(Closed) The mass question

posted 4 years ago in Catholic
Post # 2
2299 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

I will preface this by saying I am not relgious in any way and would never have a ceremony in a Church.

I agree that asking you to have a full Catholic mass might be a compromise for you and your family and feel inappropriate.  However, isn’t NOT having a full mass a compromise and innappropriate for your Fiance and his family?  You need to sit down with your fiance and perhaps a third unbiased party (maybe not a priest that he knows…) and find a way to make your wedding something that works for both of you.  It is the beginning of your married life together.  It needs to celebrate your relationship, your similarities, your differences.  But most of all it needs to celebrate you BOTH, and in ways that both of you want.  

Good luck!  This definitely doesn’t sound like a fun situation.  

Post # 3
2610 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2014 - Madison, WI

I’ve never been to ANY wedding ceremony that was only 10 min long religious or not of any affiliation. I have been to plenty of Catholic Weddings, none of them were without mass though…I am not Catholic and yeah, it’s a little awkward during communion but at weddings there are often a lot of people not partaking so it is not THAT awkward. It is a lot more uncomfortable to me and awkward when you’re there attending regular mass and not taking communion than it is during a wedding or funeral (I’ve been to many of each at Catholic churches). So if that’s the only reason you’re uncomfortable with mass, you may be worrying about it a little too much IMO. Even with both parties are Catholic, many of their guest are not.

Yes, you are already compromising more here but at some point one of you has to stop the fighting. If it is really that important to your Fiance (NOT just because of his family but to him) then I would try and just go through with it. But if he is only doing this because of his family pressuring him, then he needs to just stand up to them on your behalf and say that the wedding without communion is happening and they need to deal.

Post # 4
1332 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

redfishbluefish:  Funny you should ask, because I have my Catholic “plan a marriage” book sitting in front of me, as I just had a meeting with my priest.  I would ASSUME that ‘all’ Catholic parishes follow the same sort of guidelines, as far as Rite of Marriage planning goes…

We (my Fiance and myself) are both baptised, and practicing, so we are doing a FULL mass.  My priest stated that it would take approximately 45-minutes.  As I look at the Rite of Marriage section between a Catholic and someone unbaptized, all elements are present, except the Liturgy of the Eucharist.  So, you would have the welcome, the procession, opening prayer, readings, gospel, homily, rite of marriage (vows, rings, nuptial blessing, intercessions), conclusion, and recessional.

As someone whom attends Mass outside of just marriages, I will tell you that the Liturgy of the Eucharist takes about 15-minutes (depending on the priest), soooooo, doing the Math – as best as I can, you will still have a solid 25-30 minute Mass.  Heck, you could CHOOSE longer readings to ensure it may exceed that even!!

I think you are absolutely right in your mindset, and your in-laws are being a bit selfish/unfair.  And, honestly, a lot of priests (in my opinion) would prefer to do a Marriage the way you want, because you – the Bride – are unbaptized!!!


Post # 5
479 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

Traditioanlly there is no mass when one member is not a Catholic.  My Fiance is Catholic, I’m not, and we are having a Catholic ceremony without mass.  The only difference is there is no Communion.  So the ceremony will be at LEAST half an hour, since it seems like they are worried about it being too short.  Ask the priest for the book “Together For Life”.  It outlines all of your options for the ceremony readings.  If you share that with your Future In-Laws they will see that it is still very religious and lengthy.  Is there any way you can have the priest speak with them?  Maybe they will listen if it comes straight from him!  We didn’t have this issue, but the way our priest worded it was that it isn’t right to highlight the differences between the families by having half the people take communion and the other half not.

Post # 6
3726 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

redfishbluefish:  My brother (Catholic) and his now wife (Methodist) had a Catholic wedding in a Catholic church. My parents desperately wanted communion offered. To compromise, the priest had pre-consecrated eucharist to offer to those in attendance who wished to partake. This took a portion of the mass out of the wedding but also made my parents very happy.

It was a very nice wedding that made everyone happy. Perhaps you could look into this as an alternative.

— To your statement of not wanting to put your family through a full mass, that sounds like an immature thing to say. People can respect differences and not automatically feel slighted if they cannot receive communion. Every religion has different traditions. Adults not partaking can just sit and wait. They should not be offended just because not every religion is the same.

Post # 7
766 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

There has to be some middle ground. Not having a mass is as much of a “compromise” (if that’s what you want to call it, but it’s really just one person getting their way) as it is for you to have one. Is it possible to have a shortened mass? That’s what Fiance and I are doing. He’s of a different denomination (although neither of us are really practicing anyway) so he will not be receiving communion either. Our priest has shortened the mass by having only one reading and omitting some other small details. We will still be having communion but a sizeable chunk of our guests (I’d say maybe 30%?) are either not Catholic or not practicing and unlikely to participate. First things first though, you really need I remov. Your Future In-Laws from this decision. Their opinions and feelings will only make this decision more difficult, and it isn’t their wedding or marriage. Try as much as possible to ONLY discuss this with your Fiance and your priest. Good luck!

Post # 8
2946 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2014


redfishbluefish:  I am Catholic, so is my Fiance.  We are having a full mass because my mother insists.  I don’t want it, he doesn’t either, but there is no good reason that we can find for us not to have one, so that is pretty much that on our end. 

For you though, there is a good reason not to do the full mass.  Most churches will not allow you to have a full mass without both members of the couple being Catholic.  It can be overroad, but it’s an excepetion.  The preist would need to approve it.   His mom is also very wrong about it only taking “10 minutes”  15-30 minutes would be normal, depending on the Homily and what readings you pick.

I would have a long conversation with your Fiance ALONE without his parents.  He needs to understand several things; 1. He is either on your side or he isn’t.  He can’t quibble when speaking with his parents.  It doesn’t matter what they say.  This wedding is about the marraige of you and him.  Not about his parents no mater how much they want to make it about themselves.  2.  He can’t switch sides after speaking with his parents.  He has to pick one position and stick with it.  3.  You are meeting him halfway already by getting married in the church and agreeing to raise your kids Catholic.  There needs to be a compromise.  Compromising on no Mass is a good middle ground. 4. If he gives his parents this one, they will just demand more in the future.  The wedding is a good place to set up boundaries.

I also think that you or your Fiance need to call the priest and see if it is even feasable to have a full Catholic mass.  Not the church secertary.  That might put an end to the whole coversation.

Post # 9
91 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

I am bapist and my Fiance is Catholic, so we are not having a full mass, because I am not catholic. i didnt even know  you could have a full mass if one person wasnt Catholic.  Our ceremony is going to be about 35mins

Post # 10
7977 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2013 - UK

I suggest you research this, because if you are not a baptised Christian, you CANNOT have a mass. If you are a baptised Christian marrying a Catholic, you can only have a mass with a dispensation. These are the church rules, not some arbitrary thing.

FYI, I had a similar problem when arranging my wedding to my Catholic husband. In the end, we did not have a full mass. Our ceremony lasted for around an hour, which is pretty normal for an English wedding.

Please feel free to ask me for any more help and advice I can offer.

Post # 11
487 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

My Maid/Matron of Honor just got married in the catholic church a few months ago and did not have a full mass.  The ceremony was about 30 minutes long.

She was NOT ALLOWED by the church to have a full mass as the groom was not catholic.  Maybe you could cross your fingers his church follows the same guidlines and won’t even perform a full mass since you aren’t catholic?

Good luck and stick to your guns!  It’s really not fair to you as you don’t share the same religious beliefs.

Post # 12
1612 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 2014

redfishbluefish:  Myself and my entire family are Catholic whereas my Fiance and his family are not.  We are getting married at my parish church (same church I was baptised in actually) and it will not be a full mass. I actually don’t remember the last time I went to a wedding in a Catholic church and it was a full mass. And I play at several weddings a year at that church. Its pretty normal where I am. The service is around 25 minutes (not 10). I have no idea where they are getting 10 minutes. The usual order is processional, greeting, readings, gospel, homily, wedding vows/rings/etc, intentions, signing of the register, and recessional. Only thing left out is eucharist.

Post # 13
2716 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

I’ve been to Catholic weddings with a full mass where one party was not Catholic.  So it’s not unheard of to have Communion when one party is not Catholic.  My H was baptized Catholic but that was it – he never went to church, had Commuion, was confirmed, or anything.  We still had a full Catholic mass because it was important to me.  

I know you are worried about you and your family being uncomfortable with having Communion at your wedding, but I think it’s also important to realize that it can be very important for a Catholic to have Communion at his/her wedding.  So the real question is what does your Fiance want.  Does he want the mass or is he just trying to please his parents?  If he doesn’t care, then he needs to explain to his parents why you aren’t having mass.  If he does want a full mass, then I think that’s what you need to have. 

Weddings are not like normal mass and I doubt people are going to feel excluded or awkward when it comes time to have Communion.  Your guests are adults and I’m sure they understand that different religions have different rules and traditions.


Post # 14
16 posts
  • Wedding: July 2014

Future Mother-In-Law is crazy town.  The secretary was probably just trying to be empathetic not truly agreeing it would be 10 minutes.  I’m planning my wedding now for July; FH and I are both Catholic.  The only difference between the two ceremonies is the piece including the Eucharist.  My sister got married Catholic and the ceremony was still 30 minutes minimum.  There is a lot involved with the ceremony – all the readings etc., only difference is the Eucharist.

The Catholic Church typically does not do Mass when either the bride or groom is not Catholic; you can decide to do Mass but the reason for this is that they don’t want anyone to feel excluded.  Mass or no Mass you are just as married when the ceremony is over and it is just as valid either way in the eyes of the Church.  We are both Catholic but with so many non-Catholics attending, including family, we didn’t want to create any separation so we decided to go the no Mass route.

This is your wedding; it’s about you and your fiance.  Be respectful of their religious choices, but they also have to be respectful of yours (and also learn the difference between Mass vs. Non-Mass ceremonies.  Jeesh).  It’s nice enough that you are going through the Catholic Church which is hard enough sometimes for people who do not belong, why try to force more on you that you are not comfortable with?  Ridic.

You and your fiance need to stick together on this.  I hope he’s been supportive through all this; it sounds like he has but might have a hard time standing up to the parents.  I think you guys need to have one last conversation, calm and respectful, and just explain why you’re doing it (I know you already have), and that you ARE doing it, and then just let that be it.  Just be sure they don’t think this is some grudge you have against Catholics or something, that it’s just not what either of you think is best for your wedding.  It’s the start of your marriage; personally I wouldn’t want to be united in a marriage ceremony and then immediately separated during the Eucharist.  If the conversation gets disrespectful be prepared to just leave.  And good luck… sounds like you need it. 


Post # 15
963 posts
Busy bee

I feel like you’re already compromising by having the wedding in a Catholic church. He should now compromise by not having Mass. 

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