This is a difficult situation, and I sympathize. It seems as though you’re seeking more logistics advice than anything else, so here’s what I have.

If you found a Catholic church that met your (and your Rabbi’s) requirements, I woudl suggest marrying at the 6pm ceremony time. Have your cocktail hour prior to the ceremony, and take your pictures during that time. Have the ceremony, then be sure to start dinner directly following. The timeline would look something like this:

5pm Cocktail Hour (bridal & family formal photos)
6pm Ceremony
7pm Dinner
8pm Cake cutting, dancing, etc.

Another option would be similar to the first, but would have to be at a venue with a space you love: the ceremony and reception would be set up together, like a theatre-in-the-round, so your guests would be seated at their tables (and eating apps) prior to your ceremony. It would look like this:

4:30pm Guests arrive, find seats
5pm Appetizers laid out per table, alcohol optional at this point
6pm Ceremony
End of Ceremony, guests eat, drink and be merry!

My last suggestion involves going for the earlier Church time on a Sunday, and doing a brunch with an after-party. The timeline for that is really flexible, and would mostly be determined be guest travel time and location.

I don’t know if this helped at all, but I understand the logistical challenges involved in planning an interfaith wedding, not just the personal and emotional ones.

 

Post # 11
Member
1184 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2011

how about a university chapel? they are usually not overtly geared toward one religion since often they will hold services for multiple religions within one chapel. also, i forget if i already suggested this on a previous thread of yours but there are secular humanist rabbis that will both co-officiate with a priest and participate in a wedding suring the day on saturdays. not sute if you want to open up the officiant search since i know you had a hard time finding a rabbit in the first place. even some reform rabbis do perform saturday day weddings–i went to a saturday afternoon interfaith wedding last summer that was officiated by a reform rabbi.

Post # 12
Member
1025 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

Would a Sunday wedding be out of the question?

And this might be out in left field, but what about a Protestant church? A lot of them don’t have crosses, and I don’t think they tend to be as strict about someone being a member of the church. 

Have you talked to your priest about getting married outside? If you have that dispensation, he might be willing. I’ve been to a Catholic wedding otuside. The bride had a dispensation so that she could get married at her parents house. (And please, don’t everyone write back and say that it was a rogue priest who didn’t know what he was doing. It was the bishop. He was on top of it.) To my knowledge, its not the “you can’t get married outside” but “you should get married in a church” that’s the issue. 

Post # 13
Member
350 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: January 1991

The bride had a dispensation so that she could get married at her parents house. (And please, don’t everyone write back and say that it was a rogue priest who didn’t know what he was doing. It was the bishop. He was on top of it.) To my knowledge, its not the “you can’t get married outside” but “you should get married in a church” that’s the issue.

It’s not “should get married in a church”, it’s a requirement.  Canon Law is a requirement that all Catholics must follow otherwise the marriage is not valid.  Canon Law says that a wedding cannot be held outdoors.

A dispensation is a ruling by a bishop (and only a bishop, a priest can’t approve a dispensation) that basically says “in this case, we’re validly making an exception to Canon Law because of special circumstances”.  If you have a Dispensation from the Canonical Form of Marriage, then you can validly be married anywhere, including outside.  But until you have that signed dispensation, it’s “must get married in a church” not “should…”

Dispensations to be married outside are much easier to obtain than most people think.

Post # 14
Member
1025 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

Yeah, I just meant that sometimes people think that the church is anti-outdoor wedding specifically. I just said “should” because it’s not completely absolute, since you can get married elsewhere. (with a dispensation, of course).

Post # 15
Member
1025 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

Don’t mean to hijack the post, though! Have you figured out any options?

Post # 16
Member
3176 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

Can you ask the priest and rabbi for suggestions? It may be helpful to have a meeting between everyone. If one is out of state do a conference call or something. That way you don’t have to worry about the appropriatness of things. OR could you look into unconventional sites like an aquarium, museum, art gallery, historic home, etc?

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