Post # 1
I’m at the very beginning stages of planning my June 2013 weddings, and already beginning to hit some brick walls – namely, the issue of planning an interfaith ceremony.
My Fiance comes from a large Lebanese family who are primarily Antiochian Orthodox. He was baptized in that faith. I’m a non-practicing, non-baptized Anglican. His mom wanted us to get married in their family’s church. I am respectful of their beliefs and was willing to have an orthodox ceremony, however the church won’t marry us because I have not been baptized. For personal reasons, I am not willing to get baptized. We haven’t told his mother yet, and I’m really afraid of how she will react…
It’s important to my Fiance that we still be married in a church, so we’re trying to find a church in Ottawa, Ontario (Canadians represent!) that will be willing to marry us. My questions are:
1. Will an Anglican church marry us if I haven’t been baptized? If so, does anyone have any recommendations for Ottawa-based churches?
2. Does anyone from the area have any experience or can recommend an Ottawa-based non-denominational church for a wedding?
Any tips/advice would be greatly appreciated!
Post # 3
Well 1 you shouldn;t get baptized unless you want to. That said though marriage is considered to be something between baptized christians or whatever in the churches. I know that my FI’s dad ( a baptist pastor) and my church (catholic) would never marry an unbaptized man or woman. That stated baptism is stating that you agree with that church so how can you say that you agree with them if you wont be baptized? I am sorry but it looks like it will have to be outside the church if you want to marry unbaptized
Post # 4
I am Anglican, baptized & confirmed. An Anglican priest will not marry you if you are not baptized & practicing. You would also need to take pre-marital classes as well, but that is a moot point since you aren’t baptized. Sorry, good luck.
Post # 5
I feel your pain, Neay – I am an Orthodox Christian, but my bishop will not accept my fiance’s baptism because he was baptised in a church with liberal rules regarding how they perform baptims. So we are going through a similar thing right now. He is being asked to convert but does not want to.
Unfortunately, as you have learned – not being baptized at all is a deal-breaker…and your fiance should not really be surprised that this is a problem. He will be excommunicating himself if he marries you outside of his church, even if you choose the Anglican church, and that may be very difficult for his family and his Orthodox social circle to accept.
You have a difficult choice ahead, but your options are pretty much to:
1. convert to Orthodoxy
2. get baptized in a different church that performs Trinitarian baptisms*, or
3. get married outside of any church (but effectively excommunicate your fiance).
*The Orthodox church will still discriminate as to whether your baptism is considered congruent with their requirements for an inter-faith marriage. If you want to be baptised in a church outside of the Orthodox church, the next “closest” options are the Catholic and Lutheran churches. The church you choose must always perform baptisms with water in the name of the trinity in order to be considered valid by the Orthodox church.
My personal belief is that you shouldn’t get baptized unless you really believe in what the church teaches, but people frequently convert out of love and a desire to be married in the way that will make the spouse most comfortable, so I understand if you choose to do so. Please keep us updated about what happens!!
Post # 6
The Catholic Church would marry you even if you were unbaptized. It wouldn’t be a sacrament, but it would be a valid marriage. However, your fiance would have to be Catholic.
The Anglican Church will also marry someone who is unbaptized. But, your fiance would have to be Anglican (is my understanding).
There are probably lots of generic protestant-type churches that will marry you on the basis of him being some type of baptized Christian, though.
But I’m worried, from what you say, that a garden-variety churchy wedding would not satisfy his mother. It definitely won’t satisfy the Orthodox Church that he is “really” married etc.
edit: just realized how old this post is. Insert foot into mouth, hop away on other foot…
Post # 7
I don’t believe the Anglican Church requires you to be anything but they prefer that at elast one member of the couple is Christian. It seems to vary between churches and Parishes, the best thing to do is call around and ask.