Non-Catholic Wedding Party

posted 9 months ago in Catholic
Post # 2
Member
961 posts
Busy bee

I wouldn’t drop out over this; it’s all very normal at Catholic weddings and masses in general to have some people not receive communion. I’ve been to many Catholic weddings, and people generally just go up to get a blessing– that way, you don’t look left out. Follow everyone else up, and cross your hands over your chest to signal to the priest that you won’t be taking communion. He might do the sign of the cross over you or put his hand on your head and say a one-sentence “may God bless and keep you” type thing, and off you go!  It’s also perfectly normal to just sit in the pew instead, if that’s what you’d prefer. Most people are focused on prayer during communion anyways, so I highly doubt anyone would notice or care no matter which option you choose.

Post # 3
Member
347 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2016

If you go through the communion line and cross your arms over your chest (each hand on the opposite shoulder), the person giving communion will do the sign of the cross and a 2-second blessing instead. This lets you go through the line (if you feel like it would be noticeable if you stand aside) without taking communion.

I didn’t have a full Mass at my wedding, but I’ve been to plenty where people either did the crossed arms or walked to the aisle, let everyone pass them, and then slipped back into the aisle once everyone had walked through. It really just becomes a matter of what makes you most comfortable.

Post # 6
Member
432 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2016

I come from a catholic family, was baptized but never had my first communion and consider myself atheist. I have no problem sitting while everyone else goes up, no one notices or cares.

Post # 7
Member
493 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2017

I’ve been in a few catholic weddings, while I’m catholic, not all of the WP was catholic in any of them.  In one ceremony we remained kneeling and the priest brought communion over to us.  During rehearsal he just said that those who would like to receive should put their hands out. Maybe half did.  

In the other two ceremonies we went up.  Some of the non-catholic WP members stayed seated while others went up for a blessing.  

It was really no big deal and goes really fast.  

Post # 8
Member
586 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2017

I’m having a Catholic wedding and only 1 member of our 10-person wedding party actually IS a currently practicing Catholic! We’re not having a full Mass though so that won’t be an issue. 

Not sure why you’d think receiving a blessing would consider your baptism invalid. It’s a standard blessing given to anyone not receiving Communion at that moment for whatever reason- even Catholics! And there shouldn’t be anyone paying close enough attention to notice whether you receive a blessing or Communion- if so they need to find more important things to worry about! As an alternative, you could just remain seated while the rest of the wedding party went up to receive- I don’t see why that should be a problem- could you arrange to be at the end of the pew so you wouldn’t have to let anyone out? I know you’re worried about standing out but people should understand and I don’t think it’s a reason to drop out of the wedding party entirely for! 

Post # 9
Member
535 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2015

Only 2 people in our wedding party were Catholic and none of my bridesmaids were. It wasn’t awkward at all (why should it be? It’s nothing to be embarrassed about that you are not Catholic), they just remained in their seats.

Post # 10
Member
961 posts
Busy bee

tc3033 :  Catholicism and other Christian religions all have the same roots, if I’m not mistaken, so I don’t think it would be an invalidation of your baptism at all– I see it as a welcoming thing, as a sort of “Hi, we’re glad you’re here, we wish you the best.” But, if you don’t feel the same way, that’s totally ok and you’re under no obligation at all to go up. Like I said, I wouldn’t let this worry you too much– either option is totally fine, and people won’t notice or care, regardless of whether or not it’s a member of the wedding party doing it. You’re not Catholic, and that shouldn’t matter one single bit to anyone else there, whether for moral or aesthetic reasons or whatever ridiculousness they can come up with. It would take a truly awful person to make a fuss about it.

Post # 12
Member
500 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2017

FH and I have had many solid laughs over the fact that we are likely to be the only practicing Catholics at our own wedding.  We were initially going to do the wedding-without-mass nuptial service, but since he’s in the process of converting (his choice, I never said a word or pushed), the closer he gets to being done with RCIA, the more he wants the full mass.  My family is lapsed, to put it kindly, and his is all UCC.  Most of our friends are not Christian, although my Matron of Honor is Russian Orthodox, so she will be the most hardcore person there.

There is never a requirement for anyone to take communion.  Plenty of regular Catholics don’t take it every week.

If there are going to be a lot of non-Catholics attending, suggest to the bride that they either put a note in the program or have someone make an announcement before things start about what non-Catholics should do.  Some churches give a blessing if you cross your arms, some prefer not to, some bless children in the line, others prefer to do the children blessings outside of the actual mass – there are regional variations even for the Catholics, so it couldn’t hurt to have a note of explanation for non-Catholics as well as out-of-towners.

I sing for funerals at my church, and they also tend to be a mixed bag of Catholics and non-Catholics.  The priest always makes an invitation prior to communion, directing those who wish to take communion to approach on whichever side of the casket they’re using that time.  It can also help ease the situation if the priest makes it an invitation, rather than silently leaving it as an expectation.

Also, your fun fact for the day, concerning your baptism comment – if you’re baptized in any church that recognizes the Holy Trinity, the official stance of the Catholic Church is that you are baptized.  Even if you converted, they would not rebaptize you.  So don’t feel they’re patronizing you!

Post # 13
Member
347 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2016

tc3033 :  I’ve seen letting people pass with the wedding party, not just the general wedding attendees. I cantor (lead the music) for Catholic weddings and funerals, and priests tend to vary in whether they make any sort of announcement about the option to come forward for a blessing. The only reason I pay attention to what the wedding party is doing is to time the music appropriately; the average wedding guest probably isn’t paying much attention.

For the record, the idea behind the blessing is to include non-Catholics, rather than to single them out–they aren’t receiving the blessing of the Eucharist, but they are still being blessed for coming to the celebration of Mass. Obviously it’s ultimately up to you if you do or don’t feel comfortable with that, regardless of the intent, but I just wanted to share that with you.

Post # 14
Member
493 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2017

tc3033 :  Why not talk to your BIL and his FI about it.  If I would want to know if someone in my wedding party was so upset about this, and consider dropping out. Are you uncomfortable at the thought of just standing or kneeling along for a minute or two?  Are you concerned that someone will be angry with you? 

PPs have the blessing/views on your baptism being invalid(?) covered.  My mom isn’t catholic, when she attends mass with us during a big event (like a wedding) she goes up for a blessing – so there are adults who do this.  

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